Enough donations have flown in for couple more years of the domain, so I am changing the name of the thread from "End of service". Whatever the results of this discussion, the site will not be shutting down.
I have posted an update on my thoughts further down in the thread. Link
After the community has voiced its wish for the website to remain standing even with a lack of updates - so long as existing information can be preserved - I've added a donation link to keep the hosting and domain going. Further info can be seen in the above link.
after many years of indefinite hiatus and very sporadic development on a new site, I have come to the conclusion that my plans and wishes to revitalize the site will not come to pass, and so it is time to make it official.
The question of "why" is simple: I am no longer invested in the game and have not been so for a long time. My attempts to work on the site revival have become increasingly 'phoned in' out of a sense of obligation, rather than the true passion which a video game fansite needs. I have treated continued work on UnrealSP as practice for coding, web development & server hosting, but every attempt to work on the site some more has continuously become more and more of a slog, and so I am forced to come to this conclusion.
What does this mean for UnrealSP?
- The current state of the website and forums will remain "as-is".
- Existing technical problems in the forums and website will not be addressed.
- User registration will remain closed.
- The legacy site will remain the go-to for old written content; there will not be a re-development to update to modern standards.
- Newer review content etc. will remain on the existing "temporary" forums.
- Further down the line - on January 29th, 2020 - the domain will expire, and the site will no longer be accessible.
I will keep a minimal backup of the website's current state once it goes offline for good, meaning that there will be options for someone dedicated and trustworthy to continue the community if they wish to. However, as the website data contains a lot of sensitive information (including plain-text direct messages, private development forums of teams like Red Nemesis, etc.), it is unlikely that someone both trustworthy and tech-savvy enough will appear, considering they haven't in all these prior years.
The Discord server remains open for casual chatter, as it does not cost any effort or money to maintain, and it is where the bulk of community interactions have happened recently.
I would like to thank Hellscrag and all the other UnrealSP.org staff that have founded, helped build up, and maintained the site & community in all those years. Life in the UnrealSP community has been crucial in developing my interest in the English language & creative processes in my formative years, and have contributed greatly to the person I am today. Similarly, I would like to thank all the current users & staff for sticking with UnrealSP.org for as long as you have.
With all that being said, Unreal and its community are by no means dead; other communities like OldUnreal, and other archive/article websites like UnrealArchives remain viable, and more 'alive', homes for the faithful. With Krull0r's Unreal Redux on the horizon, I also expect a large surge of interest and popularity for the game in a few years, as I'm convinced it will be picked up by larger game media when it's ready.
I will be available for questions and comments. Thank you, everyone.