IGN/Gamespy is shutting down its public hosting services as of August 31st, 2009, doing away with its Classicgaming.com sites and possibly others (e.g. Strategyplanet, RPGPlanet), according to a forum post by Kurt "discoalucard" Kalata.

Kalata maintains several noteworthy sites on the Classicgaming network, such as Castlevania Dungeon and Hardcore Gaming 101, both of which keep very devoted followings. Other sites on the network include Shmups, The Metroid Database, and The Odyssey2 Homepage.

He notes that several Classicgaming sites have changed or are changing hosts in order to keep operating, but he laments, "How many of us will make the jump? How many will simply vanish, saved only by the rather arbitrary algorithms of Archive.org and the few people who actually save web sites to their hard drives, perhaps to charitably archive them later ala The GIA?"

Kalata argues that with the closing of free hosting sites such as Classicgaming, fansites are disappearing (he adds that free blogs aren't an adequate replacement): "The big draw of the Internet is where the general populace can come together to have their voices heard. That's slowly going away, and it really kinda sucks."

[Via @retronauts]