Founded in 2006, bitGAMER has become one of the larger private BitTorrent trackers dedicated to sharing games of all sorts.
What started out as a sister site of the Underground Gamer tracker turned into a serious player on its own, amassing 65,000 members over the years.
However, at the start of 2013 the site’s founders have decided to quit the game for good, leaving a large and active community behind. In a statement posted on the site’s homepage they explain that they are ready to move on to new things.
“We’ve reached the end of the ride. bitGAMER has been an amazingly fun ride, but all rides must come to an end,” the notice starts, also mentioning the “legal climate” as a factor to pull the plug.
“You all know that the legal climate has changed over the years, so we won’t bore you with that stuff. More importantly, the founders are simply ready to move on with their lives.”
The news caused some confusion among the site’s members as it came without prior warning. This also led to the inevitable rumors that there is something more to the shutdown, but the site’s founders explained in a follow up statement that this is certainly not the case.
“We didn’t give advance warning due to the nature of the site. We don’t want to give any advance notice in case someone was ready to kick someone’s door in at the last minute,” read a message posted in the IRC channel.
The founders further say that those who donated to the site in the last month can ask for a refund.
In an attempt to save the community the bitGAMER staff explored whether it was possible to hand over the reigns to new owners. However, they decided not to do so as that would require sharing details on all its members with a relatively unknown third-party.
“We tried to find new, trusted owners to carry the torch, but after years of attempts fell though, we had no choice but to close down the site. We wouldn’t be willing to transfer sensitive database data to a third-party that we’re not well acquainted with,” the founders explain.
But that doesn’t mean the tens of thousands of members will stop sharing.
There are already suggestions of re-spawning the bitGAMER community at new BitTorrent tracker, as is often the case when a large site dies. Other members will simply resume their game-sharing habits elsewhere. Invites for other private BitTorrent trackers are being shared by the dozens behind the scenes.
But for bitGAMER it’s Game Over.