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From Liandri Archives
Visit BeyondUnreal for all your Unreal-related news! Click the links at the very top of this page for a look at the BeyondUnreal main page, forums, fileworks, and hosted sites.
First, a little history...
Way back in the summer of 1998, Unreal 1 was released. The Unreal-engine website scene was relatively new, and there were a large number of community-run sites doing a great job of imparting Unreal-engine files and information to the gaming public. Some we were particularly fond of, the original Org, Shadows, and Max's Unreal News, the venerable Unreal Nation, Unreal Kingdom, Demigod's Unreal map site and many, many more.
In the fall of 1998, PlanetUnreal, which was originally UNA out of Australia, featuring the likes of San, Arcane, Mia'cova and Mek, began to assemble a number of absolute Unrealaholics as their administration team. Yellow5, Stallion, QAPete, Alien8, Zaccix, Prophetus, Sparky, Hal, Rojazz and others began building what became the biggest Unreal-engine gaming site in the world. Traffic to the site increased seven-fold, and the boys even hosted the official Unreal Tournament Release Party live on the internet in November of 1999.
The Beginning of the End
In early 2000, PU lost the free use of CDROM.COM, which was GameSpy's main file mirror. The complaints flooded in, and there was nothing the admin team could do about it. Around the same time, GSI began implementing its plan for gaming domination, which included 'genre' sites like 3DActionPlanet, FilePlanet, ForumPlanet and, ultimately, Giant Ad Banners of Death and pay download servers. The PU team also lost the ability to run the site the way they saw fit. Numerous GSI ads and links were included on the site, and basically, PU turned away from being a community-run site to being a part of the corporation.
The Hammer Comes Down
In June of 2001, GameSpy decided to immediately end existing verbal and written contracts with their Site Directors and many of their paid 'help', replacing those contracts with one that implied ownership of the sites, ownership of all developed materials, no guaranteed minimum salaries and much more. This was the final straw, and the PU admin team, having been working together supporting the Unreal-engine community for about 2 1/2 years, began leaving the site.
A New Day Dawns
In October of 2001, the old PU admin team got together again and, using their own Linux server, bandwidth and licensed copy of vBulletin software, began what was to become BeyondUnreal by porting over their forums to the new server in an effort to allow the former PlanetUnreal forumers to continue posting using the now-familiar and very efficient vBulletin system, rather than get pushed over to GSI's ForumPlanet software. BeyondUnreal began hosting sites, adding new admins such as the respected Tetris_L, larrystorch, RaptoR and MalHavoc, from Stomped fame. The new site design was completed by Matt 'Mix' Fox, a new content management system was written by MalHavoc, server administration tools were developed and the team obtained partners to host downloadable files and provide those for free to the gaming public. In May of 2002, less than a year after their departure from PlanetUnreal, a new day dawned - BeyondUnreal was born!
On December 8, 2002, BeyondUnreal added a second server to the site, paid for by donations from a Forum Server Fund Drive. In less than a day, the BU community donated $1700, exceeding our goal of $1500.
As BeyondUnreal continued to grow, we added a third server on October 18, 2003, giving us the ability to do full daily backups of our web files, full database backups and more.
On December 21, 2003, we moved our servers from our original 1.5 mbit line to a 100 mbit connection in Herndon, VA, USA. This move, made possible by our new bandwidth and exclusive USA game server partners ServerCave and Ketnar, provides BeyondUnreal with all the speed we need to continue to grow and expand our services to the Unreal community.
We completed a server fund drive on August 19, 2004, with the community chipping in $5000 in 18 days for a much-needed new main server.
Our Mission Statement
The BeyondUnreal team is dedicated to providing everything necessary and desired by the Unreal-engine gamer in a fast, fun and reliable website.
The site is decidedly community-oriented, with the only commercial activities being those that are necessary to support the financial needs of the site. All remaining revenues are to be distributed to the team.
We treat our visitors with fairness and respect, and we expect the same from our visitors toward each other and the admin team.
The goal of BeyondUnreal is to be the most respected Unreal-engine game site in the world.