So, after the fun with the Tour de France this year it was almost the end for FC – we have an old codebase that's difficult to update and at some point we'll either have to fully rebuild it (expensive) or turn it off (unpopular); we nearly turned it off. Even with volunteers doing a lot of the legwork during the season it still costs us money to run overall, and one of the stalwarts of the volunteer force has stepped down this year. A massive thanks to Condor Andy who's done an enormous amount of work behind the scenes.
The main issue with the game code is scale: it doesn't scale up particularly well and in the big tours it sometimes falls over. why this should be the case now, when player numbers are a lot lower than they were in early years, isn't clear: again, it's probably down to legacy issues in the code which have been difficult to pinpoint.
Anyway, we're in a position where we don't really want to turn off the game, but sometimes it struggles to cope with a big influx of new players. So the solution is really an obvious one. Starting with the Giro d'Italia this year, the FC game will be available for road.cc subscribers only. That will allow us to manage the player numbers and server resources through the season to avoid the big spikes for the grand tours (especially the Tour de France) and we're hoping that it will increase the number of subscribers too, which will mean we can make the game revenue neutral and hopefully work to a place where we can rebuild it properly.
We're aiming to follow the UCI worldtour calendar as usual and the Tour Down Under will be open in the week before it starts.
If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.