Barrysworld was a popular British multiplayer gaming website which hosted many servers for various video game titles. Originally run by a volunteer organisation, during the late 1990s and early 2000s it ran a multitude of servers for popular multiplayer games of the time including: Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Quake, Quake II, Quake III, Starsiege: Tribes, Team Fortress and Unreal Tournament. The website and its multiplayer servers were launched in early 1998, having evolved from several 'clan' servers previously operated by the website's creators.

While the website and free multiplayer servers proved popular, claiming to have around 300,000 registered users, the organisation behind the website struggled at times to find funds for the hardware and bandwidth required to support such a service.

Around the year 1999, it started offering a pay-per-use modem dialup service and along with supporting the free multiplayer services and website, propelled Barrysworld to being the 4th largest internet service provider (ISP) in the UK (based on call minutes per month). However, as cheap flat-rate narrowband and broadband services from more main-stream ISP's became popular and the dot com crash made venture capitalists apprehensive about funding such organizations and Barrysworld once again struggled to find funds to support its activities. While the organisation tried for a while to support the service by offering rentable game servers and (non-compulsory) subscriptions, by 2001 the funding crisis had forced the organisation, which by now had 35 payrolled staff, into liquidation.

The British video game retailing company purchased the website and its assets soon after and for the next couple of years ran the website and multiplayer service in a similar manner, hoping the multiplayer service would promote its products.

In 2003 the original creators of Barrysworld parted ways from the company and relaunched the service supported by a volunteer based organisation using a new website

The name Barrysworld is a reference to the character Barry the Time Sprout in novels by Robert Rankin.


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