This worked for a while, but then site traffic EXPLODED as news about Sly 4 slowly leaked onto the scene. It was impossible to keep up with adding everyones membership profiles to the site manually, so I had to find an alternative. Other fan websites were using a service called Freewebs for their entire website which had membership functionality baked into it. Unfortunately, I couldn't switch this site from Weebly to Freewebs. So, I decided to create a separate site with Freewebs to handle membership and simply embed that site as an iFrame on the members page on the real website. The service has accrued almost 300 members since then, which is still crazy to me.
Unfortunately, Freewebs is not a very good service, and I've anticipated its demise for a while. The company just announced that they will be ending their hosting service by June 30th as the result of a buyout by Vistaprint. There are ways I could preserve the members site by migrating the data to a Vistaprint account, but the reality is that it isn't worth the trouble. Over the years, technology has changed, and the members thing couldn't be embedded on the main site the way it used to be, so it's just been linking out from the navigation here, causing confusion among users. Also, as the Sly fan scene has waned due to a drought of any official releases since 2013, there has been very little activity on the members site. It's time for that chapter of the Sly Cooper Fan Network to come to an end.
If there is anything on the members site you wish to backup, save, and make copies of, I suggest you do this sooner rather than later. The members service will shut down on June 30th, 2021. This will be permanent.
Right now is a perfect time to give a shout-out to Tabreez. Tabreez was the very first person to leave a comment in the discussion panel of the site, and the first fan to create a members profile back when I was adding them manually. He's even stuck around for all these years, and I think he follows me on Twitter lol. The fact that anyone was interested in the site made all of the hard work worth it and was very inspirational for me back then. So Tabreez, if you're reading this, thanks for everything.
The closure of Freewebs, while it won't severely hurt this website, is definitely a blow to the Sly Cooper fan website community. A vast majority of fan websites, like Cooper Capers and The Vault, were all created with the service. Any site left up will probably disappear after June. Freewebs has been wiping inactive sites from their service for years, and the Sly Cooper Fan Network was, at one point, diligent in saving, archiving, and re-uploading anything worth saving from these sites, as well as making archived links available on the Links page. So, in theory, hopefully not much will be lost.
As for the future of The Sly Cooper Fan Network – as I said, we aren't going anywhere. I made a commitment back in 2011 that I wouldn't disappear and the site wouldn't fall apart into obscurity. I intend to hold true to that promise. The Sly Cooper culture needs to be preserved, and I believe we are the final torch-bearer of the early fan scene before wikis, sub-Reddits, Discord servers, Aminos, and whathaveyou.
Due to my turbulent life situation and a lack of anything official in the world of Sly Cooper in over seven years, there have been long periods of inactivity. I expect those to persist. However, the site will continue to be live, I'll still be kicking around, and updates will come one day. I want to eventually do an overhaul of everything here, but that will be a massive undertaking, and things in my personal life and professional design career are just too time-consuming to allow me to focus on the Fan Network. That said, if anyone has any suggestions for how things should and could be improved around here, I'm all-ears.
In the meantime, if you'd like to keep up with me personally, you can find me @tyfrisbee on Twitter, @tyfrisbee on Instagram and on my personal site at tylerfrisbeedesign.com
Thank you for the support and the memories. Here's to the future.
But that’s okay - that’s the precise reason why I started the Sly Cooper Fan Network in the first place. There were only vague rumors of a possible upcoming game, news was scarce, most had given up hope, and almost all of the fan sites were abandoned. It has always been my goal to make sure that the Fan Network would never fall victim to the same fate. Things are of course far more hopeful than they were in 2011 and I suspect we’ll see some exciting things emerge from the world of Sly Cooper in the coming year, whether it be in the form of game or animated series announcements. I don’t have any solid plans yet, but after I graduate in May you should start to see things slowly kick up a notch around here. Thank you all for being so patient and continuing your support of the Sly Cooper Fan Network - it’s been a wild ride and I don’t intend on letting it stop any time soon.
Since the link SlyCooper.com only redirected to a sub-domain of Sony's Playstation website, the site going offline does not mean that they failed to renew the web address; it most likely means that Sony intentionally unpublished the Sly Cooper website. Could this mean that they are abandoning Sly Cooper? Could this mean that they took the website down to perform updates and renovations on it to promote an upcoming game? Could this simply mean nothing at all? It is entirely possible that the site was taken down to free up server space. There wasn't much content on the official website, and it hadn't been updated since 2014 anyway. It does seem strange that Sucker Punch still own the website address SlyCooper.com. It's possible that they've always retained ownership since 2002. However, I remember looking up the website on WhoIs in the past and I thought I remembered seeing it under different ownership... but I have a terrible memory and could be mistaken. (SEE EDIT BELOW). Of course Sucker Punch announced just last week that they have been busy working on a new game, Ghost of Tsushima, which is a total departure from the Sly Cooper and inFamous series. This all probably means nothing, just figured it was worth reporting to see what you guys thought - let us know in the comments!
EDIT (3:45 pm EST): Upon digging deeper, I've discovered some other curious information. Both SlyCooper.com and SuckerPunch.com are registered to the same person: Michael Becker. According to his LinkedIn profile, Michael Becker has only been working as an IT Administrator at Sucker Punch since February 2015. So there HAVE been changes to the ownership/registration status of the website since Thieves in Time was released (though this could simply be because the domain was renewed - I dunno). I do wonder why Sucker Punch are the ones renewing and retaining ownership of the Sly Cooper domain, and not Sony (who, correct me if I'm wrong, presumably holds the IP for the Sly Cooper Series?). Of course any company wouldn't want an important domain - even for a retired product - to fall into somebody else's hands. It just confuses me as to why Sony isn't handling it since Sucker Punch is done with the series. This also seems weird because, once the animated series is released, won't the companies involved with that venture want to use SlyCooper.com for promotional purposes? I'll have to do more research to see who the website was registered to in the past, and if it ever changed hands from Sucker Punch Productions before this more recent update in registrant information.