GamersGate: Redesigned, Crazy Sales

By Alec Meer on May 27th, 2009 at 9:27 am.

Who says I never write alt-tags?

This is the kind of thing we’d normally leave for LewieP to herd into his weekly Bargain Bucket post, but if we wait to mention it till Sunday, most of the great offers will be gone. So, call this the RPS Bargain Jar or something. Quite a few of you have griped about digital store GamersGate‘s general design over the past few months, and it seems they too were aware of their fugliness. There’s just been a big old redesign to make the site sleeker and noticeably faster – and, if you ask me, just a little bit GoG-esque. Shiny! And, thank Vonnegut, it doesn’t demand to install yet another icon into our heaving system trays. To celebrate, they’ve a week of ultro-discounts – a new price-slashed game each day, plus a particularly splendid one lasting the course of the week. Buy buy buy!

Until the 31st, there’s a startling 60% of a title that’s going to be a serious contender for both Jim and my game of the year – the splendid strategy sandboxery of Men of War. It’s a mere $11.99/£10.79 until end of play Sunday. Go! Get! Go! Get!

Today only, sprawling, inventive indie RPG Mount & Blade has 50% off, fetching up at $14.95/£13.99.

Tomorrow, the most excellent explosions of World In Conflict: Complete Edition goes half price for the day, which should mean the same price as Mount & Blade is today. Also RPS Seal of Approvalled, this one.

Come Friday, cult space strategy Sword of the Stars has its day in the sun, its complete collection enjoying a 50% discount. Alack, no-one on RPS has played this yet, despite having heard good things. We’ll take a gander one day, promise.

Finally, from Thursday to Sunday Stalker: Clear Sky will be 50% cheaper. I’m still adamant you should stick to the original Stalker, but if you’re hungry for more Zoneage, a combination of patches and mods have improved the once-upsetting Clear Sky no end.

Buying advice ends here. Well done, men.

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41 Comments »

  1. Frosty840 says:

    On an only-vaguely-related note, I do wish whoever gets put in charge of these things would coordinate multi-distribution-platform releases better.
    When MoW first came out, I checked my usual set of direct-download retailers and didn’t find it anywhere I wanted to buy it from. So I got the boxed, disc-ed edition.
    Then all the download networks picked it up, but by that time, they’d lost my sale, because I’m not about to spend another thirty/ten quid for a game I’ve only just bought.

    Obviously I don’t even know enough about the system to complain about it, let alone offer a valid opinion, but surely these absurdly staggered release dates aren’t good for anyone? I feel ripped off by the price I paid for a box-and-disc edition I didn’t want in the first place and whose “please insert game disc” mewlings only serve to irritate me more. I’m still debating whether to cancel all of my first-day preorders of disc-and-box games to see whether I can save 60% of the price and the disc-in-drive, Securom-is-a-poisonous-piece-of-trash-and-I-want-it-off-my-fucking-harddrive hassle by waiting a week or two.

  2. cliffski says:

    Buy direct.
    Buy DRM-free.

    And if the developer can’t be bothered to support those two options, then sod-em. Buy it where it’s cheapest :D

  3. cliffski says:

    Actually the more helpful answer is that digi-dist suppliers work at different speeds. If you emailed Steam, GamersGate, Direct2Drive and Stardock this morning and suggested they sell your game, the responses would drift in at a rate of between 8 hours and 3 months. And once you had negotiated contracts with them, that time frame could get even wider.

    Naturally whoever really has their shit together wants to get it on sale before their competitors, so it’s not easy to persuade any of them that they all have to wait for the one company that is dragging its heels. Plus, as a developer, you want the money to start coming in as soon as possible, to buy food etc.

    The alternative is to set a release date far in advance, but because games are amorphous things that are never really ‘finished’ that always means last minute cramming, crunch and shipping a buggy or half-finished game, so it’s a situation best avoided.

  4. LewieP says:

    Another factor is that retail releases are sometimes staggered internationally, but maybe not so for the digital release.

    A good example of this is The Last Remnant.

    The international Steam release was on the 9th of April, but the UK retail release was on the 20th of March. In the time between these two dates, you could enter your retail serial into Steam, and have it added to your steam account.

    There was a situation where you could see someone on your friends list playing the game on Steam, and maybe decide to buy it yourself, but despite the final release being available to Steam, they didn’t want your money. Add into this the fact that it cost more on Steam than it did retail, and you can begin to see one of the major downsides to digital distribution.

  5. Bhazor says:

    Oooh, those are terrible exchange rates. Its pretty incredible we still get ripped off in a half price or less sale.

    Still, Men of War for diddy money? Ta!

    BUT MOUNT AND BLADE IS 2 for £15 FROM GAME.
    The website says £25 but in store it’s in the bargain section unless theres been a major change since wednesday.

    Reply to LewieP
    But prices are dictated by the publisher not by the online store, at least thats how Steam works. The fact retail shops have to deal with the likes of shelf space and steady stock turnover makes them more likely to cut prices. Whilst online these aren’t an issue so the price remains the same and far higher than retail. This is despite getting a bigger cut from these sales than in retail so they actually lose a lot of potential revenue by being uncompetitive with themselves. Another reason, along with staggered releases and region restriction on downloads, why 90% of publishers are about 5 years out of date.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    MenOfWar is a good price, the others are decidedly meh.

    Mount & Blade I got over steam for £6.25, I expect similar sales in the future.
    World In Conflict:Complete is on retail for £12.99 and less if you just want the core game Still at £10 gamersgate, its not crap, just not awesome.
    Sword of the Stars is bargain bin fodder, I saw the complete edition in 3 for £10. That didn’t have the latest expansion, could be a massive difference.
    Stalker: clear sky, looks to be worth it if you don’t want the disc at £12.59 but it can be gotten from near anywhere retail at the same price..

  7. LewieP says:

    @Bhazor
    Certainly, that is true as to why retail games can be, and often are, cheaper than the same game from digital download.

    It is still crazy though, and kind of bad for consumers.

    If I wanted to buy Dawn of War 2 right now, I would have two options. Buy the disc version online for £14.99, then add the serial to my Steam account, and throw away the disc. Or I could go straight onto Steam, and buy it for £34.99.

    Yes, most games don’t let you add them to your Steam account, but the point still stands.

  8. MD says:

    Already picked up Men of War this morning, I couldn’t resist that price! Looking at those British prices though, you guys have every right to complain. I do a lot of whinging about Australian game prices, but at least in this case I can just pay the converted USD price. I assume GG has some way of knowing where you live, so UK people can’t just buy it from the american site?

  9. RogB says:

    Men Of War : Bought!
    Shame the serial doesnt activate on Steam. I’m not a fanboy but I kinda like my downloads in one place..

  10. graham says:

    mmmmm, I’m not too sure if £35.00 for Vamprye Story (13.95 from amazon) or £40.00 for GTR evolution (£16.00 from Amazon) represents a good deal for the gamer.
    Seems like they are trying their luck a bit and abusing the digital distribution method of purchasing games

  11. M_the_C says:

    Is the 50% discount applied to the US$ price and then converted to £?

    Just the post says World in Conflict should be the same price as Mount & Blade, but the US price is $29.99 and the UK price is £19.99, so would that mean we get it for £10?

  12. bansama says:

    Yeah these GamersGate sales sure kept me busy earlier with updating my site. Haven’t had time to make any purchases myself yet but the Men of War demo was a little fun although way too difficult my liking, so I’m two minds as to whether I’ll buy or not.

  13. bansama says:

    @ M_the_C, you won’t see the discounts until the correct day. Which for WIC will be this time tomorrow.

  14. nihohit says:

    Does gamergate have any kind of DRM, activation limiting, online-verification, etc.?

  15. bansama says:

    Yes depending on the game there could be any of those. However, as far as activation limits go, you can safely ignore them. If you ever run out, just contact Gamersgate support and they will issue you with more activations themselves.

    They have also started mentioning DRM on product pages, though not on all games that have DRM.

  16. Bhazor says:

    Looking through the catalogue they do have a very good selection certainly wider than steam. Theres also some classics there I haven’t seen elsewhere like Warrior King, Europa Univarlis, Space Ranger and Fantasy Wars.

    Just a shame about the prices which have to be the dollar price with a pound sign. £27.99 for DOW: Soulstorm? Get ye fucked!.

  17. Carra says:

    I have bought Men of War two days ago. I didn’t figure out how the new site works so I clicked the buy button 12 times. Only then did I see that there is now a cart system. Checkout, give in credit card and bam: €168 deducted while I got the game one time…

    They were quick to reply to my e-mail and I should get my €154 back. Still, a serious bug in their new website. Hopefully fixed soon.

  18. Gabanski83 says:

    The only thing that slightly annoys me about GamersGate is that they have DRM on their items for sale. For example, I purchased Men of War last night following the email I received about the new site, and it still has SecuROM on it. Still, at the price, I can’t really complain.

    Does it come with SecuROM on the other DD channels, e.g. Steam?

  19. MD says:

    I haven’t installed my copy yet, is SecuROM particularly nasty?

  20. Heliocentric says:

    Yes and no, its not a root kit, but it can make a small subsection of internet men angry by adding registry entries, and sometimes bitching if you have virtual drives “installed”.

    The only issue is the activations, if you are happy with that fire away. Thinking about it its a great way to get clear sky because Gamersgate really do seem to have your back with the activations, direct2drive might ask for credit card verification etc, but everyone has had glowing reports from gamers gate.

  21. Rook says:

    Think I’ll wait for the inevitable Steam sale with Men of War. I’ve just bought demigod from Stardock and the thought of 2 digital distribution systems is already making me nervous.

    And World in Conflict is awesome.

  22. Dominic White says:

    I’m putting in a preempting reccomendating on that Sword of the Stars discount. SoTS was a mess at launch, and probably deserved the low reviews it got.

    The developers went back to the drawing board, and over the course of a great many patches and some very large expansions (which weave new, major gameplay mechanics into things), it’s very good. A bit weak on the presentation side of things, but it’s roughly what would happen if Master of Orion 2 was pared down a bit to allow for simultaneous netplay, and the battles were realtime Total War style.

    Also, anyone who doesn’t own it yet, you MUST get World in Conflict. the Soviet Assault expansion isn’t like most RTS addons – it actually weaves the new missions and scripting into the old campaign, so it’s a bigger, better game that it was before, and it was *excellent* before. It also has a kind of Team Fortress-ish multiplayer mode, which is well populated and a lot of fun.

  23. MD says:

    Thanks for the answer Heliocentric, doesn’t sound too bad.

  24. Alteisentier says:

    I can’t say i’ve ever used gamers gate, but is it mod friendly with its games? Because I’m certainly tempted to snatch Men of War for that lovely reduced price, and it’d be terribly disapointing if it was not modable.

  25. Dominic White says:

    Not had any trouble with mods or patches or anything from Gamersgate myself. Aside from the initial activation, there’s nothing intrusive about the DRM at all.

    Generally speaking, if the game game is released on Gamersgate and Steam for the same price, I’ll go for Gamersgate. Less hassle.

  26. damien says:

    altseisentier: it depends on the publisher. all of the digital distribution channels get their files from the publisher. some publishers have versions that aren’t compatible with mods and some dont.

    rook: “the thought of 2 digital distribution systems is already making me nervous.”

    cant really say i understand why having as many venues as possible competing for my dollar would make anyone nervous. the more the merrier (for the consumer).

  27. sinister agent says:

    Gack. I’ve been waiting for a sale on Men of War since reading about it here, but I too must whinge that I’m not interested if it has Securororom. Still, good deal if that doesn’t bother you. Damn my obstinance.

  28. Rosti says:

    Totally going to take the bait here – Hurrah for alt-text! Also, sales are good, so that’s something.

  29. suibhne says:

    I’ve never purchased from GG, but it sounds like a really solid service. I’m definitely in for Men of War.

  30. Vinraith says:

    @Alteisentier: I’d guess it depends on the game, but I can tell you that Men of War definitely IS moddable in its GG incarnation. In fact, the dynamic campaign mod is designed with the GG version in mind, to the degree that you have to change a couple of settings to get it to work with a boxed copy.

    I picked up MoW when it popped up on Monday, haven’t had a chance to dive into it yet (had a hard drive die on me) but the dynamic campaign mod looks superb.

    I appreciate the sale prestidigitation, it helps me plan. Of those on offer, I’m most likely to pick up Sword of the Stars complete, which I’ve had my eye on for awhile.

  31. undead dolphin hacker says:

    If SotS Complete really is complete, I’ll be grabbing that.

    Now someone do a better job of selling me on World in Conflict. Go.

  32. LewieP says:

    Is it bad of me to suggest that people who want Men of War but don’t want to pay for the right to have nasty shit installed on their computers buy the game from Gamersgate, and then just download it from a torrent site?

    Developer/publisher gets paid, and you get your game hassle free. Which sounds like a win/win scenario to me.

  33. Heliocentric says:

    Yes, because that would be against an unenforceable eula!

    I used to like cracking my games but after a few viruses It looks like I’ll need to rely on the hole download (even though I own the title) to know its not a virus (if the game is a 4gb virus it’d be hard to get seeds).

    What are the legitimate crack sites these days?

    The only drm that pisses me of is disc check, limited web activations are fine as long as I can de auth.

  34. sinister agent says:

    Is it bad of me to suggest that people who want Men of War but don’t want to pay for the right to have nasty shit installed on their computers buy the game from Gamersgate, and then just download it from a torrent site?

    Developer/publisher gets paid, and you get your game hassle free. Which sounds like a win/win scenario to me.

    If they get a sale anyway, there’s no reason (as they see it) to remove the DRM next time. I’ve considered doing this, but it’s easier and faster to just buy something else instead, thus sending the money they would have got to a developer/publisher that didn’t insist on using it. Also, spending god hows how many days torrenting and then faffing about with cracks (fnarr) isn’t all that hassle-free.

  35. LewieP says:

    Ah yes, the essential “voting with your wallet” component.

    Carry on.

  36. 1337Haxormanthing says:

    Still no secure login/registration. GG GamersGate.

  37. Dominic White says:

    Well, World in Conflict is now on sale.
    http://www.gamersgate.com/DD-WICC/world-in-conflict-complete-edition

    For those not entirely sold on it, it’s an incredibly well-reviewed game, one of the prettiest on the PC, has a genuinely good singleplayer campaign, active and unique multiplayer, and is the spiritual successor to Ground Control.

    There’s no base-building. No resource gathering at all. You attack and you fight, and if your units are destroyed, their value gradually returns to you until you can requisition more units, dropping them anywhere on the map that you control. Essentially, losing units puts you at a temporary disadvantage, but only temporary. It’s part of what makes multiplayer so interesting.

    Multiplayer is pretty interesting. Two teams of 8 players fight over a single large map. Each player commands a small division, and there’s a class system that makes units in your particular specialization (air, support, infantry, armor) cheaper. It’s much more cooperative than most RTS’s, and more forgiving of individual mistakes, as you’re just a small part of the overall force.

    Just get it. It’s really, really good.

  38. Heliocentric says:

    Clear sky now £9.99 whee!

  39. ninefingers says:

    Ok, I’m close to picking up Men of War.

    I just can’t decide where to get it from. Best Buy and Steam have it for $30. GG has it for $12. Is GG and its patching system going to be as robust as Steam’s or the retail version of the game?

    I am getting it. Just not sure where.

    Ninefingers

  40. TCM says:

    GG is, essentially, the retail version of the game with no need for disc. They give you a serial, and that’s about it. Patching is taken care of on your own time, or by the game’s autopatcher, or whatever. The same way it would be retail.

  41. Warduke says:

    Yikes, the GG downloader sucks a$$. I bought 3 games this week including Men at War and so far I haven’t been able to get a single game downloaded. I’ve tried on multiple machines and multiple networks. It keeps crapping out every few minutes causing me to have to click “unpause” to resume it. It’s pretty rediculous to think a user is going to sit around for a 4+ hour download and keep doing that. I don’t know if they are getting overloaded this week or what but as a new customer I am seriously turned off on this service.