Only So Many Good Old Games?

By Kieron Gillen on September 27th, 2010 at 7:36 pm.

This excerpt from a hefty interview with Good Old Game’s Guillaume Rambourg caught my eye…

“The thing is, I believe we are running after roughly 200 good old games, and then I think the PC catalogue will be pretty much packed. There are only so many good old games. 450, 500 and then I think we’ll be done.”

Which does make sense, as long as the GoG wanted to keep its vaguely curatorial bent. He says their current aim is to add one key publisher per quarter and speculates it’ll take another year or two to get the full array of what they’d like to have. That said, if they’ve already included bloody Blood Rayne 2 in there may make you raise an eyebrow at what GoG considers both good and old.

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85 Comments »

  1. Vinraith says:

    Except, of course, new things are becoming old all the time. It’s true, though, that we’re going to see a massive drop in their rate of addition even considering that. ~25 years added over 3 or four years is going to make a years worth of games a year look pretty paltry.

    • Rich says:

      There’s also the games moving from XP to Vista and Win7 will have made obsolete.

    • Vinraith says:

      @Rich

      Good point, every new OS out-dates a batch of prior titles, and we’re in the middle of one of those shifts right this second.

    • LintMan says:

      I agree. There’s “new” old games all the time, and still plenty of old old games they don’t yet sell, like the Star Control series. As long as they can avoid offering shovelware, I think they should keep adding games.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    I say again; Planescape, Little Big Adventure 2 and Toonstruck and we’re done. Well at least my personal demands are. That’s all that matters surely.

    • Flameberge says:

      Not to mention Baldur’s Gate II doesn’t seem to be there, although the first is.

      Either that or I’m blind.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It’s not there yet. They have five or six more new titles to announce so either that’s five or six new titles from Hasbro (which would cover BGII+ToB, IWD1 and 2 plus expansions and PS:T), or else it’s something completely different.

    • Premium User Badge

      DarkNoghri says:

      I’m still waiting for Tie Fighter, myself.

    • Berto says:

      And NOLF.

    • Ozzie says:

      Azrael’s Tear, Enthromorph, Death Gate, Conquests of Longbow,…hm, that’s it, I think.

    • Ignorant Texan says:

      Planescape:Torment now on gog/GOG!

  3. omicron says:

    They’ve posted games that are neither good nor old in the past – games like, say, Empire Earth 3. They’re missing, say, the Age of Empires series. Therefore I judge them a long way from done.

  4. pkt-zer0 says:

    Someone explain this “GoG” madness to me. It’s all lowercase in the logo, all uppercase in text, so where exactly does this come from?

    Also, a bunch of games are on the service for contractual reasons (game bundles of a sort), not necessarily because they’re good or old. BloodRayne 2 is one such game, I’d imagine. This particular publisher’s catalogue also includes Psychonauts, for instance.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lambchops says:

      I’ve written it as GoG absentmindedly a few times, I think I’ve seen it written that way so many times that I just followed the crowd.

      Don’t know what eejit started it all but they certainly don’t know their acronym conventions.

    • Komus says:

      Three letters started it: WoW.

      Like it or not, play it or not, camelcase (someone used this word in another gOg thread and its my word of the week) is in your head, and its all Blizzard’s fault!

  5. SheffieldSteel says:

    Certainly a lot of the existing back catalogue must be stuff that they more or less inherited, or got offered as part of bundle deals, from publishers eager to rake in some money for nothing (which is from their perspective what GOG offers) rather than the jewel-in-the-crown titles that gamers are really looking out for.

    Even when this list is “complete” according to GOG, there will of course be future added value in their ouput every time new operating systems or hardware come out requiring support work. But I imagine that their hypothetical future announcement “We now offer all the Good Old Games!” will be received by the gaming community with at least a little skepticism :-/

  6. Justin Keverne says:

    Technically aren’t games getting older all the time?

  7. no says:

    So? Expand your catalog. I don’t just want access to games that are considered the greatest of all time. Maybe I particularly enjoy one game that doesn’t fall into that list, but would gladly pay a few bucks for? Why not get all the titles you can and then classify them as “the best” and then “the rest”.

    I would LOVE to have a massive collection of stuff, just for the collector in me, even if it isn’t all “Baldur’s Gate”.

  8. Jonathon Wisnoski says:

    Well every year more games get old enough to be considered old…

  9. The Rust Belt says:

    They do not have to limit themselves to PC games, you know. What about ports of Amiga or console games? There are no technical obstacles (people play on emus after all), the only problem may be licensing.

    • perestroika says:

      amiga ports would be neat. but that would mean more work. i would love to play darkmere [and its sequel, or prequel or whatever it was, dragonstone i think]. that game always looked wicked awesome but it was a amiga only release whic made me cry salty tears :(

  10. Navagon says:

    They have hinted at moving onto console games more than once. There is plenty of scope left, and no doubt about it.

    But I wouldn’t be surprised if CD Projekt launched similar DD ventures. There’s no shortage of demand for an indie offshoot.

  11. Kadayi says:

    Hardwar. Always wanted to get into that.

  12. sink257 says:

    http://twitter.com/GOGcom/status/25712063962

    GOGcom

    So just to clarify something from that GamesIndustry.biz article. At ~450 games we will NOT be done. We’ll just have a packed catalogue!

  13. JohnnyMaverik says:

    I demand Grim Fandango, Planescape Torment and System Shock 2, all nice and windows 7 compatible (especially that last one).

    • Rich says:

      A future proofed Grim Fandango is absolutely essential. Unless Lucas Arts do a MI style re-release.

    • Lilliput King says:

      I’d have thought a MI style re-release unnecessary, but then I consider GF a work of godlike genius in its original form. I know a lot of people thought the same of MI 1+2 though, so I suppose it’d be interesting to see what they do with it if the situation came up.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      If they went the MI re-release route with Grim Fandango I’d be fairly happy as long as they only touched the models and animation, everything else was fine.

    • LionsPhil says:

      @JohnnyMaverik: I’d say the controls in Grim need to be taken out the back and shot, but the problem is that right now they’d probably find a way to make them worse.

  14. Otagan says:

    While I’m no insider, I’m fairly certain that games like EE3 and MoO3 end up on there as part of their agreements with publishers. “You want MoO1 and 2? Then you have to put up MoO3, too.” I’d imagine Bloodrayne 2 falls in that same category. Putting up a handful of crappy games is worth it if we get games that are actually good out of the transaction, as well.

  15. jon_hill987 says:

    Star Trek: Bridge Commander is still missing from their list.

    • Navagon says:

      Licensed games are a bitch to sell. Especially when it’s a license that has been passed around by several publishers already and the IP holder is known for being very protective…

      Star Wars is far more likely as it’s all owned by the same company.

    • Phinor says:

      Tie Fighter! One of the very few games worth 98/100 rating. Ooh.. maybe some day!

    • LionsPhil says:

      Or Star Trek: 25th Anniversay and Judgement Rites, the (surprisingly good, and almost-fully voiced by the original cast in the first case) point-and-click adventures.

    • Urael says:

      Star Trek games in general are going to become thin on the ground, I think, now that Paramount has forged its Bold New Direction with Shiny Trek 2010. You can add Starfleet Command III and Star Trek Armada 2 to that list (the latter has aged not well at all but has a few bloody amazing mods for it).

  16. ZIGS says:

    Get EA to sign up and you’re pretty much done

  17. JonFitt says:

    The concept of “Good Old” Games seems to have become watered down in the last year I’d say.

    “Adding a publisher” is probably great from a business deal point of view, but some of the publishers they’ve added have a patchy back catalogue, and GoG seem to wave their editorial discretion when securing big deals.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I suspect that when it comes to licensing they are getting a very good deal, possibly even purely representational. Revenue share deals on On Demand Media licensing are very common. So it doesn’t really cost them to list the not-quite-as-good-old-games and any sales made are a bonus for them. On top of that they are probably thinking that a wider choice is only a good thing. If you don’t want the crappier games then you won’t buy them. but you MIGHT want them.

      There is the factor to consider that adding these weaker products dilutes their catalogue as a whole but that’s their lookout really. And it might be worth their while anyway. I actually don’t know if we’ve seen any recent sales figures. I wonder how well those weaker titles actually sell.

  18. Navagon says:

    They’ve just clarified to say that their goal is about 450 – 500 classics. But they’ll always be on the look out to getting more games in the catalogue. So it’s not so much a conclusion as it is their current goal.

  19. august says:

    They really need to amp up their release schedule or something. I was expecting more than just one (albeit high profile) game. Also, I can’t seem to find where you can vote on games. Did they take it down?

    • Optimaximal says:

      Losing the Wishlist isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it was basically used and abused for years as people put silly things like Fallout 3, StarCraft 2 & Crysis in there with no editorial control.

    • Ozzie says:

      Maybe they should strike a deal with MobyGames, that you can only vote for games that are in their database and at least 10 years old? On the other hand, I’m not sure it’s worth it…

    • LionsPhil says:

      Optimaximal: Uh. So that’s why System Shock 2 was always topping it?

      Idiots will be idiots on the Internet. That’s why you have moderator oversight—and apparently the community voting worked well enough since the top ten was all “good” and “old” from memory.

      It’s probably more burning shame that they can’t track down whoever holds the IP for any of them any more. :P

    • LionsPhil says:

      Wait, what are you fools jibber-jabbering about? It’s still there:
      http://www.gog.com/en/wanted/
      And the newest game on the top ten is Deus Ex, which is over ten years old. Idiots/trolls submitting modern games are being flooded out by genuine demand.

  20. Peterkopf says:

    Little Big Adventure or bust.

    Also, Rocket Jockey.

    And maybe EAs Seal Team.

    If they aren’t in the library, then it’s no such thing as ultimate.

  21. ScubaMonster says:

    Dear EA, release the original Ultimas and Ultima Underworld.

    Sincerely,

    The World.

  22. Tim Ward says:

    Do they have Thief I & II yet? How old does something have to be to be old?

    • Optimaximal says:

      It’s not just about age, but licensing.

      That said, I could definitely understand them releasing the Thief games (hopefully Thief: Gold) when Thi4f comes around.

    • august says:

      The Dark Engine is so old and crotchety, and the source code has been lost of years, I have to wonder if any of those games are worth the money to figure out compatibility for for any company. Unfortunately. I’d buy them in a second.

    • Tim Ward says:

      That sucks – the first two Thief games really were on another level of quality compared to their peers and they barely even work on modern computers running XP. God knows how they cope with 7. They’ll be lost forever if they aren’t rereleased by someone within the next few years, they’re just be nothing around that can still run them. I mean, we’re talking about an honest to god piece of heritage here.

    • Hidden_7 says:

      The Thief games run more or less fine on 7. There’s a bit of hoop jumping you have to do to get the movies to play in game and to make the installer run, and there’s a mod out there that makes the Dark Engine support modern widescreen resolutions, but otherwise they work fine.

      I hear a lot of worry about Windows 7 compatibility, but from my experience it’s actually a very compatible system. I think a lot of people are recalling Vista woes and associating them with 7, but 7 is actually a lot better than Vista in that respect. It’s pretty similar to XP, actually compatibility wise.

      That being said, I’d really love to see a Monkey Island 3 re-release, not to smarten up the graphics or voice or anything because I think that’s already great, but just to get the damn thing to run.

  23. Igor Hardy says:

    450? 500? Haven’t they heard of The Home of The Underdogs?

  24. stahlwerk says:

    #501: Subwar 2050
    #502: Carrier Command
    #503, 504: Aces of the pacific / over europe
    #505: Pirates! Gold (better yet: Pirates! on the Amiga)
    #506: Darklands
    #507: Legend of Kyrandia 2: the hand of fate.
    #508: Hind
    #509: Epic
    #510: Inferno

    I could go on for at least another 20 that I’d bet are not on their list.

  25. Jason says:

    I liked Bloodrayne 1 and 2

  26. Gritz says:

    http://www.ultimaaiera.com/blog/mythic-entertainment-working-on-dosboxed-version-of-wing-commander/

    According to this ^^^^, EA/Mythic is working hard on getting the old Origin (namely Ultima and Wing Commander) titles re-released, which is pretty exciting news.

  27. Droniac says:

    Bloodrayne and Bloodrayne 2 are fairly decent older games. There are far worse examples on GoG.com of games that aren’t even remotely good, like Settlers 5: Heritage of Kings…

  28. Raum says:

    I have no idea why they’re going after things like Blood Rayne (and, my God, the sequel).

    In my opinion, they’d be better off just picking out the real classics. Just because a license opportunity turns up doesn’t mean it will be better in the long run for your site. Things like BR2 really drags your name into the mud.

    • LionsPhil says:

      At least BR2 was a degree of visceral fun. You could snare people with a chain and then fling them about to impale them on the furniture. By no means a masterpiece, but far better than Gears of Halo 2: This Time With More Grunting Spacemen Popping Up Over Chest-High Walls In Fuzzy Brown-Grey Environments.

  29. Ganders says:

    It would be nice if they’d hurry up and get a win7-compatible version of Dungeon Keeper on there, unless EA is unwilling to play along.
    And an equally optimized version of the original Alone in the Dark, with the cd music, instead of just the smelly “new nightmare” one.

  30. Matt says:

    I could never describe Bloodrayne 1 and 2 as great games, but they have enough strengths to be called decent. I can always look a game up on gamerankings or read some user reviews to find out if I want to try it. As long as a game is functional and has some strengths I like having the option to buy it. This is especially true if it is part of a series. Most of my favorite games are widely acclaimed (Psychonauts, Civ 4, etc) but sometimes a lower scored game really resonates with me. Shinobi (PS2), Zeno Clash, King’s Bounty the Legend, and Two Worlds are all games that scored less than 80 on gamerankings or metacritic but I still love them.

  31. ynamite says:

    I agree, Ultima, Wing Commander and of course Syndicate, Tie Fighter, X-Wing, X-Wind Alliance and so many more are still missing from GoG.com.

    As someone else mentioned, everybody has different GoGs, considering the list could be extended quite a bit.

  32. MadTinkerer says:

    Okay, let’s see:

    Lucasarts is remaking their old games themselves (HUZZAH!), so that’s sorted. Sierra already have most of their classics on GOG already (still no Quest For Glory though). The Apogee games are all freeware now (HUZZAH!). id always kept their games available. But that still leaves:

    All Origin Systems games. Which makes me want to cry, and then track down my old CDs and a copy of Exult again so I can play through the wilds of Ultima 7 and say “gee, I thought Minecraft reminded me of something”.

    All Bullfrog games. Which reminds me that I want to stick every FPS developer that is not Valve in a closet and force them to play Magic Carpet until they weep penitent tears for how horrifically formulaic they’ve made their own games despite the potential the genre had and still has.

    Many Westwood Studios titles. STILL NO KYRANDIA GAMES!?! WTF!?!

    LEMMINGS.

    Classic edutainment titles. I know it sounds a bit weird to advocate older versions of Oregon Trail and such, but actually I mean the classics that never got a mega-franchise or franchises that died too young. That Super Solvers platform logic-puzzle game that I forget the name of, for example, was a hardcore Portal-esque game masquerading as edutainment. Or how about Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego?

    I understand that games like Robot Odyssey and Rocky’s Boots are just a little too esoteric and perhaps a bit too old (CGA graphics anyone? Ah to be back in the early 80s and need to use your imagination to play computer games again.), but surely we can resurrect some of the better VGA-era titles?

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      Bring on the zoombini goodness.

    • Nick says:

      Bullfrog YES

    • Jason Moyer says:

      If gog released Robot Odyssey it would be a day-1 purchase. I’m genuinely surprised no one has made a remake or a sequel of that in the past 25 years.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Hunh. I know a guy who knows a guy who’s been poking about with that. Mouse support patch, and sort-of running on a Nintendo DS.

      It looks rather like Robugs on Atari ST to me. Last thing I can think of in that vein was the Lego Mindworks/Mindstorms thing from the Windows 98 era that the Internet seems to have buried under the actual physical brick version.

  33. Tetragrammaton says:

    Shogun and Medieval 1 would be nice..

  34. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Regardless of a possibly limited offering.. what they do offer is fairly good already. I mean, how many websites offer the games they do? Something to keep in mind.

  35. malkav11 says:

    I just want old games to be available for a reasonable (i.e., small) price with no DRM, redownloadable infinitely, and better yet with a customized modern installer to make them work on my system without a lot of legwork from me. -All- old games. I really don’t care if people think they’re good or not – there will be people who would want to play them. Good Old Games is certainly the main source of such things at the moment, so I’d be perfectly happy to see them do it, but if they don’t, someone should.

  36. MD says:

    Way back in the day I saw a game’s availability on Steam as an endorsement of its quality. I’m not sure if this was ever actually the case, but it obviously hasn’t been so for a long long time. GOG had, and probably still has, a chance to build a reputation as something of a ‘seal of approval’. At this stage they’re really not going about it the right way, though. I wonder if the money they make from selling a few unambiguously shit games is worth it.

    • Vinraith says:

      As someone else mentioned earlier, I suspect many of those shit games are on offer as a result of publisher deals to be able to sell good ones.

    • MD says:

      Yeah, I think you’re right. And from the perspective of a well-informed gamer, it’s a worthwhile tradeoff. My irrational side can’t help but see the GOG ‘brand’ differently as a result though, and I wonder if that does semi-consciously influence my purchasing decisions.

  37. Amos says:

    Raum, as a gamer, would you really rather have just ten great classic games than those ten classics plus several other not so classic (but still pretty nice) games which would otherwise not be available?

    What makes a game classic enough to be sold on GOG anyway? Great reviews? Huge number of copies sold? Opinions of some dubious group of fanboys wallowing in (occasionally misplaced) nostalgia? There is no universal way to measure which game is good and which game is not, so I would rather leave that decision to customers.

    As long as they don’t fill their catalog with total crap (like Gamersgate does), I want to decide myself what I consider a good game.

    • Torqual says:

      Community members of gog.com vote for stuff they want to see on the download service. So in a way your own opinion classifies a game as good and old and classic.

      Have a nice day

  38. Cip says:

    For all of you wishing for various games, you can vote for games on the wanted list here:

    Have fun!

  39. Jakkar says:

    Cut out the snarky comments. I like RPS for its personality and honesty, but snapping at old games because ye don’t personally find them too worthy is beneath you, Mr. Gillen. I’m rather fond of the Bloodraynes – they have a casual, bloody fun to them, mixing old third person beat-em-ups with the hardcore/overthetop mentality of Serious Sam.

    Same reason I love Painkiller and Necrovision.

  40. couggod says:

    they’re on Gamersgate

  41. jimbob says:

    I would love the see Project Eden because my game CD is broken. :(

    Otherwise i miss some really good old games like Special Forces, Abuse, Tie Fighter, Dark Forces, etc.

  42. Miguelese says:

    Oooooh… Good Old Watches

  43. DavidK says:

    Going by MobyGames, there are almost 18,000 PC games (Windows, DOS and Linux). If GoG believe there are only 500 good games, then they’re effectively saying they think 3% of all PC games are good.

    Sounds about right to me.

  44. Fabian says:

    @Ozzie

    What is Enthromorph supposed to be? Can’t find that one.