A New Suit Of Clothes For GamersGate

By Alec Meer on July 22nd, 2011 at 5:23 pm.

If these chaps are supposed to helping you find bargains, they should really have a LewieP avatar

The digital distribution wars seem to be very much back on of late, with EA taking the fight to Steam with Origin and both Direct2Drive and Impulse finding themselves with new masters. Then there’s the quiet man, Paradox splinter firm GamersGate. It’s opted for a different kind of salvo – a redesign. Is it bringing sexy back to PC game download portals? Am I being ironic when I write the world’s 312,232,653,764th reference to a half-decade-old pop song, or am I just being lazy? I don’t even know anymore. I DON’T EVEN KNOW.

Headline features are My Library and a sort of metagame in which you level up a ‘minion’ (as shown above), find achievements and unlock discounts via various quests on the site. Some of this, inevitably, revolves around how much you buy and how often, but there’s also stuff like being rewarded for rating games, so it seems to be as much about encouraging more interaction and community as it is growing the gold tree.

The new GamersGate is live now, and here’s a video showing off the ch-ch-ch-changes. (There is a law which requires every games journalist who writes the word ‘changes’ to quote David Bowie. Whoops! I meant “who writes the word ‘ch-ch-changes’, of course. Phew! Nearly lost my games journalist license there!)

More details here.

Thoughts, then?

__________________

« | »

, .

53 Comments »

  1. Crimsoneer says:

    List of games is now on one page, which is a plus. Sadly, you now can’t sort them by anything other than alphabetical order. So, meh. It’s bluer and more fancy. A bit over the top for me, truth be told, but hey, I choose my purchase based on pricing, not fanciness of website.

    • wccrawford says:

      So the ‘Sort By’ button up on the top right isn’t good enough for you? ;)

    • Kaira- says:

      If I understood correctly from their Facebook-updates, they want your feedback about it so I guess it won’t hurt to tell them that sorting would be nice.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      Sort by? I can’t see that option since the redesign…

    • damien says:

      sorting = the circle icon full of four smaller circles to the right of the achievements tab in your “my games” page…

    • DrGonzo says:

      Well it is there.

    • lurkalisk says:

      Riiight… There.

      Unless I completely misunderstood what you meant by “list of games”.

  2. Xocrates says:

    I stumbled upon their site redesign yesterday. It’s an interesting approach, not least of which because they technically pay you to rate and review games that you bought.

    • Vinraith says:

      They’ve always done that, actually, the site redesign is just better at telling you that.

    • Xocrates says:

      I stand corrected then.

      I still wonder what the minions actually do though

    • Vinraith says:

      Me too, that IS new.

    • Jake says:

      The minions give you discounts on certain types of games to begin with. Then they level up as you do things and they give you special offers, bigger discounts…that sort of thing.

  3. Sinomatic says:

    The jingle makes me want to eat my own ears to avoid hearing it.

    • boldoran says:

      Og god yes. There should be a law against that kind of thing.

    • FakeAssName says:

      but it’s interrupted by that chick with a sexy European accent.

    • lurkalisk says:

      European accent… Good ear, it’s hard to tell those apart from an the Asian accent.

  4. Mana_Garmr says:

    1) They still have blue coins, let me gain them through purchases and allow me to buy things with them.
    2) They still, for some reason, think I’m American and charge me in the related currency which seems to work out cheaper sometimes.
    Beyond that I doubt I’ll pay much attention to what else is done to the site.

    Edit:
    “And of course you’ll have the glory of having the achievement trophies in your library”

    Is it weird that I now want to go out of my way to avoid getting them?

    • aircool says:

      I’d forgotten about the blue coins thing..

    • Vinraith says:

      I’ve gotten an alarming number of free games by way of blue coins coupled with good sales.

  5. Carra says:

    Yes but it’s still not steam.

  6. Teddy Leach says:

    Hello! Welcome to RPS, where we are mature enough to not call things “gay”. Also, 3/10 for grammar. Try again, please.

    EDIT: And it’s gone. Bah.

  7. Vague-rant says:

    I have been wanting to try out GamersGate for quite a while now. I quite like their approach to DRM and the blue coins stuff. But the site had lots of problems loading for me, as well as problems actually buying stuff. Guess I’ll try it again, next time I see something I want.

    Seems a shame though, that I have most things I want on steam.

  8. Colthor says:

    Hmm. They still haven’t added HTTPS. You’d think after all the hacking of late they’d want something better than, apparently, sending login details in plaintext.

  9. blankname says:

    Sounds like more free stuff, so why not. I very much wanted a minion with Strategy and RPG discounts though.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Yes me too, I think maybe that would be too good a deal for them to give away sadly.

    • BooleanBob says:

      This is Paradox we’re talking about – that’d be discounting their entire catalogue!

  10. MrBRAD! says:

    Does this mean I have to make 5 different accounts, each with a different “minion” assigned to it?

    That’s stupid. None of the combinations are suitable, and I just feel like I’m being cheated out of sales when other people get them and I won’t – all over which box I irreversibly ticked when it was pushed on my utterly baffled self.

    • Vinraith says:

      I doubt the minion thing is going to amount to much for exactly this reason, actually.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Thinking on it I would far prefer to have a minion I could choose the appearance of and it just reflected what reductions level you got on specific games, which was the old system (minus the minion).

  11. mod the world says:

    The new design is without doubt an improvement, but i still can spot offers more easily on the Steam site. Also, did they cut down on payments options? Not everyone has a credit card.

  12. Namos says:

    Hey look everybody, Clippy’s back!

  13. bluebomberman says:

    Before, the GamersGate layout was clunky and ugly, now it’s less ugly but even clunkier. Browsing through games is a nightmare, with mysterious buttons that defy instant self-explanation.

    I don’t understand how an online game retailer can spend so much time and money to build such an awful website. It bothers me that they seem satisfied to be a bit player who generates much of their sales solely by not being Steam. Minions? Wha huh? GOG’s storefront is exponentially better than GamersGate, even though 99% of their catalog is priced below $10.

    • Tei says:

      Because is not just money. But knowing what is better. It takes talent, and talent is very hard to find, and even wen you find it, again, talent is hard to see.

    • Snargelfargen says:

      Yeah the interface has always been pretty garish. I never really used it, since the only button you will everf need is on the front page (“See all offers”). Gamersgate seems to have the best deals in between steam mega-sales.

  14. airtekh says:

    I might check and see if they will actually let me buy anything now, seeing as they’ve redesigned the site.

    Their checkout system took issue with the fact that I don’t have a postcode.

  15. deadsexy says:

    The design is so 1998.

    edit: better than looking like every other Web 2.0 page though.

  16. Snargelfargen says:

    It seems ok so far. I created a “minion” with the class “rpg” which apparently means I get special offers on “action, casual and strategy” games. Everything is very blue.

    I also got achievements for all the games I previously bought, although I didn’t get the corresponding experience for some reason.

    Welp, time to try out that copy of Stalker Clear Sky I bought last year. Ooh or Gothic III. Choices, choices…

  17. Rob Maguire says:

    The site functions glacially slow for me; it took several tries to get the registration page to load. On a related note, I really liked the confirmation e-mail GamersGate sent me when I created an account:

    registrationmail01

    registrationmail02
    registrationmail03
    registrationmail04

    registrationmail05 registrationmail06

    registrationmail07

    -------
    registrationmail08 - support email

  18. Jake says:

    I really dig how user oriented Gamersgate is and how they want to be a community based purchasing agent. Much like their parent, Paradox Interactive, wants to be a community based publisher. Hmmm….funny how that works.

  19. ORYLY says:

    So, you can download games for free if you choose “pirate”?

  20. 8-bit says:

    well I like blue and the redesign has more blue than the old version so I approve. other than that it just makes a lot of features the site already had easier to see, and I found it easier to look through than before. one more thing, its a small detail really but they now have a filter for DRM free games when you are searching which is very nice.

    • Veracity says:

      That’s a nice thing that I hadn’t noticed, then (DRM free filter).

      But yeah, this mostly seems pretty similar to EADM -> Origin. It’s the same thing with yet a bit more Facebook cruft – they’re just making noise about it.

      The “user level” of arcane purpose, completely traditional loyalty card and paying you half a pee of monopoly money for rating and reviewing were always there. I quite liked that it did this stuff without shoving it down your throat, but I do get the impression some people didn’t realize it was there, at all (including some who might have cared, not just the “what do you mean, it doesn’t register on Steam?” folks). It comes over a bit tackier now, but if it gets them some attention, that must be a good thing. Right?

      What I definitely find strange is that they’ve apparently spent significant time and effort overhauling the site and still have no adequate answer to client-based competitors’ auto-patching. Obviously, that’s a lot easier to implement when you have a client on users’ desktops. But GG has been able to send alerts on price drop forever. What’s stopping it doing the same when a patch becomes available? Is this where someone tells me it already does that, it’s just another less than obvious feature?

  21. Waltorious says:

    Sexy never left.

  22. Koozer says:

    The elf minion is technically my most suited, but I just could not bring myself to choose it. If only there was a Dwarf.

    It’s very StarCraft II, the new design; all blue bevelled chunky buttons.

  23. GT3000 says:

    So we getting hard numbers on what these minions bring in terms of percentages?

  24. Pantsman says:

    I desperately hope that there will be some manner of scandal involving GamersGate, like maybe having all their customer’s credit card info stolen by LulzSec or somesuch. Not because I have anything against GamersGate, but because then we could all talk about GamersGateGate.

  25. Navagon says:

    The redesign addresses one of my key complaints about the old design – the clutter. It also goes some way towards making the site more easily navigated.