Good… New Games? GoG Is Changing

By John Walker on November 17th, 2011 at 4:13 pm.

What will that O stand for now?

Good Old Games have certainly built themselves a brand. Over the last few years the Polish project has leapt forward from offering a few provincial classics to a really impressive catalogue of games that made the 90s and early 00s interesting. Clearly they’ve been letting in many more recent games of late, with Fahrenheit appearing last week for example. And they used it to launch their own game, The Witcher 2, earlier this year. But it seems they want to expand even further, going directly into competition with the likes of Steam, Impulse, GamersGate or Origin. Which is always a bold step, but one made much more interesting when you consider their DRM-free requirement.

Their newly announced two year plan’s biggest headline is the decision to start including games less than three years old. Describing the intentions as “audacious”, managing director Guillaume Rambourg assures that classic games will still be added, but a new higher price-point will be introduced for fresh games. However, he states, they will remain DRM-free, along with the same price offered everywhere in the world.

He aims to have the company be offering over 400 games by the end of next year, which will partly be achieved by a desire to work with indies, both in developing and publishing. He concludes,

“We’ve made GOG.com the destination for classic PC games, but now is the time to take this to the next level and emerge as the best alternative digital distribution platform for all PC games.”

That’s a tough competitive space they’re getting into, especially as it involves losing their most obvious identity – oldness. It seems unlikely they’ll be offering a service such a Steam, rather remaining a store. But then, if they stay resolutely DRM-free, they could certainly represent an alternative. While Origin’s demanding online activations and scanning your hard drive for whatever it feels like, there’s GoG just giving you the game and nothing else. I can see the appeal. I’m just wondering how many publishers will.

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139 Comments »

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  1. Vexing Vision says:

    And they’ll earn at least one regular customer.

    I’ll support no-DRM solutions, even if it means paying extra.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      More than one. I already buy from them in preference to Steam when I can. I bought The Witcher 2 from GOG to support their no-DRM stance, even though it cost a little more.

    • Styles says:

      Absolutely …I’d much rather buy DRM free stuff from GoG than pay for regionally censored steam shackled games.

    • Groove says:

      Quite. I’d never buy a game from anywhere else if all games were released on GoG.

      PUBLISHERS TAKE NOTE.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      How was TW2 more expensive on GOG? O.o sure, you had to pay more, because of some publishing nonsense, but you got 10€ to buy games for and 2 free games on top.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      @PoulWrist: It was cheaper than Steam, but IIRC around £5 more expensive than a retail copy (which are usually cheaper than digital here)—the UK didn’t get the 10€, as that was to compensate for the Euro price being more than the UK price. The value of the free games is hard to account for—I didn’t want any of the ones they offered that I didn’t already have.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      I’m already a customer, and will be an even bigger customer because of this. Simple DRM free downloads for games, following the MP3 model, is my greatest desire. GOG is the epitome of that.

    • Burning Man says:

      Unfortunately, the whole lot of you only number 35,000, which, as we saw, is insubstantial in comparison to the number of people who bought The Witcher 2 on Steam (primarily for convenience, I assume). They will need more of a selling point than simply ‘DRM-free’.

    • mike2R says:

      They do have a unique identity though, due to the old games. Its a small niche when you compare it to the likes of Steam, but the fact that they are staying DRM free kind of indicates they aren’t planning to take on Valve.

      They’re making money at the moment I assume, and if they can sell some more games to their established customer base then they’ll make more money. And if the backlash against DRM should happen to grow… they would be in an excellent position.

    • Vexing Vision says:

      Paradox’ Fred Wester just twittered that he’s looking forward to selling their games on GOG.

      Yes, I’m his fan-club.

    • Kefren says:

      GOG for God! I buy games on GOG just because I love their DRM-free stance (well, the fact that I love old games helps). There are lots of recent games I haven’t bought because of DRM or just because I have hundreds of games to play already. If they appear on GOG I’ll be buying them though, and laughing maniacally all the way to Paypal.

    • Premium User Badge

      shoptroll says:

      Aye. Having a place to get stuff DRM free is a great win for customers.

    • Frank says:

      Yeah, what Groove said. They’d be my preferred vendor if they had a better catalogue.

    • netizensmith says:

      Count me in. I bought Skyrim from my local indie only to find that I needed a key to register it on Steam. That’s it now. This game is tied to me. I can’t let my Son play it on his computer. Just me. This sucks.

  2. SiHy_ says:

    DRM-free? But… but how? Are there any new games without DRM?

    • TechRogue says:

      Seems to be The Thing To Do for indies who aren’t Steam exclusive.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Indeed, there are a lot of games released without any DRM every year. They’re just not from Ubisoft, EA, Activision or the other big publishers.

    • Azhrarn says:

      I’d call the Witcher 2 a big new game, and it was released DRM free on GOG at the same time as all the other retailers. :)

    • SiHy_ says:

      Okay, soooo stupid question but what’s the point in putting DRM on any version of a game if it’s released anywhere without DRM? Surely pirates would just pirate that one?
      Was The Witcher 2 DRM-free at retail?
      And do you reckon GoG is going to have a massive influx of recent indie games?

    • StingingVelvet says:

      @ SiHy

      Funny enough, as GOG themselves pointed out, the torrented version of The Witcher 2 was a cracked retail version, not the GOG version.

      More to the point though, would having a DRM free version on GOG make the DRM on other versions useless? The answer is: it was already useless to begin with.

    • SiHy_ says:

      @ StingingVelvet
      Ha, that’s brilliant. Well score one for the anti-DRM league.
      Course DRM is useless. All DRM is hackable eventually (citation needed). But publishers will defend it to the death.
      Will profits shown from GoG sales sway the big publishing fatcats who reckon DRM makes them more money?
      Answer: probably not.

  3. Rich says:

    “they will remain DRM-free, along with the same price offered everywhere in the world.”
    I think we can all get behind this. Not sure how they’ll get publishers on board though.

    • Rich says:

      Now I think about it, this will never appeal to the big publishers but will almost certainly interest smaller, independent, developers who’d rather not get tied to Steam and its ilk.

    • Vexing Vision says:

      Well, CD-Project is doing it themselves. I happily bought Witcher 2 from them when it came out.

    • UnravThreads says:

      Agreed, Rich. Whilst CDProjekt are noble in their intentions, I’m honestly not sure how it would work out.

      Perhaps it’d be like what’s happened with some of the 1C Catalogue? It might come to GOG post-release with the DRM stripped for a lower price? I honestly can’t see them signing all that many new games from AAA publishers.

    • Jarl Hamburger says:

      I wouldn’t worry. The major record labels were like this when iTunes was just starting out. They jumped on board pretty quick when they realised they were failing miserably in making money off their artists.

    • Premium User Badge

      bear912 says:

      Part of the reason they jumped on board, though, was that by that time Apple had a lot of leverage over them. GOG, sadly, doesn’t. Hopefully their leverage will grow. I’m not entirely sure how wise it is to try to move out of their specific niche into direct competition with Steam, Impulse, et al., but you certainly won’t hear me complaining about having a place to buy newer games DRM-free.

  4. Sheng-ji says:

    This is good news for the online games marketplace – More choice is always better.

  5. Kaira- says:

    YES.

    TAKE MY MONEY.

    • AbyssUK says:

      Want to add to the take my money calls, just encase some exec. is trying to be convinced he/she shouldn’t use DRM

    • gwathdring says:

      This is fantastic! They have plenty of not-exactly-old games already, and they are fairly well established. A well established distribution platform dedicated to DRM-free gaming? That is just the sort of thing the distribution market needs. I hope it does smashingly well. I’ll be looking forward to purchasing as many games from this source over Steam and similar as possible.

    • Commisar says:

      good call GoG, I can’t wait for newer games with NO DRM :)

  6. TillEulenspiegel says:

    I can see the appeal. I’m just wondering how many publishers will.

    Who cares about them, though? Big publishers will do their own thing. Let ‘em. Indies need more good distributors, though, and if GOG starts opening the doors for them, that’d be fantastic.

  7. sinister agent says:

    While I definitely appreciate their work on older games, and would not like for that to suffer, I welcome this news. Gog are hands down my favourite downloady gamey people, originally because they put their money were the abandonware community’s collective mouth was and proved them right, and now precisely because they have none of the extraneous bullshit that steam forces on people (and yes, I know some people want some of it and that’s fine – just not me, thanks). Their commitment to DRM-free games is a godsend.

    Best of luck to them. I spent more on games from gog.com in about two years than I spent anywhere in the previous six, and I don’t regret it at all.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      Their commitment to old games should not suffer, since the new games don’t need recoding to work on new systems. I assume this will just mean another release day or another two on the week. Four new releases every week would be great, :)

  8. EC- says:

    I see it as a natural evolution. After all, once you’ve rounded up every old game you can get a license for, where else is there to go? I think of GOG more in terms of their DRM-free model than the actual oldness, especially in today’s DD-climate of always-online games and Origin’s nosiness.

    Batman: Arkham Asylum or GTA IV without GFWL? For someone who has neither, that’s an enticing proposition. For someone who has both, though…perhaps not so much.

    • gwathdring says:

      And hopefully this will lead to them being more successful and thus a) having more money to buy old licenses and b) more leverage in negotiating resale of defunct games through their service.

    • Fumarole says:

      After all, once you’ve rounded up every old game you can get a license for, where else is there to go?

      As long as games continue to be made, there will continue to be old games.

    • Tatourmi says:

      Fumarole has a point methinks.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Yes. When Ubisoft screams to their shareholders about the threat of rampant piracy and the need to shovel more money into UbiMan schemes it would be nice if there was a successful counter-example.

  10. TechRogue says:

    This really is a company that knows how to do things right.

    I’m still sad that the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King wasn’t included when they added all those EA games to their catalog. It’s the only LoTR game worth playing and my disk is getting old. :(

    • Kaira- says:

      There’s a new batch of EA games coming, the first one apparently was Populous 2. So, better keep your eyes open. :)

    • Wizardry says:

      No. The first was Lands of Lore 1+2.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Lands of Lore 1 & 2 was the first of the new batch.

    • Kaira- says:

      Okay, I missed that one then. I’ll go to the chamber of shame now.

    • Droniac says:

      The Battle for Middle Earth games and Lord of the Rings Online are both better LotR games than Return of the King, in my opinion.

  11. zipdrive says:

    Oi, RPS website ate my comment!

    • Bhazor says:

      Nom nom nom nom
      Nom nom nom nom
      Infinite bear eats infinite comments

    • sneetch says:

      RPS website does that a lot.

      /narrows eyes at comment system

      A lot.

    • sinister agent says:

      They don’t like us muscling in on their “male enhancement pill” racket.

      Naturally, this will never get through.

    • sneetch says:

      I don’t think it’s the website that’s eating the comment, I think an RPSer randomly removes comments from the new-comment pipe because he’s evil. I suspect…. oooh…. let’s say… Alec.

  12. Wizardry says:

    GOG is full of broken games, inferior versions and missing content. I’m sure something like this will push those fixes down the priority list even further.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Really!? I’ve never that and I have quite a large collection with them! Do you have some examples?

    • Optimaximal says:

      Dare say I ask which games you consider ‘broken’?

      I know for a fact that the additional content is decided on by the publisher and depends on the availability of original items, so they can’t be blamed for that.

      For example, EA are the ones withholding the expansion packs for WC1 & 2 & Alpha Centauri. GOG have said they’re trying to get them, but EA won’t release them for some reason.

    • sinister agent says:

      I’ve seen a few complaints about some games on the forums, however they are typically resolved as far as I can tell. I have over 70 games and had problems with precisely two of them, both of which were quickly and easily fixed. One was just unchecking a box in a menu. I doubt I’m special enough for my experiences with gog to be that anomalous.

    • UnravThreads says:

      As much as I hate to admit it, Wizardry has a bit of a point. Quite a lot of EA’s games, for example, come with no bonus content. No soundtracks, artworks, wallpapers etc, the stuff you generally “expect” from a GOG purchase. That’s one reason I generally pick up a release from them rather than anywhere else – you get free shit. It’s worth paying a premium for, too.

      There’s also some games which released on different platforms with different versions, but GOG only release (generally) one version from one platform. If you look at, say, Castles on MobyGames, you can see there’s different versions of it, and in other games this can mean the difference between UI, gameplay mechanics, stability, bugs and so forth. I think GOG generally goes for the DOS ones, but I could be wrong. They also release some games with community/fan-fixes pre-installed, too, which I feel is a bit wrong.

      And they did release Might & Magic 9, of course, although I would guess they did so just for the sake of completing the set.

    • Premium User Badge

      phlebas says:

      Is this because they’ve got Ultima, Might&Magic and Lands of Lore but not Wizardry?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      @UnravThreads – While many people do expect bonus content, I’ve yet to see them offer bonus content and not deliver.

      Also a version of the game without the soundtrack or art does not in my opinion count as broken, an inferior version or having missing content (unless of course they sold it as having bonus content or the origional game had it and the GOG version does not)

      With respect to your versions point, I think they choose the version with best compatibility for modern machines.

      They also asked for my permission when they used my fan patch and offered me fair payment, which I declined so they gave me store credit instead!

    • Wizardry says:

      Games like Interstate ’76 are difficult to get working on Windows 7 x64. Games like the Realms of Arkania series have god awful music quality compared to the “proper” versions. A number of games are without key expansion packs. Some games run inferior DOS versions instead of Windows versions. Other games, such as the Ultima ones, have bundled documentation straight from replacementdocs, in all their incomplete (missing pages) glory.

      @phlebas: It’s not easy to obtain the Wizardry license when no one knows who actually owns it.

    • adonf says:

      @UnravThreads: Wait, do they also sell non DOS/Windows versions of games? It would make sense since the DOS versions are running in an emulator (DOS Box) so why not include emulated Amiga or ST versions, but I was under the impression that they only sold (IBM) PC games.

    • Kaira- says:

      Well, the Interstate ’76 gamecard doesn’t even claim to be compatible with Win7 in any form.

    • Wizardry says:

      And all those DOS games that feature on GOG never claimed to work with anything other than DOS. That didn’t stop GOG from bundling them with a popular DOS emulator and selling them to people. Being able to get a particular game to work on the newest version of Windows should be their job. That’s basically what GOG was built upon. They aren’t exactly selling the Ultima games without DOSBox and claiming that they only work on DOS machines.

    • Verity says:

      As long as the game in question works, I couldn’t care less if it uses DOSBox or not. GOG not only bundles games with DBox, but also provides separate, often customized configuration file for each of them to ensure they work as should. Wizardry is just stirring the crowd as usual, inventing problems, pointing out that games are broken but providing arguments only for additions to games (manuals or simply way the game is run). Every GOG game has a separate page which tells you exactly which version it is, you can see screenshots and the platforms in runs on. Apart from that, you can do a little research on forums before you buy. I didn’t buy Dungeon Keeper 2 because clearly it has issues on Windows 7, though the page says it works. I didn’t because I can read, and to be honest this is the only game that doesn’t work for me from GOG which is unfortunate.
      Again, the game should work, only this concerns me and it’s safe to say – most people.

    • Wizardry says:

      @Verity: The only explanation is that you are in denial, because there are issues with some of GOG’s games. Although I’m sure it’s easier to say “Wizardry is just stirring the crowd as usual” than face the reality.

    • Verity says:

      Once again, games work, it’s as simple as that. There may be some exceptions, which are usually easily fixed if you even check the FAQ. One and only example of a false fact is that DK2 works on Windows 7 – for most people it doesn’t.
      You can’t deny that games work. If they have some extra content – what it is is included on the page (manual, soundtrack, you name it), if not, then the field is empty.
      Why there is no one else here supporting your argument that the games are broken? Maybe because the reality it that they work and GOG is a reliable digital download service?
      Give me facts Wizardry, solid examples – which games do not work, what is wrong with them and why. The one you given before, Interstate ’76 is invalid, as Kaira- correctly pointed out. About “key expansion packs” – if they are not mentioned on the game page, they are not provided with the game, simple. Are there any games on GOG claiming to have an expansion and when you download you see only a base game?

    • Wizardry says:

      I didn’t say all games on GOG were broken. I said:

      GOG is full of broken games, inferior versions and missing content. I’m sure something like this will push those fixes down the priority list even further.

      1) Broken games.
      2) Inferior versions.
      3) Missing content.

      If you choose not to care about 2/3 of my actual point by saying that inferior versions and missing content don’t matter to you then what right do you have to tell me that I’m wrong?

      Face facts. I never said that inferior versions and missing content were examples of broken games. I said that GOG features broken games AND inferior versions AND missing content.

    • Dervish says:

      Maybe you should rethink the connotation of the phrase “full of.”

    • Verity says:

      And still you provide me with no arguments evading the answer to my question altogether, trying to shift my focus to something else. I asked you about broken games, twice, you fail to provide examples.
      I’ve covered both inferior versions and missing content arguments. It is ALL on the page of the particular game. You have screenshots, you have compability, you have (or not) extra content. It is clearly said what kind of content is that.
      I ask you again, point me to at least 2-3 examples of each problem. Constructive criticism is valid, bringing out points without anything to support them is not. At the moment all you have is empty claims.

    • wererogue says:

      I love GOG and I’ve got nothing but good things to say about them, but I can back Wizardry up at least on there being broken games with no support
      http://www.gog.com/en/forum/tom_clancy_s_rainbow_six/invisible_hostage/
      There are a bunch of users (myself included) in that thread who sent support tickets but never got an answer.

      That said, most of Wizardry’s complaints could have been avoided by just reading the store page for the game before purchase. They’re pretty good about that.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      “Really!? I’ve never that and I have quite a large collection with them! Do you have some examples?”

      Gorky 17 is essentially worthless unless you have vintage hardware to run it on.

    • vecordae says:

      While not normally inclined to back up Wizardry, I do understand what he’s talking about when he (or perhaps she) talks about the versions that are available are “inferior”. Many older games were released on multiple platforms, with the IBM PC/DOS based ones not being quite as slick or as nice looking as the versions released for other systems due to that platform being relatively limited in comparison. Ultima III is a good example of what I’m talking about.

      However, what folks are failing to mention is that DOSBox doesn’t have the potential legal hurdles associated with trying to emulate other platforms. Complaining that GOG is using an inferior version of a game when the better versions require the ambiguously-legal use of, for instance, an emulator for an old Mac OS is pretty unfair. No one is obligated to go to the trouble of extensively rewriting the code to an old video game in order to make it compatible on, not just a newer OS, but a fundamentally different one.

    • Wizardry says:

      I remember what happened to the Realms of Arkania 1 + 2 release on GOG. After a while the game was suddenly changed from the CD version, weighing in at around 550mb, to one without CD audio, weighing in at 70mb. No warning at all from the staff. It was up to the users to figure out what had happened by comparing file sizes and dates. To this day the CD versions of the games aren’t available on GOG, meaning you have to pirate the games to get the decent versions.

      @vecordae: Nah. I’m well aware that the Amiga versions of a number of late 80s/early 90s games are better than the DOS versions. I’m talking more about CD versions/floppy disk versions, or DOS versions/Windows versions.

    • vecordae says:

      Oh, yes. The CD version was screwy on dosbox anyway. In order to get it to run correctly I either had to burn an ISO of the audio CD, mount the ISO via a third party application, or disable CD audio in the game. Required a lot of futzing about with. They DID include the music as a separate download, however, so it’s not missing entirely. I wonder if there’s a way to easily readd the cd audio back into the game.

      Anyway, removing the CD audio requirement might have been the only way to get the game to run without including an unlicensed third party app to fool the game into thinking the audio cd was handy. Don’t know, really.

    • Verity says:

      That’s what I’m talking about, the more details people bring, the better. Raising awareness that some games do not work or are changed without user’s knowledge may get more people asking GOG to do something about it. They actually pointed to this article on their Twitter so they might read comments and listen to people, as they are a friendly folk. Even if not, getting enough people asking for support raises the chance of game getting fixed.

    • Wizardry says:

      @vecordae: They also deleted half the soundtrack to one of the two due to unforeseen licensing reasons. In fact, I believe that was also the reason why they removed the CD audio from the game download itself. They had obtained the rights to the complete midi soundtrack but not the CD audio soundtrack. The problem is that people had bought the game before they downgraded the version of the game.

    • vecordae says:

      @wizardry

      Ah. Bad form, that. Seems a thing done more out of a misunderstanding rather than malice. Getting all the licenses lined up for an old game can be buggeringly hard for some reason and may end up costing more than would otherwise be profitable. Still, providing an avenue where one can legally obtain an otherwise completely out of print (and, therefore, ridiculously expensive at times) game is something that should be encouraged rather than raged at, don’t you think? Demanding better customer support is all well and good, but venting fury at GOG because various companies simply won’t give them the licenses for things doesn’t do anything except maybe raise your blood pressure.

    • sebmojo says:

      Wizardry I know you’ve got this hilarious crusty ol’Uncle Grognard thing going on, but throwing stuff like that without any evidence just makes you look like a troll. And I presume you don’t want that.

      My experience has been universally positive with them.

    • Wizardry says:

      @vecordae: But that was never my point. My point was that there’s hardly any money to be made in hunting down the license to the rest of the CD audio soundtrack for a particular game. And if they go about releasing modern games, the priority for “fixing” these older games will be even lower than they already are. That’s my issue with all of this.

      @sebmojo: http://www.gog.com/en/forum/realms_of_arkania_series/roa_1_and_2_not_as_cd_versions

    • Josh W says:

      That’s a fair point, shame you obscured it with hyperbolic argument bait aye?

  13. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    And more power to ‘em. Bar the stupid monks ‘n’ beta thing, they’ve put nary a step wrong so far, so I’ll be happy to support them.

    Predicting Judge Cox’s arrival to declare this the Second Coming of the digital messiah in 3… 2… 1…

  14. mcol says:

    Speaking as someone caught in a kafka-esque nightmare trying to get a human being to listen to my plea’s after losing access to my collection of >100 Steam games for apparent fraudulent behaviour, despite 8 long years of my good honest and devoted custom……..Great news.

    I too used to scoff at the Steam naysayers. No more. I want more control over my future purchases.

  15. Joannes says:

    Wake me when they’ve catalogued the System Shock games.

  16. Brian Rubin says:

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. While I’d like their focus to remain on classic older titles, I do see the need to be competitive. Why can’t they be competitive while still focusing on and retaining their identity, though? Sigh.

  17. rockman29 says:

    Completely OK with this!

    I’m really happy with the game support and no-DRM GoG supplies.

    I love buying games from them! Witcher 2 is awesome! :D

  18. Fumarole says:

    *GOG

  19. mjig says:

    I love GoG and am glad to hear this, as long as it does not affect the rate that they release old games, or have old games on sale, and as long as they still make it possible to navigate the site by the older titles, omitting new releases.

  20. JackDandy says:

    Interesting. I wonder how it will develop. How they’re not going in over their heads with this.

  21. Rao Dao Zao says:

    No DRM is good DRM!

    No more punishment for being a legitimate paying customer… Huzzah, I say.

    I still prefer a physical box, mind you. Hopefully this will make people realise that physical boxes don’t need DRM either.

  22. vecordae says:

    Good on them! Been pleased as punch with how they run their shop. I will happily throw more money at them.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Colthor says:

    Brilliant.

  24. sneetch says:

    Yay! Glad to hear this, I love GOG: anyone who sells me Master of Magic and Ultima Underworld for a mere pittance (a new-money, 21st-century pittance, not a shillings-and-pence, all-this-were-trees pittance) is alright with me!

  25. gimperial says:

    Presumably they will never be able to put up games that require GFWL/Rockstar’s one etc.

  26. Premium User Badge

    BathroomCitizen says:

    The GoG guys are really, REALLY good at what they do.

    I’ll support them ’till the end!

  27. Kato says:

    This is a great idea. As a game developer, I’m going to use Steam to add extra functionality to my game–personally, I love Steam Achievements. But I’ll also sell it directly (DRM-free) and via websites like this, if such a thing is an option (a public listing service), because I know how important DRM-free is to consumers.

    • Jalister says:

      Desura is another good place to sell DRM free games, and they support Linux also.

      I’ve been with GOG for 1144 days now, and I would like to see them expand into new DRM free games like the Witcher 2.

      GOG and Desura are my first two stops for shopping.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      Thank you, thank you very much! There are way too many indie games that are only released on Steam and I think that is very hurting for the “indie spirit”.

  28. FieldOfTheBattle says:

    Fuck yeah bring on DRM-free Skyrim.

    • Josh W says:

      Exactly! Mod the crap out of it, port it around, and not worry about paranoid drm.

  29. Bantam says:

    I barely consider Impulse a contender in digital distribution any more, especially since the GameStop takeover. They have far too many North American exclusives and the UK pricing is uncompetitive compared to other platforms that tend to discount deeply and regularly.

    GOG will be in a good position because it doesn’t impose another clunky client on the user. I’m heavily invested in Steam as I have a lot of games on the service and all my friends use it, so no matter what EA do, Origin will never be something I use regularly. GOG already has a decent reputation (barring the ‘we’ve gone bankrupt’ stunt) and a lot of good will so I can see new games being success too.

  30. Outright Villainy says:

    Even though I use steam literally all the time, and am nearly always online when i play, if GoG gets new games on I’ll take the switch immediately and make every purchase I can there. Their no DRM stance really deserves as much money as I, and everyone else, can possibly throw at it.

    • Megadyptes says:

      Literally all the time? Even in your sleep and when you’re taking a crap? That’s dedication right there.

    • Lycan says:

      @Megadyptes – no need for sarcasm. He/she could be using the Steam client to download games or AMD graphics drivers when asleep or using the loo. I’ve been through phases like that, to optimise bandwidth use.

  31. Lobotomist says:

    GOG+Indies = Instant win
    GOG+price reduced last year games+no DRM = Instant suppa win !

    • sneetch says:

      Wouldn’t that be brilliant? If they just removed the DRM from year or two old games and put them on GOG for a reasonable price? If Ubisoft did that then they could put a requirement to wear a shock collar that killed the wearer if they lost their connection to the internet in every new game and I really wouldn’t care: I’d wait and buy the DRM free version a year later as it is I have to wonder how long AssAssInsCreed 2, for example, will actually be playable for. Heh. Ass.

  32. Demiath says:

    I strongly disapprove of GOG losing their way by foolishly chasing shares of a digital download market that may not be perfect but at least isn’t characterized by a lack of alternatives (it’s just that Valve dwarfs the competiton and is likely to do so for the forseeable future). The complete DRM-free approach is a nice bullet point and all, but has nothing whatsoever to do with why I currently own 150 games bought from GOG.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      God* forbid they look to expand their business into a publishing area currently lacking strong competition (DRM free recent games), improving the customer experience (DRM free, no regional pricing) along the way.

      *or your favourite deity / non-deity

  33. Shooop says:

    What? Good news about the games industry in 2011?

    Inconceivable!

    • Premium User Badge

      Fitzmogwai says:

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  34. Premium User Badge

    Museli says:

    Given as GoG insist on DRM-free titles, they seem to have the consumer’s interests at heart. With that in mind, I hope they would also insist on worldwide simultaneous release dates for new games. No DRM is a great selling point, but having no oceans as well would be incredible. I can’t see it happening for a while, but if they become a major player in new games, they would hopefully use their influence to make a few publishers think about it.

    • GTRichey says:

      Considering that their response to distributors in some countries forcing them to charge more (because of agreements between publishers/retailers/distributors was to stop using IP addresses to determine location (making it a null point) release dates would likely fall under the same category (i.e. they may not be able to legally release it in all countries at once, but since users can just set the country in the preferences it becomes irrelevant).

  35. Premium User Badge

    Museli says:

    EDIT – Double post, apologies.

  36. Toby says:

    Interesting! I would love to get my games DRM free.

  37. Robbert says:

    “along with the same price offered everywhere in the world”
    Take my money!!

  38. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    One price for all, that’s my main problem with steam: why do I have to pay 30% more for my games then US citizens? Give me that and I’ll be happy to buy from GoG.com.

    • Lycan says:

      Agreed, that’s a befuddling quirk. Do taxes have anything to do with it?

  39. MonolithicTentacledAbomination says:

    I have had very good experiences buying from GOG. I will continue to shop there in the future.

  40. Vandalbarg says:

    I wish them the best of luck. I’ve bought so many games from them, and there’s some incredibly good games coming out of Poland recently. How they’ll fare against Steam is anyones guess though.

  41. Joe The Wizard says:

    Hell, if GOG launches a client-based service, I’d be thrilled. A tool to manage the ridiculous number of games I’ve purchased through them would be amazing, like Steam but for old games with no DRM. If that’s what’s in the pipeline (and it sounds like it is), then I am 100% behind it. Hell, I’ve been 100% behind GOG since they were in limited beta and only had the Fallout games.

  42. MythArcana says:

    Steam will always be the premiere network for flocking fanboys and imbeciles worldwide, but I wouldn’t mind seeing other services rise to the top who have it going on. We’ll see what happens in time…

  43. SquareWheel says:

    I will absolutely choose a GOG game over Steam or Origin, even for a few dollars more. I do hope they come up with a proper update system though, new games actually receive those!

    • Kloreep says:

      Agreed. As someone else said above, if GoG suddenly sold everything (while still being DRM-free) I probably wouldn’t spend a penny at other distributors.

  44. Roshin says:

    I’m not sure about this move. I worry that in the long run, they will phase out the old games, because it’s not profitable enough. Hopefully, I’m wrong, though.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      Or, this will provide a more stable income stream enabling them to invest more in bringing forth some older games that might need a bit more involved publisher negotiation / game massaging to work on current systems.

      Glass half full / half empty type of thing I guess.

  45. Eolirin says:

    If they focus almost exclusively on indie developers for this, that’ll probably be their best path forward. They can continue to pick up titles as they age from the major publishers, but AAA PC releases are increasingly becoming a small part of the market, and indies will be much more amenable to GOG’s style of doing things.

    An Indie focus and a cheap back catalog of games that are harder to find on other services seems like the most ideal mix for existing in a marketplace dominated by Steam. It nicely picks up the slack in the few areas where Steam falls down, and it better hits the price points that people seem to be more happy buying games at. But I don’t think we’ll be seeing DRM free Skyrim or Arkham City or Assassin’s Creed anytime soon.

  46. iniudan says:

    That nice to know that twitter, but for those that want DRM free paradox game, those from the dev itself are already DRM free on gamersgate. (those they simply publish depend on the developer, since Paradox has opposed to most publisher leave the decision to the dev =p)

  47. FataMorganaPseudonym says:

    As long as they don’t start forgetting and neglecting what it was that made them what they are today (i.e. Good OLD Games), I have no problem with them branching out into selling new games as well.

    • Khemm says:

      They’ve always been about the money, they NEVER were charity!

      GOG staff already confirmed they won’t be releasing DRM’d games. They know it’s the anti-DRM policy that separates them from the competition.
      http://www.gog.com/en/forum/general/cdprojekt_press_conference/post31

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      From a quick perusal of that EULA, there doesn’t appear to be anything in there that says DRM will be on all EA games. It does in fact explicitly specify their games may not: “To facilitate Technical Protection Measures (if any)“. (emphasis mine)

      It’s unreasonable to expect that GoG would be able to convince EA that they must create a whole separate EULA that specifically precludes DRM, when the existing one covers that scenario already.

      While you’d be hard pressed to find too many supporters of DRM amongst gamers, we do need to be realistic about how the real/legal world of business works with some of this sort of thing.

  48. Khemm says:

    It’d be awesome if Steam games started appearing on gog with Steam removed – I’d buy Metro 2033 or Empire again if that was the case.

    Wishful thinking though, as long as Steam exists, we’ll never get games using it in the DRM-free form. Sad, Valve basically perma-DRM’d a few awesome games. :(

  49. malkav11 says:

    I would be willing to buy new games from them provided the same attraction points of no DRM, no client, and relatively little expense. I’d prefer that their focus stay with old games, though, since hardly anyone else has bothered to focus on them. (DotEmu, okay, but GoG is way better laid out and designed, with a better selection and packaging). Sure, there’s scattered older games on services like Steam and Gamersgate, but GoG actually takes the time to futz with them to try and make them work as widely as possible. Steam in particular infamously does not.