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