By John Walker on March 27th, 2012 at 10:03 am.
Good Old Games is gone. But GOG.com continues on. In light of their starting to take orders for more recent games, the words are gone from their name and only the acronym remains. This comes alongside their new frontpage, the news that they’ll be aiming to add three games a week instead of two, an improved downloader, and the addition of The Whispered World, Trine, and the soon-to-be-added Machinarium, Darwinia and Spacechem. Oh, and they’re taking pre-orders for the Dungeon Master inspired Legend Of Grimrock. So where does this leave their identity?
Clearly this pushes GOG further toward the larger crowd of digital distributors, now beginning to compete with newly launched games. And clearly the loss of the word “Old” from their name reflects their intention to sell new games, and newer games. And, I’d argue, the loss of “Good” does somewhat reflect that their selection process has perhaps not been entirely focused on bringing back only classic games. But the crucial thing, I think, is that they’re sticking by their previous mantra of no regional pricing, and no DRM. And in that light, the move is really interesting. Carrying more recently released games, but insisting that they sell nothing loaded with DRM, will be something to watch.
Also worth noting is the apparent addition of a new pricing level, with The Whispered World going for $14.99. At two years old, it’s slightly disappointing to see the game not dropping to $9.99 (although it currently costs $19.99/£14.99 on Steam). The new site has a bunch of new features, and the new downloader will apparently be faster, as well as download new extras and patches, and even alert you to PMs and forum replies.
Quite how many new games will be willing to launch via their service, unable to fiddle with regional pricing to gouge the Europeans/Australians etc, as is the wont of our lovely industry, will be interesting to note. The current plan is to wait a while after the initial release before selling more mainstream games, perhaps a year later, at a point where publishers may be happier to see the DRM gone. But this of course gives more sensibly-minded pubs the opportunity to avoid the web of Steam/Origin’s intrinsic DRM. Interesting stuff.