Interview: GoG Speak Their Brains On All Things “G”

By Nathan Grayson on April 11th, 2012 at 1:30 pm.


Following on from this story earlier in the week, here’s the full text of our wide-ranging and detailed interview with the people from GoG.com The questions were answered jointly by managing director Guillaume Rambourg and marketing/PR head Trevor Longino. How should we credit them here? Guillevor Rambogino? (We just went for “GoG”.)

RPS: Why start stocking newer games now, of all times? Was the success of the Witcher 2 on GOG, in part, the impetus for the change?

GoG: We started to release newer games for a few different reasons, but they all come back to our main focus of putting our customers first. I would note when I say “our customers” that we have more than one customer at GOG. Our most obvious customers are the gamers who pay our salaries and play the games that we sell. Our other set of customers, though, are the developers and publishers for whom we sell games. This move was for both of their benefits.

For our customers, we definitely think that presenting them with fantastic classic titles is how we got where we are today; finding them more great games, whether they’re new or old, is something that will only help us succeed and grow. On the developer and publisher side, you’re correct. We used The Witcher 2 as a test case to see if big new games from well-known brands would sell well without DRM. The fact that we were such a big part of the digital sales for The Wtcher 2 shows that the answer is very clearly a yes. Giving other developers a chance to release their game DRM-free and to our loyal audience is a fantastic opportunity for them.

RPS: Are you afraid that less of a specialized focus will detract from your store’s unique identity? Could it make you stand out less among the quickly multiplying crowd?

GoG: This may sound a little odd, but I don’t think we’re changing our focus. We’re known principally for a few things: our games have no DRM, we price things fairly all around the world at one flat price, and we provide lots of customer support, goodies, and a lively community–we call that “customer love”. It’s true that we’ve built up our reputation around older PC classics, but I think when people talk about GOG, they tell their friends, “Man, you should check out all the great games that GOG.com sells. Those guys are cool and treat you right.” This is true regardless of what the game is, old or new.


RPS: How will you select which major modern games end up on your service? Will you still handpick based on quality, or do you have deals in place to sell entire publisher libraries?

GoG: GOG.com does have a reputation of a place that sells games that are all pretty good; that’s important to us, because especially when you don’t know a whole lot about a given title, it’s helpful to read the comments about a game on our website and make sure that you are likely to be satisfied with your purchase on GOG!

I don’t think we have any deals signed where we’ve acquired a publisher’s complete catalog, no.

RPS: CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski recently said that GOG’s goal is to avoid devaluing games. So do you believe that things like Steam sales ultimately hurt more than they help? What about indie bundles?

GoG: Selling games at too high a discount – one often sees discounts above 80% off here and there -sends a message to gamers: this game, simply put, isn’t worth very much. Of course you make thousands and thousands of sales of a game when it’s that cheap, but you’re damaging the long-term value of your brand because people will just wait for the next insane sale. Slashing the price of your game is easy. Improving the content of your offer when you release your game, that’s more ambitious.

Our industry failed to provide gamers with a fair and attractive offer on day one and therefore convince them to buy games when they are released, which is the best way to support a publisher or developer from a financial standpoint. GOG has always been trying to add as much value as possible into their offer; and we hope more gaming companies will follow this direction.

Heavy discounts are bad for gamers, too. If a gamer buys a game he or she doesn’t want just because it’s on sale, they’re being trained to make bad purchases, and they’re also learning that games aren’t valuable. We all know gamers who spend more every month on games than they want to, just because there were too many games that were discounted too deeply. That’s not good for anyone.

There’s a counter argument to that, of course, which is that sales encourage people to try games that they’re not sure about. And there’s a certain truth to it, but I think that you need to reach a happy medium between giving someone a chance to take a risk without feeling like they’ve gotten a bad deal, and pricing things so cheaply that you tell gamers, “this game I made isn’t worth very much.”

RPS: That in mind, what’s your take on the recent Kickstarter crowdfunding trend? Do you think that could also ultimately have a long-term devaluing effect?

GoG: Kickstarter is pretty awesome. It’s disruptive in interesting ways. The traditional publishing model is completely opaque to gamers and–all too often–to developers, too. Letting people “put their money where their mouth is” and fund a game up front is a very refreshing change of pace.

I don’t think it devalues games, though. Given that devs are generally setting the prices for their games themselves–and given that they’re taking a larger cut of the revenue of a game that they’re funding through Kickstarter than they’d make on a retail release–I think it’s fair to tell people that $10 or $15 isn’t an unreasonable price to pay for a brand-new indie release if all you want is the basic game and nothing extra. The market has already spoken on that, and the market agrees; most indie games launch around the $10 or $15 price point.


RPS: Given that you’re trying to emphasize the value of your games, what’s your plan for sales? How often will you have them? How much will they drop prices?

GoG: We provide a lot of value in our games that goes beyond just the price. This is one of the key ways we fight against piracy, after all: providing gamers with more value than a pirate does. We actually generate more than half of our revenue from full-price sales, simply because we keep our prices reasonable in the first place. Our average sale tends to be around 40% – 50% off; that’s plenty of incentive to pick up a game if you’re interested or if you just think you might like to try it because you’re not sure about the game, but not some crazy 75% or 85% discount that damages the long-term value of a game.

We have a pretty regular sale schedule: we put a few games on sale every weekend, and we have a special “hidden gem” sale every other week. Otherwise, we focus on new releases, great customer support, and excellent value for money.

RPS: Beyond being DRM-free, how do you plan to justify what may end up being higher prices than the competition? What sort of value do you plan to add to games? How do you beat the instant, impulse-buy appeal of rock bottom prices?

GoG: GOG.com provides a lot of value beyond just the game. That’s been key to our success since we launched. We aren’t the store with the lowest, rock-bottom prices, and we never have been. That’s not what makes us great in our customers’ minds. We provide excellent service, give our customers goodies and items that they don’t tend to get from other stores—and we don’t charge for it. We provide customer support directly from our own store, rather than foisting our customers off on a developer or may or may not have the processes in place to handle customer problems. We treat our customers right, and they know that we will continue to do so in the future.

We don’t look to always provide the lowest price, no, but we do consistently give the best value for a gamer’s dollar, and I think we’ve been successful at communicating that to gamers all around the world.

If you’re stocking major games a year after release, are you at all afraid players will have lost interest by that point? I mean, they’re too new to be “retro” at that point, but too old to be in the limelight. How do you incentivize someone to buy such a game off your service if they can just wait for a Steam sale?

The fact that the majority of our revenue comes from games that aren’t on sale shows that gamers–of course–are sensitive to pricing, but they’re equally attentive to value. I think we provide excellent value, even at full price, and our gamers seem to agree. Further, although these games have been on sale before, a number of gamers haven’t necessarily picked them up yet. Lack of time, dislike for DRM or a lack of money when the game was released all combined to mean that there’s an audience—even for top selling titles—that haven’t had their chance to purchase specific titles yet. With the added value that we put into every game we sell, we have a pretty strong argument to come and buy the game from us.

And, of course, we have sales ourselves, too.

RPS: Ubisoft’s Chris Early recently announced that his company is looking to add enough value to its products to make DRM obsolete. Do you think this is a sign that the tides are turning? Is DRM finally on the way out? And, if that’s the case, what happens to GOG’s big selling point?

GoG: I would love it if DRM is dying out. I think GOG.com has blazed a bit of a trail in that respect, because we’ve spent the last three and half years showing the industry that not only can it work, but it can work very well–we’ve been growing at a phenomenal pace since we launched. If we ever reach the point where our core value of “DRM-free gaming” needs to be removed from our website because everyone simply assumes that games aren’t burdened with such short-sighted “features” as DRM, I’m pretty sure we’ll have a celebration at the office. It would be a great day for gaming.

I don’t think the tides are quite turning yet, though. It’s a promising move, but I don’t think this particular debate in gaming culture is anywhere near over.

It’s very, very hard from a business perspective to see the numbers of games being pirated and to not try and slap a mechanical “fix” on to your game. DRM doesn’t work, no, but when you’re managing your business via a spreadsheet, it is much easier to check a box that says, “DRM added” than it is to come up with a comprehensive plan to make the offer you present gamers more attractive than the one that pirates do while at the same time realizing that some gamers will pirate your game no matter what.

I definitely think that Ubisoft is moving the right direction, but we’ll need to see if other industry giants are willing to do the same. I’m sure everyone’s watching Ubisoft to see what happens with their experiment before making up their minds.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

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95 Comments »

  1. JackShandy says:

    “I would note when I say “our customers” that we have more than one customer at GOG.”

    Move over, steam!

  2. Khemm says:

    If they keep bringing old classics – they’ve still got A LOT left – while allowing new or “newer” games to appear on their store, I don’t think GOG will suffer from an identity crisis.
    Anyway, pre-ordered Legend of Grimrock, Botanicula and got the recently released Darkstone – 1 classic, 2 brand new games – no other digital store has gotten as much money from me of late as GOG, because no other store offers a better service. Keep it up, GOG team.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Maybe it won’t be an identity crisis, but identity confusion. “Good Old Games” was such a concise description of what they did. Now it’s GOG plus a little explanation. That dilutes the message.

      I’d rather buy from GOG than anywhere else thanks to the no DRM policy, but maybe that should have been the focus of their brand name rather than associating themselves with old games.

      • sephiroth says:

        Maybe they should drop the ‘o’ and just be gg.com (if thats not taken) or maybe just change old to ol. good ol games still kinda works a bit BUT doesnt have an explicit age attached to it

  3. stahlwerk says:

    Just preordered botanicula, after buying HOMM3&4 (4 mostly for the soundtrack) on the weekend. Great service, with a great interface (which could use some work on dragging intent, no i don’t want to rearrange the shelf, I just accidentaly moved my mouse one pixel between mousedown and mouseup).

    Would very much like to see more Microprose and LucasArts Flight “sims”from the early 90s.

  4. jackass00 says:

    I like CD Project and GoG but that interview was just a load of PR bull.

  5. jellydonut says:

    GOG’s identity is DRM-free hassle-free distribution of games. Whether they are old or not, does not matter. The distribution method and the customers’ faith in them keeping it that way is their identity.

  6. Drake Sigar says:

    GoG is a nice alternative for me when obtaining a box set is impossible. No DRM, no intrusion, games are altered to work on modern systems so you don’t have to look up HowTos on the Internet until your eyes bleed… yeah. Keep on rockin’ GoG.

    • nyarlathotep-88 says:

      Same here. If I cannot find a box copy of a game I want for a realistic price, then I go to them. I like all the added bonuses that they give ;)

  7. nyarlathotep-88 says:

    Would have to agree that the massive steam sales do de-value a game. I know quite a few people who won’t buy new games from them as they would just rather wait for the massive 85% off sale.

    On a side note, does anyone know if it is possible to install a game off of GOG to not the default C:\ directory? My H:\ is my game drive, and I would rather install it there. Or am I just blind, and never noticed that I could change the install directory from their installer?

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      yes, just click on options while installing

    • werix says:

      I do agree with what they are saying on a conceptual level. Such sales do harm the intrinsic value of games. Plus there are so many games, mostly from indie bundle sales, that I haven’t played, and probably never will, though I did buy them just because either the price was good, or I really only wanted one game from the indie bundle.

      However, i think the huge sales are not total doom and gloom. Publishers are asking too much for new games as it is, and I think the sales tell them if they dropped a new game from $60 to $40, they might get more non-sale sales. I know for me there are only few games I’m willing to buy at $60, and a lot more I’m not. So either I wait for a price drop or sale. Sooner developers realize that the better.

      The thing I find a little funny is the only reason i have The Witcher, is because it was on sale on steam for $2.50(granted I really don’t like the combat system and havent played it much).

      • nyarlathotep-88 says:

        I am one of those people who refuses to pay $60 for a new game if the same game is priced at $60 on a console as publishers have to pay a licensing fee to publish a game on the PS3 and 360 (not sure about the wii). It irritates me that why am I paying the publisher more money for this game when there is no extra fee to publish on the PC. Now an argument is that it is a counter for piracy, but to me it just seems like more of an excuse to pirate a game to try it and see if it is even worth $60 to the user. Especially when there are better games for $50 instead. EA and Activison are a good example of this.

      • GOGcom says:

        That’s part of the point we were making (Hi, by the way. I’m Trevor Longino, head marketing bot for GOG.com); games need to provide good value for the dollars (pounds, euros, etc) they ask you for. Some developers do a good job of this, but it’s not easy. Our DRM-free games with tons of goodies are our way of providing more value for your gaming dollar, and it’s a big part of our success.

      • PoulWrist says:

        One thing they have over steam is that they’re just cheaper for everyone living in europe. But mouthbreathing steamfanboys will no doubt continue to buy at steam because it’s no steam no sale. Like that crap with Dark Souls.

    • soco says:

      While I understand the position I don’t think it is correct. Pricing games lower does not necessarily devalue them, it could just very well open up sales to those that would not have otherwise bought.

      Devaluing is just reducing worth, but if a customer views a game as being worth less than the asking price then you won’t get a sale. But if you have a sale that brings the game closer to what that customer sees at the value for the game you generate extra sales. That isn’t devaluing, that is just bringing it into line for what more people see as the worth of the game, or at least what they are willing to pay.

      From what Steam has said the lower they tend to price a game the more money it generates, this would indicate that there are many folks that are interested in the game, just not interested enough to pay the non-sale price.

      Besides, isn’t part of point of making games getting them into many hands for folks to enjoy. And if you are making more money by reducing the price I really have a hard time seeing that as devaluing.

      • Bioptic says:

        The core of his argument, which I do agree with, is that the current model is rather imbalanced. Paying full retail price (£40-50) for a game at release is something that the vast majority of people are unwilling to do for all but a few select examples that are extremely important to them. Granted, online discounts usually mean this drops to £25 or so even at launch – but his point is that too many sales are still being lost at that point, due to the high cost of entry.

        Once someone’s decided not to buy something at release, and know for a fact that it’ll be discounted heavily within a year (or sometimes much less), I think many just choose to wait for the sale – so rather than pay an intermediate price for most games, they’ll pay a high price for just a few and next to nothing for the majority.

        Crucially, the games that people most often pay full retail price for are those which are already popular, with substantial budgets and marketing – there’s a real concern that the “middle ground” of games that don’t have the low production costs of indie titles or the guaranteed numbers of a huge franchise just can’t compete in the above pricing model. Ultra-low sale prices aren’t enough to recoup the budget, and they just don’t have the same mass-market appeal that justifies full RRP. Starting at a mid-level pricepoint would give games that aren’t gigantic EA or Activision powerhouses a chance to flourish.

    • Godwhacker says:

      I don’t think it devalues a game at all- it’s complete nonsense. There are some games that I buy new, and others that I might only have a look at if they’re going for £5. The value of the game to me depends on the game- who’s made it, what kind of game it is, whether I want to play it- rather than the price it’s initially sold at. Moreover, different people are going to have different buy-prices for different games. A big racing fan might go for the £70 Collector’s Edition of Nigel Mansell F1 Challenge, but another person might only take a punt if they see it in a sale.

      If I want to save money on a new game it’s more likely I’ll compare prices on Amazon, Play, Zavvi and so on than maliciously wait some unspecified period until it’s discounted on Steam.

    • pertusaria says:

      Every time I read your name, I think of Nylonathetep and consequently of Discworld Noir. Thank you. :-)

      (I realise the original reference is Lovecraft and not Discworld.)

  8. d3vilsadvocate says:

    I preordered Legend of Grimmrock just now. GOG is my favorite online store now, I decided to slowly move away from steam and back to boxed games / GoG Games. I don’t like having to use additional software like steam and origin to run my games. There is enough good drm-free games anyway.

    Now I just wish Trine 2 and Legends of Grimrock came in a drm-free boxed edition… one can dream, right?

  9. Pazguato says:

    “I think when people talk about GOG, they tell their friends, “Man, you should check out all the great games that GOG.com sells. Those guys are cool and treat you right.” This is true regardless of what the game is, old or new.”

    Well, actually, I say to my friends: “Man, you should check out all the Great Old Games gog.com sells”. I hope this not change on the future.

    • Biscuitry says:

      Funnily enough, what I say to my friends is “avoid GOG if you have an alternative. Their games are frequently unpatched or just outright broken when compared to those available from other sources, and they tend not to answer support requests.”

      • Fumarole says:

        Unpatched? Before the rebranding every game sold by GOG used the latest official patch, and at least one used a patch created specifically for the GOG version.

      • chackosan says:

        Examples, please. At least we could know which titles to be wary about. My only experience with GoG has been Witcher 2, and that ran fine (well, it would, being their own game). Will try out Broken Sword and Fallout soon.

        • Biscuitry says:

          From my experience, Heroes of Might & Magic 2, and Space Rangers 2. I stopped buying games from them after those two. Maybe it’s something about the number 2 that throws them off.

  10. Prime says:

    “Will you still handpick based on quality, or do you have deals in place to sell entire publisher libraries?”

    Wrong question, RPS. You need to ask if they’ll be accepting not-so-good titles along with the classics, not entire libraries: that question gave your interviewee(s) an easy way to sidestep a description of their selection and negotiation process, which I think was the initial thrust behind asking the question. The example I always use is Masters of Orion 3. Universally derided as a failure and huge disappointment it ended up on GoG anyway, which I’m almost certain would have been part of the condition of being granted license to sell the first two classics.

    Must Try Harder, RPS.

    • sephiroth says:

      sorry rps guys but I have to agree on this one.

      the ‘entire libaries’ is an easy NO, simple because there is always bound to be at least 1 title that deosn’t get added. heck maybe cause its no a PC title i hear publishers have lots of those.

      MOO3 is the prime example here as its not good its not ‘that’ old and imo its barely a game. MOO and MOO2 are both ‘old’ largely agreed to be great or at least good and given the amount of time I spent playing them are certainly games.
      Now if they had to add the 3 to get the 1 and 2 fine I can cope with that but it would of been nice to have that question asked rather than the great PR excuse you handed them.

      on a side note its fine to give GoG some love as I think they are one of the best things to happen to the games industry in years.

  11. Duckee says:

    (I have a MA in International Business, so I felt the need to apply some business thinking to this relaunch)

    The only real unique competitive advantage GOG has is its relaunch of older titles. I accept that GOG has a lot of loyal customers because of their excellent service, but at the end of the day customer service is not an unique advantage and any company who sets their money to it could possibly replicate it. The advantages through no price discrimination and no DRM are pretty weak too, as little stops competitors doing the same should they elect to.

    I will say one more thing, GOG has built its brand around the idea of old titles relaunched for modern PCs. This is a niche thing and as it is GOG has been doing quite well and has managed to be the superior provider, hence the good brand recognition. I think branching out and focusing on newer markets will cause the brand to deteriorate and it may even lose its initial brand value over time. Now this may not matter if the company manages to succeed at selling new titles, but it will ultimately damage the brand idea of old games relaunched. I think it is a mistake to not consider price as an important factor in this newer market too, especially with the bargain buckets and free promotions online retailers get through the media.

  12. Pazguato says:

    “GoG: Selling games at too high a discount – one often sees discounts above 80% off here and there -sends a message to gamers: this game, simply put, isn’t worth very much. Of course you make thousands and thousands of sales of a game when it’s that cheap, but you’re damaging the long-term value of your brand because people will just wait for the next insane sale. Slashing the price of your game is easy. Improving the content of your offer when you release your game, that’s more ambitious.”

    Well I prefer a good discount rather than a pack of wallpapers and avatars.

    • Unaco says:

      I’ve always felt quality (a decent package, with extras and bonuses – even if it’s not discounted) is better than quantity (being able to buy several titles because they’re discounted). I prefer the wallpapers and the like to a discount.

      It would be boring if everyone was the same though.

    • GiantRaven says:

      I agree.

      Now game soundtracks on the other hand…

      • UnravThreads says:

        Sadly, GOG don’t always bundle soundtracks (contrary to what they’re saying) and they tend to have the tags filled in incorrectly or are piecemeal soundtracks.

        Would rather have proper, high quality, “professional” soundtracks than a bunch of audio files.

    • sephiroth says:

      tis interesting they say big discounts hurt games because they offer the biggest discounts of anyone , FREE games. This weekend just gone they gave away the original Fallout a truely great game that deserves to always be more than free imho.

      That being said I did d/l the free Fallout to have a nice DRM free copy to go with my now old and scratched CD.

      In my view once a game has been given away to anyone for nothing I find it hard to put a value back on that game. for example EA in a moment of being nice not evil (mirror universe leakage maybe) made both C&C and Red Alert free, this somehow engrained in me that these two titles are now free forever for anyone that wants to play them.

      I guess thats not the case (first decade included them and cost money nothing about these two being free) but anyway thats how I see it once its free for all how can it then cost money again?

      for me the value that GoG brings to the table is a place I can buy games I either missed out on or no longer have (or can get working but thats a small group) without spending half my life finding torrents or warez and then working out on earth to play a game thats 20 years old.
      Ironicly by the time I heard of GoG I had tracked down most of the games I wanted and found solutions to make them playable but there are some that I still lack and are missing from GoG.

      Anyone want earthseige 2 on GoG?? I loved the game and its a real pain in windows 7. the only way I got it working was in XP mode with virtual drives and lots of workarounds/compromise. now I would pay for a copy that just works properly but they can keep the wallpapers/avatars etc

  13. Johnny Lizard says:

    I love GoG, but rightly or wrongly, it perturbs me that they think of their suppliers as customers.

  14. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    I like GOG but I will continue to buy games on Steam. Lower prices (seriously, the argument here is that a consumer I should spend more to “feel better” about my purchases?), one-click install, file verification, SteamPlay, Mac support (although tragically limited), automatic updates, screenshot management, fun events, not to mention the social features I don’t care a jot about. Yes not all of those work very well, but it saves me having to install a bunch of different applications individually.

    GOG really does provide a better service for older games, which don’t really need all these snazzy features. We’ve yet to see what happens when EA et al start demanding customer’s billing credentials from GOG in exchange for allowing their products to be sold there.

  15. trjp says:

    There’s a lot of crap in what they say – it reads like something a teen/twenty-something would say (e.g. no idea how anything actually works).

    On one hand they say the ‘industry’ suffers from more revenue(!?) and then on the other that ‘brand’ is damaged by sales(!!)

    What they’re actually saying is “we cannot compete with Steam” which is a poor thing to admit – simply make an alternative offering (DRM-free sells to muttonheads who demand the ability to pirate games with a different verb) and get on with it.

    No-one cars why – just do it.

    • Dozer says:

      The point was that the industry and brand suffers when we all get it into our heads that a fair price for a top-notch game is £10 or less. If a well-received game is discounted from £30 to £5, we’ll buy it because we think we’re getting a bargain (hence the huge revenues from Steam sales). But when we become conditioned to think the game’s worth less than £10 anyway, we will consider £30 to be overpriced and £5 to be not a very compelling discount. The full-price revenue will reduce, and the discount-price revenue will also reduce. Result: less money for making games (unless your publisher is called Kickstarter).

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        And there’s no evidence that that has happened at all (in fact, if Valve is to be believed, the opposite is true), and publishers still talk about how pre-orders and first week sales are the most important times financially.

        In short, this guy is high on silly gas. But GOG is still great regardless.

      • Shooop says:

        …And that hasn’t happened. The very opposite has happened – games are selling for $60 each today.

  16. faelnor says:

    Fits perfectly with my games buying plan:

    1. Check whether the game is available DRM-free, platform-less on the developer website, GOG.com or to a lesser extent amazon ;

    Being free from an online retail platform and DRM is a dream. I may agree to whatever EULAs they want to throw in it, I don’t care: it feels like the game is mine, I can do whatever the hell I want with it on my computers and I’m assured they will always work. This is my first choice.

    2. If not, check whether the game is available on Steam ;

    2a. If available on Steam, check that the game is not going to install an additional DRM framework besides Steam and GFWL. GFWL is terrible but acceptable, because as soon as Windows 8 hits the shelves, we won’t have the choice to have it installed or not. If this is the case, buy it from Steam.

    2b. Anything other than that goes here: having to install Origin is a good example, but any version of Securom that could be installed in addition to Steam DRM is also a no. Do not buy the game at all until it can be bought in conformity with 1 to 2a.

    I’m not going to agree with installing multiple content delivery platforms, I’m not comfortable with the useless space it takes on the hard disk, different configuration options, different layouts, different EULAs, different DRM and offline play policies, etc. Steam it is then, the one that I know well enough, the one which offers the best choice.

    • sephiroth says:

      yes I think this sums up what allot of us feel.

      Steam is fine BUT only because its so damn huge and got in first. all copys (ORIGIN) are doomed to fail or at least should be.

      My number 1 concern when I buy a game is ‘can I play it in 10 years’ if its good enough to want to ofc. the best method is DRM free cause then all your effort can go in to making it actually work which might be hard enough in itself. if you have tried to get windows 95-98 era games working on a 64bit OS I’m sure you know exactly what I mean.

      IF valve do well then in 10 years ALL my steam games will still work which would be great but that might not be what happens.

      In regards to origin. I see it going two ways
      1 they somehow kill steam and survive, this would be bad cause of the awesome games on steam that I would probably never play again (at least legally) and it would make EA basically own the pc platform so we would all be playing on macs I guess xD

      2 origin fails and takes any origin games with it
      this is what i expect to happen and as such wont touch origin again (BF3 killed the BF franchise in my eyes anyway). But hay that just means me and EA agree on something that they will not get my money EVER!

      GFWL is now on my ignore list, worked ok for me in DOW2 but still causes issues and made me play fallout 3 on xbox as it was just unplayable due to GFWL. I know its going to be part of windows 8 but I dont plan on getting windows 8 quite possibly ever based on what I’ve seen so far

      EULAs are worthless I agree to them in that i tick the box but I have no idea what allot of them say and how can you conform to rules that you dont know. beside in six months when they turn off the activation servers or whatever I’m going to break those rules anyway just to play my legit software. Makes a very good lazy argument to just pirate it on day 1 and then the hassle is done plus more money to by games from people who aren’t total fucktards.
      /rant

      so yeah steam or drm free or no sale

      • pertusaria says:

        “My number 1 concern when I buy a game is ‘can I play it in 10 years’”

        How odd, my number one concern when I buy a game is “Am I going to enjoy this?”.

        Cost, ability to run the game on my computer, DRM and not buying from a morally bankrupt company come after that, and then lots of other concerns. I do want to be able to play it in ten years, but only if it’s any good in the first place.

  17. lucian says:

    Steam has a better service in some ways, but their DRM still bothers me. I wish GoG’s success will convince Valve to allow game developers to release without DRM if they so choose and ban any DRM other than the Steam one.

    • Llewyn says:

      Valve already support games being released DRM-free on Steam.

      But yes, I’d also love to see them blocking all non-Steamworks DRM.

  18. cptgone says:

    to me, GOG = old games.
    GOG used to have that market for themselves (not counting all the abandonware sites that offer comparable service for free).
    now that GOG also stocks new games, i’ll be more hesitant to buy.
    from now on, i’ll check other sites first, as GOG’s prices are not low IMO.

    concerning the talk about prices and discounts: i’m not gonna repeat all the reasons that make me disagree. lemme just add this:
    - i like GOG for making old games accessible, but i never felt their service is cheap. charging €10 for an ancient game the devs won’t get paid for anyway doesn’t sound very fair to me, esp. at a time when i can get most any game i want for €5 or less.
    - i own quite a few games on GOG, but i’ve never cared for any of the provided extra’s GOG makes so much fuss about (i do appreciate GOG’s efforts to provide extras though).
    - i’ve passed on quite a few discounts at GOG, cause they were not deep enough. it’s not about the advertised %, it’s the final price that matters.
    - i appreciate GOG being DRM free, but:
    old games never had any DRM anyway.
    as to new games: i’d rather get a game cheaply on Steam than DRM free at GOG.

    • Lambchops says:

      Fair enough points but I always felt with GOG that I was paying a little over the odds for the convenience and the (near) certainty that the game was going to work.

      No more failing to get a game to run because I couldn’t figure out the one DosBox setting that was going to get the audio to work and so on. To me the extra money goes on convenience and I’m happy to pay it, though obviously your mileage may vary, particularly if you’re more tech savvyy or less lazy than me!

  19. Cytrom says:

    I’m missing apogee games, id games (doom, wolf3d, quake), and system shock 1-2, from their collection… but other than that GOG is cool and i like their mission (especially the drm free part). So… go go gog!

  20. Baresark says:

    Hmmm, I think that the whole line about offering games at too high of a discount is a complete line of bunk. There is no intrinsic value on software. Don’t get me wrong, I love GOG and I’m not going anywhere (as I wait for Legend of Grimrock to unlock), but I can’t agree with this line of thinking. Also, this line of thinking doesn’t seem to apply anywhere else. I’m in America, and I can safely say that Honda and Toyota car brands are not hurt by the fact they they are on average, cheaper than their american counterparts. They also depreciate faster than their American counterparts. Yet everyone still would love to have a car like a Honda or Toyota (great gas mileage, run forever, stuff like that). And I’m not saying there isn’t a market for American cars, but most of everyone I know (which is admittedly too small of a sample to count as proof) like them.

    As a consumer, if I think a game looks good, I buy it day one. If I don’t think it looks worth full price, I wait. Then, other games come out and I forget about the one I was interested in. Then it shows up on sale (daily deal or weekend deal or huge seasonal sale), and I buy it. I know a little of how Steam works. They don’t force anyone to put anything on sale. They simply suggest that things go on sale to the publisher/developer. And they don’t have to listen. But, Steam released a little information on their sale products and sales increase ridiculously for products on sale, and I’m not even talking about a huge sale (though the numbers usually climb with sales percentage), but they have had games who’s sales increased 3000%.

    I think that people forget that people who make games are trying to make money and be as successful as they can be. If I make a chair , I don’t care how many people sit on it or if the person who buys it just burns it. It helps my ability to keep making chairs to sell.

    • Baresark says:

      Also, it’s counter intuitive for people to seek out the higher price. The mere suggestion of it goes against what humanity is. Which is a huge part of loss aversion. People will not willingly pay more for a product, which is why sales attract so much attention. Anything else it just bollocks.

      • Unaco says:

        Things like Kickstarter, or Indie bundles were people can choose their own price would contradict that. Sometimes, people are willing to pay the higher price.

        • GOGcom says:

          That’s because people see more value in what they’re getting for the higher price, which is what we’re taiking about. This is not about setting pricing artificially high; this is about making what distributors (like us!) provide worth enough to gamers that they feel that it is worth paying more than a bargain-basement price. That’s the challenge to devs and distributors.

    • pertusaria says:

      But over the long run, someone who puts your chair in a public place or invites their friends to sit on it is advertising your product to other potential customers. If they get good use out of it, maybe they’ll buy a sofa or a table from you in future. In contrast, someone who burnt the chair would have to be pretty odd to care that you made it and not someone making cheaper chairs, although such people probably exist.

      Games are made to be played. People who play the game and like it are more likely to buy the sequel, or to tell their friends how great it is. Games that sit on your virtual shelf gathering dust don’t result in additional sales. This is only a good outcome if the game is crap to begin with.

  21. cHeal says:

    This looks awfully familiar…?

  22. phenom_x8 says:

    Their community are the best among the other! Shame he forgot to mentioned it.
    For example, how many forum member will gave the game you’ve asked for free ??? The answer is two of them. It trully happened with me when I have problems with my paypal accounts a year ago as a new GOG member, I asked for a copy of gothic II when it was on sale for $3 with a promise to gave the money back when my paypal problem resolved. Suddenly, two of their member send me a gift code almost in the same time. Wowww, that was great! After saying thanks and asked to give them refund, they just feel okay with it and glad that we have the same interest towards gothic 2. So, I redeem one of the code and give the other as a gift to the one who asked for it!

    And I remember that there’s one of their members in RPS that posted planescape torment gift code here a while ago. Sadly I was little too late when I try to redeemed it. But thats just shows how great their community is and not just their stance towards DRM.

  23. Calph says:

    “Heavy discounts are bad for gamers, too. If a gamer buys a game he or she doesn’t want just because it’s on sale, they’re being trained to make bad purchases, [...] We all know gamers who spend more every month on games than they want to, just because there were too many games that were discounted too deeply.”

    I can’t help but find this line of reasoning comically absurd. Are we really expected to believe that they’re going to keep games at a higher price just to protect us from our own compulsive game-buying ways?

    I can appreciate the macroeconomic argument for wanting to keep the price of games up. If the expectation for game prices falls too low through loss leaders on Steam, then it will become difficult for devs to sell games above that price point, reducing profitability, which will in turn make it more difficult to break even on developing games, and in the long run reduce the number of developers and games being made.

    I’m okay with that. Heck, I’m okay with plain old maximizing your own returns. If you put in a lot of time and money to make a good game, then you should be able to profit off of it, and controlling the price point is a big part of that.

    But acting like you’re doing me a personal favor as a gamer by keeping prices higher? That you’re saving me from having to buy all the cheap games out there? That’s rather silly, and more than a little insulting. The implication is that I ‘m unable to make good judgments about what games are a good value, or exercise basic financial control over my game buying tendencies. I’m sure that was not the intended take-away message, but I can’t help but bristle at such a fallacious argument.

  24. MondSemmel says:

    “If you’re stocking major games a year after release, are you at all afraid players will have lost interest by that point? I mean, they’re too new to be “retro” at that point, but too old to be in the limelight. How do you incentivize someone to buy such a game off your service if they can just wait for a Steam sale?”

    That’s Nathan Grayson speaking, not the GoG.com guy, right? Right now, the text isn’t bolded, and that makes that part of the interview read as if the interviewee was talking to himself…

  25. Dozer says:

    Good Old Games. Running the world. A new age!

  26. reyn78 says:

    The whole “deep discounts are bad” rhetoric is just a way to protect their business model. If Steam has a game on sale for $3 gog.com will have hard time to charge $7 for it two years later. I understand that when they say “it destroys game value” sounds better than “steam discounts are too deep for us to compete at this price point” to potential clients.

  27. Ultra-Humanite says:

    They keep on with this propaganda about discounts being bad. Maybe it’s bad for your bottom line, but I’m a consumer and it’s good for me. If it was so terrible for the industry then why does Steam have so many products and publishers on board with them? Either way, thank you from dissuading me from using your website regularly for game purchases.

    • Khemm says:

      Wow… butthurt much? What did they say that offended you so much?
      Steam is a monopolist, years of forcing PC gamers to install that client have paid off for Valve, publishers can’t ignore this service now and oh boy, are some of them trying (EA). Moreover, Valve has no competiton when it comes to tools provided to developers in exchange for Steam exclusivity (there’s no alternative to Steamworks, GFWL is pretty much abandoned and none knows what’s going on with Impulse Reactor now that Gamestop has acquired Impulse).

      • Shooop says:

        Hmmm, can I still buy games from places other than Steam? Let’s see…

        Amazon, Gamersgate, Gamestop, Gamefly…

        Oh and I can even go to brick and mortar Best Buy, Target, Gamestop, Wal-Mart stores too if I want a good ol’ box and disc!

        Now go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve said.

  28. TNG says:

    I really like GOG and have been their costumer since I read about them on the original The Witcher site. Although I understand what they’re trying to say regarding devaluation of games, I can’t help but point out that offering games for free seems worse than a 75-80% discount. There’s also the whole matter of how you decide the original price that you’re discounting on. Plus, I certainly wasn’t happy after buying Broken Sword and Fallout there and a couple of months later seeing then given for free.

  29. Grayvern says:

    What gog dude isn’t addressing is that daily steam deals mean people visit the store, meaning that more games not on sale get exposed, for an example of what happens to games in online stores without a measure of exposure see xbox live arcade games and the fact that most of them do tiny numbers.

    What games steam chooses to expose however is a valid debate but one that is the same for all digital distribution methods and brick and mortar stores.

  30. Sehnder says:

    There are two fatal flaws in the “you won’t value games sufficiently if we discount them” line of reasoning.

    1. Inherently as consumers, “we are charging you more so you value it more” will always ring hallow to us. A rational consumer would prefer to get something 75% off, even if they “value” it less. In other words, they would prefer you didn’t try to determine how much extra they have to pay to ensure they value a game as much as you think they should.

    2. Steam/Amazon/Whatever sales have already established for us what games are worth X months after release. I know that I can get it for a huge discount elsewhere, and refusing to lower the price to match simply makes you a non-option.

    There is truth to people valuing things they pay for. The issue here is that the game itself is (DRM considerations aside) identical across all distribution platforms. If I buy a burger for $13, I have a different set of expectations than if I buy a $3 burger. Fair. However, if I know that both burgers were made by the same chef and taste the exact same…. Do you really think I am going to accept “you will value the burger more here because you paid $10 more for it”? It is going to take a lot more than some nice napkins (read: “wallpapers”, etc.) to make me think that is a good idea.

    The good news (for developers) is that most consumers are too impatient/excited/eager to wait for discounts. If you make people so excited they can’t wait to play your game, you are doing your job right. You get them up front, you get the patient (or sale compulsive) people four months down the line for 80% off. Guess what? $5 for your game is a lot better than the $0 I would pay for it if it never price dropped. If I was that excited for it I would grab it at launch.

    By the way Rayman Origins, feel free to go 50% off whenever you are ready. I’ll be waiting. Luckily I have Legend of Grimrock to keep me busy! (Hey, I got that one at launch because I was really excited to play it… funny how that works!)

  31. rockman29 says:

    GoG is OG.

  32. Shooop says:

    Selling games at too high a discount – one often sees discounts above 80% off here and there -sends a message to gamers: this game, simply put, isn’t worth very much. Of course you make thousands and thousands of sales of a game when it’s that cheap, but you’re damaging the long-term value of your brand because people will just wait for the next insane sale. Slashing the price of your game is easy. Improving the content of your offer when you release your game, that’s more ambitious.

    Not if it’s a sale from the distributor, instead of the publisher who sets the MSRP. A modern sale is a limited time offer.

    And do they not understand how basic economics works? Price isn’t ultimately determined by the quality of the product, it’s determined by the demand for it. A sale works to temporarily drive up demand, not act like a product’s expo. Distributors also use sales to raise awareness for a new product in the hopes they’ll see people buying it steadily afterwards. It’s a subtle form of advertising.

    I’ll just take my free copy of Fallout and go back to my terrible, unforgivable, games industry-destroying ways of buying games I want for as cheaply as I can find them then.

  33. HisMastersVoice says:

    I see they’re persisting in their rather misguided attitude towards discounts and the idea that a game is something with inherent value we should all respect.

    Oh well, as long as they don’t go running naked in the streets, brandishing a tulip and a chainsaw, I’m fine with buying the odd game from them…

    • Shooop says:

      Well of course games have value! That much can’t be questioned (at least not by a sane person), as it’s not cheap to make a modern game more complicated than the ones we see in the Punk’s Not Dead features.

      The problem is he’s either putting a terrible PR spin on the fact they don’t have sales or he truly doesn’t understand basic economics – specifically how it’s demand which determines price.

      • Cee64D says:

        GoG.com does have sales fairly regularly, they even offer some games for free. The discount is usually not more than 50% though and the sales are short lived. They get my business and I’m a tightwad. I’ll pinch a nickel till the buffalo poops.

  34. Acorino says:

    I wonder if the following is a question asked by RPS:

    If you’re stocking major games a year after release, are you at all afraid players will have lost interest by that point? I mean, they’re too new to be “retro” at that point, but too old to be in the limelight. How do you incentivize someone to buy such a game off your service if they can just wait for a Steam sale?

    It makes no sense to me as part of an answer otherwise.

  35. shopshop1 says:

    http://goshoppingo.com so cool for business and earn money

  36. bill says:

    I’m happy about this, but I hope that they continue making old games available, as i think that was a worthy goal and big benefit for a lot of people.

  37. RegisteredUser says:

    Our main focus is putting our customers first. Or the potential ones, when looking to sue someone.

  38. Bacalou says:

    Perhaps they didn’t read about or hear Gabe’s speech at the DICE summit in 2009. Here is what he said on this subject – http://www.edge-online.com/features/valve-are-games-too-expensive

  39. Cee64D says:

    I’ve purchased several older games from GoG.com, including a couple that I have original CDs of. Why would I pay for something I already have? Because I don’t have a Win95, Pentium 1 computer anymore, and with GoG.com I don’t have to. Yeah, I could sit for hours and tinker with dosbox until I figure out the exact settings to use. That’s what some of the GoG.com games use and I have the latest dosbox. I could play with compatibility mode settings or even just make a BOOT disk. What I don’t have is a lot of time to spend gaming. Entertainment hours come at a premium for me, what with work and family obligations. I need to spend them wisely. GoG.com lets me do that at a very reasonable price. I’m happy to be their customer and I plan to be their customer for a long while to come.

    Now if GoG.com could somehow rangle loose some LucasArts titles (Xwing FTW!) I’d be in sim heaven

  40. grellanl says:

    CD Projekt put their money where their mouth is, by releasing the Witcher series on GOG DRM-free. That took courage, and they deserve support for that along. The fact that the Witcher 2 (a great game to boot) has sold millions despite this, may be what finally shows other publishers that there is another way.

    Every time I have to fight with all the bundled crap that infests a modern AAA title, with yet another stupid vendor’s branding “environment” (yay now I have Steam and Origin and GFWL and UPlay to deal with at the same time), to deal with install limits and rootkit-style DRM (yay SecuROM)… well, I wish that title was available on GOG.com. Even if it was delayed until a year after launch, when the bulk of sales have already been made.

    I don’t see what the studios have to lose if, after a title’s been on the market for a year, they just strip out all the DRM, and do this retroactively for all copies bought. This would benefit their paying customer that bought the thing on launch, and is now on his or her last install activation. Happier customers are returning customers. If they can’t stomach releasing without DRM on day one (yet), can’t they at least consider this? Or is this a futile pipe dream in a land of unicorns?

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