Shake It, Baby: GOG.com Giving Duke 3D Away For Free

By John Walker on December 12th, 2012 at 4:30 pm.

Do you want to play Duke Nukem 3D for free? Well, since it’s increasingly difficult to get hold of it on floppy disc and copy it across, the most practical way to do this would be to just take it from GOG.com. Cos they’re giving it away for free. Sure, it takes some of the thrill away, but at least you won’t be destroying the games industry in 1996. This freebie is intended to lure you in to spend more money at the site, as they’ve just launched their nonspecific Holiday Sale. Which holiday?! Is it Easter already?

There’s some decent prices in there. Very much straight copying Steam’s approach, some offers appear to be timed, such as getting a bunch of Bullfrog classics for $11.92 instead of $47.92. Others may well last the course, like 60% off The Witcher 2, or Alan Wake at half price. The joyful Botanicula is down to just five bucks, and you can pick up the splendid Arcanum for just $3.

It’s funny how these sale prices do rather reveal how GOG’s pricing set up is a little strange. Like Fallout being $5 at 50% off. They were charging $10 for a 15 year old game?! Good grief. Icewind Dale’s the same – buh? Anyhow, the sale seems to be reducing these archaic games to more sensible prices, as well as some hefty discounts on more recent releases. And Duke is freeeeeeeee.

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76 Comments »

  1. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    It’s time to kick ass and chew gum!

  2. WhiteZero says:

    Be sure to check out the High Resolution Project for a sweet graphics upgrade

  3. Terragot says:

    “They were charging $10 for a 15 year old game?! Good grief”

    Fallout will always retain it’s value, man. Infact, it should increase with age because… Fallout.

  4. povu says:

    GOG’s discounts may not be as deep as Steam’s, but it’s DRM free, you get a ton of extras, it has a lot of support both from GOG and from the community for getting the game and its mods to work, and it’s nice for Europeans because you get to pay the dollar price. So hooray for GOG.

    • Shivoa says:

      Agreed, the work stripping any legacy copy protection (& not adding any new DRM to the mix) and testing the functionality on modern OS (& even existing community patches and mods) is great. As long as you’re not buying a game that is now controlled by EA (who don’t seem to believe in the extras from GOG standard and only give you a pdf of the manual, if you’re lucky) you also likely get a rip of the soundtrack in mp3 format so you don’t have to dive into the data files you purchased to extract & convert the music and a host of other stuff (up to a level matching digital deluxe special expensive edition offerings for new games in some cases with commentary videos with devs, concept art ‘book’s, and a second arrangement OST).

      The one universal price is a bit less lovely because it basically means everyone buying from GOG is paying a 20% sales tax. Having everything in dollars is just fine and when us Europeans buy it means our tax is being recorded and shipped off to the right places but Americans are actually being ripped off as GOG pocket that 20% extra (or give it to the publishers whatever the deal they have is) so our No Oceans view should be that actually those foreigners should be paying slightly less to account for no tax.

  5. Javier-de-Ass says:

    I wonder how much they charge for fallout and fallout 2 on steam. oh wait, I already know. 10 euros.

  6. JackDandy says:

    So many free games, holy shite. And some of them are pretty fucking good, too.

    I feel kinda bad for it, honestly! But hey, a gift’s a gift.

  7. misterT0AST says:

    Speaking of free stuff…
    Probably absolutely ALL OF YOU already know of this, but they’re giving away free copies of Metro 2033.
    http://www.facebook.com/MetroVideoGame?sk=app_395840630491782

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Am I mistaken, or does that “free” game install an .exe file that (among other things) collects info from your IP address? I understand that this is a Facebook app we’re talking about here, but for fuck’s sake…

      Pay a dollar and get the game from the Humble THQ Bundle instead.

      • frymaster says:

        the act of DOWNLOADING the game will give them your IP address.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Of course, but does normally DOWNLOADING the game also install files that snoop out personal info from your system, as is apparently the case with the Metro 2033 .exe installer? I avoid Facebook, so I have no idea whether that kind of third-party intrusionware is commonplace with them.

          Oddly enough, the giveaway’s Terms & Conditions page doesn’t even mention Steam, something that is normally required with Metro 2033.

      • Casimir's Blake says:

        I noticed this download AFTER pasting the given code into Steam, which promptly downloaded the game. Apparently this additional EXE is not necessary.

  8. Drake Sigar says:

    Yoink.

    I really must pick up Superfrog sometime and relive the Amiga days.

  9. WoundedBum says:

    This just reminds me how good 3D was, but how bad Forever is.

    Sadness ensues.

  10. s0nicfreak says:

    I was a console gamer in 1996 – PC games were still on floppy disk then?! (Honest question, that’s a little surprising to me.)

    It is interesting how nowadays something being old means it is (supposedly) worth less. In the past something being old would make it more treasured, worth MORE. I guess that is just a reflection of the throw-away society we have now, where things are not built to last, and so a 15 year old item generally means broken, worn out, throw it away and go buy a new one at walmart. How many of our grandparents had a knife passed down from their dad while the knives we buy today only last a couple of years?

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      How many of our grandparents had a knife that didn’t rust, or blunt, or otherwise degrade, while knife technology rocketed past it to the point where the current state of the art is chainsaw lightsabers, and a cottage industry of independent knife makers who make artsy or otherwise unique knives has sprung up, and all knives are also trivially easy to duplicate?

      I’m not sure where I’m going with this.

    • LionsPhil says:

      My copy of Dook came on CD. It was the era of mixed formats, though; some poor sods probably had to make do with floppy versions with less content.

      Bear in mind that there existed—and sold for a while before the CD one—a version of System Shock 1 without SHODAN’s voice.

      • Casimir's Blake says:

        There was a time, once, where a game like System Shock was considered a major, mainstream relase. A massively non-linear, first person RPG that had a consistent, hand-designed world. On floppy disk. The quality of the worlds in these games do make the visually impressive but distressingly empty and commonly generic worlds in todays’ RPGs look tremendously disappointing. I would sooner play King’s Field, dodgy PSX visuals and all, than another minute of Skyrim.

        And returning to the topic, I would sooner play Duke3D over ANY modern FPS. Duke3D may also have its fair share of corridors, but they tend to go in directions other than “always forward all the sodding time”.

        • SominiTheCommenter says:

          A massively non-linear, first person RPG that had a consistent, hand-designed world.
          Dishonored?

        • Baines says:

          King’s Field had falling-through-the-floor and game-becomes-more-unstable-the-longer-you-play bugs long before Bethesda started putting its RPGs on consoles.

          Some day, I want to go back to playing King’s Field. I never did finish it.

          • Casimir's Blake says:

            I don’t ever recall any of the four King’s Field games “bugging out” on me, maybe once but I’m struggling to remember. However there were some intentional floor holes, particularly in Melanat Island (KF2), leading to other areas. I would consider these creative traps, not poor design: one of the first puzzles in Ultima Underworld 2 involves floor holes. I miss, to a great degree, being faced with such abstract challenges in modern games, as the developers of which seem too concerned with realism to allow such creativity.

        • f_zul says:

          What I need from the internets is more comments like this one. Thanks.

      • belgand says:

        I’m pretty certain it was on CD only. True, that was the era of things still being a bit mixed, but by ’96 it was pretty heavily weighted towards CD with floppy reduced to more of a legacy format. I’d compare it to around 2001 for VHS/DVD.

      • MrTambourineMan says:

        My Duke3D was on CD as well.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      value /= price

      If we would live in a society based on reason and not greed a 15 year old piece of culture would have long been made free from copyright and become public domain. Fallout 1 and 2′s cultural value is enormous, which does not mean the copyright holder should keep making money from something they broke even with eons ago.

    • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

      Duke3d came on CD.

    • desolation0 says:

      The first blockbuster CD ROM game was probably Myst that came out in 1993, so use of 3.5 inch hard discs alongside CD ROM players was still common in systems through at least 96 probably. The larger original floppies had mostly been superseded by those two.

      In the case of PC software, as long as compatibility is not an issue and the code was archived somewhere, there is no degradation over the life of the product. Code could theoretically be stored almost indefinitely. Comparison to a tangible good is difficult, and a comparison to the cost of buying a new DVD of an old movie may be more appropriate.

      Still there is a matter of supply and demand. There is much more supply of games to the market. Especially in the game market, some purchasers are conditioned to expect the cost of the software to decrease over time as the game is no longer state of the art, and may not hold up well over time in terms of story or play. The games being sold on GOG however are typically those that have held up well over time, and then some, if the code itself remains compatible.

      If you want the experience of playing Fallout 1, the only option is to buy and play Fallout 1. While other games do compete for time and money, for those interested in a particular title there is no alternative option that completely matches that experience.

      There is also the fact that they have fairly regular sales on their titles. This further complicates pricing, as those interested in a bargain will wait for the cheaper sale prices. For a sale to be a sale there has to be some markup to be knocked off. The JC Penny Effect episode of Extra Credits does a good job explaining the effect of going without sales on overall retail purchasing. Short answer, humans like sales.

  11. de_Monteynard says:

    Just a remainder concerning the price of Fallout, it used to be $5.99 until recently, when Interplay forced GOG to increase the price on several of its games, such as Fallout, Descent and MDK. Even at the new price range, a 50% sale makes it more than attractive for purchase in my opinion.

  12. Swanny says:

    I got Theme Hospital and AoW: Shadow Magic for half price while i was there. Damn them. Damn them to all hell.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      AoW: the game that still looks splendid. Well, the campaign maps at least. The generated maps are a bit worse, still nice.

      • Swanny says:

        AoW 1 and 2 are my favorite turn-based games, ever. I never picked up Shadow Magic, just haven’t had time to play. Those maps can get really long, especially the ones with many layers. Going to give it a run tonight.

        • Soon says:

          You may want to pick up Eador if that’s your kind of thing. It borrows from pretty much all those types of games and creates it’s own curious, little blend.

          Also, it can hype you up for Masters of the Broken World.

  13. Dark Nexus says:

    Anybody know how the Populous games have held up to time? Seriously considering grabbing the BullFrog pack…

  14. strangeloup says:

    I mostly picked up some older stuff in the sale (and was… reasonably restrained), but the one recent-ish one I picked up was Inquisitor. It looks like a rather nifty old-school type of RPG, and while I wasn’t sure about chancing it for $15, for half that it looks like a very interesting prospect.

  15. Feferuco says:

    The other day I discovered there were to other Duke Nukem games before Duke 3D and that they were sidescrollers. What. Also discovered there were only two FPS Duke games besides 3D, it was Forever and a game on the GBA. What the what. When I think classic FPS franchises things like Duke Nukem and Doom come to mind. Next I’ll discover the FPS Doom games are actually spinoffs from the RTS main series.

    • Rikard Peterson says:

      The first Duke Nukem game was pretty good. At least the first, shareware, part. I was disappointed when I played the other two parts, as nothing new was introduced in them. It was just more of the same. All the good stuff was in the first, freely available part.

      (Disclaimer: It was also the first platformer I ever played, so I didn’t have much to compare it to at the time. But I had fun with it. I even hacked together my own level editor for it.)

  16. derbefrier says:

    I have been waiting for this. I think I’ll get the whole bullfrog pack cause I loved all those games plus ultima 7 since for some reason I have never gotten around to ever playing it…

    damnit and I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any more games for a few months. I think this is the good time to make my new years resolution – not to buy anymore games until I catch up on my backlog. Be strong I can do it.

  17. Bhazor says:

    Best deal I’ve seen was Witcher 1 for $2.99 and Witcher 2 for $11.99. At those prices there’s no excuse not to grab it.

  18. The Random One says:

    I’ll pick it up and see if I’m as bad as I remember being. (I couldn’t get past level 2.)

    Also, it looks like they’re making Steam style daily deals, so it might be worth it to wait it out until the game you want is EVEN freeer.

    • MrTambourineMan says:

      Oh, come on. It was one of my favourite games in my teens (that is at the time it was released) and I actually pirated it a year and a half ago (I’ve lost original CD) – it was super easy and it has aged rather well – like Doom (1&2)).

  19. belgand says:

    I’m not certain how bad it is in the UK, but bringing up the whole “War on Christmas” nonsense is a bit unpleasant.

    • MrTambourineMan says:

      Brits are notorious atheists (remember Dawkins, Hitchens ? ) so they don’t have any problem with blasphemy on X-mas (or otherwise).

  20. x3m157 says:

    Downloaded! Thanks for the heads-up. Will definitely be checking out GOG more often now!

  21. Hahaha says:

    Are the people who like gog the same as the ones who are saying the updated BG is pointless?

  22. nimzy says:

    So does GOG indicate whether or not it is sending your money to the publisher or the developer when you buy the game?

    If the money goes to the developer, I’d be happy to pay for the game.
    If the money goes to a publisher instead (or the developer doesn’t exist anymore), there’s no reason to buy the game. You know, like Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines.

  23. rentonx says:

    I already had Duke 3D on GOG anyway. To celebrate them giving it away for free I even played the game most of the night :D such good times.

    You can actually get any game on GOG free too, through community sites. It’s a bit like Steamgifts website but with GOG: http://free-gog-games.webs.com/

  24. Blaaaaaaag says:

    There’s no such thing as a gorgeous 2CV, robot. And you can’t buy a Mclaren F1 with your 85 thousand pound paycheck. Artificial intelligence, huh? Right.

    Hmm… perhaps this is simply a ploy to throw us humans off our guard so we don’t expect the robot uprising.

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