By John Walker on January 29th, 2014 at 11:00 am.
As someone who firmly believes in the public domain, and finds it instantly aggravating that games over 20 years old cost anything, GOG’s current Time Machine Sale pulls me in two directions. They’re going back 30 years to highlight 30 games, knocking off substantial sums from each in turn. 1995’s Crusader: No Remorse just had a turn at 75% off. Now it’s Tomb Raiders 1, 2 and 3. (Of which the first came out in 1996.)
I love that GOG has rescued so many games from obscurity, and I especially love that it releases them DRM free. I don’t love that the price for those games so often finds itself near the $10 mark. As someone who desperately pines for the PD model that drove creativity before the copyright industry malevolently took over the planet, it saddens my heart that a game two decades old isn’t released into the world. Even ignoring the chances that anyone involved in the development of a game made in 1989 is seeing a penny of it, it engenders this belief that for creative products there should be some inalienable right to keep making money on some work you did decades ago, like a plumber demanding a fee every time you use the tap he installed in 1992. Yuck, stop it.
Anyway, my grumbling aside, this is a chance to pick up a bunch of games for not much money – games that likely wouldn’t see the likes of a Steam sale. I mean, heck, when was the last time you heard someone mention Crusader: No Remorse? There’s a fun gimmick on the sale where you can add or take away a single second from the time a game has remaining on sale. Which means you’ll see the couple of hours each gets sproinging up and down as gangs chuck in or chip off time. Eventually time will win – that’s entropy.