Direct2Drive 2Be Eaten By GameFly

If you’ve used Direct2Drive to get any games, then you might want to pay attention to this. The service is being merged into GameFly, and that means that not everything you bought will necessarily survive the transition. They warn:

1. Download your favorite game purchases from Direct2Drive. We plan to have as many game files as possible available on GameFly. Just to be sure, please download your old game files before the transition.
2. Download all of your non-game files (like Prima Guides). These will not be available on GameFly after the transition.

More details here. Thanks, Lewie!


  1. kyrieee says:

    What the shit? What reason could they possibly have for not being able to provide you the games you’ve bought?

    • Gnoupi says:

      For example if some publisher or developer decides they want to have nothing to do with GameFly, they won’t be able to propose the download, obviously. At least I guess so.

    • johnpeat says:

      There is absolutely no reason for them to stop offering EXISTING customers a downloadable copy of games they’ve already bought.

      They may not be able to continue selling said games – but that’s not the same as offering a download to people who’ve already spent money – so this is clearly a choice they’re making, it’s not driven by any legal issue that I can think of.

      *heads off to download the cheapies he’s gotten from D2D over the years*

    • RaveTurned says:

      IANAL so this is guesswork, but perhaps there are licensing issues involved? Presumably D2D and GameFly are separate legal entities; it may be that the rights that D2D had to distribute the games are not automatically transferable to a third-party or buyer. Though you’d think they’d be able to renegotiate those rights as part of the merge? :s

      From the detail: “Some older titles may not be available immediately after the transition, and will be added later.” – I guess for older titles where developers/publishers have been bought out or gone out of business, it might be tricky to work out who holds the distribution rights. *shrug*

    • djbriandamage says:

      I’ve downloaded my precious copy of Prey and plan to burn it to a DVD, insert it into a slit I will cut into a teddy bear, and hug it until the end of time for safekeeping.

    • phlebas says:

      To look at it another way: What guarantee did you ever have that the games would continue to be available for download?

    • johnpeat says:

      Ah Prey – I bought that from them AND finished it too (tho the last 33% of it was horrid)

      and yes, D2D used to have a limit on downloads too – how short our memories are…

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Having read through the email I received and the FAQ, I’m inclined to wonder if it’s to do with getting the games compatible with their new client (yes, there’ll be a client now) as they indicate that the games not available at migration should be available later.

      Can I still buy all the PC & Mac titles I could before?
      Like Direct2Drive, GameFly is committed to having all the biggest new releases as well as all the latest and greatest indie titles available. GameFly plans to have as many D2D titles as possible available in the Client and on the Web site when the migration occurs. Any D2D titles not immediately available should become available shortly thereafter.

    • djbriandamage says:

      @thermal I’d bet this has more to do with whether Gamefly has a reseller agreement with all the publishers D2D had arranged. I really hope their download client won’t be mandatory just to run each game. Not even Origin does that, which is a good thing because Steam is the only one I’ll put up with.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      On Xbox Live and PSN (yeah I know, the dreaded console!), Williams/Midway pulled Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat 2 off the market, but people who bought it already could still download it again for whatever reason. So there’s not really any excuse here. Granted, you can now buy the MK collection on Live and PSN so it wouldn’t really matter that much.

  2. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    This is like watching the cool, fun publishers from over a decade ago morph into squatting malevolent titans all over again except now it is digital retailers.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Or one into the other. I can’t tell you how heartwrenching it is to have to associate the developer of Wing Commander, Ultima, and System Shock with some short-lived Steam knockoff cash grab that charges $5 for the privilege of preordering an MMO.

    • Maktaka says:

      Since when has Gamespy ever been defined as “cool” or “fun”?

    • CMaster says:

      You do realise that D2D were owned by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp before this transition, right?

    • Burning Man says:

      Oooh, Evil. It tingles.

  3. bill says:

    This’ll run into the same problem the GOG joke did – that people who buy on these services DON’T usually intend to download their games. They think of it like steam – an online storage system that they can download from only when they want to play.

    case in point, I think i’ve bought 2-3 games from direct2drive – and i don’t think i’ve ever downloaded one. I don’t really want to have to download them all and burn them to dvds – cos that means I now have to go out and buy some blank dvds. sigh.

    What’s the DRM / Activation / Burning local copies situation anyway?

    • JagRoss says:

      GOG joke?

    • bill says:

      Where they pretended their service was shutting down, but it was just to get publicity for a re-launch.

      they figured it wouldn’t be a big deal, as GOG’s big selling point was no-drm, so everyone could download all their games and keep local copies, and didn’t need GOG to install/activate them. But most people HADN’T downloaded most of the games they’d bought and it caused a minor panic.

    • johnpeat says:

      The joke mostly being on the fatuous, holier-than-thou idiots who thought DRM-free meant ‘I don’t even need to keep a copy of it’ :)

    • djbriandamage says:

      If you go to D2D and download your games you will also need keep track of the activation codes. Whether the activation servers will remain online is anyone’s guess. The sad lesson here is to avoid all but first-tier online retailers lest you risk losing all your purchases.

    • johnpeat says:

      Yeah that’s a good point – I have 2 games from D2D which bug me to validate them every couple of months regardless of whether I’ve played em recently or not.

      Good news is I’ve actually finished all the games I’ve bought from D2D (apart from one which was a Steam code anyway).

    • Balance of Power says:

      johnpeat says: “The joke mostly being on the fatuous, holier-than-thou idiots who thought DRM-free meant ‘I don’t even need to keep a copy of it’ :)”

      Says the pretentious and near-sighted prat Johnpeat. Way to win the “Douche Statement of the Year Award.”

      There’s nothing fatuous and holier-than-thou about being protective of one’s legally owned software.

      GOG’s own mission statement is:”Once you download a game, you can install it on any PC and re-download it whenever you want, as many times as you need” (emphasis mine).

      The possibility of being deprived access on so short a notice with no recompense was unnerving for consumers like me who have invested literally hundreds of dollars into their site.

      The joke was at best poorly executed, at worst a betrayal of trust and a play on the fears of digital distribution. If it’s wrong to express outrage at such a thing then – please – by all means can you paypal me a few hundred dollars? After all, such a trifle amount should mean little for a gasbag like you, Johnpeat.

  4. Anthile says:

    Good thing I have only SWAT 4 there. I don’t envy the people who have tons of games there.

    • mjig says:

      Yeah I only have Alpha Protocol which I repurchased on Steam anyway when it was like $2.50.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I have the first Asscreed on them, they can keep that one. I also have the Void from them, but I have the image on my drive.

  5. Phinor says:

    Downloading few hundred gigabytes and storing them forever on my own hard drive. This is digital delivery! Actually I can’t even download some of the special pre-order stuff because they require programs such as Adobe Acrobat Reader Digital Content Management Software Thingie so it’s rather likely some of my bought stuff is gone within a month.

    But seriously, I wonder how they plan to support Europeans as they finish the move to Gamefly. D2D has gone downhill for the past 6+ months for us Europeans – basically ever since Gamefly bought them and now that they are being absorbed completely by the company that has zero service outside of U.S., I do wonder.

    • johnpeat says:

      The iTunes store is the most popular digital medium on earth and you get ONE chance to download content from that – and that’s it.

      Abolutely STELLAR missed opportunity IMO – hosting people’s content for re-download at a later date is a major selling-point of DD – by explicitly not doing that, Apple are basically shitting on their customers.

      Nothing new there then…

    • thegooseking says:

      The iTunes store is the most popular digital medium on earth and you get ONE chance to download content from that – and that’s it.

      That’s actually no longer true. You can redownload stuff you’ve previously bought. It took them long enough, though. (And now that I think about it, it may only apply to music and not apps/games or videos, though I’m not sure about that. Just checked, and it applies to all types of purchase except, apparently, iPod games (though it does apply to iPhone/iPad apps).)

      To redownload stuff through iTunes, you need to click on ‘Purchased’ on the left-hand bar, then click “Download Previous Purchases” in the bottom right of the window.

    • canonfodder says:

      To be fair the reason you had to repay (in most cases, had my entire music history relinked to me twice when I moved computers… very nice Apple Customer Care dude) is because the original contract with the music companies was that each download constitutes a purchase, regardless of whether you had brought it in the past. Obviously Apple renegotiated recently… just thought I should point out it was the music companies not Apple.

    • thegooseking says:

      Indeed, a lot of companies that do offer redownloads (like offer a limited number because of their agreement with the labels. And then Amazon MP3 doesn’t offer any redownloads at all, but I don’t know whether that’s an agreement with the record label or just a stupid Amazon decision (though that said, Amazon MP3s are usually cheaper, so you get what you pay for, I guess.)

    • InternetBatman says:

      I’m very sure that’s not true about amazon. Not only can you redownload them, they keep the music in an online streaming player if you want to use it.

  6. airtekh says:

    Wow. Thanks for the heads up.

    I bought Crysis 2 from there recently, better plug the code into Origin pronto.

    EDIT: “We are currently restocking keys for Crysis 2, and they will be available shortly.”

    Well, fuck.

    • GoJays2025 says:

      Wait what? Shouldn’t you have been assigned a key already as you bought the game?

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      Me too. I contacted D2D customer support who said:

      “Currently, we are still awaiting a new batch of keys from the publisher. Unfortunately, their key center is closed for the holidays; we won’t be able to provide keys for this game until after January 3rd.

      We can refund your purchase now if you would like.

      Otherwise you are more than welcome to hang on to your purchase until the keys are in stock after January 3rd”

      Which is, to be honest, just a little bit shit.

      Just as well I have like a bajillion games that I still haven’t touched to keep me going over the holidays.

    • InternetBatman says:

      D2D isn’t alone in this. Steam ran out of Risen keys during a Steam sale (I’m fairly sure that was the first major Risen sale), and I had to wait until Monday to play.

  7. GreatUncleBaal says:

    A slight pain in the bum, as although I usually back up all my digital downloads, I’ve not long ago found out that my DVD drive isn’t burning properly (and copies I thought I’d made aren’t all there, so to speak) – I’ll have to get quite a few of my games off D2D again. I’ll wait and see how things go before buying anything from the new service, as I don’t know a great deal about Gamefly.

  8. phlebas says:

    The FAQ does say that “Any D2D titles not immediately available should become available shortly thereafter.”
    Kind of insulted that they’re anything but abjectly apologetic about all this.

  9. Xaromir says:

    Makes me wonder: How will it be when steam stops existing. This will necessarily happen on day, if sooner than later – what will we do with our TB worth of data and our thousands of $ in games? That will be one hell of a weekend.

    • wccrawford says:

      It has been claimed that when Steam dies, they will release everything DRM-free.

      Since they don’t actually own the content, and they have never actually -said- this, I don’t believe it.

      Instead, all your games will go to the big bitbucket in the sky. Gone. Forever.

      That thought hasn’t actually stopped me from buying from Steam, though… Usually because they’re so bloody cheap (on sale) that it isn’t an issue if they disappear in a year. I’ll have had my $3 worth of fun and if I really like it, I’ll buy it again (probably on sale) at that point from someone else.

      But the constant stream of new games pretty much guarantees that I don’t pine for old games anyhow.

      However, I’m really glad I never bought from D2D, and I won’t be buying from GF’s service either. They don’t offer sales, and now they don’t even guarantee your purchases. Not a chance.

    • Nielk1 says:

      Gabe said, in no way legally binding, that in a situation where Steam was gone, the Steam based DRM would be disabled on all titles that use it thus severing them from their need for Steam.

      With the track record they have, I don’t see them going anywhere for a very, very, long time.

    • johnpeat says:

      The whole “Steam will make their games available without Steam” thing is utter fiction – nothing has ever been said formally about that – and if Valve were to go bust, they’d really have no way of doing that anyway.

      Not that it’s greatly likely at this point – in fact it’s FAR more likely games will stop working due to OS and hardware upgrades – hell I own 2-3 games on Steam which have stopped working on my PC (Droplitz is the latest casualty – it will not run in any recent ATI driver and there’s no support for it DESPITE the fact it’s still for-sale).

    • djbriandamage says:

      I agree with the belief that your games will be gone. Read the Steam EULA to learn that you don’t own anything on your account – you are merely a “subscriber”. When Steam is gone your subscription will end.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Cue the whole you don’t actually own any software, just a licence.

    • Nielk1 says:

      It was indeed said, but it wasn’t formal or binding for obvious reasons.

      BTW, 95% of all titles on steam that don’t use SteamWorks API work without steam with no weird patching or cracking. All you have to do is run the EXE, but no one ever bothers.

      I don’t have your Droplitz issue but I prefer nNVidia. I have a 10 year old game that before a patch for dx9 done by 2 displaced former developers on said game would leak memory and die due to changes made to video drivers (and there is literally nothing wrong with the game, the driver programmers, or rather their companies, just don’t care about games using that specific rendering system in that way for that old version of DirectX).

      EULAs exist to protect companies, not specific say in black and white what will happen. It simply spells out the legal responsibilities.

      EDIT: On the license thing, if you go out and buy a physical media copy, you still only own a license.

    • johnpeat says:

      It’s worth noting that you can remove the Steam ‘DRM’ from your games today, if you really want to.

      The 21C version of the NoCD crack – if you like…

      Obviously means no online play but again, online servers for games will mostly be gone before Steam is anyway…

    • Xaromir says:

      With sooner i meant something like “the next 20 years”, but yes they are the most stable service, and i can’t see any serious competition able to establish aside from steam, that’s one of the main reasons why i buy my stuff there.

    • djbriandamage says:

      DrGonzo is correct, of course. Even if you own a physical copy on disk you still don’t own the software – you’re just licensed to use it according to the terms of the End User License Agreement. Digital distribution is just a shorter tether than boxed copies.

    • johnpeat says:

      The only real difference with a boxed copy is the chance to resell it (assuming it’s not just a Steam/MMO Code in a box)

      My copy of Morrowind is long-lost – it’s £13 on Steam so I headed over to eBay where a decent GoTY copy sells for MORE than that!!

      Thing is tho – I could, in theory, resell the physical copy at some point (unlikely after all this time) – wheras the Steam copy is money into a hole.

      That’s the only real difference – all this ‘ownership’ stuff is utter nonsense…

    • djbriandamage says:

      The other difference is that you can loan a boxed game to a friend or family member. I sure do miss the days where my wife and I could each log on to one Steam account and play games at the same time, provided we each played a different game.

    • Emeraude says:

      Even if you own a physical copy on disk you still don’t own the software

      If you want to be painstakingly precise on the matter, NO ONE owns the software. The developers/publishers/artists own the exclusive right to making copies (and granting the right to make copies) of any given execution of an idea. They do not own the idea. They do not own the software. No one is allowed to own ideas.

      Though this is being slowly being renegotiated via intense lobbying at society’s loss right now – for example, among others, by deviously trying to mix licensing and patenting laws, or by blurring the distinction between service and product.

    • Nielk1 says:


      They do not own the idea. They do not own the software. No one is allowed to own ideas.

      Tell that to the US Pattent office, its international lookalikes, and basic copyright law (which really has no place in its application to software because it assumes the mechanical life time of an invention, NOT the electronic)

      Now-A-Days, to survive, you either have to be original, or be a service. For example, if the US Postal ‘Service’ was to improve the service side of their industry, offering robuster change of address systems (and marketing the data to businesses with Customer Relations Systems), package tracking on everything not just the big things quickly and easily, etc, they would be doing great right now.

    • Snakejuice says:

      If Steam would go under and I lost all my Steam games (currently 175) I would never ever again buy a game, I would dedicate the rest of my life to pirate as many games as I could and spread them to as many people as possible.

  10. Dave says:

    Thank you gameFly! If you hadn’t set about destroying D2D i would never have been reminded that i bought Rome Total War from there at some point in the past.

    I shall be embarrassing myself in front of my fathers men in no time.

    • johnpeat says:

      You realise they bought D2D from News International don’t you?

      I mean that’s like Pol Pot buying it from Hitler – who got it from Stalin who bought it from Chairman Mao who in turn took it from Genghis Khan (the sliding scale of slaughter!!)

    • djbriandamage says:

      Damn those communist fascist hippie nazi conservative liberals!!!

  11. obvioustroll says:

    Digital distribution shows it’s true face

  12. vatara says:

    Yet another example of why people use torrents.

    • johnpeat says:

      Because Torrents remain strongly seeded for as long as you need the game?

      or what? :)

    • Nova says:

      No, because someone needs yet another excuse to pirate games.

    • Xaromir says:

      No need to sigh. According to the fat man from Sicromoft he got a point there. Gabe always says how piracy is a service issue, and this isn’t good service at all. It’s a weak point i agree, but obviously SOMEONE sees to think piracy is a better option in this case, even if it is just him.

    • theleif says:

      I for one would not have any qualms about torrenting a game I’ve bought from a download service that closes down, or for any other reason stops me from having access to a game I have bought.

    • Shooop says:

      This actually got me thinking.

      Why hasn’t anyone started using torrents as a product delivery service? Buy a key, get the torrent and download. Probably be much faster and more reliable than current digital download methods.

    • Nielk1 says:


      This actually got me thinking.

      Why hasn’t anyone started using torrents as a product delivery service? Buy a key, get the torrent and download. Probably be much faster and more reliable than current digital download methods.

      Look into the whole “Wings of Prey”, yuPlay, DRM, Steam debacle for a system that uses bit-torrent for distribution. It really, really, isn’t very good, takes forever, etc.

    • TensaiBoy says:

      You can download the humble bundles through torrent. Also for example the Blizzard Downloader uses p2p/torrent tech.
      Some do!

    • InternetBatman says:

      I will say this, GoG has a limited selection of games and Torrents can keep those games alive. It’s ethically murky when the development house is closed, and even murkier when the entity profiting off of the sale of the game is the same publisher that shuttered the studio. The creators don’t make the money, their bankers do.

      On the other hand, when a game is available from GoG, your sale supports GoG which acts as an archive and promoter of lesser known quality games.

      It’s an issue worth serious discussion; to use complete and total hyperbole, were the monks & muslims that copied Aristotle guilty of theft? Luckily enough, I don’t have this issue because I have an amazing thrift store in my neighborhood. I even found O-dium (Gorky 17) there.

    • Deano2099 says:

      vatara has a point, though possibly not the one he thinks he is making. I for one feel a lot better and more comfortable buying from online distributors if I know I can always have access to my games, and the existence of torrents mean that I know that to be true. I spend a lot of money on Steam and some other services. I am concerned by possibly losing these games through a mistake or doing something stupid. But not that concerned as if needs be I can always torrent them.

    • Thants says:

      “Because Torrents remain strongly seeded for as long as you need the game? ”

      Yes, exactly. Whatever else they do, pirates are by far the best archivers of old games that would otherwise be lost.

    • alundra says:


      Exactly, grats for being able to look beyond the face value of things, who is giving the better service?? the company or the pirates??

      And anyone who thinks torrents(p2p)=piracy, stop revolving in your ignorance.

  13. Colthor says:

    It would be useful if they said if the DRM servers would keep going.

    • johnpeat says:

      I’ve been looking into this (with the games I have) and I don’t think the DRM has anything to do with D2D – it’s publisher specific and relates to the title you’ve bought.

      So nothing should change there whatsoever – but that’s just based on my looking at the servers my games are accessing – YMMV

    • Colthor says:

      Somewhat reassuring though, cheers.

  14. Deano2099 says:

    And this is why the “Steam or no sale” attitude exists. Not that I like it, but if this happened to Steam it would affect so many people there would be a huge deal made of it. D2D has so fewer customers it’ll barely make any waves. There is safety in numbers.

    • johnpeat says:

      I buy from Steam first because I love the idea of having a portable digital game library with everything in one place.

      The games I get from other services are simply more throwaway to me because I have to fart-about downloading, installing, validating, patching etc. separately for each one.

      No-one has yet noticed that GameFly are offering a client for downloads and shopping – something I’m surprised hasn’t garnered scorn here – yet…

    • phlebas says:

      And pre-ordering!

    • Carra says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Glad that 95% of my games are on steam.

      I’ll check my D2Drive account to see if I’ll be missing anything.

    • Emeraude says:

      Well, personally, this is why “STEAM means no sale”.

    • Tei says:

      I buy from Steam first, but I secretly want other services to do well. What I really hate is one basket with all the eggs.

    • Zenicetus says:

      For me, the “all eggs in one basket” with Steam is balanced against “my credit card info in just one basket”, instead of sprayed all over the ‘Net. I’ve had my CC info compromised a few times in the past, and while it’s no financial loss, it’s a major PITA to boot up a new card number and re-activate all the existing accounts. Limiting my CC exposure is important to me, and game services are one place where at least I have some discretion in how far to spread that info.

      I only go outside of Steam for specialized games that I really care about, which at this point are just civilian flight sims like X-Plane and Rise of Flight. I’ve had to pass on a few games that I was only moderately interested in, like Crysis 2, but nothing that seemed like a great loss.

      Long-term, I know Steam won’t be around forever. But videogames are harnessed to specific OS platforms and hardware support. So at some point, you can’t revisit older games anyway (unless they’re repackaged and re-sold for a newer OS). I’m content with rolling forward a limited selection of”active” games on a current service like Steam.

  15. Delusibeta says:

    Since GameFly’s website serves no indication that they want to serve anyone outside the US, I might have to consider my puchuses from D2D lost. It could be worse: said purchases were STALKER CoP and SoC, so I might double-dip on the ongoing Steam daily deal for said games.

    And before anyone else points out: I do have my D2D installers backed up on DVD. Somewhere. Not entirely sure where.

    • johnpeat says:

      Yeah I’m wondering about that – GameFly don’t offer their services outside the US, AFAIK!?

    • LTK says:

      It would be an enormous dick move to suddenly shut off the accounts of the numerous gamers on the other side of the ocean (including me). I don’t expect they’ll do that.

      …But I made sure I have my games backed up nevertheless. Can’t be too careful.

  16. Sigh says:

    This year has taught me the pitfalls of digital download services in possibly expensive and annoying ways. First, Stardock sells Impulse to GameStop…a company I loathe due to my in-store experiences. I know many people assess this stance as petty and ridiculous, but I vowed to never buy from GameStop several years ago so I promptly removed Impulse and essentially volunteered to lose all of my games tied to that service like GalCiv II and Sins Trinity. I just couldn’t allow GameStop to manage a service that forces itself to autostart at boot if you elect to run it manually at any time.

    Then the GOG stunt.

    Now this fiasco which is certainly the worst of the lot. I have purchased more games than I care to think about on D2D and I have the possibility of losing some or not having immediate access to some after this transition if I don’t download and archive everything (not to mention wondering about DRM) by the new year. Yeah that is just how I wanted to spend my Christmas break. Well it looks like one more digital distribution platform that i won’t be purchasing from anymore; another strike off the list.

    Well I guess that I still have Steam and GamersGate (and I suppose GOG). I hope that they can remain fiscally stable and responsibly committed to their customers. Theoretically, I know that I shouldn’t treat these platforms as online storage systems for my games but for fuck’s sake it is almost 2012. I would like to think that we are moving away from needing to keep stacks of archival discs and cases of HD’s with multiple instances of archived executables and installer packages and backup copies of video games. Yes, when I buy a game from a digital distribution platform I am buying into the idea that I can download install play delete … download install play delete … in perpetuity and ALWAYS retain access to all of my games and content. Perhaps companies should start developing, supporting, and executing contingency plans for continued access in the event of their closure and then publicizing them. Hell I am at an age where I don’t really care about keeping redundant archival copies of games, because if all of the platforms close shop and shut down access to downloads I will just walk away from PC gaming forever.

    I think this is an issue that will come the forefront of PC gamer’s consciousness in the coming years. A couple of years ago when most of us only had a handful of games tied to a digital platform we would barely blink and eye if they closed shop. Now after years of Steam sales, aggressive competition, long-tail price cuts, and other offers many of us have hundreds of games and thousands of dollars tied to at least one but perhaps many distributor/platforms. 2011 saw the selling/takeover of at least 2 notable platforms (Impules & D2D), the fake closure of another (GOG), publisher conflicts (EA & Valve/Steam &c.), and a whole slew of cracker attacks and data compromising events (Steam, PSN, etc.).

    I predict a huge escalation of discussion surrounding all of these issues and i hope RPS leads the way…because like it or not I am locked in for the long run.

    • johnpeat says:

      What, exactly, was bad about the Gog ‘stunt’ (assuming it was real and not just a shit PR idea)??

      Where did they promise you downloads into perpetuity – why would you believe that as it’s impossible to do and what was wrong with them giving you a huge window to get any files you’d not already downloaded onto your PC?

      Most of the people who were horrified by the GoG thing were being ridiculously anal IMO – complaining because they could and not because they needed to.

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      And if you think about it, it is part of todays’ mentality. I mean, all sorts of things exist where you rely on access to the internet and to a certain website. E-mail, for instance. Facebook or other social media. Cloud servers.

      People expect services like these to be reliable and DO rely on them. I do, too. And I think I ought to be able to, as well.

    • Sigh says:


      That is just the thing. I am not saying that the GOG thing is objectively bad, but it is fraught. In fact I don’t think any digital distribution platform makes an explicit promise that a customer will have access to their content in perpetuity. Though I would suggest that many end-users believe that is an implicit arrangement or that it is subtly implied. Will we have legal recourse if Valve/Steam folds for instance? Probably not, but the events of 2011 are really starting to raise questions about this business model. I love how whenever something like this happens a lot of users express concerns and fears and then a minority of forum posters respond with snide remarks like “You should have backed up and archived your games on multiple discs and external hard drives and then buried them in a safe in your backyard and then hired an armed security consultant to analyze your situation and stand guard on the archival site…fool.”

      Should I back up archival copies of my games on multiple devices and media? Absolutely. Will I? Probably not. I am a little bit older now and have a family and two jobs. Gaming has shifted to a minority position in my life and I rely on the convenience of being able to re-download games on a whim and then delete them from my HDD to retain precious space. I am not going to spend what little gaming time I have trying to work out complicated contingency plans… I would rather be gaming and I imagine a lot of people are in my predicament or share my outlook. What I said in my initial post was true. If we arrive at a point in the future where I can’t rely on continued access to my games, essentially when I can’t treat Steam, GOG, Origin and GamersGate as online storage systems I will fold my hand at that point and leave gaming to its own devices forever. It is not a threat it is just my situation. I don’t want to spend considerable time, money, and hardware just so that I can 100% guarantee access to something like Batman: Arkham Asylum for all eternity. I am hoping that my initial purchase will give me the longevity of access that I desire. I know its a gambit and I hope the top tier platforms do not disappoint.

  17. Shooop says:

    And after all this they still won’t offer PC game rentals.

  18. Craig Stern says:

    This might be a little too technical to ask here, but is this a merger or an asset purchase? (It matters in terms of what Gamefly is legally responsible for vis-a-vis Direct2Drive.)

  19. Vinraith says:

    And this, kids, is why you always keep good backups of your digital purchases. Any digital product is ephemeral, and can disappear at any time.

    There’s a reason I still buy retail boxes in those rare instances where 1) I can get them and 2) the DRM doesn’t just tie the game back to an online service that might disappear at any time anyway.

    • Zenicetus says:

      That makes sense, although with publishers increasingly relying on phoning home for validation on each game launch, it can really limit one’s choices. I’m looking at my current active game list, and only a very small number would work in standalone mode, like X-Plane 9 that only needs a disk check.

      There is also the problem of launching a boxed copy in the future and not having access to all the patches if the game dev or publisher has gone belly up. Sometimes fan sites will retain patches, but not always. And of course, even a boxed copy doesn’t guarantee a re-install under future OS versions you may be running (looks over at a pile of game boxes that won’t run under Win 7).

      I’m sympathetic to the idea of maintaining a collection of “owned” games, regardless of the license legalities, but there are practical limits to how far you can go. I’m a lot more worried about what’s happening in the book publishing industry, which is moving fast and hard into DRM’d digital distribution. A physical book is still something I want to keep a copy of, and use “forever.” Games, not so much.

  20. alundra says:

    Let this be a lesson for people paying $60 for digital delivery releases and/or preaching that this and the cloud are the future of gaming industry.

    To use the words of the industry shillers, “be thankful” they plan to have as many game files as possible available on GameFly.

  21. cliffski says:

    of course, when you buy games direct from the developer, none of this sort of thing ever need bother you ever. Plus unlimited downloads (in my case) format shifting (again, in my case) and no need for a ‘client’ to run your games.

    • LTK says:

      Direct2drive doesn’t have a client you need to be running in order to play the game. They do mention that downloading and installing is going to require a gamefly client, which is a damn shame because they previously allowed you to download the entire thing in your browser. But I see nothing about requiring a running client in order to play.

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Actually any right minded person would be MORE worried about this with indie games as you’re 10x more likely to not be able to do it at some point in the future.

  22. Sigh says:

    Wow just look at the snide shrewish comments rolling in.

    And this kids is why…

    Let this be a lesson…

    It’s just like my Grandmother waving her finger at me only digitally and lacking archival copies.

    May the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, Future be visited upon the lot of you.

    • Vinraith says:

      How is this not an object lesson in treating digital purchases like the ephemeral wisps of electrons they really are? How is this not an example of the importance of good back ups? It’s not even a particularly harmful one, because at least in this case everyone has fair warning. The next time something like this happens we may not be forewarned, so it’s actually a good thing for all of us to be reminded to keep our digital purchases in order in such a comparatively gentle way.

    • Sigh says:

      I think that everyone whom received said email got the lesson quite clearly. Thanks for signing in to give an additional “Tsk Tsk” though.

      It’s sort of telling someone they should have been more careful with their drink when the are already on their hands and knees cleaning up the broken shards and spill.


      EDIT: I realize I am sounding more sarcastic than I mean to here. As you can surmise from my posts above I am personally conflicted about my own stance on this issue and I write about at length in a slightly incoherent rambling style. Essentially I keep “learning” the lesson but stubbornly refuse to alter my convenient ways.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Vinraith and I have had a few heated debates in the past… so….

      In my opinion, he’s the person making absolutely the most sense here today. I could reiterate his points, but he’s already made them perfectly.

    • Vinraith says:

      For what it’s worth that “tsk tsk” was mostly self-directed. Every time I start to get lax about these things the industry gives me a sharp kick in the ass and reminds me why it’s important. Personally I wish none of it was necessary, I think it’s pretty crappy that a hobby that is supposed to be entertaining is complicated by situations like this, where people stand to lose substantial investments through no fault of their own. At least with discs, if I lost them or damaged them, it was my own damned fault.

    • alundra says:


      Well, I hope you learned your lesson!! Ya hear me sonny?

    • Sigh says:

      Fair enough.

      Happy New Year!

  23. LTK says:

    Back when I was trying to buy Serious Sam 3 I noticed that some things had changed for D2D. Firstly, the dedicated support site, using a different account than your purchase account, was gone. This was a bad sign, I thought. And indeed, I was suddenly unable to pay for my games, needing some non-functional phone authorization. I was starting to get very close on missing out on the black friday discount for Serious Sam.

    But then I sent a message to support using the new Gamefly submit form, and they got back to me via e-mail almost immediately, cleared up the phone authorization requirement, and let me buy Serious Sam 3 with the discount. That turned out much better than expected.

    The most important reasons I buy my games at D2D is because of the price first, and convenience second. It’s one of the few digital distribution sites that charge me the UK price (much more reasonable than Steam’s euros) and let me download games directly through the browser, and I never have to deal with regional restrictions. If those things are going to change, then I’ll take my business elsewhere.

  24. vecordae says:

    I feel for those who may be losing some games due to all of this. Snag what you can, mates. Pay no mind to the sarcasm.

  25. MonolithicTentacledAbomination says:

    I am so deep in discounted PC games I’ve picked up over the last two or three years that I can’t even recall exactly which games I own on D2D, and it follows that I wouldn’t care too much if their servers disappeared off the face of the earth. I don’t think I have anything over there that isn’t available on Steam, and that I would mind paying the appx. $5 more to repurchase. I have a hard time getting worked up about losing something that cost me about the price of my morning coffee, especially when I’ve already made use of it for a few hours of entertainment. I lost action figures and Nerf footballs of more personal value than my D2D copies of Sacred 2 or Chronicles of Riddick.

    To anyone who is hot and bothered by this news, I would recommend backing up your purchases to local storage somewhere.

  26. Weylund The Second says:

    Eek. I’ve got about 20 games on there. I do have archival copies of most of them, but a few of the newer ones I hadn’t gotten around to downloading yet. Which means I’ve got a download weekend coming up, I suppose.

    This… is pretty lame. D2D’s owners get paid, and their customers lose some of their legitimate purchases, seems to be the upshot.

  27. Navagon says:

    And there was me hoping that it being freed from Rupert Murdoch’s clutches was a good thing.

  28. Snuffy the Evil says:

    I’ve bought a few games from D2D, but because of IGN’s habit of swallowing various other services all of my purchases are spread over several different accounts. I contacted D2D just a few days ago to see if I could get all of those added to my active account and be done with it, but the Gamefly support just gave me a canned response and never replied back when I wanted a more concrete solution. In addition, I had to download Crysis 2 five times before I got file that wasn’t corrupt.

    In short, Gamefly has already left a sour taste in my mouth and I don’t think I’ll be buying anything else from them. Fortunately I still have all of my CD keys saved in various places so I can download my games from wherever.

  29. Zaboomafoozarg says:

    gf, wasn’t close

  30. satsui says:

    Interesting… two services I refuse to use joining up.

    Just an fyi, is an alternative to Gamefly and I loved (no longer subscribe due to lack of time) their selection and pricing. Direct2Drive, well there are too many alternatives to mention.

  31. INCA says:

    Greetings from the Hawai’ian archipelago.
    I too received the D2D e-mail. The last game I bought from them was Dragon Age Origins Ultimate Edition on Christmas Eve last year. I’d been with them since November 2009, the first digital purchase game purchase was at Direct2Drive, it was ‘The Void’. I knew it was possible that someday Direct2Drive might get bought out. Never imagined so soon. Anyhow, the past week I downloaded all 74 games I had bought there since 2009. I previously downloaded Assassin’s Creed Director’s Cut in early 2010 so had a hardcopy. I forgot I’d done that and redownloaded it (hah). But I think I might keep it as the new downloaded one has a different file size. So I successfully backed up my collection to an 1 TB external harddrive. I stopped burning CDs/DVDs as most of them are now showing signs of physical corruption because of the weather.

    Unless Gamefly can replicate the good experience I had with Direct2Drive I will not be using Gamefly.
    I still have GamersGate, GOG, Telltale, Humble Indie and STEAM.

    I was VERY averse to STEAM for a very long time (since Half-Life 2 was launched) and finally tried it in the last weeks of 2009. I have no regrets, it gave me the opportunity to break away from hoarding physical games in pretty boxes, saved on physical space and I feel a lot less guilty because of the change. Why did I need so many boxes? Less clutter, the better.

    I’m just hanging on to the ones that have no digital equivalent (ie Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear- Black Thorn)
    Now to sell my unopened physical copies from over the years.

    Merry New Year everyone, I just joined today but have lurked since early 2010 :o]

  32. Claremonster says:

    Sweet, just noticed 9/15 of my d2d games are gone. And no email or anything. GJ Gamefly!