Seeing as DRM is a real barrier to the preservation of our cultural history, it’s only fitting that the dead-language-translating archaeology ’em up Heaven’s Vault is now sold on GOG too. The virtual vendors of vintage (and virgin) video games had originally rejected Heaven’s Vault and declined to stock it, but this week chucked a uey and admitted they were wrong. If you want it DRM-free, get at it. GOG’s curation is baffling but hey, here’s another good game now on their store.
“With Heaven’s Vault we’ve changed our mind after checking the final game, how it was perceived by gamers, and receiving numerous requests from our users suggesting to release it,” GOG global communications manager Marcin Traczyk said in yesterday’s announcement.
“We then reached out to the developers with a proposal to release their game on GOG.com simply because we believe that its high quality and unique character deserves to be recognised and shared with our audience.”
That’s about what GOG said after a similar about-turn with Opus Magnum in 2018, which they initially rejected despite it looking amazing at even the briefest of glances. It’d make more sense if they didn’t stock so many worse games.
GOG proudly boast about their curation as a core feature, mentioning it in the same breath as not using DRM, and I do understand that many people prefer curated stores. Unfortunately, GOG’s curation is weird and/or bad. The store was founded as Good Old Games but has always focused more on the Old than the Good, prizing nostalgia above all. GOG have chosen to stock plenty of not-Good games whose main quality appears to be reminding ageing customers of 90s PC gaming. Bombshell springs to mind as some classic GOG curation. While they do want the Good as well as the Old, their eye for Good is far worse. Curating a vision can be a wonderful thing, and I’d like to see more of that, but unfocused curation means little. I could not tell you the vision or criteria of GOG’s curation, only that its results are middling.
For more on the game, see our Heaven’s Vault review.