Er, Australia: GoG Drops Geo IP Check
We can bring you news that Good Old Games definitely haven't changed their geo-locating policies in order to get around the Australian censoring or price hikes of The Witcher 2. Under no circumstances have the changes announced last night, that mean customers' IPs will are no longer tracked when making purchases, anything to do with letting Oz, and perhaps even American gamers get full access to the game.
Good Old Games sent out a press release last night that made it absolutely clear that the reasons for this change, which means customers can choose their own geographic location when purchasing, was because of gamers who are travelling abroad, or simply having their IP report incorrect locations. And those are absolutely the only reasons. As the Managing Director, Guillaume Rambourg, explains,
"GOG.com has always been about trusting the user. We’ve come to the conclusion that there are a number of issues with using a customer’s IP address to determine what offer they are being presented with from GOG.com. A good number of users can find themselves negatively impacted by a policy of using geo IP to set their region."
And that's the reason they've done this. And it's definitely not because The Witcher 2 has been censored in Australia by the lunatic Australian system where no game can be rated over 15. Definitely.
Rambourg continues, not mentioning Australia because it's nothing to do with that:
"For example, customers may be travelling when they want to purchase or download a game from GOG.com. In this case, automatic IP address capture might change the price or the content of the game they’re ordering (such as the default language of the installer). Further, geo IP data collection is not always right. IP addresses are not a perfect or unique identifier of location, and can report the incorrect region of users, particularly ones who are not using standard Internet connections. Finally, we’re always very sensitive of our users’ privacy. Effective privacy protections for our users means that any data that we don’t need to collect, we shouldn’t. We only need to know the country that you’re making this purchase from, so although we originally planned to use geo-IP to determine user’s location, we’ve decided to trust our users and let them inform us as to the correct region for their purchase."
It's great that GoG are employing trust in their customers this way, because it means they know that no one in Australia would ever dream of breaking this bond by using the lack of IP geo-tracking to purchase a game that's been censored by their country's government. It's arguably a big risk they've taken, but I'm sure that not a single Aussie will let them down in this way, by taking advantage of the honour system by entering another country as their location when pre-ordering or purchasing the DRM-free version of the game from www.gog.com.