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GOG.com closes down

GOG.com closes down

Good Old Games, or GOG.com, has shut up shop in a surprise announcement.

In a surprise Sunday announcement, Good Old Games has been shut down by Polish publisher CD Projekt.

Good Old Games, or GOG.com, was an online store which specialised in selling retro games which had been patched up to run on modern systems for a nominal fee. Titles ranged from Gabriel Knight to Outcast, all of which were available for less than $9.99 USD.

CD Projekt, which is also the publisher of The Witcher series of games, hasn't given a reason for the surprise closure but tweets from staff suggest that the lack of DRM was making it difficult to please developers and publishers.

Good Old Games had been running for two years and, while it's unclear if the store will later re-emerge in a new form, CD Projekt has said that it has "decided that GOG.com simply cannot remain in its current form", according to a statement on the site.

"This doesn't mean the idea behind GOG.com is gone forever. We're closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await."

If you've bought games from GOG.com in the past, then fear not. The GOG team promises to have a system online soon that will allow customers to redownload their titles.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

UPDATE: It's rumoured that the 'closure' of GOG.com is merely a marketing stunt, intended to mark the move of Good Old Games from it's two-year long beta into full release. According to rumours the new system that CD Projekt is planning to bring about is a standalone client. We've contacted GOG for comment and will update further as we can.

UPDATE: CD Projekt's official position is that it will have more to say later today. The publisher has also confirmed that Good Old Games has not been totally shut down and that work is on-going.

[i]Thanks to DragonuvHUV for the tip!

57 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Krikkit 19th September 2010, 19:01 Quote
A shame, no doubt, but their prices were always just a fraction too high for me to get my wallet out. If they were that little bit cheaper I can't help but wonder if they'd have lasted.
DragunovHUN 19th September 2010, 19:04 Quote
I don't think their prices were too high at all. I think i got the Earth 2150 trilogy and Duke Nukem: Manhattan Project for 5 bucks each.
chrism_scotland 19th September 2010, 19:12 Quote
Wow was just browsing on there an hour or two ago, wish I'd bought some stuff!
AstralWanderer 19th September 2010, 19:17 Quote
A very sad occasion - I always kept an eye out for their specials (which typically offered discounts in the 30-60% range) and purchased a couple of dozen games.

However everyone who purchased from them can still install and play the games downloaded (and they have stated they'll provide a means for people to re-download) whereas with any other digital distribution site people would have lost their entire collection.
[ZiiP] NaloaC 19th September 2010, 19:40 Quote
I got the girlfriend Evil Genius from there last week and was just logging into it to get myself a copy of Cannon Fodder :(

*sniff*
eVoPhantom 19th September 2010, 20:10 Quote
Sad and very surprising. Hope it does return, disappointing if it truly was related to lack of DRM. Would have thought publishers would just be pleased to see old titles selling.
BioSniper 19th September 2010, 20:12 Quote
Ah that's a terrible shame. Integration with something like Steam however here would probably be optimal though..
Pleases the developers/publishers and probably most players too :)
Apoptosis 19th September 2010, 20:18 Quote
When will this cancer of DRM be done away with?
Hustler 19th September 2010, 20:18 Quote
"the lack of DRM was making it difficult to please developers and publishers"


What a completely dumb attitude by them.....games which most people could find and download anyway for free if you do a bit of searching.....

But oh no, the usual suspect greedy gits (publishers more than the original devs, i bet), would rather not earn a few quid for out of print games, than see a DRM free product available to those who were willing to pay, out of respect to those devs in the first place....
enciem 19th September 2010, 20:25 Quote
I like the idea of steam integration, good one. These slightly modified games would be better than the best of megadrive collections that omit just about all the best megadrive games
Hardware150 19th September 2010, 20:28 Quote
damn just went on there to browse then saw it was down, then noticed this thread, R.I.P. GoG, come back soon please D:
Zurechial 19th September 2010, 20:30 Quote
That's extremely disappointing, I've been with GOG since very early in the Beta and I've bought a lot of games from them because I really liked the whole concept and the way they handled the sales and downloads. The 'extras' like Soundtracks and so on that came with the games also made their offers more appealing than Steam for the same games.

I think GOG's biggest problem though was that it lost its way somewhere along the path. Instead of being GOODOldGames.com, it was SomeGOODOldGamesAndLotsOfBargainBinShite.com.
They took on far too many games from their partner publishers that weren't good back when they were released, nevermind in 2009/2010.

The original Beta showed boxcovers for Planescape Torment and a few other games that people would've snapped up had they been patched up to work with XP/Vista/7 but some of those promised titles never materialised on the store and instead we got some gems (like the Fallout series and Outcast) and lots of the kind of absolute drivel that has infested the 'PC-CDROM' shelves in EB, Game and HMV for years already, that only uninformed family members by their cringing pc-gamer relative for christmas.

I can't completely blame GOG.com for that, as they were reliant on the publishers to give them the deals they needed, but I can't help but think that the site's original vision was lost somewhere along the way and that the bargain bin crap didn't do them any favours when approaching other publishers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
Ah that's a terrible shame. Integration with something like Steam however here would probably be optimal though..
Pleases the developers/publishers and probably most players too :)

I couldn't see that happening. They were competing directly with Steam an even making jokes at Steam's expense with some of their offers. The whole point of GOG.com was that it was a DRM-free, gamer-centric (rather than publisher-centric) store as an alternative to the supposedly-draconian evils of Steam and Impulse.
I personally find Steam okay, but GOG's DRM-free releases were fantastic and I always tried to buy from GOG rather than Steam in the case of a game that was on both.
AstralWanderer 19th September 2010, 20:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BioSniper
...Integration with something like Steam however here would probably be optimal though..
Gah! Wash your mouth out with soap and water! ;)

GOG's main strength was that it wasn't Steam - no DRM, no prospect of your games collection being held to ransom via a regular fee, no requirement for regular Internet connections and no licence key/media check hassles to deal with. In short, nothing to sabotage or interrupt your ability to install and play wherever (and whenever) you wanted.

As for the quality - yes some dubious stuff came through but there were also some gems (King's Bounty: The Legend). Their closing message seems to suggest publisher problems but they were getting new signups (1C Publishing and Triumph Games). I suspect we'll have to wait and see to find out the real reasons.
DragunovHUN 19th September 2010, 20:46 Quote
Uhh thanks for the shoutout Joe but could you get my name right? :P
GravitySmacked 19th September 2010, 21:16 Quote
What a shame, it was an excellent site.
pbryanw 19th September 2010, 21:17 Quote
A bit more positive post found on Destructoid:
http://www.destructoid.com/gog-com-is-down-don-t-panic-it-s-not-forever-184350.phtml
Quote:
it appears that GOG.com isn't gone at all according to PR guy, Tom Ohle, who responded to Destructoid with, "As the message on the site says, this doesn't mean GOG is gone :). We'll have more to share in the coming days."
I still have to buy Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura - they can't close now :( ;)
CardJoe 19th September 2010, 21:37 Quote
I've updated this post to reflect the most recent rumours - that this is a marketing stunt intended to mark the move of GOG from beta into a full, standalone client.
Blademrk 19th September 2010, 21:42 Quote
Gutting, I really wanted to get Raptor: Call of the Shadows from them too.
GravitySmacked 19th September 2010, 21:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
I've updated this post to reflect the most recent rumours - that this is a marketing stunt intended to mark the move of GOG from beta into a full, standalone client.

I do hope that is true. GoG always seemed very successful and the current 'closure' has come out of the blue considering they were mailing me offers only a few days ago.

It's a great site executed extremely well and it's loss would be a sad one.
Gunsmith 19th September 2010, 22:02 Quote
news over at RPS suggests that emails between RPS and GOG indicate something is afoot behind the scenes, its not dead as such but everything is pointing to a relaunch.
DragunovHUN 19th September 2010, 22:24 Quote
Makes sense if you consider the wording of their statement. Or maybe we're all just being hopeful.
Blademrk 19th September 2010, 22:36 Quote
re-reading the post on GOG.com, it is cunningly worded.

The context implies that it has bit the dust but it doesn't actually go as far as saying that it has closed it's doors...
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOG.Com
We have recently had to give serious thought to whether we could really keep GOG.com the way it is. We've debated on it for quite some time and, unfortunately, we've decided that GOG.com simply cannot remain in its current form.

We're very grateful for all support we've received from all of you in the past two years. Working on GOG.com was a great adventure for all of us and an unforgettable journey to the past, through the long and wonderful history of PC gaming.

This doesn't mean the idea behind GOG.com is gone forever. We're closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await.

On a technical note, this week we'll put in place a solution to allow everyone to re-download their games.
PhoenixTank 19th September 2010, 22:44 Quote
I'm hoping there is something to the "marketing stunt" rumour. Seems odd that they would use MS frontpage to make a quick and nasty page to display, yet care enough to add Google Analytics to it.
Zurechial 19th September 2010, 23:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
I've updated this post to reflect the most recent rumours - that this is a marketing stunt intended to mark the move of GOG from beta into a full, standalone client.

Those gits.
javaman 19th September 2010, 23:45 Quote
Ive never heard of this store before =D hopefully it isn't closing.
Blademrk 20th September 2010, 00:45 Quote
Just read another post on Facebook linking to a post on another forum which says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stop It (Neogaf)
This'll be my last post here as frankly, you guys are all obsessed with the idea of this being a stunt that you can't see how ****** up this situation really is.

Link

I'll post this again, as the trading value (Market Cap) has been ignored (even by me) up until now. According to this, Optimus (Who own CDP I can say with utmost certainty now), have a market value of less than $6million. Even with the recent lift in their share price this company is utterly worthless. The reason? Before they bought CDP, Optimus racked up some serious debt, and took on even more to buy CDP, this has left them in a major hole financially.

As stated above, last week Optimus sold 3.5million shares and has tried to re-jig the company to transfer their debt to something less unstable, this has triggered an EGM (For this Wednesday) which on it's own, would be unexciting. However, someone appears to have bought all the shares in one block and are using their new power to force Optimus to change their company strategy. This investor is at the moment, unknown but will be revealed at the company EGM.

My opinion is that this mystery investor has called for GOG to be totally changed, possibly to have DRM introduced and to change their business model completely. This leads me to believe the investor is a publisher, but I am not sure who, but there are signs that MAY be pointing to Atari SA, CD Projekt's long term publisher partner in Europe.

so who knows what's going on, guess we'll find out tomorrow
leveller 20th September 2010, 09:28 Quote
It's clear from the message left on GoG.com that the team are focusing on something else to announced soon.

I would hope (and 99% absolutely doubt) that Valve would have invested in GoG because the team behind GoG are fantastically talented guys and Steam would be the best outlet for them.
the-beast 20th September 2010, 09:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
I would hope (and 99% absolutely doubt) that Valve would have invested in GoG because the team behind GOG are fantastically talented guys and Steam would be the best outlet for them.

For me GOG's main strengths were that they were NOT Steam. I bought several older games from them because:

1. I missed them the first time round
2. There were DRM free (i.e. they did NOT require any form of crappy activation or Internet access)
3. They were reasonably cheap (Very cheap if you could get them in the sale)
4. Web based store. So no crappy standalone client
5. I could download them on a computer with an internet connection and then install them on an off-line computer

P.S. @AstralWanderer - Just noticed you wrote pretty much the same thing.

Not a happy bunny at the minute as I had about 10 games on my wish list I was planning to get over the coming months since most new games require activation and I refuse to buy them :(
leveller 20th September 2010, 10:01 Quote
GoG (as it was) only had one strength, and that was good old games.
Xir 20th September 2010, 10:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
5. I could download them on a computer with an internet connection and then install them on an off-line computer

Correct, their biggest plus.

Got some games from there.
But also, the game selection available was very mediocre, most of the advertised games and packs were filled with....not so good, but very old games :D
the-beast 20th September 2010, 10:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
But also, the game selection available was very mediocre, most of the advertised games and packs were filled with....not so good, but very old games :D

One persons treasure is another persons crap. ;)

Having said that there were a lot of rubbish games and some months releases looked like the site was more like COG (Crap Old Games). Same as every others retailers stock line really, Still there were some great games.

Makes me even sadder that I missed the recent Apogee promotion when their payment system was down. They did extend the promotion for a day but my connection was down on that day. :(
Unknownsock 20th September 2010, 10:41 Quote
But but but but.

What does DRM actually do? Seriously.
steveo_mcg 20th September 2010, 11:03 Quote
I was under the impression that steam DRM didn't apply to older games.
AstralWanderer 20th September 2010, 11:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
P.S. @AstralWanderer - Just noticed you wrote pretty much the same thing.
Great minds think alike. :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
Not a happy bunny at the minute as I had about 10 games on my wish list I was planning to get over the coming months since most new games require activation and I refuse to buy them :(
I feel your pain there, having found that Civ 5 requires Steam so I'll be boycotting that. But then think of all the hassle you'll avoid in future due to spurious account suspensions or Valve getting greedy and imposing a fee to keep accounts open.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknownsock
What does DRM actually do? Seriously.
It denies you access to the content you purchased. Examples involving Steam here and here - plenty of others around too.
dangerman1337 20th September 2010, 11:42 Quote
I seen some posts on NeoGAF saying that this is actually a stunt in a way (i think the poster was AdrianWerner i think?), and said poster saw this on a Polish Bussiness site somewhere IIRC.
the-beast 20th September 2010, 11:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
But then think of all the hassle you'll avoid in future due to spurious account suspensions or Valve getting greedy and imposing a fee to keep accounts open.

At least with GOG I kept a backup of the installers and can install and play the games any time I want, unlike if Steam went down at which point the games would not be able to contact the activation server and even if it could I would not be able to patch them.
Blademrk 20th September 2010, 14:28 Quote
Edit: Ignore, posted in wrong thread
Evildead666 20th September 2010, 14:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
I was under the impression that steam DRM didn't apply to older games.

Thats what I thought also. not all games on steam are DRM ridden, and most can be played in an offline mode.
reinstalling on another machine, in a stand alone format, isn't possible though.
DragunovHUN 20th September 2010, 19:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
Uhh thanks for the shoutout Joe but could you get my name right? :P

Nice try but still not quite there, maybe you should have copy-pasted it:D
Canon 20th September 2010, 19:18 Quote
Blasphemy, thou shalt not miss - spell the Dragunov, such a beautiful piece of kit...

Sorry, day dreaming again.
Xir 20th September 2010, 21:16 Quote
Hmmm, talking about GOG and Steam...
Does anyone know where I can buy a copy of KOTOR2?
Steam surely doesn't have it. GOG didn't...
Sloth 20th September 2010, 22:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer

However everyone who purchased from them can still install and play the games downloaded (and they have stated they'll provide a means for people to re-download) whereas with any other digital distribution site people would have lost their entire collection.
How many other digital distribution sites have gone down? What's to stop Direct2Drive or Steam from offering the same re-download feature should either one close its doors? :| Steam could effectively run in offline mode forever once you've downloaded and activated your games.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
But then think of all the hassle you'll avoid in future due to spurious account suspensions or Valve getting greedy and imposing a fee to keep accounts open.
It denies you access to the content you purchased. Examples involving Steam here and here - plenty of others around too.
You're just a paranoid one aren't you? Steam has been growing exponentially in its current state and already provides an good deal of profit for Valve because it's free. It's completely against the Steam business model to charge a fee. One only has to look at Portal and Alien Swarm: games given away for free only to spread Steam because it's free! There's no downside to simply having a Steam account and not using it. It allows it to spread to all markets. Charging a fee means that very few additional accounts would be activated and many existing ones would cancel. It leaves Direct2Drive poised to take over.

DRM's purpose is also to keep games from spreading across torrent sites like STDs at a frat house. It's no coincidence that DRM free games are as easy to pirate as typing "Age of Empires II torrent" into your search engine of choice and following the instructions on a simple text file. Compare that to the difficulty or impossibility of pirating games with DRM. One has to understand that just because good people like yourself buy these old games doesn't mean that someone else won't take it and throw it on a torrent site for the world to pirate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evildead666
Thats what I thought also. not all games on steam are DRM ridden, and most can be played in an offline mode.
reinstalling on another machine, in a stand alone format, isn't possible though.
Shhh, we don't speak of offline mode. It implies that Steam isn't Ubisoft's always-on DRM. We can't have people thinking that now can we?
runadumb 21st September 2010, 00:36 Quote
I just bought Duke Nukem 3D from there last week, my first purchase. Lets see if this is a stunt and it will return client based. By the way Duke is still a very fun game, really enjoyed playing through it...oh after installing Eduke. Seriously how did we ever play game with those controls back then?
DragunovHUN 21st September 2010, 01:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
impossibility of pirating games

LOL
Sloth 21st September 2010, 01:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DragunovHUN
LOL
There are a rare few. Or at least, ones which don't work correctly/entirely when pirated. And of course, many games with multiplayer features cannot be pirated at all, that's due to the nature of multiplayer games often requiring an account to connect to the publisher's servers. How many people play BFBC2 online with a pirated copy? Yet even that is a form of DRM. Stat tracking could be client side entirely and the game would still function the same, but aside from being full of hackers, there would also be pirates galore. And yes, the main server can go down and lock people out of playing. But of course, no one will complain about that as DRM. It's not as visible as Steam or Ubisoft's godawful method.
leveller 21st September 2010, 07:28 Quote
Had a little thought this morning.

Maybe it's just a name change. Good OLD Games gives a limited variety of in-store content. A name change would broaden appeal and content.
AstralWanderer 21st September 2010, 08:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
How many other digital distribution sites have gone down? What's to stop Direct2Drive or Steam from offering the same re-download feature should either one close its doors? :|
In the case of D2D or Steam, they would have to remove their DRM first (which would mean at the very least recompiling every item in their catalogues) so if events forced them to close suddenly, users would very likely be left in the lurch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Steam could effectively run in offline mode forever once you've downloaded and activated your games.
Um, no it can't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Steam has been growing exponentially in its current state and already provides an good deal of profit for Valve because it's free. It's completely against the Steam business model to charge a fee. One only has to look at Portal and Alien Swarm: games given away for free only to spread Steam because it's free!
Doesn't the term "loss leader" mean anything? Giving away freebies makes sense to a business if the cost can be recouped later down the later - that makes the "giveaway" an "investment". That's why Steamworks is made available free also - Valve is a business, not a charity so they clearly see a longer-term benefit, which can be guaranteed by imposing a subscription charge on accounts in future. That isn't paranoia - that's plain business sense.

If you don't believe this, then just look at the Steam Subscriber Agreement section 4B: "Valve reserves the right to change our fees or billing methods at any time and Valve will provide notice of any such change at least thirty (30) days advance." - for a system where you pay in advance for games, that section has no purpose other than to open the way for a future subscription.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
Charging a fee means that very few additional accounts would be activated and many existing ones would cancel.
You'd see a reduction in new accounts I'd agree (so it won't happen until Valve feels Steam has reached near-maximum size) but existing users can't cancel without losing their existing collection. Now how likely do you think someone with £200+ tied up would be prepared to lose that over, say, a £20-30/year fee? That fee would give Valve an extra income of £500-600 million will little to no extra effort on their part.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
It leaves Direct2Drive poised to take over.
Except the same situation applies with them, they could impose a similar fee as could Gamersgate or Impulse. Any system where multiple games are tied to a single account is subject to that same possibility - whereas single-game/account systems like SecuROM online are not (if they tried imposing a fee they'd have almost no ability to stop users walking away).

In addition, Valve could use the extra income generated from subscriptions to buy-in more "exclusives", marginalising their competitors further.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
DRM's purpose is also to keep games from spreading across torrent sites like STDs at a frat house. It's no coincidence that DRM free games are as easy to pirate as typing "Age of Empires II torrent" into your search engine of choice and following the instructions on a simple text file. Compare that to the difficulty or impossibility of pirating games with DRM.
Sounds like a games publisher speaking. :D No seriously, much time did you take to verify this? No torrents currently exist for GOG games whereas pretty much any DRM-ed offering (Spore, Empire - Total War, Half Life 2, even Civilization V) has multiple offerings listed. On that basis, DRM seems to encourage piracy because the pirated product offers a better user experience.
impar 21st September 2010, 10:25 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
No torrents currently exist for GOG games...

You dont mind losing credibility, AstralWanderer?

PS:
http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/2249/gogseptember20087534050.jpg
All of the above games are available "elsewhere".
AstralWanderer 21st September 2010, 10:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
You dont mind losing credibility, AstralWanderer?
Try this if you really want to check - but you'll find the links going to unrelated webpages (like the 1954 sci-fi film Gog) or to sites advertising "private, high speed" downloads with no working torrents.

This could change quickly if Gog stays down though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
All of the above games are available "elsewhere".
Of course! Before Gog, you would have had to use "unofficial" channels. But the GOG versions haven't been made available to the same extent.
impar 21st September 2010, 11:53 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
Of course! Before Gog, you would have had to use "unofficial" channels. But the GOG versions haven't been made available to the same extent.
Because no freeloader cares about GOG versions.
The game is available, thats all they want.
Xir 21st September 2010, 12:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Because no freeloader cares about GOG versions.
The game is available, thats all they want.

Still astonishing though, as the GOG variants are more hassle free.

I liked the Idea, "here's the Installer that runs on modern OS, do with it what you like" but they don't turn up (too openly) on torrents?
impar 21st September 2010, 12:38 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
I liked the Idea, "here's the Installer that runs on modern OS, do with it what you like" but they don't turn up (too openly) on torrents?
"Heres is the installer of an old game that runs on modern OS..."

Who is the potential buyer of an old game?
Someone who played the game years ago, and should now have no financial problem in purchasing it again, and collectors who usually also dont have a problem buying games.
The majority of freeloaders jump from AAA game to AAA game like a plague of locusts in crop fields, they just dont care about old games.

The "Heres is the installer of a AAA current game that runs on modern OS..." would make this the star version to pop up in torrents sites.
Zurechial 21st September 2010, 17:08 Quote
There has been a minor update with a Youtube video.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOG.com
We confirm that the official statement from GOG.com's management concerning the ongoing events will take place on Wednesday at 12 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. CET)

Thanks for being with us.
BDRvuKjissQ

That doesn't seem like the kind of video they'd make for a site that's shutting down for good or going into financial administration etc.

Here's the frame of the video that really caught my eye:
http://forums.bit-tech.net/picture.php?albumid=660&pictureid=13840

;)

It looks more and more like a publicity stunt to me, hopefully with the release of some major titles like Baldur's Gate & Planescape Torment. :D
smc8788 21st September 2010, 17:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
Um, no it can't.

If Valve suddenly went out of business (about as likely as Ubisoft releasing a good DRM sytem, it seems), I doubt they'd be bothering to update their Steam platform any more and/or would make allowances that would remove the need to be connected to the Steam servers. That, or someone else would do it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer
Doesn't the term "loss leader" mean anything? Giving away freebies makes sense to a business if the cost can be recouped later down the later - that makes the "giveaway" an "investment". That's why Steamworks is made available free also - Valve is a business, not a charity so they clearly see a longer-term benefit, which can be guaranteed by imposing a subscription charge on accounts in future. That isn't paranoia - that's plain business sense.

Valve really aren't like other companies. What you've said here would make complete sense if we were talking about Ubisoft or Activision, but we're not. For a start they're raking in enough from Steam sales to easily cover the development of a small game and release it for free, and then some. The benefit of releasing it for free is two-fold: 1) You please your current customers, making them more likely to buy your games in the future 2) It almost guarantees a huge number of new sign-ups of people who just want to play that game. Steam already have huge market share but it could never hurt to have more, and the game sales from these new sign-ups would probably cover the development costs. I would say these are the two reasons they are releasing it for free.

Valve is a business for sure, but they're no more interested in making money other than to keep the business going and growing. Gabe was rich even before he founded Valve. What makes Valve different is that they're still a privately owned company, and the fact they've resisted floating their company on the stock market to be at the mercy of shareholders tells you as much as you need to know about how much profits and money mean to them compared to their products and customers. So they're essentially answering to their customers and not making decisions based on how it will profit their shareholders. Whenever you read an interview with Gabe or one of the developers, they're always talking about 'giving gamers value', so if (BIG if) they ever charged a subscription for Steam, I would think that a) it would be optional, and b) they would think of a way of making it worthwhile and attractive for their customers.
Sloth 21st September 2010, 20:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

Because no freeloader cares about GOG versions.
The game is available, thats all they want.
Fallout 1 & 2, both were available on GOG right? Both could easily be torrented as non-GOG versions long before. As you say, there's no need for GOG version torrents since most games available through GOG are already quite easy to get. Most of them just need a quick no-CD/CD key crack. Notice, Astral, that I said games were available as torrents, nothing more specific. Though I applaud your clever way of making it seem like I implied GOG spreads piracy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Greetings!

"Heres is the installer of an old game that runs on modern OS..."

Who is the potential buyer of an old game?
Someone who played the game years ago, and should now have no financial problem in purchasing it again, and collectors who usually also dont have a problem buying games.
The majority of freeloaders jump from AAA game to AAA game like a plague of locusts in crop fields, they just dont care about old games.

The "Heres is the installer of a AAA current game that runs on modern OS..." would make this the star version to pop up in torrents sites.
Also spot on. There's not as huge of a demand for old games, even before you get into the discussion of whether a person wants to get the GOG version or not.

Look for modern games on a torrent site and it's easy to see why publishers wont let new games be out on GOG. People try, and they try hard (see Dragunov's LOL at impossible to pirate games) to pirate new games. But while it may be possible to play Assassin's Creed 2 without Ubisoft's DRM, how easy is it? More difficult than running a nice and easy GOG installer. GOG is a surefire way to find your new game that you spend years developing ends up being whored out on /v/.

For reference, see: Borderlands. A quick crack and you can play online with all the legitimate players. All sorts of less-than-legal gaming communities had fun with that one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
*snip*
+1. They are quite unique in that they are both publisher and developer. Steam is not just a store, it is also Valve's only way of propagating their own games. It serves Valve quite well to get word out about it so they can more potential players for their games. To incur a required fee for Steam would effectively make every single Valve game a pay to play game. Would you play a single player game like Portal if it had a subscription fee? Certainly not. Valve would be shooting itself in the foot.

As a break-off discussion, what grounds would Valve even have for charging a fee? A subscription for the right to later buy more things? That's laughable at best, even Bobby Kotick would be chuckling at you (while planning to later implement his own version). A subscription fee for the client perhaps, with the friends list and overlay being locked unless paid for? Possible I suppose, but with free services like Xfire and every new game trying to be its own social network, unecessary. I can only see what smc hints at, a premium service with an optional fee, not unlike some brick and mortar stores with premium membership fees and discounted products.
Xir 22nd September 2010, 14:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
The majority of freeloaders jump from AAA game to AAA game like a plague of locusts in crop fields, they just dont care about old games.
Aaaah yes, good point. ;)
AstralWanderer 23rd September 2010, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by smc8788
Valve really aren't like other companies. What you've said here would make complete sense if we were talking about Ubisoft or Activision, but we're not. For a start they're raking in enough from Steam sales to easily cover the development of a small game and release it for free, and then some...What makes Valve different is that they're still a privately owned company, and the fact they've resisted floating their company on the stock market to be at the mercy of shareholders tells you as much as you need to know about how much profits and money mean to them compared to their products and customers.
Valve may well be making a healthy profit from Steam, but what company wouldn't want to make more? And even if Gabe has a verifiable halo and light shining from every orifice, he's not going to be running the show forever - at some point a more "bean-counter" orientated person will take over and change company policy accordingly. The danger for Steam subscribers is that changes can be made and enforced at Valve's whim.

Of course, there are plenty of ways a subscription charge could be justified or made more palatable - making it cheap to start with (ramping up in later years), adding a low-value freebie ("account insurance" or a free game) and even waiving the fee for those whose purchases exceed a certain level (they are, after all, simply digging themselves deeper into the system).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
As you say, there's no need for GOG version torrents since most games available through GOG are already quite easy to get. Most of them just need a quick no-CD/CD key crack. Notice, Astral, that I said games were available as torrents, nothing more specific. Though I applaud your clever way of making it seem like I implied GOG spreads piracy.
If I misunderstood your previous statement then I apologise unreservedly - it did seem to suggest that DRM-free products were pirated more, when if anything, the reverse has been the case.

GOG products though do have added value in including, where needed, appropriate emulators (DOSBox, ScummVM) preconfigured and extras like soundtracks and PDF manuals. And while GOG has focused on older games, they have also a number of more recent releases (e.g. Emipre Earth III or Two Worlds from 2007) so it is overstating the point to say that they'd be of no interest to the warez crowd, even if their focus would be on the newest shiny things.
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