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GOG relaunches, admits closure was a hoax

GOG relaunches, admits closure was a hoax

With a flair for melodrama, CD Projekt opened the announcement with this tombstone image.

The recent closure of Good Old Games has been revealed as a PR event meant to mark the move of the site from beta to final version.

Good Old Games suddenly seemed to have closed down on the 19th September, leaving users unable to download their purchased titles - though a post on the closed site said that the functionality would be restored. Now it has.

The Good Old Games team has launched a new website complete with new game deals from publishers such as Hasbro. The launch of the new site, which will go live tomorrow at 1PM GMT, also sees Bioware's classic RPG Baldur's Gate added to the online catalogue. Other than that, the site seems to have been fundamentally unchanged - it will still feature no DRM and will not involve a download client.

GOG owners, Polish developer CD Projekt, apologised for scaring fans with the sudden apparent closure of GOG.com, but said it could not turn down a chance to gather publicity.

"We’d like to apologize to everyone who felt deceived or harmed in any way by the closedown of GOG.com," said in an official stated issued as part of the announcement.

"As a small company we don’t have a huge marketing budget and this why we could not miss a chance to generate some buzz around an event as big as launching a brand new version of our website."

The press event also involved the founders of GOG, dressed as monks, claiming that "[they had] sinned" prior to confirming the launch. They explained that the closure of the site was also required for technical reasons, which has now been improved to run up to 10x faster.

Good Old Games also dismissed rumours that they had been bought by another publisher or distributor. "We're pretty well funded these days, so why would we sell?"

To learn more about Good Old Games you can read our behind the scenes feature; The Making of Good Old Games.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

60 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Krikkit 22nd September 2010, 17:19 Quote
Lame.
mrbens 22nd September 2010, 17:23 Quote
Very lame, I'd call it bad publicity, but I suppose it got people talking about the site.
Zurechial 22nd September 2010, 17:27 Quote
It didn't bother me much - It's quite fitting with the easygoing, nature of the writing on the site and their other promotions with jokes etc.
A bit more extreme, but not entirely out of character for them.

I'm just happy that the service isn't gone, really - I've been a very happy customer of theirs since their closed beta began and they've consistently impressed me with both their attitude and service. :)
Now if they'd just start adding more GOOD old games to their lineup and less bargain-bin shite we'd really be getting somewhere. Here's to hoping.
leveller 22nd September 2010, 17:36 Quote
A stunt ... for publicity ... that wasn't even funny or clever ... ?!
CardJoe 22nd September 2010, 17:36 Quote
They are still dressed as monks and referring to themselves as if they were a church.
Parge 22nd September 2010, 17:37 Quote
To be fair, I hadn't heard of it, now I have!
RaptorLord 22nd September 2010, 17:43 Quote
for being re-launched, their site is still showing closure messages.
shigllgetcha 22nd September 2010, 17:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
A stunt ... for publicity ... that wasn't even funny or clever ... ?!

doesnt have to be funny or clever it still worked
CardJoe 22nd September 2010, 17:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaptorLord
for being re-launched, their site is still showing closure messages.

New site goes live tomorrow, 1PM GMT. I've updated to reflect this fact.
murraynt 22nd September 2010, 17:57 Quote
Cant really blame them in this climate, there are companies doing alot worse.
I never heard about GOG until it 'Shut down'.
Ill be sure to have a look tomorrow and keep a small companies like this on it's feet.
sotu1 22nd September 2010, 18:08 Quote
Um. Sorry, but GOG you were proper dicks this time. Surely there's better ways to get your PR?
cyrilthefish 22nd September 2010, 18:13 Quote
Pheh, seems to be another of the places following the 'any PR is good PR' mantra.

While they have got some publicity, i hope they realise it may still cost them.

Personally, i'm much less likely to trust them now they've demonstrated they're willing to pull such stunts :|
eddtox 22nd September 2010, 18:25 Quote
Yay! Glad they're back - and still without DRM :D
BrightCandle 22nd September 2010, 18:38 Quote
A stunt like that gets you more customers than they loose. I'm now a lost customer but the comments show that 2 new customers came right along as I left.
Steveh15 22nd September 2010, 18:38 Quote
Clearly brilliant publicity. I'd never heard of gog before it was 'closed down' and was gutted that I hasn't known cause I wanted to check it out. Now it's back i'll probably be bying something of there later.
Redbeaver 22nd September 2010, 18:42 Quote
so much hate against them....

me, personally, i can appreciate the attempt. just to pull a leg to gather some attention. and its not even "harmful". not like they took ur money and run away with it.


good for them. good stunt and good to have it back.
knuck 22nd September 2010, 18:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeaver
so much hate against them....

me, personally, i can appreciate the attempt. just to pull a leg to gather some attention. and its not even "harmful". not like they took ur money and run away with it.


good for them. good stunt and good to have it back.

my thoughts exactly

I say, good for them !
Krikkit 22nd September 2010, 18:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbeaver
me, personally, i can appreciate the attempt. just to pull a leg to gather some attention. and its not even "harmful". not like they took ur money and run away with it.


good for them. good stunt and good to have it back.

I can appreciate it, and it's great that they're not going anywhere, but I just don't like that style of marketing. It's obviously worked though, plenty of folks out there won't have heard anything of them until the past couple of days.
HourBeforeDawn 22nd September 2010, 19:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbens
Very lame, I'd call it bad publicity, but I suppose it got people talking about the site.

Didnt you ever learn that there is no such thing as Bad PR... lol seriously look at how many people talked about it and I bet a lot of those people probably never even went to the site but will now that its relaunched, hell I did, I never went to the site until now so ya...
Jipa 22nd September 2010, 20:47 Quote
Like many others, I'd never heard about GoG before, and now I have.

Why all the hate? It's not like they stole your money, and if they actually had to have some down-time anyway, why not do it like this? I just don't get it.
Smilodon 22nd September 2010, 20:49 Quote
Not a fan at all of the marketing technique...


Having that said, it certainly works well. I hadn't heard of GOG before this, and now that I do know about them I will probably use their services.
ZERO <ibis> 22nd September 2010, 20:54 Quote
Yea if it had not been for the hoax I probably would have never heard of them. Now I am going to be checking out that place and maybe picking up some cool classics.
Memnoch-fr 22nd September 2010, 21:12 Quote
This actually isn't too bad a technique. Whether you agree with it or not, they got more advertising in two days than they ever got before and it hardly cost them a penny. They also didn't really lie : from previous article - CD Projekt has said that it has "decided that GOG.com simply cannot remain in its current form" so basically, they shut down for 24 hours to change this form.

Reading this forum often although I don't often post, I mainly see people who can easily read between the lines of any manufacturer marketing drivel, but most got caught out with this one.

Maybe because we expect some companies to use agressive techniques and others not. Although at the end of the day, those who use such techniques always finish off better overall (Inter rather than AMD, Nvidia rather than ATI/AMD, etc.).

Ok they do tend to annoy anyone here, but general consumer, and even a certain amount of everyday people who consider themselves 'experts' in these areas get foiled by it.

Sorry long post. In a nutshell, yes not the best of marketing decisions for their current customers but which will make them much more money ;)
enciem 22nd September 2010, 21:28 Quote
good on 'em.

They're not a major publishing house and this kicked up a lot of fuss and lifted awareness. Those bugged by this need to chill out a little. It's not like they're announcing P2P servers only for an FPS game or something.
Xtrafresh 22nd September 2010, 22:23 Quote
I for one think this whole stunt is fking awesome. It shows they have some genuine balls, a sense of humor, and a sense of GAME. It's good strategy, well executed, dramatic result, and it clearly demonstrates that they are a living, breathing company that is NOT owned by corporate stiffs but by people that do what they do with uncompromising passion.
Quote:
"We're pretty well funded these days, so why would we sell?"
I'm getting my first paycheck in 4 days, and the first 5 euros i spend will go to these guys, JUST for that quote. I think we are all missing how profound this is. He is one of an exceedingly rare breed: company owners that run their company not to make money, but to actually do what the company does. There are not enough of these in the world.
dactone 22nd September 2010, 22:31 Quote
i think it was a good idea' i had not heard of them before , now i will be spending my cash there!

i love good old games.
kempez 22nd September 2010, 22:39 Quote
Great PR stunt and good on them. Good to see a smaller company who believe the right things are doing well. Good to see they won't sell and want to run their business as a business.

I never went to the site before, but I will now for sure :)
Evolutionsic 22nd September 2010, 22:41 Quote
I never heard of them before now,

Neogumbercules 22nd September 2010, 22:49 Quote
At least they were up front about it. They don't have the advertising money to get themselves out there, so this worked for them.
ian8415 22nd September 2010, 23:36 Quote
I now have heard of them, well done GOG, slick
CardJoe 22nd September 2010, 23:44 Quote
Well, I would just put the following question to all those people saying "Yeah, great job, I don't see what the problem is."

How would you react if Steam did the same thing and shut down the site for four days, so you didn't know if you could get your games etc?

Personally, I get that it's good marketing, but that doesn't mean it is good full stop.

If nothing else I've lost respect for them on the basis that one of the founders, during the press conference and while dressed as a monk, admitted that Fallout: Tactics was his favourite ever game. I mean, really.
gurboura 22nd September 2010, 23:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
How would you react if Steam did the same thing and shut down the site for four days, so you didn't know if you could get your games etc?

It's because with Valve's time, it wouldn't be 2 days, it would be 2 years.
deadsea 23rd September 2010, 01:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe


How would you react if Steam did the same thing and shut down the site for four days, so you didn't know if you could get your games etc?

Kinda apples and oranges? No DRM installers vs maybe working offline mode?

Anyhow, "also sees Bioware's classic RPG Baldur's Gate added to the online catalogue" is what I've been waiting for. I just hope it's properly patched and not just the 4 original installers uploaded...
Xtrafresh 23rd September 2010, 01:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Well, I would just put the following question to all those people saying "Yeah, great job, I don't see what the problem is."

How would you react if Steam did the same thing and shut down the site for four days, so you didn't know if you could get your games etc?

Personally, I get that it's good marketing, but that doesn't mean it is good full stop.

If nothing else I've lost respect for them on the basis that one of the founders, during the press conference and while dressed as a monk, admitted that Fallout: Tactics was his favourite ever game. I mean, really.
Completely different company. Valve sells AAA titles for 60 euros, and full packs for as much as 200 a pop sometimes.
GOG has a maximum of 10, 30 would be a big order for them. Aside from that, Valve is a major player in the gaming market in their own right. Yes they do get gamers a lot better then any of the others do, and yes they have much better ethics then the other guys, but they are still big business.

The one thing i can blame on GOG is that they should have promised all the customers who had paid but not downloaded yet a way to collect their purchase.

Anyway, i think this required balls and a really big measure of actual involvement in the own business to pull of. I remain convinced it was a good move, period, not just from a marketing standpoint.
centy 23rd September 2010, 02:02 Quote
My first thought when a friend told me the news was "damn I should have used their service more"
Eat_My_Shortz 23rd September 2010, 03:42 Quote
"How would you react if Steam did the same thing and shut down the site for four days, so you didn't know if you could get your games etc?"

Well I think this was part of the genius ... shutting down GOG for 4 days showed everyone that they didn't lose their games, due to no DRM. If Steam had shut down, we wouldn't be able to play.

Sure, you couldn't download your games, but if you had already downloaded there's no problem (the ability to re-download is an extra feature -- they've already given you the game!)

"The one thing i can blame on GOG is that they should have promised all the customers who had paid but not downloaded yet a way to collect their purchase."

No, they clearly stated on their website through the whole four days, "On Thursday we will be providing a solution to download all of the games you have purchased," so they did promise this to customers from the start.

I don't have a problem with this. To put it another way, imagine if your local games store put up signs that said "closed down" all over the shop for a few days, and a lot of people went, oh no I really wanted to shop there, then they had a big "re-opening" sale four days later and said "just kidding". You wouldn't be angry at them for closing down for those four days, because you already bought games from them. They didn't stop you from playing those games for four days, only stopped selling new ones during that time.

The only difference with GOG is a) they're online and b) they were offering to let you re-download the games you already purchased.
chrisb2e9 23rd September 2010, 03:43 Quote
Good on them for doing something so risky. The amount of comments on other forums from people who have never heard of the service but wanted to. Well now they can. Not to mention that the re-opening will bring more news and more customers. Even better.

I have never used the site and if I had been a customer and found that they were closing I would of been upset. But seeing them back with a better site, would of brought me back.
runadumb 23rd September 2010, 03:54 Quote
Not a fan of this move and if valve did it I would freak out my ass but it seems to have worked for them going by the forums here. Funnily enough I made my 1st purchase off them a week before they "closed". I will probably be a returning customer.
blink 23rd September 2010, 05:11 Quote
I had never heard of them either. Glad they closed down or I might never have. Their site sounds very promising.

I am a bit confused about how they operate though. One downloads a title and then is able to keep that title correct? You are able to burn a backup .iso to a disk for future reinstallations or no? If that is the case, and there is no DRM and certainly not an "online" check, then I guess I don't understand why people would be upset that they closed down other than not being able to buy more games. I mean, Valve or Steam or whatever it is called has all that DRM garbage right and you don't really own the game so you have to be connected to them to play correct? (I don't use Steam obvy) Or are the complaints about losing the ability to play mutiplayer online games?
Kúsař 23rd September 2010, 08:11 Quote
The difference between Steam and GoG is DRM. You can back up games bought at GoG on DVD and install them whenever you want. I think GoG even encourages users to back up games in case **it happens.
leveller 23rd September 2010, 08:36 Quote
2 words came to my mind while reading up this thread this morning.

Immature and amateurish. I'm well up for clever marketing gimmicks - this is not one of them. Yes it has worked to gain publicity, but before the reveal i gave them enough credit to be going through a name change or a good relaunch and I had respect for the company, now I don't. No loss to them. No loss to me either because I would never have bought a PC game outside of Steam or mail order.

In terms of business, no properly managed company would do this kind of stunt. This will have come from a decision maker and I have to wonder that if they are prepared to go this far to gain publicity, then what sort of bad decisions will the people in charge make in the future.

Before any pro-GoG supporters take exception to my points of view, you're entitled to think it was an awesome idea, and I'm entitled to think it was pathetic. Let's leave it at that.
Crunch77 23rd September 2010, 08:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtrafresh
I for one think this whole stunt is fking awesome. It shows they have some genuine balls, a sense of humor, and a sense of GAME. It's good strategy, well executed, dramatic result, and it clearly demonstrates that they are a living, breathing company that is NOT owned by corporate stiffs but by people that do what they do with uncompromising passion.

I'm getting my first paycheck in 4 days, and the first 5 euros i spend will go to these guys, JUST for that quote. I think we are all missing how profound this is. He is one of an exceedingly rare breed: company owners that run their company not to make money, but to actually do what the company does. There are not enough of these in the world.

I agree completely. :)
Xir 23rd September 2010, 09:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Well, I would just put the following question to all those people saying "Yeah, great job, I don't see what the problem is."

How would you react if Steam did the same thing and shut down the site for four days, so you didn't know if you could get your games etc?

Personally, I get that it's good marketing, but that doesn't mean it is good full stop.
Not comparable, it's not like you need GOG.com once you've downloaded. Your Backups are your problem :D
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
If nothing else I've lost respect for them on the basis that one of the founders, during the press conference and while dressed as a monk, admitted that Fallout: Tactics was his favourite ever game. I mean, really.
Wellllll...okay ;)
Evildead666 23rd September 2010, 09:37 Quote
There is so much publicity for people who do NOTHING and contribute NOTHING to society.
Jet Set et Al, and the other WAG's and crap no-one cares about.

It wasn't the best publicity stunt, but publicity is publicity.
;)

kudos to them.
AstralWanderer 23rd September 2010, 10:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
Before any pro-GoG supporters take exception to my points of view, you're entitled to think it was an awesome idea, and I'm entitled to think it was pathetic. Let's leave it at that.
I'm a GOG supporter and I agree with you. :)

This type of marketing has clearly been effective but has also shown a lack of respect for their existing customers.

The one item of really good news (aside from Baldur's Gate being added to their catalogue) is the speed up - despite using a Content Delivery Network, I've always found GOG's downloads to be on the slow side, maxing at 300KB/s which isn't great when you're downloading a few multi-GB purchases...
Blademrk 23rd September 2010, 10:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kúsař
The difference between Steam and GoG is DRM. You can back up games bought at GoG on DVD and install them whenever you want. I think GoG even encourages users to back up games in case **it happens.

Once you've bought a game, it goes into you GOG Library so you can re-download it as many times as you like. You also usually get a few extras with each game you buy (soundtrack, wallpapers, PDF manual or whatever)
lacuna 23rd September 2010, 11:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Well, I would just put the following question to all those people saying "Yeah, great job, I don't see what the problem is."

How would you react if Steam did the same thing and shut down the site for four days, so you didn't know if you could get your games etc?

Do we have a leg to stand on if they did do that? I doubt it somehow and, as one of the millions that doesn't read the terms and conditions, I would get my just deserves for putting my faith in something that it is outside of my control.

If you think about it, online content delivery services such as steam are like banks in that we allow them to look after our 'possesions' and they allow us access whenever we want. The only problem is that when a bank flips out we are protected, not so with things like Steam.
sp4nky 23rd September 2010, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AstralWanderer

This type of marketing has clearly been effective but has also shown a lack of respect for their existing customers.

This is precisely my point of view and it's precisely why I won't do any more business with them. If they think duping their customer-base into thinking they've ceased their service is a good PR stunt, I don't want to see what they do next time they need a bit more publicity.
Meanmotion 23rd September 2010, 12:14 Quote
I don't particularly care about the idea of tricking people into thinking the site has gone under but those revival videos are bloody annoying!
GravitySmacked 23rd September 2010, 13:22 Quote
I'm just glad they're back; would have been a sad loss.
the-beast 23rd September 2010, 13:33 Quote
GOG launches as schedule @ 1PM, a few minutes later it went down again with a 'our servers are undergoing maintenance' page.

So much for the relaunch :(
the-beast 23rd September 2010, 13:49 Quote
Sites back up now. 1 new release and some items rearranged, not much to say really.
Bauul 23rd September 2010, 14:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
GOG launches as schedule @ 1PM, a few minutes later it went down again with a 'our servers are undergoing maintenance' page.

So much for the relaunch :(

Probably hit squashed under too many hits.
barbary 23rd September 2010, 14:36 Quote
As a GOG customer this has pissed me right off.
thewelshbrummie 23rd September 2010, 22:20 Quote
Not too bothered tbh & I certainly can't fault them for having Total Annihilation with both Expansion packs for $6 and added Win7 compatibility when I the only new boxed copies I can find don't have either... and cost at least £7.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a great site that sells games DRM-free - and without requiring any client software. Exactly how digital distribution should be done. As for the marketing tactics - put simply, 330+ views of this topic wouldn't have happened if they'd not bothered... regardless of the opinions above, it's clearly raised awareness of the site.
Xir 24th September 2010, 11:40 Quote
Woohoo!!!

Space Quest and Kings Quest! :D
Phil Rhodes 24th September 2010, 14:59 Quote
But that's just lying, isn't it?
Blademrk 24th September 2010, 16:14 Quote
not really, if you read the original post on GOG.com, it didn't actually say anything...
Tsung 29th September 2010, 13:55 Quote
As an existing customer of GoG this stunt done nothing except make me cautious about buying any future titles from them.
Blademrk 29th September 2010, 16:05 Quote
Why?

You download the game when you buy it, back it up onto another HDD/DVD/USB disc.
If GOG closes you've still got your game. it doesn't require online activation, there is no DRM to stop tou playing it...

It's like saying I'm not going to buy any more Games/DVD's from [any other internet based or high street store] because they might close in the future.
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