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DRM-Free Games Site GOG.com Gone

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the reconstruct-your-amnesia dept.

Classic Games (Games) 326

An anonymous reader writes "Just a day after adding a new game and a handful of promotions, GOG.com, a seller of classic games in a DRM-free format, has closed shop, leaving only a sparse placeholder page and a mention on Twitter that 'sometimes it's really hard being DRM-free... hard to keep things the way they are and keep management and publishers happy.' The site mentions that games purchased in the past will become accessible for downloading within the week, but there is no word on how long this will continue to be possible." The announcement on the site's front page says, in part, "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."

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326 comments

More to the story.. (3, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630736)

They closed down right in the middle of a sale. A lot of people are unable to get what they purchased.

I don't think this is the end of it.

Perhaps they got hit with a massive lawsuit or someone is considering buying them out?

Re:More to the story.. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630842)

Oe it's an ill thought out stunt before ending beta phase (a rumor which circulates in quite a few places) - wouldn't surprise me too much, considering from where they come and how things can function here...

Re:More to the story.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33630920)

Looks like more game publisher company execs need a pie in the face, Bill Gates style. Or maybe they should be tarred and feathered -- whatever happened to that? It was a great way to deal with assholes who pissed off one too many people.

Re:More to the story.. (1, Redundant)

odies (1869886) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630990)

And leave the game developers without publishing channels, financing, marketing and everything else involved on that side of things? Hate publishers all you want, but they provide invaluable service for game developers that they choose to use.

Re:More to the story.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631002)

And leave the game developers without publishing channels, financing, marketing and everything else involved on that side of things? Hate publishers all you want, but they provide invaluable service for game developers that they choose to use.

That's why the customers should do it, not the developers. You just read some text, make up a conclusion on the spot, and just run with it without taking two seconds to consider trivially easy objections to it, don't you? No wonder your posts start at -1 if you're that damned impulsive.

Re:More to the story.. (4, Informative)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631036)

Or maybe Gog.com just hired a shitty accountant and he got behind on payroll. No sense jumping to conclusions before we know all the facts-- truth is, a ton of businesses fail for a ton of different reasons.

Re:More to the story.. (3, Interesting)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631176)

Plus, they must suck at advertising. This is the first I heard of them.

Re:More to the story.. (4, Funny)

schnell (163007) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631442)

Plus, they must suck at advertising. This is the first I heard of them.

But wait ... Slashbot CorrectThink tells us that 1.) advertising and marketing are bad! 2.) Musicians or writers or artists should just be successful by word of mouth and not need evil corporations to advertise, that's why their model is outdated! And 3.) game companies would just succeed if only they removed all DRM! But this was a DRM-free games company that did no advertising and marketed by word of mouth to geeks ... they should have been guaranteed to never go out of business!

PARADOX! PARADOX! NOMAD WILL NOW SELF-DESTRUCT!!!!

Re:More to the story.. (2, Interesting)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631486)

I've used them a couple times in the past; its' a nice site. I forget where I heard about them, but it was either an indie games site, or while I was searching for abandonware. I might even possibly have seen a banner ad, but yeah, I haven't seen much that really shouted that they were there.

On the plus side, the games I bought from them probably won't die, unlike some others.

Re:More to the story.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33630846)

With the way the placeholder is worded, the idea that it'll be back or a buyout is very possible. I have this nasty feeling we're about to see a new Steam service.

Re:More to the story.. (3, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630942)

My thoughts exactly. They announce a sale on the 16th and on the 17th close down stating "they've thought long and hard about it".

Curious to see what happens next. Had quite a few more purchases planned with them, but in light of the circumstances...

Re:More to the story.. (2, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631464)

yeah this smells fishy. I have been buying from them for nearly a year, and have bought more games from them than I've bought in the past 3 years because they were cheap, easy to use, and DRM free. Well it looks like I'll be keeping all my GOG installers on a portable drive just in case one of my backup discs gets scratched. man this fucking sucks!

Sigh (5, Insightful)

cstec (521534) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630742)

Publishers don't get it. I purchased more games from GoG in a year than I have in the last 10 through any other channel. Specifically BECAUSE they were DRM-free. ;-/

Re:Sigh (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630818)

Indeed. I'm glad that I've been keeping my own backups of my games. They are planning on giving some option for those that purchased, but still. These sorts of things tend to make it harder for whoever tries this next to gain any customer trust.

I'm a bit curious as to the timing, in the middle of their weekly sale.

Re:Sigh (1)

Merlin.T.Wizard (1893384) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630864)

Myself as well. I can't justify my hard-earned money going to support the ever increasingly draconian DRM schemes of the newer games. And, I'd discovered (and rediscovered) some old friends. RIP Good Old Games. I hope they come back in some form that doesn't screw that up too much.

Re:Sigh (1, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630880)

No, you don't get it. You're obviously a minority in the bigger picture.

You have to consider the fact that publishers have a lot of experience with producing games, whereas the only experience you have is playing them. If publishers were experiencing the same behavior from everyone as they are from you then they'd continue to keep this DRM model alive. However, they're obviously not because they're shutting it down.

How do you know your friends aren't all laughing behind your back because you're the only sucker actually buying the game ?

Re:Sigh (4, Interesting)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630932)

He's not the only one buying those games.

Big fan of GOG, I love the fact that I can run Masters of Magic, Moo 1 and 2, and redneck rampage now.

That said, I dislike your post as it's obviously typed by a brat.

Re:Sigh (2, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631398)

2nd this.

I *could* pirate games, but I do not because it is completely dishonest. If I did any significant degree of illegal copying, I to not think that I could live with myself and would suffer guilt over the shut-down of a great site like GOG.com.

I will miss the site. I got some of their freebies, and purchased several games (most of which I have not even had the time to play yet).

Good-bye GOG.com. You were a good friend, and my first stop for games when I was bored. You will be missed. I did not give you too much money (having a wife and kids limits gaming time), but you were worth every penny that I spent.

And to any other businesses that want to follow-up with a similar business model: I am honest, and I am willing to pay for my games -- and I hate DRM.

Farewell old friend...

Re:Sigh (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630940)

You also seem to be under the impression that the publisher is essentially one entity with a singular vision and purpose, but in most corporations that simply isn't true. In any publisher of any reasonable size there is probably a very senior level manager in charge of DRM production. You can be sure as shit that he is fighting like hell to make sure that not only does the DRM stay in, that it grows in complexity as well because that means more bodies under him which leads to bigger salaries/bonuses. And since it's really difficult to quantify how much DRM really costs the publisher, you can also be sure that he is politicking senior management all the time to make sure his shit stays in. Really nothing short of customer revolt over DRM will dislodge this person from his salary and unfortunately we have yet to see that.

Re:Sigh (3, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631516)

Given that the DRM solutions used by most publishers (such as SecuROM, StarForce, Safedisk etc) are produced by third parties, one assumes that producing a game with DRM is more expensive than producing the same game without DRM (both the costs to buy the DRM from a third party and the costs to integrate the DRM). Companies dont usually have teams of guys working on DRM integration (and in fact, companies like Sony probably go out of their way to make the DRM solution EASIER for publishers to integrate in the hope of getting the publishers to use their soltuion vs the other guys solution)

I think publishers like DRM because:
1.It lets them continue to push towards a world where all content requires DRM (no more small guys, only big guys who can get licenses for the DRM)
2.DRM can (and does) make games harder to reverse engineer (which helps with stopping cheaters and in some cases modders) and can allow the games company to use the DMCA as a stick against people cracking their copy protection to get at game data files.
3.Newer DRM solutions are increasingly being aimed at stopping not just piracy but unauthorized resale of ghames (no more second hand games market)

Re:Sigh (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631138)

> You have to consider the fact that publishers have a lot of experience
> with producing games, whereas the only experience you have is playing them.

No. Some of us have experience "publishing" games too.

It's the content, not the draconian DRM measures.

You either have something that people want to buy based on it's own merits, or not.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631048)

You're a slashdotter, your opinions on games don't count.

Re:Sigh (1, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631052)

Personally, I don't get it. These old games made their money back ages ago, everyone involved has other jobs. I don't feel like I'm depriving anyone when I grab a torrent of DOS classics. Cheap doesn't compete with free when there's no moral imperative. I'd rather spend my limited funds on those making new homebrew hardware and software for classic systems.

Re:Sigh (5, Informative)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631086)

Iirc, the GOG sold games where more then simply copies of old games. They provided binaries that would work on modern systems using the old data.

Re:Sigh (5, Insightful)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631130)

This, here, is the exact reason why GOG was the greatest.

Re:Sigh (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631502)

Bingo and amen brother. I'm on windows 7 x64, and many of the older games, especially those with nasty DRM, simply won't run. It is a PITA to boot into XP and lose half my RAM just to play a game, and with GOG I could run great old games like Redneck Rampage without any hassles. I just wish they would have said they were thinking about closing shop, all those games I was sitting on the fence about I would have happily bought. RIP GOG, you will most certainly be missed. and if anyone knows of a similar service? And please don't say Steam, as it is just replacing offline DRM with online and sometimes even combining the two. Nasty compared to GOG.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631450)

What sort of games did they have? Did they have anything like M.U.L.E. or Mail Order Monsters?? This is the first I've heard of them but there are a ton of old games I'd love to be able to play now.

Re:Sigh (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631508)

I don't have their catalog anymore, but looking over my archived installers, they had at least Descent I & II, Fallout 1 & 2, Ghost Master, Master of Magic, Psychonauts, and many others. If I'd had more money, or if I'd known they were closing, I'm sure I'd have bought more, especially given how cheap they were.

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

InfiniteWisdom (530090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631092)

People don't go into business just to "make their money back" any more than you work your job to make just enough to pay your rent and feed yourself.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631534)

People don't go into business just to "make their money back" any more than you work your job to make just enough to pay your rent and feed yourself.

Uh...I do. The vast majority of people live paycheck to paycheck and are just trying to break even. Most are running negative, and owe more than they make.

Re:Sigh (0, Troll)

seebs (15766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631066)

Exactly. I got a big stack of their games, and I was really happy with them. I hope I still have local downloaded copies. :)

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631096)

Too bad you were the only one.

Re:Sigh (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631144)

Too bad you were the only one.

Nope. I've bought more games from Gog.com in the last couple of years than anywhere else too; often buying games I already owned in DRM-crippled form, because having a legitimate DRM-free version was worth $5 to me.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631348)

Apparently he wasn't the only one. I've purchased 28 games from GoG.

Re:Sigh (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631200)

> Publishers don't get it.

The publishers who are still in business and doing well, you mean?

Too bad but not that surprising (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630748)

Not because of the no DRM thing, but because all they sold was old games. Those are going to have to be budget priced, of course, and are just not as popular. They probably had trouble making much money since they didn't make a whole lot each sale (at least half, maybe more, of the price goes to the publisher) and there just weren't the numbers. this is particularity true since Impulse and Steam, the big download services, do old games too. You can find a lot of old title on them, and they add more all the time. More people will shop from them, since they already have an account.

Re:Too bad but not that surprising (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630952)

OTOH their parent company offers for a long time, in its home market, large number of inexpensive and great older games (think anywhere between 3 and 10 USD for boxed game at retail - of course it's basically just a DVD box with thin manual inside, but that almost tends to be the norm for new releases too, anyway). Not precisely the bargain bin - it's a quite popular, continuing "series" of (re)releases; which I doubt they would do on such scale if it wasn't giving decent and stable profits. Distribution in many markets does add some costs certainly, but digital form of it makes some other things so much simpler and cheaper...

Mod parent up, insightful (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631212)

Not because of the no DRM thing, but because all they sold was old games. Those are going to have to be budget priced, of course, and are just not as popular.

This,

I think the most recent games they sold were before 2005, many of them were late early 90's. In addition to that many other services like Steam and Impulse sold the exact same products for pretty much the same price so the market was not only small, but highly competitive.

The timing of this is terrible for me, with the AUD being so high, I was about to make some purchases.

Re:Mod parent up, insightful (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631396)

I think the most recent games they sold were before 2005, many of them were late early 90's.

The Virtual Console section of Wii Shop Channel sells only old games and still prints money. If Nintendo can do it, why couldn't GOG?

Re:Mod parent up, insightful (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631522)

If Nintendo can do it, why couldn't GOG?

Captive audience, probably. GOG, at the very least, didn't advertise that well, as the comments here show extremely clearly. IF you have a Wii, and use it a lot, you'll at least SEE the Shop Channel, and probably browse it more than a little.

GOG was legitimately awesome, for the nostalgia factor if nothing else, and I'm not saying old games aren't good enough. However, games are discretionary spending, always will be. If you want to make a niche market in video games, it has to be a VERY public niche market so anyone in the niche can find it.

Re:Mod parent up, insightful (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631550)

The Virtual Console section of Wii Shop Channel sells only old games and still prints money. If Nintendo can do it, why couldn't GOG?

I answered that question in my GP post.

In addition to that many other services like Steam and Impulse sold the exact same products for pretty much the same price

Nintendo on the Wii have a captive audience and no competition. It's a completely different market, A few weekends ago while ago Stardock and GOG both had a sale on MOO and MOO II at the same time, I received their promotional emails within hours of each other. GOG has to compete with more entrenched services, Nintendo simply does not permit them on the Wii.

Re:Mod parent up, insightful (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631456)

I think the most recent games they sold were before 2005, many of them were late early 90's. In addition to that many other services like Steam and Impulse sold the exact same products for pretty much the same price so the market was not only small, but highly competitive.

True, but GOG won my heart because it was entirely DRM-free, totally unlike Steam. Not to knock Steam (I have spent money there too), but, all things being equal, I would have rather given my money to GOG.com.

Be nice to put what they can give out free to anyo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33630754)

Be nice to put what they can give out free to anyone!

But any way there is alot of old software / games out there that one want's to sell but it's not free so make it free or like $3-6 just to cover the costs.

Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (5, Informative)

therealmorris (1366945) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630760)

It's starting to look like the platform's shutdown is just a marketing stunt. Good Old Games spokesman Tom Ohle told us that "as the site says, this doesn't mean GOG is dead. We will have more to share in the next couple of days." A NeoGAF poster dug up a Polish business forum, in which CD Projekt co-founder Micha Kiciski purportedly mentions a conference dated for this Wednesday, adding, "we'll post information about this soon on GOG.com (please do not panic after reading the information contained there.)" We'll keep an eye out for more info.

Joystiq [joystiq.com]

Re:Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (4, Interesting)

rm999 (775449) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630816)

This reddit thread contains more links that indicate GOG is not actually dead: http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/dfzhe/rip_gogcom/c0zxgih [reddit.com]

Personally I think they are going to change their service in some way, perhaps add a devoted client (like Steam) and perhaps introduce DRM. If so, I will be angry at the lack of transparency; the whole thing smells like a publicity stunt. If this is the case, the game I bought from them last week will be the last.

Re:Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (2, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631194)

This reddit thread contains more links that indicate GOG is not actually dead: http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/dfzhe/rip_gogcom/c0zxgih [reddit.com]

Personally I think they are going to change their service in some way, perhaps add a devoted client (like Steam) and perhaps introduce DRM.

If you're right GOG is gone. Adding DRM negates the advantage of buying from them. They'll become just another crappy publisher of old nostalgia games. At best that'd make it Zombie GOG.

Re:Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631322)

If you're right GOG is gone. Adding DRM negates the advantage of buying from them.

Indeed: adding DRM would just make them another Steam competitor... in which case, why not just buy from Steam? OK, they could have better prices, but I usually only buy Steam games when they're on sale anyway.

Re:Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (1)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630954)

Wonderful of them to throw away any shred of credibility by pulling such an asshat stunt....

I suspect a lot of people will be somewhat reluctant to do business with them if they think this is good marketing.... meh

Re:Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631060)

I suspect a lot of people will be somewhat reluctant to do business with them if they think this is good marketing.... meh

Except all my game installers are on my hard drives, so even if they are permanently gone I still have all my games; unlike something like Steam, where I lose most of my games if they go away (some don't do any DRM checks, but the rest would be toast).

If they come back and are still DRM-free, I'll still be buying from them.

Re:Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (1)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631386)

What I'm getting at is: "If they think this is a good idea... what else do they think is a good idea?"

I love DRM-free content, but there is still that little lingering doubt in my mind... Do I really want to give these people my CC info?

Re:Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631412)

What I'm getting at is: "If they think this is a good idea... what else do they think is a good idea?"

I love DRM-free content, but there is still that little lingering doubt in my mind... Do I really want to give these people my CC info?

Dunno, I've always used Paypal. So unless they started putting malware in the games there's not much to worry about.

Otherwise it seems no different to asking 'do I want to buy a bag of chips from the corner store, when it could go out of business'? If I hand over the money and get my chips, then I don't care whether it closes the door for good just after I leave.

Re:Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631406)

If you have your Steam user ID and password, you can redownload all games purchased through Steam. But you're right that if you're stuck on satellite Internet, it's a pain in the behind.

Re:Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631444)

If you have your Steam user ID and password, you can redownload all games purchased through Steam.

And how do you do that if you go to Valve's web page and it says 'Sorry, we've shut down. Have a nice life'?

Most Steam games will die shortly after Valve's servers shut down. Hopefully that won't happen, but if it does then you're toast.

Whereas even if Gog never comes back, I'll still be able to play those games for as long as Wine is capable of running Windows software.

When it gets to Chapter 7, Valve will release (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631536)

As I understand it, Valve claims to have put unlocked installers for all of its own games in escrow to be opened once Valve goes Chapter 7. So if you've backed up your downloaded game, the unlocked installer will install it for you.

Re:Joystiq reckons it's a publicity stunt? (1)

Cidolfas (1358603) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631222)

It's not necessarily a stunt, it could be they've been negotiating with publishers/backers to keep it open and today they got a shut-it-down-now ultimatum, and are announcing their contingency plan on Wednesday.

Though this is slashdot, and conspiracy makes for a better story :P

I reckon Joystiq needs some reading comprehension (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631228)

There's no "stunt" to this. It says right in their notice that the site is ending in its "current form" and that it will eventually return. Which contrasts with Joystiq's sensationalist headline that GOG "shuts down" (also Slashdot's).

What CD Projekt actually said in the forum was that posting the notice on the current site (which IS closed and isn't just going to be reactivated) was part of a process to raise awareness of the new site that will take its place, which is pretty plain from the notice that they posted, had anyone bothered to actually read it.

Marketing yes, stunt no. This isn't Death (and Return) of Superman. They said right up front what was going to happen. Just because people glossed over the text and rushed to print a headline, well, that kind of makes the editors at Joystiq (and Slashdot) out to look like tools. Don't try to shift blame to CD Projekt for this.

Re:I reckon Joystiq needs some reading comprehensi (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631544)

The store is gone, they are planning to make the downloads available again, but it looks like their not opening up again in their current form. What exactly they mean by the end of an era is somewhat up for interpretation and conjecture.

I suspect what they're going to try to do is change formats a bit, probably include newer indie games and anything that is DRM free. I suspect that they were profitable, as the licensing cost couldn't have been too high for them, and it's been seriously hard for me to control my purchases.

"Publisher" is the problem. (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630794)

in the age of internet and digital downloads, the middleman, publisher, is the problem. not needed anymore, yet they still introduce problems into the production to consumer sequence, right in the middle. actually, in some sectors, they totally control entire sequence.

they need to be removed.

Re:"Publisher" is the problem. (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631078)

Well, fulfillment of that need could explain the disappearance of GOG ;) (run by a publisher, after all)

Re:"Publisher" is the problem. (2, Interesting)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631158)

Indeed. In this time of fast data transfer, a system where one produce a master copy first and then expect to recoup the cost of the work later by selling copies of the master is broken at best. With the ease of reaching a interested public, i suspect a system where one would collect funding up front (i a example/start provided for free) and then produce and release when a goal have been reached would work just as well.

Hell, with a system like that in place, one may well see a game evolve with time rather then be replaced ever so often in a franchise fashion as we see today. While it is unlikely that this system would produce the kind of multi-million productions that we see right now, a dedicated and talented team may well keep themselves going for years.

Re:"Publisher" is the problem. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631436)

With the ease of reaching a interested public, i suspect a system where one would collect funding up front (i a example/start provided for free) and then produce and release when a goal have been reached would work just as well.

Stephen King tried this with The Plant, but it wasn't much of a hit.

You misunderstand what they do (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631302)

The main function a publisher provides for videogames is money. Games are expensive to develop. Game studios cannot always assume that financial risk. Remember that if you self develop you have to pay everyone's salaries, all the costs, while it is being developed. If it flops, you are SOL. So publishers are companies that put up the money. That is their primary function. You sell them a game idea they like, they put up the costs of developing it.

Along those lines, they function as the business side of things. A bunch of programmers might not make for the best business team. The most classic example is Duke Nukem Forever. 3DRealm had lots of money from the original Duke title so they could self publish, if they wanted to, and elected to do so. However that meant nobody was minding after them to release it. So they faffed about and delayed things and so on. Eventually it became a joke, a lot of wasted money, and ultimately their demise. In a situation with a separate publisher they could have said "No, the game is looking good as it is. You go in to crunch mode, and we ship in 9 months." Might not have been The Best Game Evar(tm) had that happened but it would have been a game, not a perpetually half-finished project.

Publishers also do marketing and distribution. If you think that is easy or unnecessary then that only exposes your ignorance of the situation. Stores are still where most sales happen (ask Stardock, they publish, develop, and sell online, they'll tell you stores still outsell online 3-4:1). Publishers make sure people know the game is coming out, negotiate with stores for shelf space and release dates, and so on.

In fact, because of the distribution, even some self funded shops use publishers. Valve funds their own development, but uses a publisher for physical distribution (Activision I think).

Also none of this is relevant to the older games being talked about. Even if you think they shouldn't have been paid for by a publisher, they were, meaning the publisher owns the rights and sets the rules.

totally to the opposite (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631440)

"In a situation with a separate publisher they could have said "No, the game is looking good as it is. You go in to crunch mode, and we ship in 9 months."

what you speak of is the demise of a lot of games even before they start, and the reason market is overflowing with shitty rehash games with little replay value.

Re:"Publisher" is the problem. (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631354)

Sadly, removing publishers would only help something like Good Old Games if you went back in time and removed them 10-15 years ago -- at which point in time, of course, they were essential because there was no way of getting games without physical media on store shelves.

RIP GOG.com (1)

mfh (56) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630820)

You guys will definitely be missed. I really respect what you tried to do there.

Re:RIP GOG.com (1)

Tigersmind (1549183) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630840)

Same, only game I didn't buy from them in a long time was Torchlight.

I even had my son always look there first when he got bored and wanted a new game. dammit.

Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted. (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630916)

I bought several old games from them. Fortunately, I have backups of the installers.

GOG was great, but Steam is easier (1, Interesting)

Polo (30659) | more than 3 years ago | (#33630994)

Steam is a master of painless and organized installation and management -- especially important with older games.

I would have bought stuff from GOG but I got the feeling I was going to have navigate a bunch of installs and manage a bunch of loose zip files.

Re:GOG was great, but Steam is easier (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631104)

I would have bought stuff from GOG but I got the feeling I was going to have navigate a bunch of installs and manage a bunch of loose zip files.

You gut feeling was wrong.

What you got was an installer that worked just fine with 64 bit Win 7.

Re:GOG was great, but Steam is easier (1)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631106)

Many of us still have a mountain of objections to Steam. Long live GoG!

Re:GOG was great, but Steam is easier (2, Interesting)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631190)

Steam is a pain compared to the way GOG works/worked/used to work (?).

I'll write in the present tense, as GOG's future doesn't seem to be set in stone yet.

You get one file (granted, Psychonaut has actually three). You can download the file from a fast server .I never could get a fast, and I'm being deliberately NICE here, so > 100KB/s) download from steam, no matter what ports I opened. You can make as many backups as you want of the setup file. Installation is straight forward, and you get some bonus material with many of the games (like soundtracks, concept arts, ...). If you install some third party mods, GOG won't start telling you your copy is not valid and start re-downloading the original files neither, which, for example,means that you can slap Freespace2 Open [indiegames.us]ontop of your FS2 install without any difficulties.

Compared to Steam, which asks me to validate my games online if I don't play for a while and then force me to download 1GB of updates even if I just wanted to play, I'll take GOG games everyday.

Yes, the games are old'ish, but that is definitely not a problem if you are more into gameplay than eyecandy (although, as an example, a modded Freespace2 is a good looking Spacecombat simulator/game even by today's standards)

I really hope it's just a very stupid publicity stunt and GOG comes back.

Re:GOG was great, but Steam is easier (5, Insightful)

chris411 (610359) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631234)

Having purchased games from both GOG and Steam, I'd pick GOG over Steam any day. I'd argue that Steam made it more complicated, if only because they force you to install and use a client. And then it forces me to download the game again if I choose to uninstall it from my HD. GOG was a simple download and install, always. I never had to download the game again after uninstalling it, I could just burn it to DVD as is, or move it to another HD.

Re:GOG was great, but Steam is easier (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631284)

Have never used Steam, and never will.

Know a lot of people who avoid Steam, too. DRM, product activation, and Internet-access requirement render Steam a non-starter.

It's a shame. There's many good games I would have liked to have purchased (starting with Half Life 2). Guess I'll never know what it would have been like to play that game.

Oh well, Half Life 1 is still fun. Still playing it offline regularly, and it's never seen an Internet-connected computer.

Re:GOG was great, but Steam is easier (2, Interesting)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631414)

Have never used Steam, and never will.

This is called "prejudice". In most circles it's considered a negative thing.

DRM, product activation, and Internet-access requirement render Steam a non-starter.

Why? You clearly have access to the Internet. Product activation is completely invisible and automatic. As for DRM, well, I realise some people hate it on religious grounds, but it's really not that bad.

Sure, one day in the hypothetical future Valve's servers could disappear, leaving you unable to play your games any more. This is no different from non-DRM-encumbered games you own on physical media, which could stop working at any time due to loss of or damage to the CDs.

Denying yourself jam today and tomorrow because of the hypothetical possibility that you might only be able to get it today is just silly.

(Personally, I've actually bought copies on Steam of older games I also own on physical media. It's only a few bucks, and the convenience of being able to install the game at the click of a button -- instead of having to dig around for the disk and then hope it still works -- is well worth the money. Strange, really: this suppsoedly evil DRM platform means I can play games I own more easily than the DRM-free versions!)

There's many good games I would have liked to have purchased (starting with Half Life 2). Guess I'll never know what it would have been like to play that game.

It was probably sour anyway.

Re:GOG was great, but Steam is easier (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631430)

This is called "prejudice". In most circles it's considered a negative thing.

I'm surprised you didn't go all the way and call them a racist.

Back in the real world, perhaps they just don't want to have hundreds of dollars worth of games tied to an online account that Valve can shut down at any time.

Re:GOG was great, but Steam is easier (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631432)

If it had been Steam that closed down like this, you'd be royally F'd in the A for all the games you bought. However, the GoG games still run for people that bought them (assuming you had already downloaded them.)

It's a stunt. (1)

EllF (205050) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631004)

There is a good amount of information suggesting that this may in fact be a marketing stunt; have a read of Kotaku's write-up: http://kotaku.com/5642141/what-happened-to-good-old-games [kotaku.com]. Personally, if this is in fact a marketing stunt, I will -never- purchase from GOG again. Lying to your customers doesn't make them want to spend their money on your products.

Re:It's a stunt. (2, Interesting)

seebs (15766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631112)

I guess it depends on what the stunt is. They have been pretty careful not to say that they're closing up shop or going out of business, and the emphasis on "in its current form" seemed pretty clear to me.

Re:It's a stunt. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631244)

Personally, if this is in fact a marketing stunt, I will -never- purchase from GOG again. Lying to your customers doesn't make them want to spend their money on your products.

Hey, this could be the Polish version of April Fools.

I hope it is a publicity stunt, no-one else will actually let me download the game install file or let me install it offline on multiple machines.

Re:It's a stunt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631334)

Why don't you try reading the notice instead of reading the headlines posted by the "journalists". GOG stated plainly, up front, that only the current site was closing and that they would be bringing it back. It's not a "stunt", it's information. Information that was ignored by the "journalists" so they could post inaccurate, sensationalist headlines about the site closing down, and then, when CD Projekt made comments to confirm what they originally said, the same "journalists" then posted an equally sensationalistic story about this being a publicity stunt.

You have to keep in mind that Joystiq's and Kotaku's editors are no better than Slashdot's. Read the damn notice at gog.com and see for yourself.

Sad (2, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631006)

I bought the Fallout games from them, real sad that they're gone now (or at least, appear to be gone).

The value they added wasn't just removing DRM, but in also making the old games compatible with new operating systems. It's a pain in the ass for me to get some of my older games to work, and I'm more than willing to pay $5 to let someone else do it for me.

Good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631040)

They were profiting by selling games which rightfully belong to the public domain. They offered nothing you couldn't get from The Pirate Bay for a better price.

Re:Good (3, Insightful)

chris411 (610359) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631268)

That's a blatant lie.

They offered old games that worked on modern systems without tinkering. Can't get that on Piratebay. You sure can get dubious "cracks" and viruses though!

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631310)

They were profiting by selling games which rightfully belong to the public domain.

No they don't. Idiot.

Never heard of em... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631042)

...which means they were useless to me...and likely a majority of people who bought games....

Thus, even if they come back, they will be just as meaningless.

It's sorta like comparing Linux on the Desktop to Windows.

"this time, we're gonna do it!"

From their Facebook page... (3, Insightful)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 3 years ago | (#33631162)

Posted 3 hours ago:

The official statement from GOG.com's management about the whole situation will be announced soon. We'll have more details about this tomorrow.

Sigh. Sure hope this isn't just a gimmick. Like many here, I still have or had quite a number of planned purchases.

*shrug* (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33631548)

Last time I checked they didn't sell Ubuntu apps. I've never bough anything from them. Looks like I never will. Oh well.

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