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GOG.com Not Really Gone

samzenpus posted about 4 years ago | from the stepped-out-for-a-minute dept.

Classic Games (Games) 276

gspr writes "On Sunday, Slashdot and many others reported that DRM-free games site GOG.com was shutting down. Now the site is back, revealing that it was all a hoax. According to the site: 'Now it's time we put an end to all the speculations once and for all. It's true that we decided that we couldn't keep GOG.com the way it was so we won't. As you probably know by now, GOG.com is entering its new era with an end of the two-years beta stage and we're launching a brand new GOG.com with new, huge releases.' So it was all an advertising stunt."

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The important part (4, Informative)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33667958)

They still won't have DRM and they still won't have a download client.

Love it or hate it, this is one of the more successful marketing stunts of late.

To paraphrase Futurama (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 4 years ago | (#33668004)

Love it or hate it... Hate it! ...this is one of the more successful marketing stunts of late.

Re:The important part (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33668034)

Indeed, I don't think they'll lose very many customers over this. The people who buy from them tend to do so based upon price and the DRM free games. Compared to the dickishness of EA and Ubisoft for instance, this is really not that big of a deal.

To be fair to them, the language of the shutdown announcement was peppered with hints that there's be a change, but ultimately that it was a transition of sorts.

Re:The important part (1)

Sancho (17056) | about 4 years ago | (#33668566)

What about people who went to the site, didn't realize it was a joke, and won't be back?

Re:The important part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668086)

Love it or hate it, this is one of the more successful marketing stunts of late.

I have to agree with this, I'm probably going to check out the site now. I had browsed it previously but not thought much of it. Maybe if they have the Discworld games I'll throw them some of my hard-earned cash.

I have the original box for Discworld II - Missing, Presumed...? but the discs are, sadly, long gone.

Re:The important part (5, Funny)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | about 4 years ago | (#33668330)

I have the original box for Discworld II - Missing, Presumed...? but the discs are, sadly, long gone.

I can't be the only one who noticed the irony.

Re:The important part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668602)

I have the original box for Discworld II - Missing, Presumed...? but the discs are, sadly, long gone.

I can't be the only one who noticed the irony.

and it would be considerably less ironic if the North American name (Mortality Bites) was used.

Re:The important part (2, Insightful)

c0d3g33k (102699) | about 4 years ago | (#33668132)

they still won't have a download client.

The only download client needed is a web browser. That is as it should be.

Re:The important part (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about 4 years ago | (#33668218)

No, you should have a proprietary client that uses a special protocol. It should be tied in to your globally-unique key, which upon first use adds your globally-unique MAC and CPU IDs to ensure that you are not selling the game to another user.

It should also be able to install other systems on your machine that track usage and report piracy.

Nah, it should be an FTP client.

Re:The important part (2, Informative)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 4 years ago | (#33668886)

Actually they DO have a client, you simply don't have to use it if you don't want to. During the last sale I used it, which is an Adobe AIR based downloader app, and it is really quite nice. I was able to queue all my purchases, including manuals and extras, and have it download everything and put it where I wanted it while I worked on a customer's PC. It was averaging about 1.2Mb per second, which on my 2Mbit cable connection is damned good, and it didn't try to set itself to run at startup or any other crap.

As for TFA and their "stunt"...are the games still x64 compatible? Are they still cheap? Are they still DRM free? if so I really don't care, as next week when I get paid from these clients whose machines I'm staring at I'll be having me a little purchase fest from GoG just in case they DO go OOB in the future. so I guess at least in my case it worked, as those titles I've been sitting on a fence about WILL be on my portadrive by this time next week. Go GoG!

Oh, and for those just tuning in who have never bought from GoG? NO DRM, NO problems with any of their games and x64, even the old ones like Redneck Rampage, NO limits on downloads, or number of machines you own which you can install on, and NO game over $10. trust the feet, which has a nice and quickly filling virtual gameshelf there, their support, service, and most importantly games, are all great and cheap. Oh and from talking to others they run sweet in Wine and DOSBox on Linux, so what could be better? You other guys can keep your Steam, with its always wanting online crud, I'll be stopping by GoG baby, yeah!

Re:The important part (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 4 years ago | (#33668156)

Love it or hate it, this is one of the more successful marketing stunts of late.

Yes, lying can be very effective marketing. Just like the important announcements about my Verizon service I get all the time (actually FiOS ads), the Clear ads I get in envelopes saying "This is not junk mail" on the outside, the letters to my business that look like they are from government entities (but aren't, as the fine print admits), and the Siemens pop-up ads on scientificamerican.com that have an extra "close" button that takes you to the Siemens website. As long as consumers fail to get sufficiently outraged about such crap, it will only get worse.

Re:The important part (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33668270)

Not that I disagree with anything you've said, but my comment was based a lesson I picked up from a former prof: "the only bad marketing is when people don't learn what your product is". Shutting down out of the blue was a dick move but their brand awareness is now through the roof.

Re:The important part (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#33668534)

All marketing is lying.

Re:The important part (3, Insightful)

doti (966971) | about 4 years ago | (#33668578)

they did not lie.

they just said they couldn't keep the site the way it was.

it was the news (including /.) that said that they were closing.

Re:The important part (1, Insightful)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 4 years ago | (#33668706)

"We're closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await."
When was the last time you heard a company say something like that when announcing that their service was coming out of beta? Sure, if you parse it really carefully you can claim that it technically isn't a lie, but how did they expect it to be interpreted? If the news (like slashdot) misunderstood their intent, why didn't they put out an announcement contradicting it immediately?

Re:The important part (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 4 years ago | (#33668278)

Bleh. This is the first I'd heard of them, and now I'm mostly annoyed by the publicity stunt. They may have a good product, but their advertising has turned me off. I don't feel inclined to rush over there and try their stuff.

Re:The important part (2, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 4 years ago | (#33668296)

No, a successful stunt suggests that you pulled it off. Everyone knew it was a hoax from the beginning and said so, therefore, they failed.

Secondly, they would have had plenty of game press coverage if they just announced the changes without pulling this stupid stunting gimmick. Hell, RPS and Joystiq (among others) not only cover them regularly, but write about their weekend sales on a regular (almost weekly) basis.

This didn't get them more attention than it otherwise would have. The only thing this accomplished was to accumulate a lot of ill-will from their existing customers who don't take well to poor decisions like this, where they feel patronized. For me, it's not so much that they were pulling a stunt -- it's that it was so offensively stupid and poorly done. As if they really think that little of their consumers.

It's like people who pull "practical jokes" on April Fools day. Only, they're not so much jokes when their whole shtick is "hey, why are you at work today -- it's saturday! Hah! Just kidding, it's really Friday! GUFFAW GUFFAW GUFFAW HYUCK!".

I was a big fan of these guys, but I don't want to encourage or support douche-baggery. Best of luck to them in the future, and here's to hoping they figure out how to NOT suck at public relations.

Re:The important part (1)

syousef (465911) | about 4 years ago | (#33668424)

Love it or hate it, this is one of the more successful marketing stunts of late.

Successful? I didn't realise that the goal of marketing was to make your customers and potential customers believe you're incompetent losers. I have much less respect for GOG after they've pulled this and am less likely to buy. I can't believe I'm the only one.

Re:The important part (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#33668494)

Which is all I care about. You can rip the games out and play then on dosbox or wine.

Re:The important part (1)

kurokame (1764228) | about 4 years ago | (#33668518)

If it was so successful, shouldn't I know or care what their product is by now?

Annoying stunt, but still glad they're here. (2, Insightful)

Shadmere (1158007) | about 4 years ago | (#33668008)

I hate it when people and companies pull stuff like this. But for once I'm glad it was just a stunt, because I'd hate them to disappear. Maybe if it was a good enough stunt, they'll even get increased traffic. More importantly, maybe it'll help remind people how sad it would be if the site WAS gone.

Re:Annoying stunt, but still glad they're here. (2, Insightful)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 4 years ago | (#33668258)

It's not a stunt, it's lying. "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." What friggin part of "closing down" implies they will be back?

Re:Annoying stunt, but still glad they're here. (2, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#33668548)

They meant closing down the beta service, they left that out for excitement or whatever some marketing moron thought.

Unintended consequences (4, Insightful)

lgftsa (617184) | about 4 years ago | (#33668030)

The stunt worked, they got two front page /. articles about them. Of course, the downside is that they're now on my blacklist.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33668072)

Why? I mean compared with the problems people have with their competitors, this is really not that big of a deal. I've had DRM problems which resulted in a similar level of trouble from competitors, at least in this case it's somewhat understandable.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#33668178)

Whatever you care to say about DRM, it is at least honest. Amazingly enough, some people prefer to do business with honest assholes than with dishonest nice guys.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33668370)

Honest? Depending upon the particular type of DRM, they might not let you even install the software if some random application is also installed on the system. Frequently they don't tell you what the restrictions are prior to purchase and they don't provide a refund if the DRM prevents you from using the software that you've paid for.

Admittedly, that's more towards the scummier end of things, but DRM often seems to lack honesty. I'm not sure the last time I saw a CD which stated that it had DRM, the only strategy I found was looking for the official CD logo on it, as Phillips refused to authorize its use on any noncompliant disc.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#33668622)

What I mean is that, with DRM, you know what you are getting, or you should. No one is claiming that DRM is anything but what it is. These guys claimed they were shut down when they weren't. That makes them liars.

Re:Unintended consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668718)

Could you log in to the service? No - then they were shut down, if only temporarily

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 4 years ago | (#33668446)

Dishonest nice guys. That's quite the description... hehe.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#33668634)

Well, GOG.com seem like nice guys, doing the right thing, happy customers, etc., except then they went and lied like this. Bad form.

Re:Unintended consequences (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668516)

Forced compliance is not honesty.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#33668662)

Yeah, but that's not what I was refering to. You know when you are buying a DRMd game. You know what DRM is for, and who it serves. You know you are dealing with assholes. With GOG.com, I don't know, can I trust them? They are liars. As I said, I'd rather deal with the asshole that I know is an asshole than the supposed "nice guy" who fakes his own death as a publicity stunt.

Re:Unintended consequences (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#33668574)

Really? What boxed games say on the outside "warning includes securerom and may screw your machine"?

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#33668684)

Does it need to say that? I just assume, if it is commercial, it has DRM, and if it has extra nasty DRM, I will have heard about it.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

Nugoo (1794744) | about 4 years ago | (#33668796)

Well, if it doesn't say it on the box, you're buying from dishonest assholes.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 4 years ago | (#33668888)

Fair enough they put warnings on games that you will need an internet connection.

What they don't tell you is the other side of things, a purchase with an online activation requirement is essentially a rental of unspecified duration, sooner or later those activation servers will almost certainly be taken offline (especially in an industry as volatile as gaming, sure steam is big now but who knows if it will stay that way). Nor do they tell you about the problems that ever more agressive CD protections schems can cause.

Afaict GOG didn't actually lie, they just posted things in a slightly misleading way. They said the site was down, they said it wasn't the end, they just didn't give any details as to what would be happening causing people to speculate the worst.

Bad moderation (-1, Troll)

Mathinker (909784) | about 4 years ago | (#33668206)

Hey mods! Just because you don't agree with the post, it doesn't make it a troll.

Re:Bad moderation (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 4 years ago | (#33668798)

Clearly, you are mistaken. The only rational and sensible opinion on any matter is the one identical to mine. Therefore, no sane poster here can "disagree" in good faith. So, someone who "disagrees" can be safely presumed to be acting in bad faith and modded appropriately. (I.e., "Troll", "Flamebait", or the ever-effective "Overrated".)

Am I kidding, or am I serious? Good question.

Re:Unintended consequences (2, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | about 4 years ago | (#33668440)

This is the second time GOG has treated me in a somewhat crappy manner, though at least this time i've got a lot of company. (Yay?) However i'm not willing to boycott them permanently because of this stunt since they're the only ones trying to do the no DRM thing, even if they are sometimes asses about the way in which they do business.

However i do think i shall compare their catalog to Impulse's, find several games i want that both sites have, purchase those games from Impulse, ("Age of Wonders" seems like a good place to start) and then be sure to inform GOG about what i did and why i did it. Being DRM free can only make up for a certain amount of bad behaviour in other areas.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#33668588)

Is impulse DRM free? Does it require some bullshit client?

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

PincushionMan (1312913) | about 4 years ago | (#33668690)

Impulse has a (perhaps) IE based client which requires .NET 2.0 and doesn't work at all on Wine - to the best of my knowledge. Their DRM ranges from none to GOO (Internet activation required on first play) to Impulse::Reactor (I guess you can download it from the web and activate with GOO). Their DRM seems comparable to STEAM, but I don't believe it'll block you from playing if there is an Impulse update. As for transparency, FrogBoy is a head honcho (CEO?) and can be seen frequently pontificating on the Stardock forums. So if you want to know what direction their headed, you can get a feel from his comments.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 4 years ago | (#33668868)

I don't recall the technical details (i'm sure someone else will come along at some point and fill in the details) but Impulse has "light" DRM. I believe there's some kind of registration check at install, but nothing after that. You don't have to keep checking into some internet server to keep playing your game after it's installed. So worse than GOG but better than Steam in that regard.

My usual buying pattern when looking for games was to check first GOG, then Impulse, and finally Steam, and buy it from the first place i found it. However as i said, a lack of DRM doesn't mean i'm willing to put up with an infinite amount of bad treatment in other areas. I want to let GOG know that i'm unhappy, but i want to encourage them to improve their behaviour. "You're on my blacklist now and i'm gonna boycott you forever!" sounds kind of childish and doesn't provide much incentive for change. Either you're overrating and will eventually recant on your own, or you're serious and nothing they do will make a difference anyways. I intend to present them with a complaint about specific actions on their part, and evidence of a specific but finite amount of financial harm they have incurred because of it. Maybe they'll care, maybe they won't, but i think it's more productive than threatening some kind of boycott.

Re:Unintended consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668656)

You wouldn't have used GOG anyway, so it's of no loss to them.

Re:Unintended consequences (1)

kalirion (728907) | about 4 years ago | (#33668724)

I agree.

<Homer Simpson's voice>GOG, you just lost yourself a customer!!!</Homer Simpson's voice>

Let's be honest here (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33668048)

GOG has been gaining popularity and consumer visibility, ESPECIALLY in the past few months. Unless they were hit with a huge lawsuit or financial disaster, there would be no reason for them to close permanently.

Sincerely,

A not surprised (yet very relieved!) gamer

I hate this shit (0)

killmenow (184444) | about 4 years ago | (#33668078)

You know, the day they went down, I had just been introduced to DXX Rebirth [dxx-rebirth.com] and was going to buy the original Descent 1 and 2 from GOG.com to get the game content. Then they pulled this stunt. I am less likely to purchase anything from them now. Because I hate stupid bullshit stunts like this. But then, they probably will make up for any lost sales by the simple fact that now a whole lot more people have heard of GOG.com than before...so I doubt they care.

Re:I hate this shit (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668192)

Your personal convenience was interrupted for a few measly hours because a place-holder was up while they drew thousands more eyeballs to their site in an intriguing PR stunt now they feel ready to make a push for more sales outside of the miniature niche they've carved for themselves during beta so far and you're now less likely to buy from them?

Get over yourself. Seriously.

Best of luck to them, I'll be browsing as soon as pay day rolls around to see if they're carrying the extremely excellent original Discworld games. If so they can gladly take my money for them.

Re:I hate this shit (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 4 years ago | (#33668756)

Your personal convenience was interrupted for a few measly hours

GOG was down Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and is still down today. At midnight PDT tonight, that will be 144 hours.

How is that "few" or "measly?"

Re:I hate this shit (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 4 years ago | (#33668824)

GOG was down Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and is still down today. At midnight PDT tonight, that will be 144 hours.

Sorry, midnight EDT. Since they reopen at 8am tomorrow, that's 150 hours even.

DRM demonstration (5, Interesting)

MDHowle (634114) | about 4 years ago | (#33668112)

It was all a demonstration of what inevitable happens to DRM media.

Re:DRM demonstration (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668220)

It was all a demonstration of what inevitable happens to DRM media.

And targeted at consumers of non-DRM media: The message was "We operate on a shoestring, so buy it from us while we're still around to sell it." (Not a bad message, come to think of it. You'll buy that game now, not six months from now, since you don't know if the seller will be around six months from now. And if you do buy it now, because it's DRM-free, you'll at least have it six months - or six years - from now when you finally get around to playing it.)

Re:DRM demonstration (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 4 years ago | (#33668652)

And if you do buy it now, because it's DRM-free, you'll at least have it six months - or six years - from now when you finally get around to playing it.

Bought Half-Life 11 years ago. Registered it with Steam 7 years ago. Lost the disc sometime since then. Finally beat (the Steam DRMed versions of) Half-Life, Opposing Force, and Blue Shift 6 months ago.

You were saying?

Re:DRM demonstration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668730)

@AnonymousCoward IAGWTP. I will buy #fallout (1 + 2) when there back online 4 that reason

Confused (1)

Mathinker (909784) | about 4 years ago | (#33668232)

Wait a second --- you mean that someone hacked into their computers and brought everything back on line against their will?

Re:Confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668468)

I'm not particularly amazed that you are confused about this.

Why don't you go get me a sandwhich please?

Unprofessional (5, Insightful)

joshuaf (551531) | about 4 years ago | (#33668126)

I only have 2 games from them, but this kind of weird drama does make me less likely to purchase anymore in the future. It just seemed super unprofessional compared to steam and impulse.

Re:Unprofessional (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 4 years ago | (#33668164)

Why should a company that sells games act professionally? The sillier the better I say.

Re:Unprofessional (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668312)

Why should a company that sells games act professionally? The sillier the better I say.

There's this fine line between "silly" and "explicitly deceitful". One makes you laugh, the other is horribly sleazy.

Re:Unprofessional (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33668432)

Perhaps it's because I used to be in security, but that was probably the most transparent act of deceit I can recall. The page they put up implied very, very strongly that they'd be back to something analogous if not the same in short order.

Re:Unprofessional (2, Insightful)

Quirkz (1206400) | about 4 years ago | (#33668324)

Silly, yes. Great. Jokes. Weird promotions. That's all good.

Pretend you're going out of business when you're not? That's not silly, that's frustrating or unsettling.

Re:Unprofessional (1)

rm999 (775449) | about 4 years ago | (#33668670)

I bought a game from them last week, and was concerned that it would no longer be supported. This is especially scary when they don't sell you physical media.

Yeah... that was my last purchase from them.

Re:Unprofessional (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | about 4 years ago | (#33668828)

Yeah... that was my last purchase from them.

^^

I don't buy appliances from the crazy neighborhood appliance store that's had a perpetual "going out of business sale" for the last three years, either.

Re:Unprofessional (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668392)

Why would you not purchase from them in the future? You pick a game, you buy it, and download it, and it's yours. DRM free. For life. You're not buying stock in the company. Or are your principles so rigid that you have to take a stance against every "wrong".

Re:Unprofessional (2, Insightful)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 4 years ago | (#33668532)

Why would you not purchase from them in the future?

Because the money you are giving to people who are willing to lie to you if it will put more cash in their own pockets could otherwise be spent on products from companies that have an ounce of respect for their customers. If you don't punish companies that cheat, the only companies that will survive are those that do.

Re:Unprofessional (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668636)

How was this cheating? They didn't threaten to leave if people didn't pay them money. They even said they'd be back in some form or another.

Re:Unprofessional (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 4 years ago | (#33668772)

So using DRM is respect for their customers? Because that is what other game sellers do.

If you could not see through their little "deceit" you need your head examined.

Re:Unprofessional (3, Insightful)

joshuaf (551531) | about 4 years ago | (#33668632)

Except I hadn't actually downloaded them yet. I mostly bought them as a show of support for a DRM free company that was bringing back old games. It was MOO 1 and 2. I just liked knowing I had them out there when I wanted them. I've also since bought the same games on steam, when they later came there. Guess where I can download them from RIGHT NOW if I wanted. This is what makes me less likely to buy from them in the future.

is "marketing" a real profession? (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 4 years ago | (#33668162)

Wow! What a concept. Promote your site by doing something that may cause the majority of people who might be interested in it to delete their bookmarks and never come back.

So... (1)

rakuen (1230808) | about 4 years ago | (#33668166)

If this is an advertising stunt, does that make the old GOG.com a stunt double?

Lovely. (2, Insightful)

RyanFenton (230700) | about 4 years ago | (#33668200)

Essentially, they call their customers suckers after taking away access to the games they chose to pay GOG money for, then call them too sensitive for feeling pissed off by that ("We're sorry you were offended"), then say that taking money for games is no longer good enough, so everyone's just going to have to take, oh, let's say whatever we decide is good enough for you.

This certainly matches with the usual playbook of corporate non-apologies - smarmy, fake ingratiation, blame shifting their own words, all while asking for more control and resources.

Say what you want about Steam's DRM model - they don't have this level of open contempt for their customers (yet). I'd seriously reconsider any titles I had associated with these jokers if I were ever looking to publish.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Lovely. (1)

zorg50 (581726) | about 4 years ago | (#33668236)

You'll have to watch the video currently embedded on their homepage for it, but they did apologize (in a kind of idiotic fashion):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATNd4qbNTf8 [youtube.com]

Re:Lovely. (1)

RyanFenton (230700) | about 4 years ago | (#33668334)

Yeah - that was the fake ingratiation part.

Ryan Fenton

Re:Lovely. (3, Informative)

KillaGouge (973562) | about 4 years ago | (#33668240)

As long as you kept the files you downloaded, you can ways play the games. I think you might need to take a little time and think next time. Unlike Steam's DRM model GOG has no DRM and doesn't have to every phone home to a server.

Why are you so angry?

Re:Lovely. (3, Informative)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33668470)

The big issue there was that some people had just purchased and as a result hadn't had the chance to download and secondly, they'd promised the customers that they'd always be able to download the games. I'm not sure anybody really believed always, but I do think that most of us assumed that when or if they shut down that there'd be arrangements in place or some sort of warning to download your stuff.

I mean even 3d Realms when they went out of business made arrangements to handle recent orders.

Re:Lovely. (1)

KillaGouge (973562) | about 4 years ago | (#33668716)

I do believe there was a post on either their Twitter or their site that in a few days something would be put in place to let people download the games.

Re:Lovely. (2, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | about 4 years ago | (#33668818)

Still, it was a publicity stunt that basically took away access to the product they just sold to people. If I sell you something and then take it away before you can access it during a publicity stunt, what are you going to say? Are you going to be happy? They just took your money and said they are shutting down. You're out of a game you just purchased. A few days later, "HAHAHA we're joking!, you can access it when we feel like bringing the servers back up!" Really shady.. Really, really, shady. So shady in fact, that I will make it a point to not purchase from them in the future. This was the first I heard of them (well, a few days ago when they started the stunt anyways) and from what I've seen, they will take your money and shut down for a few days if it suits them.

Re:Lovely. (1)

KillaGouge (973562) | about 4 years ago | (#33668836)

This is just a question I had. Was it really there 1 second then gone the next? I find it hard to believe that that it was there long enough to enter your payment information, then suddenly vanish as soon as you hit submit.

Re:Lovely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668700)

Actually, I think they were making fun of you, specifically, RyanFenton. I suggest you stick with the people who don't single you out and make fun of you.
BTW. that wasn't you doing the heavy mouth-breathing that starts about halfway into the video, was it?

Re:Lovely. (2, Insightful)

maugle (1369813) | about 4 years ago | (#33668778)

"Taking away access?"
You buy and download the game. It's yours. Forever. No matter what happens to GOG that game will still play on your PC

If Valve ever goes under, though, you're SOL. All your games will no longer work*.

*Yes, I know Valve could release DRM-removing updates on all their games if they start going under. Really think that'll be high on their list of priorities, though?

Bad Show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668214)

Sorry, this does not come across as a professional way to present yourself.

Could you imagine if you get a message from your doctor stating that it was vital you call them back immediately, your absolutely must discuss the next step of your therapy or risk severe illness or even death, and when you call them in a panic, you're told that your results were fine, you should get a little extra exersise, and they just wanted to make sure they got your attention?

That's a way to lose customers.

Marketing... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | about 4 years ago | (#33668230)

Everything I know about marketing I've learned from Mad Men.

Don Draper, Roger Sterling and Bert Cooper don't like stunt advertising gimmicks, so neither do I.

Seriously though, this kind of a stunt pisses me off, it's cheap, weak and I won't buy from them again.

Re:Marketing... (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 4 years ago | (#33668586)

Heinz did a similar thing a few years back, IIRC. They said they were going to drop Salad Cream in the UK, claiming that it was losing ground to more exotic dressings. It got a ton of news coverage before the company decided to "change their minds" and keep on selling it. Thankfully. It's delicious!

I actually fell for it too, I started buying it more frequently after that episode. It's one of those things you don't think of because it's been around for so long, and the thought of "what would life be like without it" is sometimes a great way to stoke any lapsed interest. Kinda like suggesting to your GF that you split up, it's a great way to put a spark back into the bedroom and make sure you get a full service.

Annoying, but I can live with it. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668234)

Long happy sigh of relief. As a long time and VERY loyal customer, I'm going over there and buying a couple of the games I've had my eyes on.

As a loyal customer (5, Insightful)

thetagger (1057066) | about 4 years ago | (#33668246)

... this stunt was horrible and silly and an annoyance. I recently reinstalled my computer, and when I went to Gog.com to redownload Gabriel Knight I got that stupid "zomg we're closing down" message. It feels like something straight out the 1990s, when nobody expected any degree of seriousness from Internet companies - thanks for reminding us how WE SHOUDLN'T TRUST YOU in the future, that's great marketing.

Chargebacks (1)

Barefoot Monkey (1657313) | about 4 years ago | (#33668272)

I sincerely hope that they didn't get hit too hard with credit card chargebacks when they dropped the site. That may have proven to be an expensive stunt.

Man, I'm glad that they are returning, and I like the countdown on the site; the sense of anticipation reminds me of back when they were starting the closed beta back in 2008. Can't wait to see what my favourite website will look like when it reopens tomorrow :)

Fire your PR firm (1)

syousef (465911) | about 4 years ago | (#33668280)

Whoever organised this stunt needs to be shown the door. They've managed to do permanent damage. What's more it was so badly executed you wonder if it was the incompetent work of a 3rd grader.

Re:Fire your PR firm (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 4 years ago | (#33668506)

To be honest, it's going to be interesting to see whether this was more harmful, helpful or makes little difference. I suspect that it's not going to do them a whole lot of harm, as they've got a really loyal customer base and most of the competition is worse behaved.

Personally, I'll be recommending them in the future, it's just really hard to pass up on cheap, DRM free games that are simply fun to play. There aren't a whole lot of options for that out there.

Re:Fire your PR firm (1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 4 years ago | (#33668618)

I'm not sure, but if any 'harm' comes to the company from this, I suspect it'll be less from people being angry at them, and more from people who either saw the reports of GOG's demise, or saw the 'placeholder' page, left, and don't come back because they missed the news that the site is back.

That is, people who heard GOG was dead, and believed it, and just never look again.

Good God, it's Magog Brothers!!! (OT) (1, Offtopic)

wagadog (545179) | about 4 years ago | (#33668348)

"Yes my brother Gog was right. How were we to know the comet would land right in the middle of our giant warehouse. It's a cataclymic sale down here. We're up to our poor necks..You're crazy we got'em. Your nap will rise again and that's my story...Good god its Magog brothers, Atlantis Carpet Reclaimers, serving Hooker, Heater, Hellmouth, and the low desert area."

-- Firesign Theatre from "Everything You Know Is Wrong (and dogs fly spaceships!)"

Re:Good God, it's Magog Brothers!!! (OT) (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 4 years ago | (#33668564)

Ahh, it's just filled with moss. Easiest money I made in my life.

Was it really a "hoax"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668374)

I don't know, this smacks less of "hoax" than it does of "we thought we were through but we managed to pull off some kind of Hail Mary Pass and now we're downplaying how close a shave it was". Is there any evidence that this was their plan all along?

Not a hoax, and not really a stunt... (2, Insightful)

seebs (15766) | about 4 years ago | (#33668462)

So far as I can tell, nothing they said was untrue, people just read more into it.

Re:Not a hoax, and not really a stunt... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668616)

So far as I can tell, nothing they said was untrue, people just read more into it.

"We're closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await."

"No, mom, I didn't light the cat on fire (the match I was holding did it)."

Re:Not a hoax, and not really a stunt... (2, Insightful)

kalirion (728907) | about 4 years ago | (#33668816)

Mr. Seebs,

We regret to inform you that your position has been terminated. You will now be escorted from the building by security. Someday next week we will allow you to stop buy and get your things.

-HR

4 days later:

Mr Seebs,

Haha, you fell for it. You're actually being transferred to a different position with the same responsibility, and we needed to remodel your office. Sorry if you were offended, but nothing we said was untrue - your fault for reading too much into it.

-HR

It sort of serves the GOG community right (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668600)

For 2 months the GOG forums have been rife with posts about how their birthday event better live up to expectations, or else (else is always ominously undefined). I think many customers were getting a little annoying. Living 2-3 days thinking GOG might be gone probably grounded a lot of these folks and imo it serves them right. I've purchased a ton of stuff from GOG and will continue to do so, since they're still offering the product that I want.

I was depressed when I saw the notice not because I wouldn't be able to redownload some games I'd lost in a hard drive crash but more because there's no other company like them. GOG folding would be essentially saying, "Okay, Steam wins." Steam sucks in my mind, if that's online game sales, count me out. I already feel marginalized for enjoying PC games (even if I do have a 360), I'd be left with only indie titles sans DRM on my PC. I like my indie titles but I also like some of the big releases and the classics.

I think there might have been a couple of behind the scenes reasons for doing this and all in all, it will benefit GOG in the longrun. It probably cost them some goodwill in the short term, but if the cost is low enough that's not de defacto a show stopper.

You were surprised? (1)

maugle (1369813) | about 4 years ago | (#33668704)

Honestly, when I saw their previous announcement, I instantly thought "Oh, they're just revamping their site".

The web page did say something was happening today (2, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 years ago | (#33668806)

All the people who said they had failed was either reading a bad summary or didn't check it out for themselves.

Their temporary page had two things.

First, was, they "could not continue operating like this". Now, that can mean they're going out of business, or it can mean something else. The literal translation is, "change is happening". That change could be "this site is dead", or it could be "please wait for the new and improved GoG 2.0".

Secondly, they said "you will be able to download all your games on Wednesday". So something was happening today. If they were shutting down, it's a last-gasp download mania.

Fact is, they didn't say "GoG.com is now closed for business, we thank all our customers for the past 2 years". It's also sort of unprofessional, because it screws everyone who bought a game just before they shut down, but haven't downloaded it yet (which is a dick move).

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668862)

Seriously. The site was down. The general consensus was that it was a stunt, a dumb stunt, but would back up soon. Et volia!

Nobody was *seriously* inconvenienced, and if you were, it is because you didn't save your purchased games, and you didn't get to play them for a few days, boo hoo.

Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33668882)

What a wonderful way to foster credibility

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