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GOG com Now Officially Support Linux Games

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Today marks a big day for Linux and DRM free gaming. are now officially supporting Linux on their store, and so that's pretty much all major online stores supporting Linux. The only other store I can think of that doesn't support us is Origin, and who really wants that anyway? Oh, and there's Uplay...

This turnaround of GOG now supporting Linux is amazing, as we spoke to them in September last year where they confirmed to us that they were not going to support Linux. Then, in March this year, they confirmed that they are indeed going to support Linux.

GOG for Linux launches today with over 50 Linux titles in their store. Among the games are a number of titles that have never been officially available to Linux gamers before, including Pirates!, Sid Meier's Colonization, FlatOut, 3D Realms hits like Blake Stone and Rise of the Triad, and more.

I had a chance to get a few questions answered by GOG themselves again, and the bit I emphasised in the first paragraph made me smile!

What changed within GOG to go from no support to actually having games for Linux in the space of just over a year? The original point was that there were too many distributions and GOG didn't want to support just one or two, so what changed?

We were thinking about it a lot and the feedback from the Linux community was vital. We basically revisited the whole idea and decided to make it one of our main goals in 2014, with a "whatever it takes" kind of approach. Our main Linux guy even happens to have been one of the GamingOnLinux faithfuls! After many internal discussions we decided that it will simply be better to support the two most popular distributions, Ubuntu and Mint, rather than not do it at all. Currently, is the only digital distribution platform that will provide extensive support for specific Linux distros, instead of not taking any responsibility for the quality and compatibility of the content we have on offer. For all the Linux gamers using other distros, the least we could do was to give them .deb and .tar.gz files to work with.

Still, it all takes some time. users are already used to a certain attention to detail and quality of service on our part. We wanted to deliver the best possible experience to Linux users by making sure we test the games properly, and by launching Linux on with a solid lineup of games with many more titles in the pipeline. Keep in mind that releasing a classic game that up to that point was never available for Linux means additional contracts with rights holders and a certain amount of work from our test lab.

When is GOG planning to have Galaxy available for Linux? Will it be with the Windows release, or a delayed release? If a delayed release, why is that?

We'd rather stick to the here and now instead of talking about the future plans. We have not announced details for the launch of the Galaxy client for any single platform yet. With the project still going at full speed there is plenty of work ahead. We have made our first major step into Linux territory and we promise it's not the last one. We'll tell you more when we have details; for now, enjoy the fresh Linux compatible games.

Have GOG thought about open sourcing the Galaxy client? There have been calls for this already.

We don't want to delve into theory crafting, so the only way we can answer this right now is that we do find the idea of having our client app open source at some point in the future interesting and we're well aware of your feedback.

If you are using Wine for some games, what are your thoughts on the possible backlash of what some may feel isn't a Linux version, but merely a Wine wrapped Windows game?

This is the train of thought we followed: by using Wine, we can offer you support for some games that would otherwise never be officially available on Linux. Most of those are pretty old titles and their source code was lost ages ago, so this is basically the only way to bring them to you. It's exactly the same situation with DOS games.

We are quite aware that a certain part of the Linux crowd is less than thrilled to see games brought to Linux through a back door, so to speak. That's why all Linux versions that are using Wine wrappers have that information explicitly included in the "game requirements" field on their gamecard.

Typically on a service like Steam, if you want a refund you really have to fight for it, and given that Linux is new territory for GOG, how will you go about refunds for games that users cannot get to work?

It's simple, really. We’ve got our Money Back Guarantee for Windows and OS X users and there is no reason why it should be any different for Linux. We have officially announced that we will provide support for the two most commonly used distros: Mint and Ubuntu. If someone that fulfils that requirement is experiencing technical issues with a game and if our support can't make it work, we'll give them their money back.

I would like to thank the GOG team for answering those few question as I know they are very busy.

It will be interesting to see the reaction to games on GOG that use Wine which we knew was going to be the case anyway due to the job description including dealing with Wine. Personally, I have no issue with properly supported (support itself & refundwise) Wine wrapped, old games. If they work then that's all that matters, and it counts as a Linux sale for GOG to look at sales numbers from Linux.

I hope that a lot of developers can push games to GOG easier now that GOG is crossplatform for Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. It sure would make things easier for them. The great thing about GOG is it seems to have some level of curation as opposed to places like Desura and Steam that now seem to let tons of crapware (and that's putting it lightly) onto their stores.

The main reason we are so excited to have GOG in bed with Linux is their stance on things like refunds and DRM. They dislike DRM and they are pretty good with refunds, and those are two things Steam isn't exactly good with.

This is an important milestone for Linux gaming, so... bring it on, GOG! Now where's my cake and hat?

There is a big sale on now too, so be sure to grab some cheap games.

Final funny note: I personally asked about Linux support 4 years ago. My, how things change!

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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berarma 27 Jul, 2014
Good news. While I can understand they choose to fully support just a few distros I hope they don't put unnecessary barriers to other users. Please don't confuse supporting one distro with screwing other ones, one thing doesn't have to imply the other necessarily.

Having tarballs is good, even for Ubuntu/Mint users, restricting refunds to only supported distros is not so good. I think Desura is distro-agnostic, if only they hadn't got a bit stagnant in the game front... GOG in the other hand has already some popular oldies and awaited genres like car-racing.

I don't care as much about Wine/DOSBox as long as it's the best possible porting option, it's advertised and sales count for GNU/Linux.

I'll try registering and buying some GOG exclusive game and see how things work out for a Debian user.
Cheeseness 27 Jul, 2014
Quoting: Hamishlet alone the whole other element of potentially endorsing development for another currently viable platform as opposed to your own.

Isn't this really only an issue if you're purchasing titles that are in active development that are distributed with Wine?

I agree with your other point (although ScummVM seems to chase many disparate targets even if none of them are moving), but does that matter for this? If a game is sold as working and it works, upstream development doesn't have much impact on consumers until/unless there are updates, and GOG is presumably going to be doing QA before passing anything down to users.

Quoting: HamishEDIT: So the 30 day money back guarantee does only apply to support issues rather than as a more general policy, which I do find disappointing.

Yeah, this is pretty disappointing, but it's what I was personally expecting.
berarma 27 Jul, 2014
Quoting: neffo
Quoting: ApopasFor me no need for Steam anymore! GOG FTW!
A rational response. How about celebrating having some choice?

I read it like he's celebrating choice.
berarma 28 Jul, 2014
I'm trying it and found some not so nice things.

The free DOSBox game Dragonsphere works without problems, no surprise, but no info about the wrapper before I buy.

I've tried Flatout2. It's a Mono game and not too old, I think a port should have been possible. It doesn't have sound because they may think duplicating your desktop sound libraries is a great way to ensure it only works on the specified Ubuntu/Mint versions. They even tell you about required packages to be installed but then use their own libraries instead. Sure, so many distros is the problem...

I don't like that they don't have a platform setting. I've disabled all email notifications for that reason. The only way I can add to GNU/Linux sales is by the downloads I do. I've already read some people download the Windows versions since it's easier to run than the wine-wrapped version. Too bad.

Another thing I've disliked is that they're supporting Windows versions more than 10 years old, and OSX versions 4 years old while they only support the latest Ubuntu/Mint versions. Since they're packaging libraries they shouldn't they're making it hard even to upgrade our systems without breaking the games.
stan 28 Jul, 2014
  • Supporter
Quoting: berarmaThe free DOSBox game Dragonsphere works without problems, no surprise, but no info about the wrapper before I buy.
You can add your vote to
Not sure if they care, but who knows.
psymin 28 Jul, 2014
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Heck yes! I just noticed that Darklands was available there for linux!

I'm so glad they're making it easy for people like us to 'just play' games when we want to.

I'm so not interested in finding a 5.25" floppy drive, a PC the drive will interface with, and installing all 9 or 10 of those disks under a DOS install .. then copying the files somewhere so I can launch them with an emulator ..

Totally worth the pocket change to have them wrap it up for me.

Props to GOG!
Hamish 28 Jul, 2014
Duke Nukem 3D and Rise of the Triad just work for me (even though they would probably be better served with source ports, but the data is there for whenever I want it) as do the Blake Stone games. Realms of the Haunting works in everything except the music which complains in the terminal. I have yet to try anything else, and I did not buy the Flatout games.

My brother cleared them out of most of their Linux sale items, barring a few exceptions - still, even with him deselecting a few games for various reasons, he still ended up purchasing a frilly pink princess game by mistake, even if it is a rather perverse one. I think his masculinity can handle it.:P
berarma 28 Jul, 2014
Quoting: stan
Quoting: berarmaThe free DOSBox game Dragonsphere works without problems, no surprise, but no info about the wrapper before I buy.
You can add your vote to
Not sure if they care, but who knows.

I did. That's the weakest of my complaints, DOSBox games are usually trouble free, but more info is always better. Thanks for the hint.
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