You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page.

GOG.com, the store that prides itself on offering "DRM FREE" builds of games has recently released Hitman - Game of The Year Edition from IO Interactive and GOG fans are not happy.

To set the scene a little, this is a single-player stealth game about running around assassinating various targets across a bunch of different missions. It's actually a pretty good game and it has a Linux build available on Steam ported by Feral Interactive, which is not up on GOG.

Here's the problem: many features in HITMAN require you to have an internet connection. This is different to a game that has online modes which would of course need the internet. This is a game you play by yourself. Story missions and bonus mission can be played offline but you have to be online for most of the progression for item unlocks, new start location unlocks, special contracts, featured contracts, escalation missions and more.

It might not fall under the technical meaning of DRM but forcing players to be online in a single-player game to access content never really goes down well, and so it's not surprising on a store like GOG for users to be unhappy. It didn't help that GOG did not mention any of this at release, simply slapping the usual "DRM FREE. No activation or online connection required to play. " tickbox on the store page. While it's still somewhat true it doesn't quite sit right. This has led to the Hitman release gathering one of the lowest ever user-ratings on GOG (1.4 / 5 right now).

GOG users wasted no time telling the store how they felt with over 1,000 comments on the release forum topic, with IO Interactive being aware of it stating in a recent livestream that they're following it and they say they're in discussions on it. Two days after release GOG posted this small statement in that same topic that reads " Thank you for bringing this topic to our attention. We’re looking into it and will be updating you in the coming weeks. In case you have purchased HITMAN and are not satisfied with the released version, you can use your right to refund the game. At the same time, while we’re open for meritful discussion and feedback, we will not tolerate review bombing and will be removing posts that do not follow our review guidelines.". Another post later clarified that " We will not remove reviews like that, only those that are against our review guidelines.".

Stating that unhappy users writing about actual technical features of the game is "review bombing" of course is really not going to go down well. The base price of the game on GOG (when the sale ends) is noticeably more expensive than on Steam too.

Later GOG added a notice to the top of the store page that reads "Please note: Internet connection is required to access Escalation missions, Elusive Targets or user-created Contracts. Story and bonus missions can be played offline.".

How do you feel about this?

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: GOG, Meta
24 Likes
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
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.
See more from me
38 comments
Page: «4/4
  Go to:

lelorrain 27 Sep
In the same vein, GOG is trying to force users to use their "GOG Galaxy" to install games on Windows or Wine! I could not install the latest version of Anno 1404 on Wine and when I tried on Windows/10 I got a message saying that Galaxy was NOT installed! I later discovered that when I start the game, it take some times for the game really load ... the reason, it's looking for GALAXY to load! BTW, Galaxy needs Internet connection to execute!
torham 27 Sep
Quoting: GamewizardWell in the case of Heroes of Hammerwatch it technically doesn't even have LAN play strictly speaking at least my Steam copy has no option listed LAN for MP it only offers the active server list. Still not sure why the devs dropped LAN play for it though as that was one of the huge initial draws for the first game was it had both LAN based play and single machine co-op options. The lack of them has really turned me off of Heroes of Hammerwatch as couch co-op with a buddy was how I most enjoyed the first game.

Heroes of Hammerwatch does basically have LAN, but Galaxy doesn't allow you to do matchmaking over LAN so you can't setup the game unless everyone is logged in. There is no set of official servers, all play is local (official servers would be worse of course). There is a gray-area Galaxy emulator out there you can use, which gives you LAN matchmaking and the game works fine on LAN with no internet. It would also be trivial for Galaxy to allow this mode of operation.

I think it is obvious they designed in the lack of LAN matchmaking specifically so you would have to be logged in to Galaxy, likely in an attempt to prevent piracy. We all got a worse version of the game, requiring internet access and accounts before we can play. At any moment our ability to play can be taken away. This is just one example of DRM on GOG, there hundreds of games there just like this.
I had to tap out all together from GOG. It became too much work for me to find out what is or is not missing in a game I wanted.

A lot of my friends are older gamers that don't even mess with Steam. Getting them onboard with GOG was a mistake as too many of them had to put in for refunds back to back as games they bought had some feature missing due to the requirement of Galaxy.

We ended up going back to Quake, Fightcade, Xonotic and random games on itch.io that have working online MP without a launcher.
GOG has their own share of blame here as they allowed a game onto their store that has DRM but what about IO Interactive ? Where is the hate for them for submitting a game with DRM onto a DRM free store ? This is why I am moving more towards FOSS games these days, the amount of publishers and developers worth my time and money for closed source games is dwindling. I would much rather spend my money donating to people and teams that share my values. What I also find funny is that all this is being talked about over a game that has no Linux version on the GOG store. Wonder why ? Ask IO and Feral. In my experience the typical response I have received was that Feral games has no plans to release DRM free versions of their games. Yet they are a Linux darling who can do no wrong in many people's eyes. There are many bad things happening in this story and much blame to go around but GOG will be the only one that Linux gamers attack.


Last edited by PublicNuisance on 28 September 2021 at 3:09 pm UTC
Quoting: PublicNuisanceGOG has their own share of blame here as they allowed a game onto their store that has DRM but what about IO Interactive ? Where is the hate for them for submitting a game with DRM onto a DRM free store ? This is why I am moving more towards FOSS games these days, the amount of publishers and developers worth my time and money for closed source games is dwindling. I would much rather spend my money donating to people and teams that share my values. What I also find funny is that all this is being talked about over a game that has no Linux version on the GOG store. Wonder why ? Ask IO and Feral. In my experience the typical response I have received was that Feral games has no plans to release DRM free versions of their games. Yet they are a Linux darling who can do no wrong in many people's eyes. There are many bad things happening in this story and much blame to go around but GOG will be the only one that Linux gamers attack.
Y'know, you make some decent points, but you could have just made them instead of in effect ragging on the whole community for not having made them before you.
Quoting: Purple Library GuyY'know, you make some decent points, but you could have just made them instead of in effect ragging on the whole community for not having made them before you.

Being correct means more to me than being nice. Shame that isn't the case for most people.
TheBard 30 Sep
Oh my God... when GOG tells you they'll do something soon, that doesn't smell good. How long have we been waiting for the Linux port of Galaxy that was supposed to be "comming soon" and still marked "in progress"?
robvv 9 Oct
Just seen this regard GOG's Hitman GOTY controversy.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.