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GOG removes HITMAN after customer backlash over online features

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Recently we wrote about the stealth assassination game HITMAN landing on GOG.com. Not specifically Linux news but interesting industry news to keep an eye on, due to the massive backlash it had and now GOG has removed it for sale. Quick note: while the game does have a Linux build ported by Feral Interactive on Steam, like the rest of Feral titles it didn't make it to GOG.

As a reminder on the issue - HITMAN is a single-player game, however it does lock quite a lot of features to do with progression behind needing an online connection. With GOG being famous for its anti-DRM stance, bringing that over did not sit well with customers and the backlash spawned well over 2,000 posts on the GOG forum.

GOG did later add a notice about the online features to the store page but it wasn't enough.

Two days ago a GOG staffer mentioned it had been removed, here's their statement:

Dear Community,

Thank you for your patience and for giving us the time to investigate the release of HITMAN GOTY on GOG. As promised, we’re getting back to you with updates.

We're still in dialogue with IO Interactive about this release. Today we have removed HITMAN GOTY from GOG’s catalog – we shouldn’t have released it in its current form, as you’ve pointed out.

We’d like to apologise for the confusion and anger generated by this situation. We’ve let you down and we’d like to thank you for bringing this topic to us – while it was honest to the bone, it shows how passionate you are towards GOG.

We appreciate your feedback and will continue our efforts to improve our communication with you.

It may not be DRM since you can play it offline but for a store like GOG? It was clearly a bad idea to release it as it was.

For GOG, this was very clumsy. Hopefully their store team will be more careful in future to prevent such issues ever happening. You do have to wonder though - how did this not come up in conversations on releasing it? Perhaps it did and they thought it wouldn't matter? Either way, it's gone from GOG - for now.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: GOG, Meta | Apps: HITMAN
21 Likes
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14 comments
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einherjar 6 days ago
Isn't that weird?
Why wouldn't it be enough to make clear, that you need an online connection for the features X,Y,Z.

The customer can decide if it is ok or not.

Things like online rankings without internet connection is not possible, but even not a bad thing.
DaiKaiser93 6 days ago
Quoting: Ehvis
Quoting: DaiKaiser93
Quoting: x_wingSo they remove this game because it requires an online connection to play some missions but they will still have other games that you can only play multiplayer if and only if you have galaxy client. They can apologize all what they want but this smells more like a PR damage control.

For what I gather IO was blocking single player modes with online due to the modes having leaderboards.

There are plenty of games (also on gog) that have daily challenges with leaderboards that only work with an online connection. The only difference is that you can apparently earn starting costumes and items for the normal game with that. Not entirely sure because I never cared about those things. It does seem a bit overblown to me, but everybody knows how crazy people can get for simple things like cosmetic items.

Precisely, IO really dropped the ball with the implementation, I mean Streets of Rage 4 (Linux build) in GOG doesn't have online yet I can access the weekly challenges
Cyril 5 days ago
Quoting: DaiKaiser93
Quoting: Ehvis
Quoting: DaiKaiser93
Quoting: x_wingSo they remove this game because it requires an online connection to play some missions but they will still have other games that you can only play multiplayer if and only if you have galaxy client. They can apologize all what they want but this smells more like a PR damage control.

For what I gather IO was blocking single player modes with online due to the modes having leaderboards.

There are plenty of games (also on gog) that have daily challenges with leaderboards that only work with an online connection. The only difference is that you can apparently earn starting costumes and items for the normal game with that. Not entirely sure because I never cared about those things. It does seem a bit overblown to me, but everybody knows how crazy people can get for simple things like cosmetic items.

Precisely, IO really dropped the ball with the implementation, I mean Streets of Rage 4 (Linux build) in GOG doesn't have online yet I can access the weekly challenges

Slay the Spire have daily "challenges" too, but the way it works it's not an issue like this Hitman.
mark348 2 days ago
They basically had no choice but to remove it.
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