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The GOG team have confirmed in a new update on their plans for the store, and it seems they will continue to note that their Galaxy client is optional.

It comes at an interesting time, since there was a bit of an issue with the HITMAN release that ended up being pulled down since it required online to do a lot and unlock a lot of things. GOG is well-known as the DRM-free store, and this isn't exactly changing but they're tweaking what they mean by it.

They talk a little about how things have changed, and that some "of the most infamous DRMs of the past are thankfully long gone, it doesn’t mean the constraints are fully gone". It is a complex thing, as they say, as so many games now offer online features even for single-player titles, so GOG has more of a plan to handle them now.

Here's the three main points they will stick to:

1. The single-player mode has to be accessible offline.
2. Games you bought and downloaded can never be taken from you or altered against your will.
3. The GOG GALAXY client is and will remain optional for accessing single-player offline mode.

Point number 3 is an interesting one, as it's only optional for single-player. There are already a few games that use the Galaxy API for multiplayer instead of a standalone solution.

They also said they will continue to "make games compatible with future OSs and available for you for years to come".

When it comes to multiplayer "games with those features belong on GOG", although they will be updating the GOG store to let you more easily discover them and add more info to store pages to help better inform potential buyers.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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dpanter 18 Mar
Good news everyone! We will continue to make games compatible with future OSs and available for you for years to come.*




*
Spoiler, click me
Unless the OS is Linux of course, then we will continue to ignore you, fart in your general direction and revel in the tears of the several Linux gamers on the planet lolololoLLOLOLOL!!!!!11one
brokkr 18 Mar
I can't help feeling point number 1 doesn't do much to clear things up.

Wouldn't the release of Hitman (2016) on GOG be able to tick that box? Single player mode was accessible offline. Just not all of it. I would have given them more credit for including the word 'fully'. Or even 'fully*' with some allowable *-caveats.


Last edited by brokkr on 18 March 2022 at 10:46 am UTC
Liam Dawe 18 Mar
Quoting: brokkrI can't help feeling point number 1 doesn't do much to clear things up.

Wouldn't the release of Hitman (2016) on GOG be able to tick that box? Single player mode was accessible offline. Just not all of it. I would have given them more credit for including the word 'fully'. Or even 'fully*' with some allowable *-caveats.
I think that's the point of what they're saying, so stuff like HITMAN would now be allowed on.
brokkr 18 Mar
Quoting: Liam Dawe
Quoting: brokkrI can't help feeling point number 1 doesn't do much to clear things up.

Wouldn't the release of Hitman (2016) on GOG be able to tick that box? Single player mode was accessible offline. Just not all of it. I would have given them more credit for including the word 'fully'. Or even 'fully*' with some allowable *-caveats.
I think that's the point of what they're saying, so stuff like HITMAN would now be allowed on.

Ah, I see. I thought they were renewing their vows, not negotiating an open marriage
M@GOid 18 Mar
Offline mode for AAA titles is pretty much dead by now, since publishers want to milk anything with the label "game" in it. Is simply out of GOG hands. If they want to survive, they had to bend over for the publishers demands or not have a game to sell.
ShabbyX 18 Mar
Quoting: dpanterGood news everyone! We will continue to make games compatible with future OSs and available for you for years to come.*




*
Spoiler, click me
Unless the OS is Linux of course, then we will continue to ignore you, fart in your general direction and revel in the tears of the several Linux gamers on the planet lolololoLLOLOLOL!!!!!11one

Obviously Linux is not a *future* OS :D
Seems like every gaming company that champions DRM free eventually caves at some point. I remember Stardock's Brad Wardell and his infamous "Gamers Bill of Rights" that he never talks about any more, mostly because he almost immediately violated it when Sins of a Solar Empire was released in a crippled state requiring users to sign up at Stardock's website with a valid CD key so they could download the day one patch. There's just too much pressure on the industry to keep games locked down despite the fact that DRM has done nothing to curb piracy in the slightest and only serves to inconvenience the honest paying customer.

The only entertainment industry to get it right is the music industry which has embraced truly DRM formats like MP3 and FLAC which can be downloaded and used with zero restrictions.


Last edited by Mountain Man on 18 March 2022 at 12:30 pm UTC
Given I prefer to play single player games and to download the installers through their website this is good news for me !
eldaking 18 Mar
Urgh, when they start having to decide what technically counts as DRM-free to justify themselves things are pretty fucked.

To be fair, it is a non-trivial matter. Not all restrictions are created equal; while some are explicitly labeled as DRM, and fit a strict definition, some are more subtle about their control but accomplish similar goals. Hitman was one such case - "it is totally not always-online DRM, it is just a system to offer additional features!" and clearly lots of people saw it as equivalent to DRM. Or Steam's "you need the client to get the first copy of the DRM-free game" and "you need the Steam API and workshop for some features" - it is clearly not DRM from any rigorous definition, but for some people it hardly matters. Multiplayer is another big one, as the statements make clear, because usually publishers have so much control over multiplayer that it doesn't make much sense to talk about DRM.

But GOG advertised themselves as a DRM-free store. They don't get to wriggle out and exploit technicalities, not without severely undermining their claims. "We stand against DRM because we need to, but keep trying to find loopholes to allow it" is not a good selling point. Yeah, this means refusing precisely the super popular AAA games, that is the trade-off they were making since the beginning.
pb 18 Mar
Quoting: M@GOidIf they want to survive, they had to bend over for the publishers demands or not have a game to sell.

I don't think they have much in the way of surviving. Might be too late for that, I'm afraid. Let me tell you a story.

Some thirty years ago, a person who shall remain unnamed, opened a second-hand clothes shop. It was a low-budget enterprise that gave modest returns. It had many happy customers and the money was flowing. But she wanted more so she took the money and opened a bigger shop in a better (and more expensive) location to sell *new* clothes. Invested pretty much everything in the new shop and the first batch of new merchandise and... that was the beginning of the end. Operating costs went way up while the turnover went way down. The customers didn't come to the shop as there were many other similar (and arguably better) shops. The "old" customers were coming to buy second-hand clothes so they saw no point in coming to the new shop, they were only interested in what the old shop had to offer. Long story short, the business went belly-up after a few hard months.

This is not a made-up story and yet it's a perfect analogy to what gog has done. They had a good business packaging and selling good-old-games, but they thought they could "do better" and invested lots of money to become a "new games" shop. But they never stood a chance. That was not what their customers were expecting, and new customers were hard to draw in. Had they remained in their niche, their business would be small but steady. Low operating costs and modest returns. Right now, they will just keep posting losses until the board decides to close it all down. Tough luck. Maybe there is a way back, maybe there isn't. Probably the latter.
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