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GOG are ending their 'Fair Price Package program', soon after letting staff go

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It appears things aren't going overly well for game store GOG at the moment, under increasing competition they're starting to feel the heat.

First of all, in a report on Kotaku, GOG recently confirmed that they let go a bunch of staff. They claimed it was only "around a dozen of positions" while also bringing in new staff in other positions. Fair enough, that all sounds quite normal in the business world.

However, Kotaku spoke to an ex-staff member who basically said GOG haven't been doing so well financially. That seems to now be somewhat backed up a little, as GOG just announced today that they're ending their Fair Price Package program. This was the system that users could get wallet funds back on purchases, if the price of the game was more expensive in their country compared with North America.

What's also interesting in this announcement from GOG, is that they said they were able to cover the extra cost from it in the past and still turn a "small profit" which is no longer the case. As they say "With an increasing share paid to developers, our cut gets smaller.", so it sounds like they will at some point reduce their cut from developers (sound familiar?).

Their current plan for the Fair Price Package program is to continue it until 31st of March, so you have until then if you made use of it. Any funds you're given, will remain with you for 12 months so they won't vanish right away.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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130 comments
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eldaking 27 February 2019 at 4:14 am UTC
GOG Galaxy support is a big deal, if for no other reason because it is their flagship feature right now. They advertise like hell the thing, it is obviously important for them, but then they don't even release it as a beta for Linux users. It says a lot. But there are plenty of features associated with a client besides just downloading and updating games - multiplayer, access to betas, achievements and social features... All features Steam already has, mind you; even with Galaxy they aren't at feature parity yet.

Plus, something else that is very relevant is that games often have inferior/outdated/incomplete versions on GOG. Including, for example, a Linux version on Steam but not GOG (talking specifically about Age of Wonders 3). And that is not entirely their fault, I would blame it entirely on developers if it were not for a recent article about how their upload system is horrible and in particular for Linux, but still makes it a less attractive option.

The thing is that it is simply too hard for GOG to compete with Steam right now, or even with super-crap stores like Origin that have exclusives. Which sucks a lot, because they have strong selling points: besides the DRM freedom and old games they have some nice initiatives like GOG Connect and cool features like the lists of games. And I really like the interface they have for downloading "extras" for the games (such as soundtracks, manuals, etc), the wishlists, the client being optional (I like the client, but having it as an option is even better), etc. But network effects are too strong for this kind of online business - the bigger Steam is, the better it is to sell your game there (and less opportunity cost for not selling it somewhere else), the more games someone has there the more convenient to get games from there moving on, the more likely you hear about it or get your first game there... Steam doesn't even have to do anything bad to keep their dominance, because that's how the market is. And as for the big publishers, who can leverage their deep pockets to use noncompetitive practices, they might cause a minor inconvenience to Steam but can really hurt smaller stores like GOG and Humble and even itch. Which are the ones who could offer real, quality competition. Imagine if GOG and Steam were head-to-head, and Steam had to take a stand against DRM? But no, it is Steam against Origin and Uplay and Blizzard store and Epic store, and instead of competing against DRM-free Steam has to compete with exclusives. Ugh.
GustyGhost 27 February 2019 at 4:58 am UTC
This year, I have spent more money on FOSS games than I had spent on proprietary games in the previous. Put your money where your mouth is.
Shmerl 27 February 2019 at 5:58 am UTC
Leopardyou're setting new lows

Quit trolling, no one is interested.
raneon 27 February 2019 at 6:50 am UTC
Shmerl
Klaas@Shmerl: According to elcook GOG is doing fine. And you know how accurate and honest he usually is.

I guess fine is relative. They still don't have resources to implement Galaxy infrastructure for Linux. Which means things aren't perfect. Still, claims that they don't support Linux are just false.

Don't think so. GOG sells Linux games, but that's it, real support is lacking, at least I'm not aware about their open source contributions. This is not comparable to Valve, not sure where we would be without their contributions to gaming on Linux.
Phlebiac 27 February 2019 at 7:10 am UTC
einherjarIt's some kind of "half hearted" Linux support.

For those who weren't around back then:
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/gogcom-dont-plan-on-introducing-linux-support-in-the-foreseeable-future-updated.2369/
TheSHEEEP 27 February 2019 at 7:45 am UTC
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I stopped using GOG entirely the moment I realized they aren't going to support linux with Galaxy.
Won't even buy Windows games there any more, because what's the point, really? In all likelyhood, I'd just be able to play it via Steam Play on linux anyway, so to Steam it goes.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 27 February 2019 at 7:46 am UTC
Sir_Diealot 27 February 2019 at 8:07 am UTC
Phlebiac
einherjarIt's some kind of "half hearted" Linux support.

For those who weren't around back then:
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/gogcom-dont-plan-on-introducing-linux-support-in-the-foreseeable-future-updated.2369/

Thanks, I wasn't around then and it's an interesting read.

GOG have been supporting Linux as was discussed back then for years, yet people keep whining.

I wish people were more honest. Like most Windows users won't ever use anything else most Steam users won't use anything else either. It's change, it's inconvenient and people don't like that. I understand, just cut the excuses, please.
KuJo 27 February 2019 at 8:20 am UTC
TheBard 27 February 2019 at 8:31 am UTC
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Sir_DiealotGOG have been supporting Linux as was discussed back then for years, yet people keep whining.

I wish people were more honest. Like most Windows users won't ever use anything else most Steam users won't use anything else either. It's change, it's inconvenient and people don't like that. I understand, just cut the excuses, please.

There's no excuses, just plain facts. I think all the people that commented here liked GOG but it hard to support a store when objectively they don't care that much about you.

The excuses are that GOG is too small to have the ressources of port Galaxy on Linux. Sure GOG is much smaller than Steam but it is bigger than Itch whose client works nicely on Linux. GOG have money or ar least they had. Like any company they prioritize where to invest it. Feature parity for Linux customer is just very low on their priority list. Even if they had ten times the money they have now they would most probably use it to gain market shares on Windows or Mac. I think they put their efforts into bringing big developers to GOG. Through the years many big publisher have joined. This is surely a better move for the business than suppprting such a small niche as we are.

So GOG support for Linux is minimal. Many people here said they do not buy on GOG anymore. So this cannot be fear of change but just going towards he ones supporting Linux
damarrin 27 February 2019 at 8:35 am UTC
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GOG’s installers are much better than what Humble puts out, where it’s just a zip file with even no icon. That said, it’s still completely incomprehensible for someone coming from Windows that they then need to enable the 32-bit architecture and install a bunch of libs in the terminal before the game they just installed can work.

When I have a game on Steam, I miss having an installer I can just copy places and install on various computers without installing a client. When I have a game on GOG I miss automatic updates and just being able to click to install something without looking for the installer or going to the website to download it. Having the Galaxy client on Linux would give me the best of both worlds and make GOG my preferred platform, but alas.
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