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Classic Games (Games) Software Games

DRM-Free Games Site GOG.com Gone 326

Posted by timothy
from the reconstruct-your-amnesia dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Just a day after adding a new game and a handful of promotions, GOG.com, a seller of classic games in a DRM-free format, has closed shop, leaving only a sparse placeholder page and a mention on Twitter that 'sometimes it's really hard being DRM-free... hard to keep things the way they are and keep management and publishers happy.' The site mentions that games purchased in the past will become accessible for downloading within the week, but there is no word on how long this will continue to be possible." The announcement on the site's front page says, in part, "This doesn't mean the idea behind GOG.com is gone forever. We're closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await."
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DRM-Free Games Site GOG.com Gone

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  • by therealmorris (1366945) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @07:15PM (#33630760)

    It's starting to look like the platform's shutdown is just a marketing stunt. Good Old Games spokesman Tom Ohle told us that "as the site says, this doesn't mean GOG is dead. We will have more to share in the next couple of days." A NeoGAF poster dug up a Polish business forum, in which CD Projekt co-founder Micha Kiciski purportedly mentions a conference dated for this Wednesday, adding, "we'll post information about this soon on GOG.com (please do not panic after reading the information contained there.)" We'll keep an eye out for more info.

    Joystiq [joystiq.com]

  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @08:00PM (#33631036)

    Or maybe Gog.com just hired a shitty accountant and he got behind on payroll. No sense jumping to conclusions before we know all the facts-- truth is, a ton of businesses fail for a ton of different reasons.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Klinky (636952) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @08:02PM (#33631046)

    Maybe check out Spring RTS?

    http://springrts.com/ [springrts.com]

  • Re:Sigh (Score:5, Informative)

    by hitmark (640295) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @08:12PM (#33631086) Journal

    Iirc, the GOG sold games where more then simply copies of old games. They provided binaries that would work on modern systems using the old data.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @08:42PM (#33631302)

    The main function a publisher provides for videogames is money. Games are expensive to develop. Game studios cannot always assume that financial risk. Remember that if you self develop you have to pay everyone's salaries, all the costs, while it is being developed. If it flops, you are SOL. So publishers are companies that put up the money. That is their primary function. You sell them a game idea they like, they put up the costs of developing it.

    Along those lines, they function as the business side of things. A bunch of programmers might not make for the best business team. The most classic example is Duke Nukem Forever. 3DRealm had lots of money from the original Duke title so they could self publish, if they wanted to, and elected to do so. However that meant nobody was minding after them to release it. So they faffed about and delayed things and so on. Eventually it became a joke, a lot of wasted money, and ultimately their demise. In a situation with a separate publisher they could have said "No, the game is looking good as it is. You go in to crunch mode, and we ship in 9 months." Might not have been The Best Game Evar(tm) had that happened but it would have been a game, not a perpetually half-finished project.

    Publishers also do marketing and distribution. If you think that is easy or unnecessary then that only exposes your ignorance of the situation. Stores are still where most sales happen (ask Stardock, they publish, develop, and sell online, they'll tell you stores still outsell online 3-4:1). Publishers make sure people know the game is coming out, negotiate with stores for shelf space and release dates, and so on.

    In fact, because of the distribution, even some self funded shops use publishers. Valve funds their own development, but uses a publisher for physical distribution (Activision I think).

    Also none of this is relevant to the older games being talked about. Even if you think they shouldn't have been paid for by a publisher, they were, meaning the publisher owns the rights and sets the rules.

  • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Informative)

    by jonwil (467024) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @09:23PM (#33631516)

    Given that the DRM solutions used by most publishers (such as SecuROM, StarForce, Safedisk etc) are produced by third parties, one assumes that producing a game with DRM is more expensive than producing the same game without DRM (both the costs to buy the DRM from a third party and the costs to integrate the DRM). Companies dont usually have teams of guys working on DRM integration (and in fact, companies like Sony probably go out of their way to make the DRM solution EASIER for publishers to integrate in the hope of getting the publishers to use their soltuion vs the other guys solution)

    I think publishers like DRM because:
    1.It lets them continue to push towards a world where all content requires DRM (no more small guys, only big guys who can get licenses for the DRM)
    2.DRM can (and does) make games harder to reverse engineer (which helps with stopping cheaters and in some cases modders) and can allow the games company to use the DMCA as a stick against people cracking their copy protection to get at game data files.
    3.Newer DRM solutions are increasingly being aimed at stopping not just piracy but unauthorized resale of ghames (no more second hand games market)

  • *shrug* (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 19, 2010 @09:28PM (#33631548)

    Last time I checked they didn't sell Ubuntu apps. I've never bough anything from them. Looks like I never will. Oh well.

  • Re:*shrug* (Score:3, Informative)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @09:39PM (#33631600)

    Last time I checked they didn't sell Ubuntu apps. I've never bough anything from them. Looks like I never will. Oh well.

    I have a bunch of their games running on Ubuntu through Wine, or using Linux executables with Gog.com data (e.g. Duke 3D).

  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @09:51PM (#33631648) Homepage

    Plus, they must suck at advertising. This is the first I heard of them.

    They're routinely mentioned on gaming sites, blogs, etc... Hell, this isn't even the first time /. has mentioned them.

  • by westlake (615356) on Sunday September 19, 2010 @11:05PM (#33631964)

    Plus, they must suck at advertising. This is the first I heard of them.

    A Google search of Slashdot.org for Gog.com returns 139 hits.

    Most from the Games section.

    Most on the theme of classic games updated for Vista and Win 7 [32 and 64 bit] and sold without DRM.

    Some commenting on the use of open source tools like DOSBox.

    Among the Gog titles were Arcanum, Gabriel Knight, Syberia. Nice selection of hard-core flight simulation games, RPGs and real-time strategy.

    Good Old Games [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

    by westlake (615356) on Monday September 20, 2010 @12:04AM (#33632356)

    They were profiting by selling games which rightfully belong to the public domain.

    The geek's sense of entitlement can be wonderful to behold.

    Syberia 2 is six years old.

    Many games in the Gog.com catalog were less than ten years old, less than fifteen years old.

    iD open sources aging game engines. It does not open source IP that remains commercially viable and makes their games and corporate identity unique.

     

  • by polle404 (727386) on Monday September 20, 2010 @01:47AM (#33632784)
    On GOG's front page:

    On a technical note, this week we'll put in place a solution to allow everyone to re-download their games.

    so they're working on it.

    Sad to see them go, I always enjoyed doing business with them.

  • by sammyF70 (1154563) on Monday September 20, 2010 @01:54AM (#33632816) Homepage Journal
    I can only speak about the games I bought from them (something like 15 games, the oldest being either Stonekeep or Flashback, the newest one probably Psychonaut), but they all came with a GOG installer. Obviously there is an EULA to check and you can (but don't need to) change the standard install directory (defaults to "c:\program files\GOG\whateverthegameis").

    No need to patch anything as those are old games. So far, they were all already patched to the latest official version.

    That's pretty much all there is to it. Start the setup, check EULA, click install. Optionally click "Start Game" instead of "Close" when the installation is done.

  • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Informative)

    by bruce_the_loon (856617) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:18AM (#33632886) Homepage
    You could just try Blizzard's online store which still has it for sale.
  • Re:Sigh (Score:2, Informative)

    by xtracto (837672) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:24AM (#33632914) Journal

    How do you know your friends aren't all laughing behind your back because you're the only sucker actually buying the game ?

    True. Depeding where the guy is located, if he is in say Mexico such thing is guaranteed. If you actually pay for the game your friends will mainly look you like you are crazy... unless you are in the 1% minority of Mexican population who have *a lot* of disposable income (e.g. eres fresa).

  • by X0563511 (793323) on Monday September 20, 2010 @05:27AM (#33633468) Homepage Journal

    You did read the page, right? It's stated plainly that they will be putting up a means for previous customers to get their stuff.

  • Re:Sigh (Score:3, Informative)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Monday September 20, 2010 @05:32AM (#33633498) Homepage Journal

    and, since you failed to say so, I should mention you download the game (via the WoW/SC2 download system) and never have to even look at a CD.

    Same thing for Diablo II and Warcraft 3.

  • by soccerisgod (585710) on Monday September 20, 2010 @06:42AM (#33633834)

    There was a lot of buzz about this yesterday, but in fact this is just a very stupid marketing stunt.

    All they're doing is going from BETA to NORMAL activity but they make it look like they're closing shop for the extra attention and "phew" effect afterwards.

    How do I know? Well, apparently there were some warnings about this not to be taken seriously by investors in other parts of the interwob.

  • by Jedi Alec (258881) on Monday September 20, 2010 @08:50AM (#33634550)

    It's not going to be a hot seller shop and I'm left to wonder how well the titles now run on a modern OS.

    Congratulations on never having heard of them but instantly arriving to conclusions anyway.

    For the record, one of the reasons that they're quite popular with a lot of us is that they take old games, strip out any DRM they may have and make them run properly under the latest OS's. So far every game I've gotten from them worked flawlessly under XP64 and Win7 without any unnecessary configuration or tinkering.

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