Screenshot of GOG.com's homepage
|Type||Limited company (subsidiary of CD Projekt RED)|
|Key people||Guillaume Rambourg (Managing director)|
|Industry||Internet, Computer and video games|
|Parent||CD Projekt RED S.A.|
|Alexa rank||3,867 (February 2014[update])|
|Type of site||Digital distribution|
|Launched||August 1, 2008|
GOG.com (formerly Good Old Games) is a computer game sale and distribution service operated by GOG Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of CD Projekt RED based in Warsaw, Poland. GOG delivers "classic" video games through its DRM-free digital platform for Windows, Mac OS X and since July 2014 Linux. In March, 2012, it began selling more recent titles such as The Witcher 2, Alan Wake, Assassin's Creed, among many others.
The games can be purchased and downloaded online, and they are distributed without digital rights management. The prices of products typically range from about $5 to $10 for older games, along with special offers in sales held several times a week. Some newer titles have a higher price.
The user does not have to install special client software to download or run the games, although an optional download manager is available. After downloading, the customer retains full ownership to the products: they can be archived on any personal storage media for unlimited time. They are independent of the customer's GOG.com account.
In order to ensure compatibility with newer versions of Microsoft Windows, some games are pre-patched or bundled with Open Source emulation and compatibility software, such as ScummVM and DOSBox. Additional compatibility fixes are included if required, sometimes coming from the game community itself (community-made patch). Examples of games which have such additional fixes are Outcast or Dungeon Keeper 2.
Along with purchasing the games, customers are also able to download numerous extra materials relating to the game they purchased. Often these extras include the game's soundtrack (partly as lossless FLAC), wallpapers, avatars, and manuals. GOG also offers full customer support for all purchases and a money-back guarantee for the first 30 days.
Promotions are organized regularly. The style of these promotions varies from a discount for products that are bought in bundles, to thematic competitions like riddles, “guess a game from a picture” contests or “best time on a specific level”. Also, GOG gives away promotion codes for a game with review contests.
|This section requires expansion. (April 2012)|
On March 26, 2009, GOG announced it had signed a deal with Ubisoft to publish games from their back catalogue; this was the first deal with a major publisher to offer DRM-free downloads. The deal to publish through GOG also included games that were not available through any other online distribution channel.
During a period of days from September 19 to 22, 2010, the GOG website was disabled leaving behind messages on the web site and their Twitter accounts that the site had been closed. A spokesperson for Good Old Games reiterated that the site is not being shut down, and confirmed news would be forthcoming about changes to the service. A clarification posted on the site on September 20, 2010, said they had to shut down the site temporarily "due to business and technical reasons", with industry journalists believing the shutdown may be related to the nature of DRM-free strategy, based on Twitter messages from the company.
First of all we’d like to apologize to everyone who felt deceived or harmed in any way by the closedown of GOG.com. As a small company we don’t have a huge marketing budget and this is why we could not miss a chance to generate some buzz around an event as big as launching a brand new version of our website and even more important, bringing back Baldur’s Gate to life!
The site returned on September 23, 2010, with an improved storefront and additional benefits, as outlined during a webcast presentation. During the presentation, GOG's co-founder Marcin Iwinski and managing director Guillaume Rambourg had dressed as monks to atone for their sins. The relaunch of the site was considered by Rambourg to have been successful, having brought new customers that were previously unaware of GOG.
As promised after its relaunch, GOG was able to offer several Black Isle Studios games such as Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment and Icewind Dale which have previously been unreleased through any download service due to legal issues between the ownership of Dungeons & Dragons-related games between Atari, Hasbro, and other companies.
Rebrand to GOG.com
On March 27, 2012, GOG announced that it was branching out to feature "AAA" and independent titles in addition to older games. The site was rebranded to GOG.com.
Expansion to OS X games
In October 2012, GOG.com was announced to be bringing DRM-free games to OS X. This included the previously Steam exclusive (OS X version) The Witcher and The Witcher 2, both made by CD Projekt RED.
In the CD Projekt RED company update in June 2014, GOG.com announced that it would be bringing a Steam-like client, GOG Galaxy, to Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. The client is designed as a storefront, software delivery, and social network client, allowing players to buy and play games from GOG and share them with friends. The client will retain the DRM-free objective of the GOG website.
Expansion to Linux
GOG.com gathered user feedback in a community wishlist, and one of the most demanded feature requests was support for native Linux games, which gathered close to 15,000 votes before it was marked as "in progress". Originally GOG representatives said, that there are technical and operational issues which make it harder than it seems, however it's something they would love to do, and they have been looking at.
On July 25th, 2014, Linux support was released early, and 50 games were released compatible with the operating system. Several of the launch titles included games that were newly compatible with Linux, while most of the games already supported downloads made for the operating system on other distribution platforms.
As gog.com releases typically no absolute game selling numbers, market share considerations of gog.com among the digital distributors are a challenge. But, sometimes an individual game developer releases his internal statistics about the selling performance on different game distribution channels for his specific game.
In an article dated November 11, 2011, PC Gamer reported statistics for online sales of the The Witcher 2. According to PC Gamer, Direct2Drive, Impulse and Gamersgate's combined sales were a total of 10,000 (4%), GOG sold 40,000 copies (16%), while Steam sold in same time period 200,000 copies (80%).
On February 20, 2013, Defender's Quest developer Lars Doucet revealed the first three months of revenue following his game's release across 6 different digital distribution platforms, including 4 major digital game distributors and 2 methods of purchasing and downloading the game directly from the developer. The results showed that GOG.com generated the second-most revenue of the 4 digital game distribution platforms used, trailing only Steam. Doucet noted that "for the major [digital game distributors], GOG's star is clearly rising. Even under direct competition, GOG generated 14.5 percent as much revenue as Steam. [...] Steam enjoys a captive market of ardent loyalists, but GOG is swiftly becoming an attractive alternative and gaining loyalists of its own, especially in the anti-DRM crowd."
As of June 9, 2014[update], there are 755 games available on GOG. More games are made available on the service several times a week. GOG.com has signed deals with a number of publishers, including:
- Adventure Soft
- Apogee Software
- Coktel Vision
- Cyan Worlds
- Deep Silver
- Electronic Arts
- Empire Interactive
- Enlight Software
- Epic Games
- Firefly Studios
- Focus Home Interactive
- Metropolis Software
- Oddworld Inhabitants
- Revolution Software
- Running with Scissors, Inc.
- Remedy Entertainment
- Sierra On-Line
- Square Enix
- Strategy First
- TopWare Interactive
- Valiant Entertainment
- Wordplay LLC (Access Software)
- "Gog.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
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- "Shape your career with GOG.com". Gog.com. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
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- Vilches, Jose (2012-10-19). "Good Old Games brings all-time classics to the Mac". TechSpot. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- Caron, Frank (2008-09-25). "Good Old Games and the 'idiocy' of DRM". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
- Caron, Frank (2008-09-09). "First look: GOG revives classic PC games for download age". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2008-09-27.
- Hall, Charlie (2014-07-14). "Nostalgia is a powerful drug: How GoG.com is growing beyond a back catalog". Polygon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-24. "That piece of software was designed to work with a version of Windows that is seven generations old. There’s no earthly reason it should play on a modern computer. And yet there are people out there who can make it work. Scattered across the internet, devoted fan bases secret that kind of information away. One team in Poland is constantly reaching out to these communities and soliciting their rarified knowledge, collecting and digesting their expertise so that other gamers don’t have to."
- terence_13 (2010-02-14). "Outcast Shamazaar-MUD+Twon-Ha patch inside". www.planet-adelpha.net. Archived from the original on 2010-08-25. Retrieved 2013-09-08. "The release of the Openoutcast-Demo has inspired my to finally sit down and try two find the cause of these two bug. After some hours with Ollydbg I finally nailed down the cause of the first bug. [...] Update: Twon-Ha Bug is also solved."
- "Outcast 1 available on GOG.com! | Outcast". open Outcast. 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2012-05-07. "I had some old save-games so I was able perform a quick bug-check. Twan-ha riding? – No problem! OK. Going through the mud in Shamazaar? – Cutter switches to normal walking speed, just like he should! OK. Music? – Plays normally! OK."
- _Zenger_ (2010-08-08). "EXPERIMENTAL OUTCAST HI-RES PATCH, UP TO 1280x768 + CYANA LIGHTHOUSE PROBLEM FIXED". gog.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. "Hi, I've made an EXPERIMENTAL patch to play Outcast in HI-RES, now You can play in 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x720, 1280x768. Also I have fixed the problem with the last jump at the Cyana Lighthouse, now You can reach that last platform without problems."
- gog.com team (2012-07-04). "Dungeon Keeper 2 Hardware Acceleration Fix is now LIVE!". gog.com. Retrieved 2013-09-08. "Please check your games shelf for an update to Dungeon Keeper 2. We just released a Hardware Acceleration Fix for you all to download. We hope it works well and we appreciate y'all's patience in this matter!"
- Devore, Jordan (2014-01-31). "How nice: GOG.com adds 31 FLAC soundtracks". Destructoid. Retrieved 2014-06-17. "One of my favorite features of GOG.com is its inclusion of bonuses at no additional charge [...] Going a step further this week, GOG.com has added 31 FLAC-encoded soundtracks to games like Another World, Darklands, Earthworm Jim, Heroes of Might and Magic, MDK 2, Neverwinter Nights 2, Shadow Warrior, and The Witcher."
- Griffiths, Daniel Nye (2013-12-09). "Good Guy GOG? Online Games Merchant Offers Money-Back Guarantee". Forbes Magazine. Retrieved 2013-12-29.
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- Pereira, Chris (2010-09-20). "Good Old Games Undergoing Changes But Not Shutting Down". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- Graft, Kris (2010-09-20). "Reboot For DRM-Free PC Game Download Service GOG.com?". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
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- Graft, Kris (2010-09-22). "'Monks' Confirm Good Old Games PR Stunt, Site Relaunch". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- Graft, Kris (2010-09-24). "In-Depth: GOG's Monk Fiasco And The Fight For Publicity". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- Graft, Kris (2009-12-19). "Hasbro Files Suit Against Atari Over Dungeons & Dragons Deal". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- Purchase, Robert (2010-09-28). "Planescape: Torment re-released at last". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- "Bigger. Fresher. Newer. See what's new on GOG.com". GOG.com. 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- GOG's new money-back guarantee is more about trust than refunds on gamasutra.com (December 2013)
- Farokhmanesh, Megan (2014-06-05). "GOG Galaxy promises no online activation needed for gaming". Polygon. Retrieved 2014-06-06.
- "Add Linux versions of games - GOG.com". March 2012.
- "GOG.com (Good Old Games): No Linux For You!". October 16, 2012.
- "GOG on Windows 8, Mac gaming, and Linux support". October 24, 2012.
- "GOG.com Soon On More Platforms". March 18, 2014.
- "GOG.com Now Supports Linux!". July 25, 2014.
- Hill, Owen (2011-11-30). "GOG release The Witcher 2 sales stats. Steam dominates all competitors combined". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2014-04-04.
- Doucet, Lars (February 20, 2013). "Defender's Quest: By the Numbers, Part 2". Gamasutra.
- "Games Catalogue". GOG.com.