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||5,455 (January 2013[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 Larnaca, Cyprus. GOG delivers "classic" video games through its DRM-free digital platform for Windows and Mac OS X. 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, wallpapers, avatars, and manuals. GOG also offers full customer support for all purchases.
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.
However, on September 22, 2010, GOG revealed that this shutdown was a marketing hoax as part of the site coming out of beta. The site's management, aware of the reactions to the fake closure, stated:
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 Mac games
In October 2012, GOG.com was announced to be bringing DRM-free games to the Mac. This included the previously Steam exclusive (Mac version) The Witcher and The Witcher 2, both made by CD Projekt RED.
Plans for Linux support
GOG.com is actively gathering user feedback in their community wishlist, and one of the most demanded features which is not yet marked as "in progress" is support for native Linux games, which gathered already more than 13,000 votes. GOG representatives commented on this request saying 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 it.
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 December 12, 2013[update], there are 673 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
- 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 2012-01-28.
- Callaham, John (2010-07-10). "GOG (Good Old Games) to offer classic PC DRM-free games for download". Big Download. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- "Web Site Terms and Conditions of Use". GOG.com. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- Nunneley, Stephany (2012-03-24). "GoG.com to become "bigger, fresher, newer" on March 27". VG24/7. Retrieved 20123-01-08.
- 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.
- 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!"
- Good, Owen (2010-09-19). "What's Happening With Good Old Games?". Kotaku. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
- 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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- Walker, John (2010-09-22). "Good Old Games Gets New, Relaunches". Rock Paper Shotgun. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
- 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.
- "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.
- Doucet, Lars (February 20, 2013). "Defender's Quest: By the Numbers, Part 2". Gamasutra.
- "Games Catalogue". GOG.com.