GOG.com to relaunch with indie, mainstream new releases

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 06:00 GMT By Brenna Hillier

CD Projekt’s vintage gaming portal, Good Old Games, will shed its current moniker in favour of the simpler “GOG” as part of its overhaul as a more broadly-focussed digital distributor.

GOG.com’s bright and shining new website, which was teased last week, goes live at 9:00AM GMT on Tuesday, and brings more than a cosmetic upgrade.

Gamespot reports site will begin offering new release indie titles, starting with Trine 2 and The Whispered World, with other favourites like Machinarium, Darwinia and Spacechem to follow.

Moreover, the service will soon support mainstream releaes as well, beginning one to three years after their general release.

All games released through GOG.com will maintain CD Projekt’s firm anti-DRM stance, which likely explains the expected delay on traditionally published games, which generally have timed contractual obligations with regards to DRM.

That said, CD Projekt’s co-founder Marcin Iwinski said the delay is inspired by a gap in the digital distribution market.

“There are hundreds of great games released every year from publishers of every imaginable size. When you have a huge catalog filled with classics, it’s very hard to sell an older game without putting in on steep discount,” he said.

“At GOG.com, they know that even top-selling franchises might not be top-of-mind at the moment, and when they release a game on our service, they take the time to make it special, to give it its day in the sun, and generally showcase the value of the game to our audience.”

Iwinski also said that constant promotional sales undercuts the value of games.

“I believe a huge majority of digital distribution platforms (from Apple’s App store to Valve’s Steam, and many others) have become gigantic black holes that sign hundreds of titles and run tons of promotional sales,” he said.

“Running so many discounts decreases the perceived value of our entire entertainment media. When you can buy a bundle of fantastic indie games for $1, it’s that much harder to convince someone to shell out $10 to try one indie game.”

CD Projekt remains firmly committed to its role as a global distributor, too, and won’t capitulate to publisher demands for regional pricing.

“TYou cannot claim to be a global distribution platform and then decide that you’re only ‘kind of’ global, that you will only sell games to some people. That’s against GOG.com’s founding value of fairness,” Iwinski said.

“Just to show you how seriously GOG treats this matter, there are even games that they refused to sign because some users would not be able to purchase them due to banned in-game content in some countries. GOG.com’s games will always be available to everybody worldwide at a fair and unified price. This is one of GOG’s pillars and they will gladly and stubbornly stick to it.”