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No more IP location detection for GOG.com purchases

In news sure to please Australian gamers (and others around the world), the "dashing digital download dudes" at GOG.com are no longer determining customer locations by IP address, as part of an overhaul of the site's privacy policy.


This all came about thanks to customer response backlash over the adjusted pricing for the Witcher 2 preorder. Overnight on May 7th, the game's price was raised by $20, due to a "licensing issue", and - understandably - Aussies were a little annoyed by this arrangement.

Guillaume Rambourg, Managing Director at GOG.com (definitely a dashing digital download dude) explains that "GOG.com has always been about trusting the user".

"We’ve come to the conclusion that there are a number of issues with using a customer’s IP address to determine what offer they are being presented with from GOG.com. A good number of users can find themselves negatively impacted by a policy of using geo IP to set their region."

He goes on to use the example of gamers who travel and decide to purchase or download a game while abroad. Automatic IP address capture "might" alter the price (or content) of the game based simply on where they may currently be located, rather than at their home location. This isn't just referring to censored content (remember, The Witcher 2 was edited for Australian audiences), but could affect anything from the default installer language upward.

IP addresses are not a perfect or unique identifier of location, and - particularly when visitors are using non-standard internet connections - can often report wildly incorrect regions. This adds an extra layer of headach for both GOG.com and its customers.

"We’re always very sensitive of our users’ privacy," Rambourg continues. "Effective privacy protections for our users means that any data that we don’t need to collect, we shouldn’t. We only need to know the country that you’re making this purchase from, so although we originally planned to use geo-IP to determine user’s location, we’ve decided to trust our users and let them inform us as to the correct region for their purchase."

The change is now live on GOG.com, and affects all current and future purchases and preorders.

To set your country's location (and check out what offers are available in your locale), log in to your GOG.com account, select "My Account", and edit "Account & Settings". Then, enjoy!

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About the Author

Jessica Citizen


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