(Edited by Daniel Saner (2319), Nov 19, 2011)GOG.com to sell slightly newer games
Daniel Saner (2319), Nov 19, 2011
Thought I'd post this in case you hadn't heard. I suppose GOG is a site that many MG users are interested in. GOG.com recently announced that they will start selling games 1-3 years old starting in 2012. Previously the rule was that games had to be at least 3 years old to qualify, CD Projekt's own The Witcher 2 having been the only exception. GOG.com will stick to their principle of not allowing any kind DRM on their games. The prices for newer games are supposed to be in the $11 to $17 region (previous games were all $6 or $10), and the same all around the world.
While this has made some GOG users fear that the site will lose its focus and cater less to the classic gaming market, I think it's a positive thing. They will not compete with first-day release stores and services such as Steam or Direct2Drive. It'll still be clean copies of games for low prices, just that the games can be a bit newer. They'll be even more of a refreshing alternative to all the other services, where your ability to play your purchased games depends on the whims (and survival) of the distributor. It's a long shot, but I'm not the only one hoping to see GOG re-releases of some games that one was not previously able to own an actual copy of due to online DRM etc.
I do think that the frequency of releases of old games will drop, but I would have expected that to happen anyway. GOG have by now signed many large publishers with big back catalogues (Interplay, Ubisoft, Atari, Blizzard/Activision who own the Sierra games, recently even Electronic Arts) so it's very likely that many of the games they would currently be able to sign, they have already signed by now. They probably couldn't have kept up their 2 releases a week schedule for much longer anyway.
I don't think this will mean that we'll see AAA titles released DRM-free about a year after conventional release. That's simply not how publishers think. It will open the floodgates for indie developers however, which initially were tied to Steam or selling on their own obscure websites, and that's good news for the Steam-haters and for indie developers in general.
I think publishers are not as hell-bent on their DRM as one might think. For example, I have purchased several online-activated games from major publishers as imports from Russia, Poland, or other countries, because those versions sometimes (a) include the original English version and (b) don't include the activation DRM. Clearly they re-consider their stance for different markets. And those editions come out not long after the initial release. So what about a year later? Judging by how the sales of AAA titles decline over time, pretty much anything that happens a month or two after release doesn't really carry any weight anymore.
I agree that most games will probably be titles that have been sold without (or with "light") DRM in the first place, but I don't see it as entirely impossible that some major titles will appear as well. To the executives of major publishers, a game two years old is pretty much old trash already.
(Edited by BurningStickMan (17754), Nov 19, 2011)Re: GOG.com to sell slightly newer games
BurningStickMan (17754), Nov 19, 2011
Daniel Saner Wrote:
Yep, that perfectly describes exactly what I fear.
(Edited by Daniel Saner (2319), Nov 19, 2011)Re: GOG.com to sell slightly newer games
Daniel Saner (2319), Nov 19, 2011
It's the only concern I share somewhat. GOG needs to make sure they don't alienate the userbase that made them. Then again, the whole community pretty much revolves around the game-specific boards, so there will be a quite natural separation between old and new. Just check the Steam boards, there's a difference between that of some overhyped military shooter and an that of an Indie game.
As for the schedule, personally I'd prefer them keeping the games coming by releasing a couple of newer titles, to having less new entries because it becomes hard to sign any more old titles. Whether a game is 1 or 3 years old doesn't even make that much of a difference to me, anything less than 5 years old feel pretty much like just released to me.