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Author Topic: Interesting Development on GOG.com  (Read 3911 times)

wraith808

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Interesting Development on GOG.com
« on: July 30, 2009, 11:08:39 AM »
GOG.com (Good Old Games) is a Polish company that specializes in bringing DRM-free games to consumers cheaply in a digital format.  A couple of quotes from their site:

Quote
Everyone at GOG.com is a gamer, just like you. We’ve combined our real-life love for classic games with the amazing virtual world of the internet to bring some of our favorite games to your PC, with nothing – except maybe our budget – holding us back from conquering the world through gaming.

Don't let your DRMs turn into nightmares (clever, no?). You won't find any intrusive copy protection in our games; we hate draconian DRM schemes just as much as you do, so at GOG.com you don't just buy the game, you actually own it. Once you download a game, you can install it on any PC and re-download it whenever you want, as many times as you need, and you can play it without an internet connection.

Their prices range from $5.99 to $9.99 and they have regular sales that drop their prices from 10% to 50% on select games.  I love the site, and have bought several games.  But now the problem with digital distribution rears it's ugly head...

I bought TOCA Race Driver 3 and Colin McRae Rally 2005 from them with the full knowledge that Codemasters was removing the titles from the GOG.com store, but had been re-assured that the games would remain downloadable to those that had bought them before the sunset date.  Then I get the following e-mail this morning...

Quote
Dear GOG.com Customer,

Thank you for purchasing TOCA Race Driver 3 and/or Colin McRae Rally 2005 from GOG.com.

As we announced on GOG.com, TOCA Race Driver 3 and Colin McRae Rally 2005 had to be removed from our games catalogue as per our licensing agreement with Codemasters. Due to some expiring licenses within the games, Codemasters is obliged to withdraw copies of TOCA Race Driver 3 and Colin McRae Rally 2005 from all sales outlets within a certain time period, which includes GOG.com and its servers.

This means that the games won't be available to re-download from your GOG.com account as of August 29th 2009 (TOCA Race Driver 3) and October 29th 2009 (Colin McRae Rally 2005). We know it would be ideal for these games to be available for re-download forever and we're working on this, however we kindly ask you to download the games and back them up on CDs, DVDs or flash drives.

Sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

GOG.com Team

Would I have bought them if I had known? Probably. I mean, I can still back them up and install them whenever. But one of the reasons I bought into this whole digital distribution thing was the idea that I didn't *have* to keep backups- that I could just re-download ithe games whenever and/or wherever. This feels like a great big change in the digital download arena... and to a certain extent I feel... betrayed. I know it's not GOG.com's fault... and at least they aren't taking the kindle approach and deleting something after the fact. But still, it's a change from what I expected, and those expectations were not my own, but expectations that were fostered by ALL of the digital download sites. And what about the ones with DRM? If I had bought either of these two games from Steam... where would I be now?

It seems like a slippery slope... I thought the games industry had at least learned a bit from the fiascos of their brethren in the recording and movie industry... but maybe not...

zridling

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Re: Interesting Development on GOG.com
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2009, 02:42:20 PM »
Good observations, wraith808. You figure this had to be expected. Game programming is so intense and takes so long to bring to market that you must have a clear profit to keep it going for the next title or the next version. License agreements are always on the table, available for renegotiation. Otherwise, you get the simple board and card games that come free with KDE and Gnome (Linux).

I see other industries trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube, such a newsprint and online video (Hulu.com). Everyone is trying everything they can to survive this economy.

gexecuter

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Re: Interesting Development on GOG.com
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2009, 03:34:21 PM »
Without owning any of those games i gotta say this pretty much sucks, a lot.Hopefully GOG manages to strike some sort of deal allowing people to download the games whenever they want.
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tinjaw

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Re: Interesting Development on GOG.com
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2009, 11:02:21 AM »
Hopefully GOG and Codemasters can reach an agreement. I cannot think of a reason why customers who have already purchased the games are allowed to continue to have a copy of the game stored at GOG.com and be allowed to download it at any time and as many times as they wish. I can equally accept that the game will no longer be able to be purchased until it is again under license to be sold to new customers. Hopefully such an agreement can be reached. My fingers are crossed.

mrHappy

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Re: Interesting Development on GOG.com
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2009, 01:31:46 PM »
Toca Race Driver 3 on steam

The "funny" part is that toca 3 is still available on steam, with DRM as far as I've heard.
I have no idea if drm is any part of it or not, but still strange that gog had to remove the game(s) while steam still is able to sell it.
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Lashiec

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Re: Interesting Development on GOG.com
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2009, 10:33:25 AM »
If I had bought either of these two games from Steam... where would I be now?

Probably in a different situation... or not. Steam already removed several games from their catalogue, but AFAIK they're all available for re-download to those who bought them.

I assume the problem lies within the scope of the licenses Codemasters acquired for the games development, which also prompted the removal of the two games from the store. The guys at GoG can't really detail everything that is going behind the scenes, but it looks like the problem doesn't lie within GoG nor within Codemasters, and the situation looks to be pretty similar to the Kindle fiasco with George Orwell books a while ago (with the exception that, in this case, you can make backups). As for TOCA still being available in Steam, the GoG team said that it was probably due to Valve scoring a better deal with Codemasters than them, although something tells me after the 29th of August, the game will no longer be available...

Remember that, in any case, you can re-download the games using other methods. You paid for it, you're in your right to keep it.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 09:05:58 AM by Lashiec »

wraith808

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Re: Interesting Development on GOG.com
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2009, 10:47:56 AM »
If I had bought either of these two games from Steam... where would I be now?

Probably in a different situation... or not. Steam already removed several games from their catalogue, but AFAIK they're all available for re-download to those who bought them.

That's what I wonder... this goes beyond GOG, because I have quite the library on Steam, and don't know anyone who has a discontinued title to know if it's still available to them...

mrHappy

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Re: Interesting Development on GOG.com
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2009, 01:38:41 PM »
Codename Gordon* is still available to those to got the game at release as far as I know.
*hl2 in 2d, company behind went bankrupt and valve had to pull the game from steam.
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lanux128

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Re: Interesting Development on GOG.com
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2010, 12:01:10 AM »
Codename Gordon* is still available to those to got the game at release as far as I know.
*hl2 in 2d, company behind went bankrupt and valve had to pull the game from steam.

if you have Steam already installed, then Codename Gordon can be downloaded from here.

http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/6362/59686652.jpg
Interesting Development on GOG.com

Note: the above link will launch the Steam client and offer to install the game.