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View Full Version : Good Old Games Kaput?


KCar
09-22-2010, 05:29 AM
I just checked out www.gog.com, as I do on a semi-regular basis to see what's coming, only to discover that they have, seemingly without warning, shut their doors and moved out of town (figuratively speaking, of course).

They say that soon, they will have a service to allow you to download the games that you have purchased, which is great (especially since my hard drive just crapped out), but goddam - if I'd known this was coming, I would have purchased, like, fifty games. The GOG model of low prices and no DRM for old games was amazing, and it's really terrible that it's an untenable one.

It appears that they are trying to reconfigure their business model, which I guess is good news, but I'm more than a little sad about this. Any ideas what model they might take in the future? Any notion of why this has happened? Anybody else who thought they were doing rip-roaring trade all this time, and are now shocked at the outcome?

Merus
09-22-2010, 05:43 AM
There are two schools of thought: it's a poorly-thought-out marketing stunt, or CD Projekt have been bought out and the new owners are shutting the service down. I'm leaning towards the latter, myself - I can't possibly think they'd go through with the marketing stunt after how upset people have been over it.

Bongo Bill
09-22-2010, 07:35 AM
At any rate, today's the day we find out.

SpoonyBardOL
09-22-2010, 07:43 AM
So, uh...

What was Good Old Games, again?

This seems like something big that I missed which I really shouldn't have.

MCBanjoMike
09-22-2010, 07:48 AM
So, uh...

What was Good Old Games, again?

This seems like something big that I missed which I really shouldn't have.

Seriously? You never went to the site, not even once? GoG was a place where you could buy old PC games for fairly low prices (often $6 or $10 each). The games were DRM free, so you didn't have to login or authenticate them in order to play them. In fact, I've kept local copies of all my GoG games, because I knew that if the site ever went down, I could still install them and have them function correctly. If this turns out to really be the end of the site, and not a publicity stunt, I will be greatly saddened. GoG has been a great place for people to get some of the best PC games ever made on the cheap, without having to mess with proprietary launchers and internet authentication.

Spuuky
09-22-2010, 07:52 AM
I'm a pretty regular PC gamer and I've never heard of it, either. I don't really go actively seeking out old PC games, though.

TheSL
09-22-2010, 07:53 AM
I liked them until they stopped accepting my debit card for some reason and said it was my fault. Don't really care what happens to them either way at this point since I figured Steam would eat them eventually anyways.

SpoonyBardOL
09-22-2010, 07:53 AM
Nope, never once went there. Now I wish I did. :(

Come to think of it, I seem to recall Parish and co talking about a site of this nature on a Retronauts awhile back, was it the same thing?

Bongo Bill
09-22-2010, 07:54 AM
So, uh...

What was Good Old Games, again?

This seems like something big that I missed which I really shouldn't have.

Good Old Games was (is?) an online game retailer who specialized in painstakingly securing the distribution rights of classic PC games, resolving any compatibility issues that arise from running them on modern systems, and selling them as DRM-free standalone installers alongside manuals, soundtracks, and digitized versions of feelies. They had two price points: six dollars and ten dollars. I patronized them frequently.

alexb
09-22-2010, 07:56 AM
I did too. I actually had a bunch of games I'd bought but hadn't downloaded yet.

I hope they leave their servers up long enough for me to grab what I bought. I imagine the server load is going to be insane tomorrow, though.

KCar
09-22-2010, 07:57 AM
These "what?" posts are making me very sad.

daroga
09-22-2010, 07:58 AM
Something about this doesn't seem right, though. I'm leaning toward "misguided publicity stunt," but who knows? They released a "Thanks for Being With Us!" video, which seems like a strange thing to do if they really just bolting the door and being done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDRvuKjissQ

I guess we'll find out later today!

Merus
09-22-2010, 08:24 AM
That video does have a shot of Balder's Gate, one of the few games they never managed to secure a release for. Still, my feeling is that if it was a stunt they would have backpedalled once they realised that they've made a bunch of people nervous about the prospect of buying things from them.

daroga
09-22-2010, 08:36 AM
Yeah, who knows?

My guess: a relaunch with old games laced with DRM.

Nicholai
09-22-2010, 09:16 AM
I've bought a few games from them and have been happy with them all. I picked up Fallout and Fallout 2 and both Syberias too. It'd be too bad if they're done, but I'm sure their stance on DRM has been hurting their chance to get some games up.

My biggest problem which stopped me from buying more games isn't with them, but rather playing old PC games in general as I found playing the Fallouts problematic with the resolutions being what they are nowadays. Old console games are always easier (as long as you still have a SDTV).

alexb
09-22-2010, 10:06 AM
Yeah, who knows?

My guess: a relaunch with old games laced with DRM.

AKA: Why even bother?

Edit: It was a fucking stunt after all. Assholes.

KCar
09-22-2010, 10:48 AM
yep, total hoax. Awful marketing, great news, however: GOG does offer a great product, and it looks like they are now going to be able to sell the black isle RPGs (Baldur's Gate, etc), which has been a white whale for them for a while.

To those turned off by this (lame, lame) stunt: GOG is still worth buying things from. The sadness I expressed in the OP was genuine - I was actually going to miss the service they provide. In fact, although I am occasionally swayed to other download sites by sales, I almost invariably regret it: to me, PC gaming consists of Steam and GOG.

Merus
09-22-2010, 10:52 AM
It was a fucking stunt after all. Assholes.

Yeah, that's a complete lack of class on the part of CD Projekt.

Mewd
09-22-2010, 10:54 AM
Jerk move. Kind of relieved though.

I like there being cheap access to classics like Gabriel Knight 2.

SDMX
09-22-2010, 10:58 AM
It looks like they're going from a DRM-free haven of nostalgia to a Steam clone failure waiting to happen.

Really saddened by this. I never bought anything from them, but I approved of the idea. Now I can't even do that.

alexb
09-22-2010, 11:01 AM
There's not really an alternative that I know of, so I'll probably continue to use their service. But now I get to feel disgusted with myself for doing it. Until they pulled this, I only had wonderful things to say about CD Projekt. What was it about my patronizing their service for two years that made them think I deserved to have a prank played on me where money was on the line? What the hell is wrong with them?

widdershins
09-22-2010, 11:09 AM
Spoony: Yeah, they mentioned it on the fallout retronauts which is probably what you're thinking of. They also built pretty good executables that would run the older games on newer systems without your having to do a lot of config fiddling.

Don't know what to make of this. I still want to be generous with the benefit of the doubt, but I'm not really sure how to be here. It's just... odd.

Warg
09-22-2010, 11:14 AM
This wasn't the smartest thing to do, sure, and I'm surprised the heads of GOG okay'd it in the first place -- but someone'll get reprimanded, the heads will learn from experience having been a bit burnt, and the company will continue on.

Admittedly, I haven't bought from them just yet, and I can't claim to know what the future holds for them -- but I don't think this is a marker that they're going to be a horrible company from here on out. I generally feel people do learn from their mistakes.

Traumadore
09-22-2010, 11:14 AM
I haven't purchased anything from them, but I've had my mouse pointer hovering over the "check out" button a few times. Then I remember that I finish maybe 10% of the PC games I get, which is why I don't buy them anymore.

Anyway, I might get something I'm really jonesing for in the future regardless of this stunt. It really is senseless though. Who thought this was the best way to make a good announcement?

poetfox
09-22-2010, 11:19 AM
That apology on their website for the stunt seems really... Unconvincing. It's all "sure, we deceived you but we've got cool shit give us money!" Strange approach. Still, I guess it's good someone is out there still fighting for DRM-free classics, even if they're assholes.

SilentSnake
09-22-2010, 11:22 AM
So wait, is it still going to be DRM-free or not? I hear around that they're not, but their web site seems to suggest they are.

I'm confused!

SpoonyBardOL
09-22-2010, 11:22 AM
So it was a hoax? Huh. Oh well.

Fortunately I don't have any preconceptions about their service, nor any money currently hanging in the balance, so I don't feel all that betrayed by their dick move.

Once they're up and running again I'll take a look at what they offer, and see if I want to give them money or not.

Sprite
09-22-2010, 11:23 AM
Was it actually a "we'll make them think we're closing, then they'll be sorry, haha!" stunt or a lack of communication? The former seems too ludicrous to be true.

widdershins
09-22-2010, 11:24 AM
So wait, is it still going to be DRM-free or not? I hear around that they're not, but their web site seems to suggest they are.


I haven't heard that they're not from anyone that's not just spouting off theories. I'm gonna wait and watch, but I'm definitely perplexed.

botticus
09-22-2010, 11:25 AM
Was it actually a "we'll make them think we're closing, then they'll be sorry, haha!" stunt or a lack of communication? The former seems too ludicrous to be true.

My friend sent me this quote that should clarify:

“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 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.”

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/09/22/good-old-games-gets-new-relaunches/

As far as it goes, it seems like they just rewrote their website, and everything else is the same. Usually companies will do that while their site is up, and then just switch over to the new site, taking a matter of minutes, but at CD Projekt, they get stupid creative.

KCar
09-22-2010, 11:36 AM
Maybe it's all funnier if you're Czech?

Seriously though - I'm sympathetic enough to the company that I'm willing to try to dissuade knee-jerk rage responses here. I will give them this - I've now realized which games I was disappointed enough to miss out on (again!) that I will probably buy them when they're back up.

Calorie Mate
09-22-2010, 11:46 AM
That's the dumbest thing.

ChefCthulhu
09-22-2010, 11:53 AM
They had stuff up last weekend talking about needing to do upgrades and such so I had a feeling they weren't gone gone. Also as they said in one of their videos crazy out of the blue marketing was something that use to be a regular thing.

Personally I know I'm looking forward to it's return tomorrow and getting Baldur's Gate :)

widdershins
09-22-2010, 01:17 PM
Wow, yeah that's officially some pretty lame shit right there. At least have the balls to own up to your mistake rather than follow up a half-assed apology with "we don't have a big marketing department, and this is all we could think of".

Hey geniuses, even if you do have to take your site down for a few days for some ill defined reason, "We're gonna be back in a week and it's gonna be better than ever" would have been way better for everybody.

alexb
09-22-2010, 01:33 PM
From my wife:

"They seem to not understand the difference in English between being a 'gamer' and 'playing games with people.'"

djSyndrome
09-22-2010, 01:42 PM
Czech yourself before you wreck yourself.

Brer
09-22-2010, 03:48 PM
They're Polish, not Czech, based out of Warsaaw. They -had- Czech and Slovak subsidiaries, but they were spun-off earlier this year.

And yeah, I'm very disappointed in them, but as long as they're sticking to their guns on their DRM-Free policy, I will eventually be willing to forgive them. Eventually. Probably.

Nobuyuki
09-22-2010, 04:45 PM
It's like in terrible sitcoms when people hold fake funerals for themselves to see that they're appreciated.

KCar
09-22-2010, 08:14 PM
Definitely - although, what with Baldur's Gate coming, it's a little more like a fellow faking his own death for an outlandish marriage proposal:

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!"
"Will you marry me?"

Merus
09-22-2010, 08:15 PM
I understand why they did it - they had to go down anyway, and they thought it'd be funny - but you've got to be very careful about mean-spirited hoaxes like this when you've got a fanbase. They tend to not take it very well.

A much better spin on it would have been to follow the "takeover" idea, and have the takeover company be a clear parody of, say, Activision. If they can't give people access to their games during the cutacross, at least give them something entertaining that they can appreciate even if they're 'in' on the joke.

That's the key, really - it's still gotta be funny even if you know what's going on.

Sven
09-22-2010, 08:41 PM
and have the takeover company be a clear parody of, say, Activision.

Yes, because insulting a company whom they negotiate with on a regular basis is an even better idea than what they did.

Back on topic, though, I spent the latter part of today playing their version of Master of Orion, so this is pretty funny. Granted, if I wasn't playing their copy I'd just be playing the copy I grabbed off Underdogs circa 2000 anyway, but at least this was legitimate.

They seem to focus on games from my favourite era of PC gaming (1992ish-1998), so I like that they're not dead, even if they're not funny.

Merus
09-22-2010, 09:00 PM
Yes, because insulting a company whom they negotiate with on a regular basis is an even better idea than what they did.

Good point - maybe that's why they went with the "oops we've been shut down". They clearly intended to have a "takeover" aspect to it, but they didn't want to alienate any of their business partners.

Eusis
09-22-2010, 09:52 PM
I imagine they could've just played it semi-straight: that they had to undergo an overhaul but make it sound dire, IE games being lost and DRM thrown on everything. I guess that has a similar problem though, those same companies might be disappointed that ISN'T being offered.

widdershins
09-23-2010, 01:17 AM
I guess that has a similar problem though, those same companies might be disappointed that ISN'T being offered.

If that were the case, imagine how disappointed they'd be when they found out about the hoax!

Yeah, this was pretty much a dick move all around, and the monk video was a pretty tasteless apology. Still, if they keep up the awesome product, that's all that really matters, but the bad taste will definitely last a while.

Bongo Bill
09-23-2010, 07:32 AM
As long as they're still selling games and they're still DRM-free, then I suppose nothing else really matters.

KCar
09-23-2010, 07:49 AM
Amen. Just bought Baldur's Gate, meself.

MCBanjoMike
09-23-2010, 08:10 AM
As long as they're still selling games and they're still DRM-free, then I suppose nothing else really matters.

Indeed, as dumb as this little stunt was, it doesn't change the fact that they offer a really good service to folks what like PC games. As long as they keep offering games without DRM, I'll keep buying them. On the other hand, this kind of wankery would discourage me from ever buying something in the future if they decided to add in DRM. Having your site drop off the face of the earth without warning doesn't build a lot of consumer confidence, you know?

Eusis
09-23-2010, 08:27 AM
I do think I'll make it a point to backup every game I download at the least. Hell, maybe they should've played up that angle? GoG shut down and you lost access to your games, but if they were installed or backed up you could still play them even with the service going down, which can't be said for about any of the others. Closest we have is Steam's promise to not have us be screwed out of our purchases, and I doubt we'll be testing that promise any time soon.

alexb
09-23-2010, 08:41 AM
All that hoopla and bullshit and now their site isn't even working properly.

KCar
09-23-2010, 02:27 PM
Well, I'm sure it's getting hit by everyone. It's hardly surprising that a site wouldn't work well after hoopla and bullshit.

Sapper Gopher
09-24-2010, 12:43 AM
-"This is a rather shameless promotion."
-"Hey, it worked on me."
-"Me too".

Brer
09-24-2010, 01:59 PM
They got a lot of press and just got a game that's both A) a beloved classic and B) hasn't been legitimately available for some time in any convient and usable form. Yeah, they're getting a lot of traffic.

That said, I was talking with Alex, Bill, and a few others on #TalkingTime about this, and something occurred to me. If you look at the behind the scenes stuff from The Witcher and the interviews where you see the CD Projekt staff: They're an incredibly -young- company.

I mean that both in terms of the average age of the people there, and their average amount of experience in the games industry. They were a -localization- company whose first project was a surprise hit, and branched into Good Old Games riding the financial and critical success of that first game.

In short, while in Japan or America or even the UK most developers are "mature" and "corporate", CD Projekt still looks a lot like the 90s PC developers like id and Ion Storm. A bunch of long-haired dudes in T-Shirts who might well genuinely think that an advertising slogan like "John Romero Will Make You His Bitch" is fucking cool.

Of course, we all know what happened to the "excessive exuberance" and overreach of those 90s developers. I hope CD Projekt gets through this phase in its development without similar trauma. I'm not saying this -excuses- the stunt. I still think it was a dumb move. But I think it offers some insight into how they could have made it in the first place.

Sven
09-28-2010, 11:14 AM
In short, while in Japan or America or even the UK most developers are "mature" and "corporate", CD Projekt still looks a lot like the 90s PC developers like id and Ion Storm. A bunch of long-haired dudes in T-Shirts who might well genuinely think that an advertising slogan like "John Romero Will Make You His Bitch" is fucking cool.

Of course, we all know what happened to the "excessive exuberance" and overreach of those 90s developers. I hope CD Projekt gets through this phase in its development without similar trauma. I'm not saying this -excuses- the stunt. I still think it was a dumb move. But I think it offers some insight into how they could have made it in the first place.

A good point, but the issue there is that they're playing in a field that requires that maturity almost from day one; if they were a true developer, they could get away with some of the goofiness much easier. But they're more of a distributor (or maybe even the computer equivalent of a public utility, in the sense that the customer's expectations are that they'll always be there), which has a higher decorum requirement.

Merus
09-28-2010, 11:35 AM
Every three months I go "hey, I should play Planescape, is it available on Steam? No. Oh well, GOG should have it... ...no?"

NO MORE

KCar
09-28-2010, 11:55 AM
The only problem here is that I started playing Baldur's Gate, but realized that I'd really rather play it widescreen - and most mods for this require having Baldur's Gate II installed to do so. So - I guess I'll wait for GOG to release that? Hopefully they jump to that before releasing the other stuff like Icewind Dale.

Falselogic
09-28-2010, 11:59 AM
Are we guessing what all the releases from Hasbro-Atari are going to be?

alexb
09-28-2010, 12:00 PM
Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate II, and something else? Icewind Dale II?

Falselogic
09-28-2010, 12:04 PM
Icewind Dale, Baldur's Gate II, and something else? Icewind Dale II?

They could do the expansions to BG 1 and 2 as separate games too...

Merus
09-28-2010, 12:23 PM
They could do the expansions to BG 1 and 2 as separate games too...
Nope, BG1 comes with its expansion.

Jeanie
09-28-2010, 12:31 PM
ALL IS FORGIVEN (http://www.gog.com/en/news/new_release_planescape_torment/0)

Indeed.

I'm now hoping they put Icewind Dale 2 on the service. I still have my copy but I would like a backup. I actually like IWD2 more than BG2 but that's only because I started playing D&D with 3rd Edition, which is what IWD2 runs versus BG2's 2nd Edition.

I've never figured out 2nd Edition.

Lucas
09-28-2010, 12:36 PM
I've never figured out 2nd Edition.

No one ever has. Anyone that says they have is a big fat liar.

Sven
09-28-2010, 12:51 PM
I'm personally far more interested in the Space Quest three-pack. That's pretty good value.

Falselogic
09-28-2010, 01:11 PM
I'm personally far more interested in the Space Quest three-pack. That's pretty good value.

I've got too many copies of the SQs and the KQs already... Though I guess having them in a format that isn't crawling with DRM would be nice.

I'd go bonkers if somehow QFG showed up on there. Of course I already have multiple formats of it too, but you can never, ever have enough QFG.

Sven
09-28-2010, 01:18 PM
I've got too many copies of the SQs and the KQs already... Though I guess having them in a format that isn't crawling with DRM would be nice.

I'd go bonkers if somehow QFG showed up on there. Of course I already have multiple formats of it too, but you can never, ever have enough QFG.

Indeed. I've got copies of most of Sierra's stuff, but this is worth the ten bucks just for a momentary bit of piece of mind.

kaisel
09-28-2010, 01:19 PM
I've got too many copies of the SQs and the KQs already... Though I guess having them in a format that isn't crawling with DRM would be nice.

I'd go bonkers if somehow QFG showed up on there. Of course I already have multiple formats of it too, but you can never, ever have enough QFG.

Quest for Glory would be a day one purchase for me, since I only have them on floppies. And 4 patched up and playable would be amazing. I still don't think I've played a game that's impressed me as much as the QFG series did (Dragonfire aside, that was not a very good game).

DANoWAR
09-28-2010, 01:23 PM
I've never figured out 2nd Edition.

THAC0 4 LYFE!

Brer
09-28-2010, 02:14 PM
Nope, BG1 comes with its expansion.

I wouldn't be entirely surprised if they spun off BG2: Throne of Bhaal, since it's a -massive- expansion and the standard by which all expansions are judged, but if they do package it in, that'll make BG2 a real deal.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm grabbing another copy of PS:T. Also, none of you RPG fans who missed it the first time around have an excuse now. Go forth and buy the damn game!

sraymonds
09-28-2010, 02:30 PM
I'm personally far more interested in the Space Quest three-pack. That's pretty good value.

Doesn't Steam have Space Quest Complete Series? I got it for 5 or 10 bucks during one of their sales.

cartman414
09-28-2010, 02:32 PM
ToB wasn't even intended to be an expansion in the first place.

What's interesting is that Monks, Sorcerors and Barbarians were added from the 3rd ed. ruleset to BG2. Just not early enough to make Minsc one of the latter, sadly.

I wouldn't mind seeing the BG series adapted to 3.5ed personally, but I know there's no interest from even the modding community.

MetManMas
09-28-2010, 02:47 PM
I wouldn't mind seeing the BG series adapted to 3.5ed personally, but I know there's no interest from even the modding community.

I'd rather see D&D go back to past rules myself. I always wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons: Caveman Edition. The Dungeon Master of the olden days would use rocks for dice, animal hides for maps, and cave paintings for the DM guide/Player's Handbook/Monster Manual, and if he did something to piss off the players, like cheat and have them all get gored by a wooly mammoth despite succeeding at their saving throws, they could bash his brains out with the stone slabs making up his DM screen! =D

Man, I wish that wasn't pretend. =(