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Thread: Good Old Games (gog.com)

  1. #1

    Good Old Games (gog.com)

    Obviously we need a thread for this back here in the regular forums!

    I'll just quote what I said elsewhere:

    I hope this pans out for everyone. Good support from publishers, good service from GOG, and loads of customers. All of which are pretty much crucial.

    If all that happens, this could be a really important site.
    I can't help but think that support could turn out to be a problem for GOG, given that they are intending for all games to work under XP and Vista. I think it's most unlikely that they'll have the resources to subject each game to the kind of testing that a game would undergo before its original release, and there may well be issues running them on the newer operating systems that don't rear their heads immediately. Hopefully they don't get bogged down dealing with such things.

    I'd also say that it's time for some people who try to justify piracy to put their money where their mouth is. Cheap prices, no DRM, absolutely no excuse not to buy.

    And while I hate to sound overly-dramatic over just an announcement, it occurs to me that this site is something most of us have only ever dreamed would happen. In today's market, the idea of anyone re-releasing classic games, DRM-free, that 'just work' on your modern PC is quite extraordinary. If this project was to fail due to people not even being willing to fork out $6-10 for a classic game, who knows if we would ever get another opportunity like it?

    Someone is actually doing this. I'd say it's time to jump on board with both feet, and make sure it's here to stay. That goes even if the service turns out to be a bit lacking to begin with. Hopefully it will be fine, but in any case it's bound to improve with time -- just so long as the company is still around to improve it.
    All good games are old eventually.
    Last edited by Shadowcat; 30th Sep 2008 at 09:10.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    Mmm, I was thinking of transferring my posts over here; unfortunately, the chaos forums aren't accessible anymore, which makes it kind of hard.

  3. #3
    Taking a break
    Registered: Dec 2002
    The question is not whether the games get re-released, but if any money I pay actually reaches the publisher.

    Because if it doesn't, what is the point of paying?

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ottawa
    To support the service, you dolt.

  5. #5
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    I seriously doubt that publishers such as Codemasters and Interplay (or whomever owns the rights to their titles) would be sharing their game library if they weren't seeing a percentage of sales or at least some sort of licensing fee.

    I'd imagine that it wouldn't be any different than game titles being distributed by a budget label, such as Sold Out, Explosiv, etc.

  6. #6
    This has gotten me more excited about gaming than anything I've heard in years. I think it has to do with the fact that either I'm getting older and set in my ways or most new games suck. I think it's probably both.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    +1 Flower In Hell.

    If anything truely amazing appears on the horizon of gaming, I'm sure I'll find out about it from here first.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    the other thing is that music and movies these days just aren't as good as they used to be!

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Sevastapol Station
    yeah.... I'm turning into an old fart too.

  10. #10
    Taking a break
    Registered: Dec 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by EvaUnit02 View Post
    I seriously doubt that publishers such as Codemasters and Interplay (or whomever owns the rights to their titles) would be sharing their game library if they weren't seeing a percentage of sales or at least some sort of licensing fee.
    Licensing fee is worthless to any would-be PC Gaming saviour. With online distribution it would be possible to easily give publishers a share of profit, the question is whether it happens or no.

    ignatios: But is this service even worth supporting? I might get any game I want at any time, I just need to visit my good old friend Thomas R. Rent. There are three reasons to pay for a game:

    a) To give the publisher money, which may or may not happen with GoG, and certainly does not happen with any reeditions.
    b) To get that original package + CD/DVD + manual feel, which certainly does not happen with reeditions and certainly will not happen with GoG.
    c) Morality - wat

    Sorry, but I don't plan on wasting my money on another reedition parasite.

  11. #11
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    They don't want your grubby money with peanut butter stains all over it anyway.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Iacon
    Count me in as excited - the online distribution of old favourites is exactly what I like to see (anyone else shell out for the iD bumper pack on Steam?). Looks like there could be a lot of ten-ish-year old goodness i missed first time around, like Fallout and Giants.

  13. #13
    is Best Pony
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: The magical land of Equestria
    Koki, do you actually, actively believe that the original publishers don't charge or receive any monies for re-releases?

  14. #14
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    C'mon dude. Look who you're asking.

  15. #15
    Taking a break
    Registered: Dec 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew View Post
    Koki, do you actually, actively believe that the original publishers don't charge or receive any monies for re-releases?
    Of course they do. License is worth something. But once they sell the license, that's it. They are not getting a dime.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Koki View Post
    But is this service even worth supporting?
    We are talking about the possibility of a successful venture based around removing DRM* from games, and selling them for very low prices. Frankly, that concept is some kind of gamer fantasy.

    If GOG fails, I suspect the chances of publishers supporting any similar endeavour in the future probably goes way down. This would be a bad thing.

    If GOG succeeds, their catalog can only increase in size, and a great many fine games will be freed from the bane of copy protection, and all the annoyances and problems that it causes paying customers.

    And if it succeeds, it sends a message to the industry. I'm not pretending that it will have a significant effect (if any) on current retail practices, but it can't be discounted either. If it positively influences any developer or publisher, it's a good thing.

    And if GOG really succeeds as a long-term business, then games of the present and future will eventually become available through their site, DRM-free. Like I said, all good games are eventually old.

    Stardock's Impulse is a huge improvement on something like Steam (which talks to its servers too damn much IMO), but GOG is a step better, guaranteeing that even future re-installations will not depend upon any online system.

    For anyone who keeps a large library of games, it should sound a bit like gaming retail nirvana.

    So yes, I think this service is worth supporting, both for what it will be to begin with, and also in the hope that it will lead to truly great things. The potential long-term benefits simply can't be ignored.

    (*) More precisely, I think they are getting the versions of the games that the developers gave to the publisher, prior to the copy protection being added. So it's not so much removing the DRM, as just not adding it.
    Last edited by Shadowcat; 21st Jul 2008 at 07:24.

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Vienna, Austria
    I'm interested into how much time they'll spend for their installer and/or patches made for the games. will they make all my SS2 problems go away on XP ? will they include fan-patches as an option as well ? multiplayer map packs ?

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    I know that they've said in the various interviews that they did following the announcement that they have every intention of supporting fan-made enhancements and mods as much as they can, especially considering they have access to the source for some of the games.

    Honestly, Koki, I'm pretty sure that the publishers are going to get their money's worth. While I'm not entire sure what kind of arrangement is usually made in this case, it does seem like it may be done via licensing. Gametap has a similar setup, and I've heard about licensing in terms of their library in the past, but there have also been cases where games have been pulled off the service because the publishers weren't happy or wanted to renegotiate. While there are some mild concerns about the service, talk is cheap, I think this is pretty far down the list. Actually, your objections are reminding me of some of the comments at shacknews about this where there has been people who have said they would have greatly preferred that the classic games were placed on Steam instead.

    As many have already said, this is the first gaming news in a while that actually got me excited. It is the first time there has been a decent push to move the industry away from DRM and online activation in any form since their widespread adoption. I'd say that's something worth supporting, plus old games are better anyway.

  19. #19
    is Best Pony
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: The magical land of Equestria
    Quote Originally Posted by Koki View Post
    Of course they do. License is worth something. But once they sell the license, that's it. They are not getting a dime.
    Your two points don't really make sense - how are they not getting money if they grant a licence? And how do you know that the licence fee does not include a sales-volume component?

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ottawa
    I think he's talking about selling the rights to grant a license, or whatever the equivalent legalese is.

    Anyway Koki, my answer to your question is basically the same as Shadowcat's:

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcat View Post
    So yes, I think this service is worth supporting, both for what it will be to begin with, and also in the hope that it will lead to truly great things. The potential long-term benefits simply can't be ignored.

  21. #21
    I'd be happy giving them my money on a single basis:

    Works with modern operating systems.

    I can get old games cheap on eBay and in used gaming stores like Vintage Stock. That's not a problem. The problem is making the damn things work in Windows XP. I don't want to have to maintain a circa 1993 486 machine running DOS v6.22 just to play legacy titles.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ottawa
    I don't want to be a bee in your bonnet, but they're only packaging and distributing them so they work properly. They don't have access to the source code, so they're not actually fixing the incompatibilities. They're testing the hell out of each game, but there's still an excellent chance that certain games won't work for certain people.

    Just so you know.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    Quote Originally Posted by a flower in hell
    I don't want to have to maintain a circa 1993 486 machine running DOS v6.22 just to play legacy titles.
    Funny, I actually set one of those up earlier in the summer; however, that was mostly from the fact that my main machine is too old for dosbox to emulate Wing Commander Privateer at full speed. The real kicker was the fact that my old MS-DOS 6.22 installation diskettes had been infected with the junkie virus. For an exercise in redundancy, I dual booted the machine with FreeDOS.

    The really sad part is that Wing Commander 2 is still a little on the fast side.



    Quote Originally Posted by ignatios
    They don't have access to the source code, so they're not actually fixing the incompatibilities.
    They've mentioned in the interviews that they do in fact have access to the actual source code for some of the games.

    Each game sports full compatibility with Windows XP and Vista, and does not require any sort of online activation. To eliminate compatibility issues, the team has source code access to most games and will be creating custom installers for each title.
    Source:
    Shacknews
    Last edited by The_Raven; 21st Jul 2008 at 23:40.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Raven View Post
    They've mentioned in the interviews that they do in fact have access to the actual source code for some of the games.
    Sadly, that was a misunderstanding by their marketing bod:
    RPS: To what extent will games be re-coded to work with XP and Vista? Or will you just not carry a game if it requires a lot of work on that front? I can’t help but think of Terror From The Deep on Steam, where the official line is that the time and cost and making it play nice with Vista was deemed not worth it….

    AO: We don’t have access to the games’ source code, so we can’t really re-code them. We work hard to make sure all the games run on Windows XP and Vista – that’s both 32-bit and 64-bit systems – and we try to optimize them at the installation stage so that the game install works for each user configuration. If we happen on a game that doesn’t work, we’ll see what we can do; I hope that we never have to make that decision. All of the games we have right now work on our test systems.
    ANy previous mentions of source-code access were merely my misunderstanding — I try to be as technically minded as I can be, but ultimate the difference between access to “masters” and “source code” eluded me until yesterday.
    Rock, Paper, Shotgun

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: Go is to the fountain.
    Quote Originally Posted by Koki View Post
    Of course they do. License is worth something. But once they sell the license, that's it. They are not getting a dime.
    In other words, you are now obliged to buy one of each title from GOG, since GOG has already paid the publisher on your behalf.

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