GOG is gone (Ha, NOT!)

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About the conference via RPS

GOG hoax: “we could not miss a chance to generate some buzz”

GOG wrote:

“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 and even more important, bringing back Baldur’s Gate to life!

We believe this title was extremely expected by all our users and PC gamers in general. It would have made no sense to announce it in a typical plain corporate way. Our aim at GOG is to promote the greatest DRM-free PC classics ever in a creative way and allow people to escape from the usual boring mainstream marketing. We are also gamers and this is why we played a bit with this announcement.

Once again, we apologize for any harm we might have caused and we do hope people will keep the essence of our message in mind: GOG is doing things differently than elsewhere and yes, Baldur’s Gate is finally back (with more great releases to come)! We are working hard to provide users with much fun, so do expect some great surprises until Christmas.”

9/20 Update

gog.com wrote:

UPDATE 20.09.2010
First of all, we apologize everyone for the whole situation and closing GOG.com. We do understand the timing for taking down the site caused confusion and many users didn't manage to download all their games. Unfortunately we had to close the service due to business and technical reasons.

At the same time we guarantee that every user who bought any game on GOG.com will be able to download all their games with bonus materials, DRM-free and as many times as they need starting this Thursday.

The official statement from GOG.com's management concerning the ongoing events is planned on Wednesday. If you want to receive further information about GOG.com, please send an email to [email protected] if you're a media representative or to [email protected] if you're a uer without a GOG account.

Original Post

Dear GOG users,

We have recently had to give serious thought to whether we could really keep GOG.com the way it is. We've debated on it for quite some time and, unfortunately, we've decided that GOG.com simply cannot remain in its current form.

We're very grateful for all support we've received from all of you in the past two years. Working on GOG.com was a great adventure for all of us and an unforgettable journey to the past, through the long and wonderful history of PC gaming.

This doesn't mean the idea behind GOG.com is gone forever. We're closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await.

On a technical note, this week we'll put in place a solution to allow everyone to re-download their games. Stay tuned to this page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

All the best,
GOG.com Team

via Twitter

Sometimes it's really hard being DRM-free... hard to keep things the way they are and keep management and publishers happy :(
Thanks for the support everyone. Hopefully everything works out for the best!

*a moment of silence*

WHAT!?

Possible update

garion333 wrote:

Rumor has it that it's a marketing stunt.

http://www.bankier.pl/forum/temat_re...

Translation: Date of conference is about 22th of September, early evening. Information shortly on GOG.com, but please do not panic after seeing information presented there. Please remember, that it's an online conference organized in that way the first time.

I hope someone at CD Projekt writes a good article of how GOG lived and died.

If it's because of the games getting torrented then I don't get it.
The games are already out there now, shutting it down won't reduce the torrenting and they were probably torrented before GoG too because no one had a place where they could purchase them

This is extremely sad, there was so much I wanted to pick up as soon as I got decent internet.

Thanks for closing up shop without notice. That's great.

Haha, wow, and giving notice on a Sunday? This is pretty weird.

I never bought any games from them but I kinda wish I had now.

Baffled by this. Closed on a Sunday? When they just had a new promotion and the Codemasters deal?

If it's just about DRM, bring that bad baby, I don't really mind. It's way more valuable to get the patched games at my convenience.

If it's about not enough sales, I can understand that. Maybe they went past the point where it could be a neutral expenses venture and just weren't pulling in enough.

On one hand I'm still seeing this as a possible marketing stunt making way for a new service next week, but man. Reddit had some comments that people in on the Polish scene knew that something big was up at GOG for the past month. Perhaps a law suit?

Rumor has it that it's a marketing stunt.

http://www.bankier.pl/forum/temat_re...

Translation: Date of conference is about 22th of September, early evening. Information shortly on GOG.com, but please do not panic after seeing information presented there. Please remember, that it's an online conference organized in that way the first time.

Hm, never got a chance to pick up a game but I was tempted. It would be nice if they could have kept it up, but just stated they would not be adding additional games. I'm guessing they had time limited contracts with publishers with minimums. So if they didn't sell enough of a specific game (or group of games) they'd still have to pay the publisher the minimum.

garion333 wrote:

Thanks for closing up shop without notice. That's great.

Sounds to me like it was some sort of publisher legal action that shut them down, if I can read between the lines. I'm not sure they had a choice about remaining open. At least they're going to offer a solution to re-download. They probably just need time to work the kinks out of a solution that doesn't involve the further purchase of DRM-less games.

I wonder if publishers just figure they'll come up with their own service like this, but include DRM? I guess if I was a publisher concerned about DRM, I'd rather sell through Steam than GoG? As a gamer, I agree with the sentiment that the games are out there anyway if you want to play. I'm trying to see it through the eyes of a publisher, though, and the corporate beast doesn't think like you or me.

garion333 wrote:

Rumor has it that it's a marketing stunt.

http://www.bankier.pl/forum/temat_re...

Translation: Date of conference is about 22th of September, early evening. Information shortly on GOG.com, but please do not panic after seeing information presented there. Please remember, that it's an online conference organized in that way the first time.

That would be a sh*t marketing stunt, or maybe things work differently in Europe, but if they were going to announce a new service this is like the worst possible way to promote it.

"Yeah, remember that last website we had where we closed it without warning? We have a new one! =D"

That's unfortunate. Hope I can find the games of Fallout 1 and 2 that I downloaded from them but haven't played.

sithload wrote:

Sounds to me like it was some sort of publisher legal action that shut them down, if I can read between the lines. I'm not sure they had a choice about remaining open. At least they're going to offer a solution to re-download. They probably just need time to work the kinks out of a solution that doesn't involve the further purchase of DRM-less games.

But if some publisher was concerned about things, wouldn't they just pull their own stuff as opposed to shutting down the whole site?

The wording on the site is quite careful... "in its current form" and so on. I'm leaning towards marketing stunt and hoping it's true, no matter if it's in bad taste or not.

hmmm, I bought original Fallout there when it first started for 5 bucks, But I surely didn't made a back-up of it and never finished the game after playing for a couple of hours : (

feeank wrote:

hmmm, I bought original Fallout there when it first started for 5 bucks, But I surely didn't made a back-up of it and never finished the game after playing for a couple of hours : (

On a technical note, this week we'll put in place a solution to allow everyone to re-download their games

Given that when previous titles were going to be discontinued they gave all their customers a good bit of notice where they could still download the files, this is sort of strange.

I got a handful of games like Fallout 1 & 2 & Tactics and MDK2. Would like to download them again.

If it's a marketing stunt it makes no sense... You're denying your customers what they paid for, you're stopping potential purchases and you're putting a bad feeling inside everyone's head with regards to digital content.

If it was just going to be a marketing stunt then they would have (IMO) released the wording above but kept the site operational until the switch.

This will be the craziest marketing stunt even if that's true but I hope it's true. GOG did have a kind of off-beat way of doing things so who knows. If it truly is gone though, that's really sad and now I'm really mad at myself for putting off buying the Independence War games. At least I downloaded everything I bought and have kept them archived on my external drive. So stupid that publishers wouldn't support them being DRM free, even though all the stuff they sold was just sitting and making the publishers no money. You'd think they'd be happy to generate any revenue they could from this stuff.

So they are going to put stuff up so we can redownload our games if we have a need to do so. Well that is good at least. To bad I really liked GOG. I guess we will see if this is a stunt or not.

It's possible it's somewhere in-between. As in, it may come off as a marketing stunt, but it truly is an issue that it was not sustainable in it's current form and they have to severely alter it in order to satisfy publishers. Maybe DRM-free really does turn them off, which is disconcerting when we're talking about 10+ year old games that did not have legal means of obtaining them at all for ages. (Although I did hear that they were getting a lot of negative attention from publishers for being DRM free when the entire catalogue of GOG games showed up in a very popular torrent.)

If they do give the opportunity for everyone to download versions from the original incarnation after announcing the relaunch, I don't see why anyone would stay mad at them. Although I do wish I had bought Arcanum when I had the chance.

I kind of suspected this for a while. The games were slowing to a trickle, and even recently released budget titles were showing up. Plus, GameTap had a lot of licensees pull out and were struggling for cash, Nintendo pretty much said sales of Virtual Console were dissapointing and then pretty much abandoned the service, and Xbox Gameroom imploded shortly after release. It was all pointing in general to the likelihood that consumer demand for older games is much, much lower than the internet noise suggested.

Of course, I say I suspected this for a while, but I sure didn't bother to backup any of my GOG games during that time.

If they were selling the games DRM free in the first place, wouldn't the publisher they're sourcing the games from have to agree to that, and the consequence that the game will be DRM free forever? The other thing I suppose they would have to agree is that if at some point after making them available they change their minds they can only stop offering the games to new purchases, but can't invalidate already existing copies (no online DRM server to check against). I would think Valve or any other DD business has agreements and understandings in these areas with their publishers.

If they're running out of cash, or they can't see the business being viable long term, then I suppose winding down GOG in a controlled manner is better than just cutting everyone off.

This stinks. I was planning on building a new computer in the next couple of months, and getting back into PC gaming, including getting a bunch of stuff off GOG. I guess Steam will have to do now.

I wouldn't be surprised if one publisher objected, and they're pulling the site down temporarily to remove said publishers' content. Wild guess. I wound up with several things from GOG, including the TA pack, the Descent pack, and a couple other things. Was always a good service for me, I'd check them regularly.

Scratched wrote:

If they were selling the games DRM free in the first place, wouldn't the publisher they're sourcing the games from have to agree to that, and the consequence that the game will be DRM free forever?

It has been two years since the service launched, so it's possible that in addition to some publishers refusing to offer their games in a DRM-free form, some of the ones currently offering them were not planning to renew their license for the same reason.

My guess is the services comes back with some Steam-like client.

Also, if this is the case, it makes sense that they would make it seem like a marketing stunt. In this situation, it's far better PR to put on a sh*t-eating grin and go "Surprise! We're back and better than ever!" then go "Sorry, but our hands are being forced. We have to shut down the service as you know it and relaunch it with the DRM that we bragged about never having. So just download our new client and pretend the last two years never happened, okay?"

kaptainbarbosa wrote:

My guess is the services comes back with some Steam-like client.

That's my guess, too. There's a lot of weasel wording in there about "its current form" and so forth.

kaptainbarbosa wrote:

I kind of suspected this for a while. The games were slowing to a trickle, and even recently released budget titles were showing up. Plus, GameTap had a lot of licensees pull out and were struggling for cash, Nintendo pretty much said sales of Virtual Console were dissapointing and then pretty much abandoned the service, and Xbox Gameroom imploded shortly after release. It was all pointing in general to the likelihood that consumer demand for older games is much, much lower than the internet noise suggested.

Sadly, I think this is true, too. It seems like there really just isn't much interest in older titles. Part of the problem all of these services suffer from, though, is that the really hard-to-find, wish-I-could-have-played-it-when titles haven't appeared. GOG was begging for titles like Baldur's Gate and System Shock 2 and the Virtual Console would have benefitted from titles like Final Fantasy VI, but those were wrapped up in publisher disputes or plans to re-release them in new forms.

The other half of the equation, of course, is that gamers want their fancy-pants HD remakes. How often do you see threads and conversations about "oh, wouldn't it be great if they remade X game that's available in its classic form somewhere else"? The market demand isn't for compatible versions of games in their original forms but old games remade with modern technology.

Some are saying it's the end of GOG 'beta', and they're relaunching with a client. The problem is they've handled it in the most awful way possible.

kaptainbarbosa wrote:

My guess is the services comes back with some Steam-like client.

Hope we get the chance to download the games we paid for, sans DRM if this is the case.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

If it truly is gone though, that's really sad and now I'm really mad at myself for putting off buying the Independence War games.

kaptainbarbosa wrote:

Although I do wish I had bought Arcanum when I had the chance.

It's statements like these that make me think that it just might be a devious marketing ploy. Tell someone that they can't have GOG any more; then, a couple of days later, tell them that they can have GOG again for just a little while, as they're closing up shop. People will be rushing to grab whatever they can in that "little while", as they then consider it to be a more precious commodity.

Duoae wrote:

Hope we get the chance to download the games we paid for, sans DRM if this is the case.

I'm sure they will. They say they will in that message, and if they went back on that it would pretty much piss off the entire potential customer base for whatever the new incarnation is.

This is indeed quite sad news. Those servers are going to be completely overrun if they do allow everyone to download their games for a limited time.

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