For such a young company, it was founded only three years ago, Good Old Games has cornered the market in retro games. So, in an era of High-Def, surround sound, motion sensitive experiences you’d expect a company that sells old games to have a hard time staying around. Not so.
It’s not just nostalgia that’s allowed the GOG to survive (and thrive) but, as the company’s MD says, it’s its ethos, selling DRM-free games with full customer support at a fair price.
So it’s comforting to see the site undergo a full relaunch and rebrand. Now to be known as GOG, the company promises to bring users and fan “something bigger, fresher and newer.”
The usually rebranding boxes have been checked – gorgeous new site (check), added social features (check), new logo (check). But it’s the fan-centric user experience improvements which caught our eye, as well as the promised release of newer games, including some AAA titles along with Indie releases, which we love.
While GOG has always sold new games, such as The Witcher 2 from CD Projekt. Now they’ll be expanding on this service with games such as Trine and The Whispered World; with Spacechem, Machinarium and Darwinia. They are also offering pre-orders for Legend of Grimrock for only $11.99.
Along with featuring new titles, GOG has improved their downloader, making it even faster. The new downloader also helps to keep your games updated with patches, notifications, and other goodies; such as up to date changes to previously purchased games and even replies on the forums and PMs.
Since GOG is now going to be featuring more and more newer titles, some fans of the site might be worried that they’ll end up in direct competition with Valve’s Steam. In an interview with Gamespot the company’s managing director, Guillaume Rambourg, addressed the perceived rivalry,
“I think the answer is ‘no,’ … because our offer deeply differs from the offer of Steam or Valve. All our games will be DRM-free, sold at fair price worldwide (no regional pricing), and with tons of added value (free digital goodies, full customer support, an optional light-speed downloader).
“As a matter of fact, I think that GOG.com is more of an alternative than a competitor. There is still no way to fight against Steam, for example, something we knew from the very beginning of GOG. The only way to shine is to offer an alternative model to gamers. Being different is our daily obsession to make us stand out from the rest of the field.”
It’s very clear that GOG will continue to offer classic “Good Old Games” on a regular basis; but can our favourite retro-games site retain its soul in this crowded app-driven marketplace.
We hope so.