The Steam Review

Comment and discussion on Valve Software’s digital communications platform.

Good Old Games!

Upcoming retro gaming service :: July 10th, 2008 :: Other services :: 8 Responses (Feed)

Impulse isn’t inspiring much writing from me at the moment (executive summary: Steam without residency), but CD Projekt’s freshly-announced Good Old Games is another story. Shacknews has the details:

Located at GOG.com and slated to launch in September, the online store will sell DRM-free digital downloads of old-school PC games at $5.99 or $9.99 a pop. A closed public beta will go live on August 1, with the site currently accepting beta applications.

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.

Once purchased, a title can be re-downloaded an unlimited number of times, allowing users to install the game on multiple machines.

In addition to retro game downloads, the site will boast a number of community features, including message boards, user reviews and game guides for select titles.

Ohle revealed that LucasArts’ beloved catalog of PC games represents one of the “holy grails” CD Projekt hopes to offer one day. That lineup includes adventure games such as the Monkey Island series, Sam & Max: Freelance Police and Grim Fandango, along with Totally Games’ space combat simulators X-Wing and TIE Fighter.

Good Old Games sample lineupI’ll buy Sacrifice again any day if I saw widescreen support and revitalised online play for my money.

It’s CD Projekt’s commitment to bringing the games up to modern compatibility standards that shines out here. It can’t be inspiring work, setting up compile environments for and crawling around in the guts of decrepit codebases, most of them unique, and for that I salute them!

Further warming the cockles of my heart are the requests from gamers for CD Projekt to partner with Valve and sell GOG’s games through Steam. But as desirable as that is, it’s stretching the money a little thin. Valve would collect the money and pay CD Projekt a cut, who would pay the game’s publishers a cut, who would finally pay the developers a cut (assuming they’re still around).

With GOG’s prices no higher than $10 that’s hardly worth anyone’s effort, not to mention that fact that it goes a long way to re-introducing the tangle of middle men that bogs retail down. CD Projekt could feasibly have taken the role of a consultancy, collecting a one-off fee and/or modest share of revenues for their compatibility work on each game, but that just hasn’t happened — and fair enough.

If you missed it in the quote above, beta sign-ups are being taken at Good Old Games’ site right now.


8 Responses to this post:

4 Comments

  1. Frank Says:

    They could at least Steamworks it; Valve wouldn’t collect money off them that way, right? Some of us (you probably included) like using the Steam client.

  2. Tom Edwards Says:

    Maybe. But selling a whole library of games isn’t quite the same as selling a trickle of ones you create yourself . 😛

  3. Weclock Says:

    but what those idiots at Evil Avatar fail to realize is that it’s not a client, it’s just a website. Those douche bags need to read the interview

    http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=914

  4. John Says:

    I was given access to the beta site, so I can give some answers to questions:

    1. The games are all fully patched up with the latest official patch, pdf manuals are within the download and available separately and extra, like soundtracks are also available one the title is purchased.
    2. Each game has a sub forum where the first post is a sticky with links to mods, unofficial patches and higher resolution patches, etc. These have been tested by G.O.G. with their version and has seen to be okay.
    3. G.O.G. showed me they understand the totality of PC gaming by not only including the well known Good Old Games, like Fallout, but also the great games that went under the radar, like Hostile Waters, Original War and Soldiers of World War II!
    4. The forum is already getting lively with a 5 page ‘wish list’ thread developing over just 2 days!
    5. G.O.G have a link on every single page on their site to give feedback, a sign they really want to create a great community site.
    6. The whole idea of DRM free games for low prices is a great one, but to me is also a trust thing. Obviously with no DRM, piracy would be easy, but this company is laying it on the line and just trusting it’s customers! Something very few companies do in video gaming! If they are willing to put their faith in me, I am willing to return the favour.

    I intend being a strong supported of G.O.G. Even though I have all the games in their current catalogue and most of the games being asked for in the wish list thread, due to the fact I have been PC gaming for 20+ years and have avidly collected and kept all my games. Some people have a a room with bookshelves full of books on every wall. I have bookshelves full of games. Side-on they look like hardback books! (the big box versions anyway!)

4 Trackbacks/Pings

  1. A Last Requiem - O Teorema da Vida
  2. Good Old Games! - Facepunch Studios
  3. Good Old Games (Digital Distribution) - PC - Gaming - Discussion Forum /// Eurogamer
  4. old games