Good Old Games Not Really Gone

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Good Old Games Not Really Gone

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When an announcement appeared on GoodOldGames.com Sunday saying that the company was "closing down the service," many gamers were understandably worried about their rights to access digital versions of the games they had purchased from the website. Despite assurances that the company would find a way to make those games available in the near future, the statement mystified many gamers. But the prospect of having access to the games again, and the company's statement that GOG.com "cannot remain in its current form" led more than a few to speculate that GOG.com was merely being relaunched or folded into a larger service.

Today, GoodOldGames.com confirmed those speculations by announcing a new, redesigned website. The company's spokespeople, dressed as monks, revealed the details of the redesign and also announced that Baldur's Gate would be added to the service. The site has been made easier to use, which is a claim so common to these presentations that it's almost not worth repeating. (No one ever says of a redesign, "We wanted to make the site harder to navigate.") Users will also have the option to create mixes of certain games that share specific associations.

It's quite a marketing stunt, and it seems that GOG.com feel these misleading statements and the inconveniences caused to its customers is a fair way to generate buzz for the relaunch. Gamers who paid for digital copies of games through GOG.com were told that the service was closing and were unable to access the content they owned for a few days and, given the ambiguous nature of digital media ownership, GOG.com may have generated an unnecessary amount of negative interest in its brand.

A statement on GOG.com reads:

"First of all we would like to apologize everyone who felt deceived or harmed in any way by us closing down GOG.com without any warning and without giving access to your games. We apologize for that from the bottom of our hearts!"

In talking with PC Gamer, GOG.com goes further to say, "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."

A counter on the site reveals that the new version of GOG.com will launch tomorrow morning at 8am EST.

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This makes me happy, I was so sad when this news was announced and now I'm much more excited about it

I was planning on making a few purchases from that site in the near future, but I can't get the sour taste of this 'stunt' out of my mouth. They tried to build a reputation for legitimately caring about the consumer, then jerk off in the collective face of everyone who has ever used their service. Perhaps this has generated enough publicity to help increase the user base, perhaps not. What remains to be seen is how long-standing devotees will react.

Suffice to say, shine on you crazy diamond.

Well, THIS is a relief.

Wait...the spokesmen dressed as monks? Why don't they have a picture of that?

That is a terrible marketing stunt.

I will never use that site because of this. And I've been considering a few purchases prior to the shutdown, since these old games can run on pretty much anything.

I actually think this is a pretty good marketing stunt as now people are more aware of the main drawback of digital downloads. Their pull is that you download the entire downloader. If you back that shit up right, you will never need their website again. Whereas if Steam dies, you be right screwed.

Perhaps they should have done it another way. But this did get them a load of exposure and I imagine most of the people declaring they will never use the site will do say in the future. Where else can you get some of the games they sell (optimised for current OS) without going to piracy? And if you don't think you'll ever want games that old, then the site wasn't meant for you anyway.

The confrence was kinda cool. I still feel this was all a bit silly though.
Oh also apparently they'll be making more videos as the timer counts down (4 I think they said).
Here's the first:

Well I think it's a bit tactless way to promote their site.
Will buy something from them in future probably, but they have lost some of my respect.

I was pretty sure this was coming mostly because of the "in it's current form" comments, so I was not too worried. Hopefully this won't hurt them, because CD Projeckt is one of the "Good Guys" in the industry.

Yeah, pretty much what I thought.

to be fair, I'd never even heard of GoG until this relaunch, so, worked for me, I guess.

-m

That was scary... going to backup my purchases as soon as it's back online.

Bit of a dick move. But effective.

I guess I'll give gog a bit of a peep.

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

Translated from marketroid to english:

"We are assholes who are perfectly fine with lying to people if it gets us money"

Seriously what is so hard about "we are re-launching the website with a new look, to celebrate we are having a 10% off everything sale".

Congrats on making sure I never buy anything from your site because it can no longer be trusted.

it was a great marketing thing cause how many websites covered it and how many people that never heard of it posted in those articles?

This was almost as cheesy as making the audience clap for Tinkerbell during a community theater production of Peter Pan.

Hmm I better add my bookmark back then. As long as it is still DRM free I am so picking up a few of those games.

dududf:
Bit of a dick movie. But effective.

I guess I'll give gog a bit of a peep.

"Dick movie"

I know though. I feel like I don't wanna check it out because of this prepostorous stunt. But I never knew about it, so it might be good.

Matt_LRR:
to be fair, I'd never even heard of GoG until this relaunch, so, worked for me, I guess.

-m

That's been the story about all this. So many people hadn't heard of the site but would have been customers if they had. I've been in since day one and people are still amazed whenever I mention what they're about. The best way to put it is that GoG is my Messiah.

I think everyone who's acting really upset about this is just ashamed that they got "punk'd". They'll start using it again the moment they see a game that makes them say "I remember that game, I loved it!"

I'd never heard of them before this, but they pretty much guaranteed that even though I do know now, I won't give them a single cent.

Whew, good to know the rumors about it all being a publicity stunt were true, and from the looks of it a lot of people didn't know it existed in the first place - if it takes the furor from a misleading announcement about the site closing to reach that audience, it was probably worth it. I mean really - they mildly inconvenienced you a bit at best - if they'd just taken the site down for the re-launch with a non-misleading announcement, you still wouldn't have been able to download your purchases while the site re-launched, you just wouldn't be worried about it not coming back.

And what would have been the reaction to a simple message like that instead of the one we actually received? A brief "Oh, well that's cool" from the people who already knew about and used the site, a minor news blip at best from gaming sites, and not much else. Their marketing stunt produced wailing and gnashing of teeth, informing a slew of people about the existence of GOG.com via the news of its untimely demise, who now know that it was/is and are therefore more likely to use it once the new version is available then they were when they didn't know it was there at all.

In my estimation that's worth giving folks a brief scare - where else are you going to find DRM free digital downloads of great older games (through legal channels)?

am confused as to how "you cant get the shit you bought from us cos we are trying to generate publicity" is a good thing...

the primary concern with digital distrobution is that if the site goes, so do your purchaces.
this company appears to have done so (temporarily) for shits and giggles.

bad form.

I suspected as much, but I'm still relieved to hear this announcement. And I'll gladly come back to my shelf.

Ekonk:

dududf:
Bit of a dick movie. But effective.

I guess I'll give gog a bit of a peep.

"Dick movie"

Well.

Now aren't I blushing badly right now.

Fixed it.

I suppose we should be happy they are still around. Though their 'desperation' is understandable, this is just filthy to leech of people's genuine sympathy.

At least they are still around - Old games can still be played!= D

RikSharp:
am confused as to how "you cant get the shit you bought from us cos we are trying to generate publicity" is a good thing...

the primary concern with digital distrobution is that if the site goes, so do your purchaces.
this company appears to have done so (temporarily) for shits and giggles.

bad form.

Everything you bought on GOG.com was downloaded immediately and free of the need to uplink to the website whilst playing it. You bought it, downloaded it, save to hard drive and it'll play regardless of what would have happened with the website. A lot of people keep forgetting the latter as this isn't a service that you can really compare to the likes of Steam, in which a separate client program isn't required with GOG.

They were down for a few days and are due to be back up again. It's nothing for people to get angry about and I personally chuckle on how it looked pretty authentic for a couple of days. It's not worth fussing about the intricacies of businesses and their sometimes garbled PR speak to determine what they actually mean if you tend to forget about the matter-of-fact logic in the long run

Edit. Like this for instance. Thank you, least somebody else focusses on the reality instead of getting bitter about it! It really is good they are still around!

Jaredin:
At least they are still around - Old games can still be played!= D

Jaredin:
At least they are still around - Old games can still be played!= D

Damn straight!

Casimir_Effect:
Whereas if Steam dies, you be right screwed.

Valve has stated that in the event that Steam is going down permanently, they will release a tool that lets you play your games without Steam.

rembrandtqeinstein:

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

Translated from marketroid to english:

"We are assholes who are perfectly fine with lying to people if it gets us money"

Seriously what is so hard about "we are re-launching the website with a new look, to celebrate we are having a 10% off everything sale".

Congrats on making sure I never buy anything from your site because it can no longer be trusted.

Guess we balance each other out, then; they got me interested this week with all the buzz, and I plan on hunting around on the site when it relaunches.

Onyx Oblivion:
That is a terrible marketing stunt.

I will never use that site because of this. And I've been considering a few purchases prior to the shutdown, since these old games can run on pretty much anything.

A Dick move indeed. Almost as bad as what they did oN Home-star Runner. ALMOST.

RikSharp:
am confused as to how "you cant get the shit you bought from us cos we are trying to generate publicity" is a good thing...

the primary concern with digital distrobution is that if the site goes, so do your purchaces.
this company appears to have done so (temporarily) for shits and giggles.

bad form.

Yes and no - if GOG.com goes down, what you lose is your ability to download/re-download the installer for the product you've purchased from them. If you'd already downloaded and installed the games you purchased, the site going down doesn't impact their functionality in the slightest - Good Old Games sells games DRM free; the only thing you need is the installer, which you could have backed up. The PR stunt didn't lock anyone out of the content they purchased, it simply prevented them from buying new content, or downloading/re-downloading the content they'd already purchased, and that's something an ordinary run of the mill truthful site redesign would have done while the site was down anyways.

All they're really guilty of here is giving us a misleading explanation for the shutdown so we'd generate an uproar - the initial announcement did say after all that you'd be able to regain access to your downloads again in the near future.

I have no problems with what they did. They temporarily prevented existing users from downloading their purchased content, and caused a bit of temporary panic/anguish for anyone interested in their service.

Technically they didn't lie. They said they had to change, and that is basically them moving out of beta, is it not? They certainly didn't do anything so dickish as now-defunct Canadian airline Jetsgo, or even posting a notice of upcoming changes to cause a panicked rush of last-minute purchases from potential buyers.

Matt_LRR:
to be fair, I'd never even heard of GoG until this relaunch, so, worked for me, I guess.

-m

Yer same with me i guess if this is what they aimed to achieve then it worked... i'm actually going to go on there once it's up and running and have a little reccy around.

Mr.Petey:
snip

Jaredin:
At least they are still around - Old games can still be played!= D

ggamer2:
Damn straight!

Gildan Bladeborn:
In my estimation that's worth giving folks a brief scare - where else are you going to find DRM free digital downloads of great older games (through legal channels)?

That stunts conforts me in my low opinion of Gog, and while it means that many more people will come to get willingly screwed it will at least help make great games be known.
If you want to know why I think that way you should read the arguments here :
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/7.233751-Defunct-GOG-com-Promises-Statement-and-Downloads-Within-Days?page=2#8266777

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