Opinion Article: Good Old Games’ Galaxy Might Be The Push We Need
There have been many different outlets that have tried to compete with the way Valve’s Steam does business, but unfortunately to no avail. The reasons usually boiled down to them not being convenient or economical enough with their market price. Now, GOG has revealed their own service, Galaxy and right off the bat I can tell you that it is a pretty big deal. Before I go on, be sure to watch the video above.
Ok, so most of us love Steam right? It has one of the most convenient business practices where a game you activate can be downloaded and played anytime anywhere via your account. However, there is still a small, tiny winy hiccup with Steam; sometimes it just doesn’t work in offline mode properly.
Now, I know what most of you are thinking, that Steam does have a dedicated offline mode, but sometimes even activating that can cause some bugs when you lack internet access, preventing a group of people from accessing any of their games. If not that, some games have really atrocious DRM practices that pretty much hassle the paying customers more than the actual pirates, even with a proper internet access (looking at you Ubisoft).
Now, take a step back and think, what if online wasn’t such a connected part of a catalogue system, and the DRM its products used wasn’t so harsh? In fact, what if there was no DRM “AT ALL”? You could easily download your game and play it whenever you like without having to go through any authentication procedure that may or may not work. That is what GOG has always offered, a DRM free experience, where your copy actually feels like your copy.
Now, that is not the only thing that GOG does pretty well, as the content it offers with its purchases are pretty fantastic. Whenever you buy something off GOG, you are bound to get some extra goodies such as soundtracks or an exclusive set of wallpapers and avatars that are not available anywhere else. Furthermore, it has a very flexible price plan which tries its best to make sure you pay the most affordable amount rather than shoehorning a different currency symbol in front of the price only. Also, the sales are pretty good every once in a while.
I really think that if GOG puts emphasis on what it is really about throughout this service, they are bound to grow stronger and provide an alternative to Steam with its DRM policy, which even though works, it is still a DRM. So instead, if something horrible does happen to the service and you happen to have a DRM free copy installed, you won’t be locked from your game.
I honestly think we needed something like this to push more developers to consider DRM alternatives. Of course we still need Steam, and it will probably never go away as it is a worthwhile service, but we need an alternative too, so if this works, we might just get pushed into a new phase of rights management that is as practical as it is effective.
Fingers crossed and let’s hope that GOG will hit it out the ballpark with this.