GOG.com Digital Distribution
Play popular video game classics and new titles through the GOG.com network
Initially launched under the name "Good Old Games," GOG.com is a Cyprus-based digital game distribution network that specializes in classic and hard-to-find retro titles. Available through both Windows and Mac OS X platforms, the GOG.com client is free of digital rights management (DRM) requirements, which has helped it attract a growing number of loyal users. It is currently the world's second-most popular game distribution client, trailing only Steam in market share.
GOG.com is well-known for updating its library of available games several times per week, and it has signed distribution deals with dozens of popular publishers. While GOG.com's focus was largely concentrated on classic titles for many years, the service did expand to include contemporary titles beginning in 2012. As GOG.com continues to attract partnerships with current game studios, its library of current titles will continue to grow.
The History of GOG.com
The transformation of Good Old Games into GOG.com was triggered in 2009, when the company announced it had reached a deal with Ubisoft, a major game studio. According to the terms of the agreement, Good Old Games earned the right to sell titles from the Ubisoft catalog on a DRM-free basis. Also, Ubisoft extended the ability for Good Old Games to sell game titles which were not legally available by digital download on any other website.
Continuing to operate under the Good Old Games name, the change to GOG.com took place in the spring of 2012. The name change coincided with another major development in the company's services, when it announced that games from independent studios and games with "AAA" designations, signifying their flagship status, were offered for download for the first time.
Current GOG.com Features
The major user features on GOG.com include:
- The ability to instantly download games in the company's library, free of digital rights management terms and conditions
- Very affordable prices for older games, with hundreds of titles available for under US$10
- Sales and special offers, which are available on an ongoing basis; typically, the company offers several such promotions every week
- Pre-patching of games to ensure compatibility with all versions of Microsoft Windows
- Bundling with open-source compatibility software and game emulators
- Access to community-made patches if default patches, emulators or compatibility software should fail to put the game in an operational state
- An optional download manager which offers additional management features
- Access to a wide range of special add-ons and extras for certain titles, including original game soundtracks, game wallpapers, and original owner's manuals
- Access to a far-reaching global community of gamers through user forums and chat features
- The ability to archive purchased games on any electronic device of the user's choice; users are free to re-download and reinstall games an unlimited number of times
- User access to a limited number of free game titles
- Full customer service support for all game purchases
Game Studio Partners
GOG.com currently maintains a library of more than 600 game titles, with new games being added on a regular basis. Some of the major publishers which have signed distribution agreements with GOG.com include:
- Revolution Software
- Electronic Arts
- Square Enix
- Valiant Entertainment
- Running with Scissors, Inc.
- Epic Games
- Focus Home Interactive
- Metropolis Software
- Firefly Studios
- Strategy First
- Remedy Entertainment
GOG.com is also well-known for maintaining a fair pricing policy, ensuring that gamers located in different regions of the world are able to access games for the same price. Many other digital game distributors engage in regional pricing shifts to reflect local economic conditions, making games more expensive to some users than others. GOG.com prides itself on equitability, as well as the worldwide availability of its entire game library.