GOG: Gamers Don't Need DRM Because They Aren't Criminals

"DRM is not protecting any product. It is harming your fans and your brands in the long run."

by

Earlier this month, game distribution service GOG announced its own standalone download client called GOG Galaxy, leading some to wonder if the company has loosened its defiant anti-DRM stance. Not to worry, as GOG insists in a new interview that it has no plans to use DRM for Galaxy.

"DRM is only impacting the good-hearted passionate gamers out there," GOG North America VP Guillaume Rambourg told Eurogamer Germany in an interview. "The very same gamers who are ready to spend $50 or more to own their favorite triple-A title and support our industry.

"Our industry should be cherishing and treating all gamers with respect" -- GOG VP Guillaume Rambourg

Rambourg said making gamers go through a "cumbersome" online activation procedure or requiring that they connect to the Internet to play a single-play game is "not really the best way" to treat people who just spent money on a new title.

"Our industry should be cherishing and treating all gamers with respect, those people who pay our wages, servers, development projects, and what not," he said. "Instead, we just make it frustrating for them to buy games. How schizophrenic is that? DRM is not protecting any product. It is harming your fans and your brands in the long run."

Put plainly, DRM misses the point, Rambourg said. "We totally believe that distributing games without DRM is a good thing for our industry," he said. "Let's make it easy and rewarding for gamers to buy games. They are not criminals and they do not need DRM."

In addition to being DRM-free, GOG Galaxy is entirely optional. The service will replicate some of the features offered through Steam, like the ability to automatically update games, chat with friends, and compare achievements. While certain functionality--like playing online or talking to other people--will of course require an Internet connection, GOG customers who opt to make use of Galaxy will be free to play all of their games offline without any online activations required.

More information about GOG Galaxy will be shared later in 2014.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

382 comments
Raxyman
Raxyman

I don't see a problem with a DRM when you don't even notice it's there, take Uplay or Origin for example, those are good examples of how you DO NOT use DRMs. Utter piece of crap both of them, just when i was glad GFWL got shot down, other companies start their own stupid DRM.

With that being said, as long as GOG Galaxy isn't forced on user, i'm okaywith that.

8bitbecca
8bitbecca

I'm a video game archivist and preservationist. I'm too aware of the issues that DRM poses to the long-term preservation of video games. Accounts and passwords are lost or change over time. Copies need to be migrated to new systems and accounts. Libraries and museums have no copyright exceptions to working around DRM when preserving culturally significant works. In short, there is no greater threat to the long-term preservation of video games and game culture than DRM, and that's a fact.


With this in mind, I ONLY purchase digital downloads if they are DRM. My games are not simply for me, they're an archive for future game historians. So no, not all of us are criminals. Some of us care about more than playing a game once or twice and want to give ourselves the best possible chance to save them for the long term. And there's nothing wrong with that, despite what the game industry says.

Someguy1212
Someguy1212

I know ALOT of gamers who are criminals, because they pirate everything.

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

I can't hear that anti-DRM crap anymore. Sounds like a broken record...

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

GOG knows how to treat their fans.  I buy GOG games all the time and I'm glad I do.  They seem to be one of the ONLY companies out there who really want to push an anti-DRM stance out there.  And seriously when a single player game FORCES people to play it online....SCREW YOU.

funkerazmain
funkerazmain

If only Rockstar and Ubisoft followed this so that we don't have to make a god damn account online in order to play their games offline. 

Brakkyn
Brakkyn

So then how DO you combat game piracy?  You're not going to eliminate it, but that doesn't mean you don't take steps to keep it in check.

Gamer_4_Fun
Gamer_4_Fun

CD Projekt is my favorite developer because they are the only ones who actually cares for the gamer's side of the industry. Love them, I preordered the collector's edition of Witcher 3, I'll also directly support them at one point and grab the gog version.

kujel
kujel

GOG.com > DRM *cough* I mean steam.

foxhound_fox
foxhound_fox

I will officially switch to this new service if they offer statistic tracking. Granted, I'll still have over 100 Steam games, but I will only buy from GOG from now on (if they offer what I'm looking for).

fede018
fede018

CD Projekt Red are russians so they must be homopobics. I won't be supporting them.

fede018
fede018

That's nice and all but GOG doesnt sell AAA!!! It's full of indie crap or ancient games (The Witcher doesn't count because they are owned by CDPR

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@giocher 

Hosting patches would be up to the game-maker to decide; most that I know of insist on proprietary launchers to do the work, if not built-in phone-home updaters within the game's code itself.

As for fan-made patches, no, I don't want Fallout: New Vegas or Pools of Radiance all over again. That just encourages game-makers to offload product maintenance to the customer.

shingui5
shingui5

Ok, we get the point. Do we really need this reiterated every few weeks? 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I would say that CD Projekt could do better and expand on their definition of DRM though. For now, GOG doesn't consider account registration requirements for multiplayer to be DRM.

4kgamer_lmxxx
4kgamer_lmxxx

CDPR & GOG are the best things to happen to PC gaming lately. They're just frigging awesome! :D

hotwog21
hotwog21

ps4 needs to lift their drm for free with playstation plus game, if they do that they will bury Micro$oft


Imagine if Micro$oft made the xbox one backward compatible with 360 games and xboxlive arcade

and then enabled chat between xbox 360 and xbox one.


they would be back in the race, until then, let $ony become the next Micro$oft. I dont think their is competition at the bottom of it all, they are just taking turns at pulling the wool over our eyes and fleecing the crap out of us.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@quickshooterMk2 

I remember the days when some game-makers gave code for setting up dedicated servers. I personally don't want anything less than that, and certainly not multiplayer over online services like Steam, much less GOG Galaxy.

Enclave
Enclave

@Brakkyn DRM does nothing to stop pirates, all it does is makes your legit customers have to deal with crap.  Pirates generally have access to games less than a day after they're officially released, that's how quickly most DRM is cracked.  So what's the point of it?  Doesn't affect pirates, only legit customers.  How idiotic is it that people stealing the game are the ones getting the better user experience?


GOG makes money even though it's DRM free because they treat us like customers not thieves and people happily pay for their games even though we can easily pirate them (about as easily as we can most any other games).

lunchbox2042
lunchbox2042

@Brakkyn They aren't effective at combating privacy as it is. Most games even with Uplay DRM or Steam DRM are still easily pirated. All it does is hurt the paying consumer by forcing them to use a terrible client like Uplay to access the game.

norolim
norolim

@Brakkyn You make good games, treat your customers with respect and don't try to trick them out of their money with questionable business models: simply put, you build a loyal fanbase.

austrato
austrato

@Brakkyn What he argues is that DRM only reach gamers who buy the product fair and square. Pirates don't have to deal with DRM because they are pirates. That's why it doesn't make any sense. And it real doesn't. You're hurting your consumers for nothing.

Raxyman
Raxyman

@kujel If you say so... I'd prefer Steam because as much as it IS a  DRM, it's not an intrusive one. Call it "Protocooperation", unlike other parasitics DRMs that i'm sure everyone knows about. After all, I do get better deals at Steam.

sonicblast19
sonicblast19

@kujel At least you don't need constant internet connection on Steam,compared to Uplay.

andrebetoche
andrebetoche

@prats93  Good job missing the entire point.

They meant that a PAYING gamer is not a criminal and shouldn't be punished with draconian DRM on a game that he/she paid for.

There will always be those who do not pay. It cannot be stopped by DRM.

No matter what kind of DRM is used, it'll eventually get cracked and won't stop pirated versions and will just hurt paying gamers; In most cases installing and running a cracked game is easier than a genuine one. Go figure.

blee575
blee575

@prats93 I actually only pirate games with DRM. Money are not a problem - forcing me to be always online to game is.

trust2112
trust2112

@prats93 I'll take this one. I'm old school. Been playing games since their invention on the PC. Games used to have demo's, so I could play a level or 2, and see if I liked it enough too pay for it. The industry did away with demos, so now I have to be a criminal and download a game to see if it is worth the 50 bucks. If it is good, then I buy it. Thief was the last one I paid for. Waiting for Wolfenstein to actually be playable before I try it.

tgwenz
tgwenz

@shingui5 Watch Dogs, Sim City, Diablo 3, Battlefield 4...

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@shingui5 

Oh, you are making a futile query. CD Projekt is very, very proud of its stance - proud enough to let it be known given any opportunity.

atlassys8
atlassys8

@hotwog21 It is hardly possible for the current-gen consoles to be backward compatible with previous-gen consoles. Xbox One & PS4 are not overwhelmingly more powerful than Xbox 360 & PS3, and their microarchitectures are different.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@quickshooterMk2 

Indeed, times change. :/

I would speak through my wallet though - if a game-maker requires such things for the multiplayer in their games, I would only buy licenses for their game for a pittance.

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

@Gelugon_baat @quickshooterMk2

that's exactly what i do 

steam sales (GMG aswell) has spoiled me 

i now buy games i don't think paying full price for a fraction of their launch cost 


just bought tomb raider for 7.50$ 

and last year, i bought dishonored GOTY edition for 13.60$ 


truely PC gamings pleasures 

i also picked up lately just cause 2 with all the DLC'S and bits for 6$ 

that's the price they pay for DLCing the game 

Xan26
Xan26

@Gelugon_baat  If only what you said mattered. (:

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@quickshooterMk2 

Oh, oh, oh, you may want to know that my "pittance" is really, really a "pittance".

As in "pay-as-you-like" pittance - not "discounted prices".

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@quickshooterMk2 

Oh, no, no, there are no games on perpetual pay-as-you-like sellers - no such thing.

There are occasional offers such as those on Humble Bundle though.

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

@Gelugon_baat ah like the one from THQ before they died? 


those kind of bundles are dying fast though, and if the money went to a donation i would pay more then just 5$ i'ed pay 10 at the very least 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@quickshooterMk2

Well, I still won't buy from anything less than pay-as-you-like sellers, even if they are somehow "dying". :/

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@quickshooterMk2 

Well, it's your money. Have fun. :/

(I personally wouldn't buy an oldie that I like if it meant that my money would go to an entry in my boycott list.)

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

@Gelugon_baat @quickshooterMk2

believe me 2 years ago i was completely against steam 


until one day i saw a sale on amazon and said "well for 5$ i wouldn't mind "not owning that"

then i installed steam and tried it out, it was very fun 


soon after, i had problems with warcraft 3, the game kicked me out every 5 hours because my wireless connection wasn't 100% stable 


i actually went to blizzard support and the guy told me to get wired 

so i told him i can't, he said the game's DRM meaning online you must be connected at all times therefore wired connection is reccommended 


i told him, you know what? i'm moving dota 2 

i had enough of this crap, thank you for your time and have a nice day 


and i went full steam since that day, dota 2 is awesome 


so is many other games i purchased, in truth you owe the license to play 

not the game, but considering my bookshelf of CD's is full of dust 

i don't mind that, games could be like rental for 10 years or so i wouldn't give a damn 


but i have a strict rule, never buy an EA,Ubisoft or activision titles for obvious reasons 

the rest is pretty regular 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@quickshooterMk2 

Good for Valve then that you are such an ardent customer. :/

But I would tell you this too: I was like you before, jumping on sales and such - until the day that I read their Terms of Service.

That's when I realize that there's no guarantee that the good times with Valve would stay forever.

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

@Gelugon_baat @quickshooterMk2

i've read their terms of service 


it's pretty sad but i've learned to accept it 

that beats Uplay or origin 

and it completely beats sec-rum or other hellish forms of DRM 


of course i'll buy the witcher 3 in a box or through GOG, but that doesn't mean i won't enjoy steam while it lasts 


steam will last for a long time, the company keeps making money so they won't bite the hand that feeds them 


therefore they'll stay for a long time, as for games support we can just hope those games will run on windows 10 or what ever the future holds 

giocher
giocher

@quickshooterMk2 @Gelugon_baat

Valve doesn't bite the hand that feeds them, but they can surely improve in some field. That alone is another very good reason to look forward GOG Galaxy with anticipation, it might not shake the market (at least not immediatly) but it can create that kind of positive competition that can only improve the service, something both Origin & Uplay were unable to do so far. :)

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@quickshooterMk2 

Hey, don't get me wrong: I still think that Valve values the customer - as long as the customer is a Steam user.

I would admit here that I am just paranoid about Valve - but I really don't want to be caught in a situation where my investments, e.g. games in my Steam list, get seized or locked up due to some policy change.

After all, Gabe Newell can't live forever.