Posted June 10, 2012
If by "HB" you mean the Humble Indie Bundles, then you are really comparing apples and oranges. The price they have is determined by us, and way too many of us are cheapskates. If you were to try to buy any of those games at regular retail prices, you are looking at about $10 each, minimum, well in line with what GOG charges. Additionally, the HIB guys do not provide any after-sale support for the games, the devs/publishers handle that. Part of GOG's service is after sale support and while we can say "we're Linux users, we can handle the support ourselves", that's not how GOG operates.
gooberking: Historically I have agreed with the support issue, but the big problem is its being done, quite a bit. I don't know what those numbers are like, but if HB can wad 5 games together and average something like $8 then GOG has to feel some pressure when charging $10 for one of those games and offering you only one version.
It's also no where near as simple as that. It's all fine and good to say "just give us a tarball", but with the current push for ease of use and expanding the userbase on Linux, that is not a sustainable method. Average users, those that are not Linux gurus, want simple to install packages (.deb, .rpm, etc.) that simply work on their system. GOG cannot provide that with a tar. They probably would have trouble providing that even using the common package types. GOG would need to provide each kind of package, as well as maintain several hardware setups to test both the packages and the games on, like they do with Windows. What used to be complicated enough with Windows (we still have games that don't work quite right yet) now becomes 2-3 times more complicated with Linux, depending on how many different package types GOG decides to provide. Things like system requirements on Linux are far more complicated than on Windows, you have library dependencies, fractured video driver support (ATI or Nvidia proprietary, open source Mesa/OGL, don't even get me started on Intel), even more fractured audio support (ugh... PulseAudio, OSS, ALSA)... then there are the problems things like Compiz or Unity on Ubuntu bring to the mix...and this is all assuming that GOG already has Linux literate staff ready to take on the challenge in the first place AND that they can obtain the licensing agreements to provide Linux packages. Just because certain games can be run on Linux in DOSBox or ScummVM does not mean that GOG can legally provide packages for Linux using those emulators.
Future_Suture: The subject of not enough resources and wanting to provide a quality service at all times actually came up starting from here. Needless to say, apparently it's not as much effort as GOG likes to make it seem.
EDIT - Epic ninja'd by TET!
Post edited June 10, 2012 by cogadh