Of course, we could just release a client, sell the games, and figure that you can sort the rest out yourself--I'm sure some businesses may even consider that a successful business model--but that's not really the GOG
way of doing business. ;)
I for one am willing to sort that business out and view it as a privileged perk. Sort of a "we are selling windows versions, but here is an extra JIC its useful to you." However, I can appreciate the bind that it places upon the support as Linux is a bit like the wild west and people tend to look to the people they purchased from to "fix it. Fix it now."
I would like the Developers to take the support issue, but again, a lot of people like to come to the guy they gave their money to for answers, and GOG does try to put forth the image of "we have taken care of all the tough stuff for you."
On the other hand, while you speak well of the number of issues that Linux has with standardization, I'm not entirely convinced it is as complicated in practice as it might look like up front, if for no other reason than its getting done quite a lot. I could be wrong and GOG's standards have a lot to say about what is and isn't acceptable.
Personally, I'm not worried about getting Specialized DOSbox installers for old games. I feel this is more a pressing issue going forward as more and more newer games GOG is selling have active, linux/mac ports that are currently being supported by the game creators. Difficulties aside there is something to be said for the idea that selling new games means selling new games, and a lot of these indi titles are being sold with sexier OS options. You may soon be in a "bad spot," either way. Then again perhaps not, we like to talk but there really aren't enough of us to screw you over.
Mr T, all fair points! It looks like Linux needs to be easier to support before native versions to become feasible.
What about providing the Winehq AppDB ratings for releases and providing links to the Wine project (with their permission) ?
Since you guys provide the games in the best available version (without DRM) many entries in the AppDB are for the GoG release of the game, and people often post how they got the game to work.
I'm leery of providing a third-party's evaluation of a game's functionality on our website, because that starts us down a slippery slope:
"The website you linked to says that this game runs with no issues. It doesn't run for me. I want my money back."
It seems, if we linked to AppDB, we end up with the worst of both worlds: unhappy customers and a support/test team that is wholly unprepared to deal with any issues that may arise. Not to mention publishers coming to us and saying, "It looks an awful lot like you're telling people that your game is supported in Linux. This is funny, because you aren't paying us for Linux distro rights."
I have to agree here. The appDB is not reliable at all. We all know about it and can recommend it on our own, but it is way, way to out of date across the board. And GOG doesn't need to imply it is an accurate measure for people to make purchasing decisions on.
I honestly think they need to nuke the whole thing and force people to start over because I think people see that something worked 3 -5 years ago and think it will work now, or even worse that they see it didn't work before so now nobody bothers to challenge the report.