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Thanks for all the feedback you gave us after the previous update. You’re awesome and it shows the GOG insights piques your interest. Today’s article is about a topic that we know is very important to you – our commitment to DRM-free gaming and what it exactly means.

GOG was built on trust, which is at the very core of our identity. It is evidenced by our 30-day refund policy or releasing games DRM-free, among other things. At the same time, we understand DRM-free might mean different things to different people, especially when modern games blend offline and online experiences.

When GOG first launched, the gaming market looked very different from what it is now – retail was the main place to buy games, and digital distribution was just taking baby steps. DRM, the copy protection software created to protect licenses against unauthorized disc copying, was a huge source of annoyance for gamers often restricting how they can access their content. From the beginning, part of GOG’s mission was to provide gamers with a simple way to access and play games, without the need to fiddle with files or deal with any DRM. Making sure you can play games purchased on GOG offline, make backup copies, and install them as many times as you need is even more relevant now, as things like game preservation become an important topic for the whole industry.

Today, while some of the most infamous DRMs of the past are thankfully long gone, it doesn’t mean the constraints are fully gone. They just have a different, more complex face.

Games are evolving and many titles offer features beyond single-player offline gameplay, like multiplayer, achievements, vanities, rewards. Many such games are already on GOG and will continue to join our catalog. But it also raises the question: is this a new frontier for DRM?

And this is the crux of the matter. Some think it is, some don’t. Some hate it, some don’t mind it. And to be fair, we didn’t comment on it ourselves for quite some time and feel this is the time to do so:

We believe you should have freedom of choice and the right to decide how you use, enjoy, and keep the games you bought. It manifests in three points:
1. The single-player mode has to be accessible offline.

2. Games you bought and downloaded can never be taken from you or altered against your will.

3. The GOG GALAXY client is and will remain optional for accessing single-player offline mode.

We fully commit to all those points. Aside from this, we reaffirm our continuous effort to make games compatible with future OSs and available for you for years to come.

As for multiplayer, achievements, and all that jazz – games with those features belong on GOG. Having said that, we believe that you have the right to make an informed choice about the content that you choose to enjoy and we won’t tell you how and where you can access or store your games. To make it easier to discover titles that include features like multiplayer, unlockable cosmetics, timed events, or user-generated content, we’re adding information about such functionalities on product pages. In short, you’ll always know.

We always took a lot of pride in the freedom we provide gamers. While we know DRM-free may have a different meaning to everyone, we believe you have the right to decide how you use, enjoy, and keep the titles you get on GOG. With games evolving towards adding more online features, we want you to understand our DRM-free approach and what it means to us. It is an important topic – let us know what you think.
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People in this thread has lots of good points, but I would like to add something that appears to have been overlooked so far that has not been discussed yet and that has been bothering me about this announcement.

DRM-free isn't limited to single-player.

There's lots of ways to do DRM-free multiplayer games: hotseat, split-screen, LAN, dedicated servers, etc. The standard nowadays is to have everything going through a central server, which is fine by itself but becomes a form of DRM if it's not possible to recreate such a server ourselves for the inevitable day it goes down.

DRM-free should be about not losing functionality even if the rest of the world going topsy-turvy. Nothing more, nothing less. Everything else should at the very best be clearly labeled so that we may do an informed purchase.
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Blastprocessor42: For those of you who think that DRM on the cosmetics or multiplayer elements aren't a big deal, just remember that by allowing that you're only enabling that next step to be taken, and by then it will likely be too late to reverse the course.
This is why it's important to maintain a strict no-DRM policy, even for things you feel are inconsequential.
UnashamedWeeb: Did you also fail school because you missed homework one time? Be realistic. Slippery slope fallacy only works in a vacuum fantasy DRM-free zealots with runaway imaginations like yourself live in.

TomNuke: words
UnashamedWeeb: Well said. Most of the people here are a small sample of the GOG base. They are not representative. These people have given up on GOG a long time ago and stay around to troll because they've got nothing else better going on in their lives. Seriously, laughing at these manchildren losing their shit over a Witcher jacket makes me LOL every time.

The only forum worth their salt here are the game sub-forums.
What about the manchildren that lose their shit over Putin or Trump?

Manchildren laughing at manchildren.
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TomNuke: Appreciate the post, GOG, and same to you, SmollestLight, for trying to engage with the community here and answer some questions to the best of your ability. I can only imagine what it must be like to deal with this everyday.

For me, however, I think it's time to call it quits and leave this community for good. Simply put: This community is internet cancer, and I don't want to deal with it, or be a part of it anymore. The worst thing about GOG is what we're seeing here in this thread.

I've read through this entire thread to the point of this post I'm making, and it's been pure internet cancer. In this thread I've seen people openly state that they're repeatedly PM'ing GOG staff and probably to the point where it could be considered harassment, people whining and saying the most over dramatic things because of a few promotional cosmetics that are linked to Galaxy in Cyberpunk, and just a whole bunch of other bull****.

I've even seen developers (like an XSeed employee in particular) who've just been badgered and harassed here by the GOG community for trying to answer questions about concerns people have. The community here is just so bad. Not everyone is like that of course, but GOG being a smaller community means that the bad are a lot more noticeable. It'd be a better place if some of these users were banned -- permanently -- from the forums.

It does just seem like there's a big difference in the civility of the GOG forums and the Steam forums. Maybe because a ban on Steam is a lot more of a threat than it is here? I don't know, but I genuinely feel sorry for the GOG staff here, because whatever they do, they'll never win with some of these people.

I'm done though. It really just sours my entire day when I come here and try to check out an "Unofficially confirmed GOG release thread" or something. Or you're interested in reading a news post posted by GOG, and what you see is the literal definition of verbal diarrhea from the community here. Just pure toxicity.

I really feel bad for GOG, because they'll never win. Ever. Being DRM-free already puts them in an uphill battle trying to earn support from other studios. Then they're going up against the juggernauts that are Steam and Epic Games. The community here hates you whenever you try to do something to expand your install base. Signing up for Marketing E-mails to receive free games? "*rages* **** you, GOG".

Cyberpunk 2077 having a few extremely minor cosmetics that don't even fit within the world aesthetically, and provide no gameplay benefit at all, means the game is infested (lol, yes, infested) with DRM and it's the worst thing in the world.

These are things that could help GOG gain market share, which would mean more games and bigger games for all of us, but the cancerous part of community here is ready with noose in hand or waiting to burn GOG at the stake because of it.

If you care about the store you should want to see it grow, because GOG growing is a benefit for all of us. And GOG can never stop being a DRM free store either, because there would be no reason for the store to even exist at that point. It would just be a worse Steam or EGS with no reason or purpose to ever buy anything on it.

How does anyone not see that? Open your eyes. But no, the community here will continue to drive this store into the ground. And while the store may continue to exist for years to come, it'll do so in a pathetic form (much like it already is now, but worse) with very little in the way of major software releases, and the same people here will be port begging for decade old games like Skyrim and whatever else.

You think this Zoom store or whatever it's called will come even remotely close to taking GOG's place as a DRM-free store? LOL, good luck with that. I typed in Zoom in Bing and Google and I gave up trying to find it...
you do you, but u could simply just not step into the forums...u seem to care abt GOG, but still decide to abandon it and not support it..

Many of us behave the way we do because we do not want DRM to infest games, and even a small portion of DRM will set a precedent going forward, and ruin this great platform.
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UnashamedWeeb: Most of the people here are a small sample of the GOG base. They are not representative.
That is correct only insomuch as the large sample of the main GOG userbase is gone, because they have already left long ago, which they did as a direct result of GOG making horrible decisions like to allow and then to double-down on DRM-creep, exactly like the original post of this thread is an example of GOG doing yet again.

Those absentee former customers are indeed no longer here, so we don't hear their voices on the forum any more.

But their absence is surely felt in the heavy financial losses that GOG is taking.

How many financial quarters of that can GOG continue to sustain? It won't be forever, that's for sure.

GOG re-committing to embracing DRM isn't helping matters; on the contrary, it will hasten GOG's demise, if they don't reverse course immediately.

In other words, GOG listening to and abiding by the critical comments of those who remain to post such comments is in GOG's best interest, and if GOG continues to ignore them and/or not take their feedback seriously, then GOG is harming it's own ability to sustain itself.
Post edited March 18, 2022 by Ancient-Red-Dragon
On further thought, I think it would help customers understand if the policy described in this news post could be clarified into a tiered list of A) what GOG will require of a game to be accepted as DRM-free in its catalogue, B) what GOG will absolutely reject as DRM and therefore exclude from its catalogue, and C) what may be a "Grey Zone" of things that will not prevent a game from being in the catalogue, but GOG will encourage developers to make offline versions where possible (and exactly what GOG's policy is towards this Grey Zone - if it will work with developers to try to address these issues, or just mark them on the store page).

Such a policy could look like this:

1) Mandatory Elements of DRM-Free: Games in the GOG catalogue are guaranteed to be DRM-free in the sense that:
1.1) At least 85% of the game can be played offline, including the core experience that the game was designed to deliver. (Although this seems to preclude any games designed as online experiences like MMOs and competitive multiplayer games, so there has to be some means to preserve LAN versions of multiplayer games). Some ancillary experiences and features may be online but only if they are not part of the core experience (e.g., how the game was meant to be played/experienced as it was designed) and do not constitute more than 15% of the game content.
1.2) Games you bought and downloaded can never be taken from you or altered by a third party. Every game includes an offline installer that can be downloaded, moved, and copied for backup without restriction, and will install to any hard drive location without restriction the full version of the game.
1.3) The GOG Galaxy client will forever remain optional.

2) The Grey Zone: GOG will encourage and work with developers to try to pursue offline versions of online features where possible. If a game includes these as online-only features it will not prevent the game from being accepted into the GOG catalogue, but developers will be encouraged to work towards offline versions in future updates. Such features include:
2.1) Achievements
2.2) Cosmetic in-game items
2.3) Multiplayer modes (Edit: Except where multiplayer constitutes part of the core experience of the game, or more than 15% of the game content)
2.4) Small, ancillary features, modes, and experiences that are not part of the core experience of the game and do not constitute more than 15% of the game content.

3) Prohibited Elements of DRM: DRM that is guaranteed to not be present in any game in the GOG catalogue:
3.1) Requiring an online connection or log-in to install, access, launch, or play the game (either at the start, or at any point during play).
3.2) Requiring an online connection to play a significant part of the game of a core experience of the game (e.g., more than 15% of the game content. See above).

Although the tricky thing with this is of course who to define the percentage of game content in any objective way.
Post edited March 18, 2022 by Inicus
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avatar We believe you should have freedom of choice and the right to decide how you use, enjoy, and keep the games you bought. It manifests in three points:
1. The single-player mode has to be accessible offline.

2. Games you bought and downloaded can never be taken from you or altered against your will.

3. The GOG GALAXY client is and will remain optional for accessing single-player offline mode.

We fully commit to all those points. Aside from this, we reaffirm our continuous effort to make games compatible with future OSs and available for you for years to come.
And this is why I spend my money with GOG. You guys rock!!
Single Player and Multiplayer modes needs to be DRM Free and Galaxy free as the number one rule. I only want a game to use galaxy only if i need to play a game with a friend from another location, no doubt using Galaxy for that is very useful. No doubt cloud saves from Galaxy are useful. But Local Play, LAN and Peer to Peer MP needs to remain free of Galaxy. OPTIONAL should mean OPTIONAL.
These 3 core principles are the reasons I buy all my games at GOG and advise friends to do likewise. As long as GOG sticks to this foundation, my game purchases will exclusively be at GOG.
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Franpa: Would be nice if you mandated LAN mode must be accessible without an online connection.
mqstout: Encourage? Sure. But mandating is unreasonable. The best solution would be for them to include LAN/direct-connect fallback into the Galaxy API.
For example, LAN Multiplayer in Age of Wonders III requires you to associate a product key with an online Triumph account and then log in to that account in-game. LAN Mode should never require an online connection to work, that defeats a large point of LAN multiplayer.
Post edited March 18, 2022 by Franpa
you're doing fine as you are GOG team. i would like to add that i hope your games and dlc's do remain installable offline though. but i understand we can't have it all when it comes to multiplayer, that's the nature of the beast these days, and it is important that GOG users can play games online with their friends who are using other platforms. i just hope devs/publishers can be convinced to also include LAN features that don't require setting up extra accounts/sign-ins just to play online altogether.

i assume it must be difficult trying to get some publishers onboard a DRM free platform nowadays. thanks for your efforts.
Post edited March 18, 2022 by tedeee
Hustlefan: This update adds localizations in French, Italian, German, Russian and Spanish to the game and was uploaded to Galaxy on January 31!
Cool, did not know about this. Maybe it is time to move the game a bit higher on my wishlist :)
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You have many games with content locked behind galaxy or online connections. Bring Hitman back and get 2 and 3 as well please. I was waiting so long for you to get them and knew full well what i would and wouldnt have acces to drm free. The base game was available without ever going online. It would be nice for you to get them to make all of the content available offline, but you have a long list of games to remove with the standard you set by removing Hitman.

I dont wamt to be all negative, so thank you for what you have gotten us and offer. Please keep up what youre doing (other than removing games) and ill continue to support you as i have. Keep on getting big games like youve been such as horizon zero dawn, mechwarrior 5, x4, stellaris, and hitman before you removed it
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SmollestLight: I understand your concerns, but we leave it up to publishers and developers if they want to give cosmetic rewards as an incentive for something, like signing up for their newsletter or in this case, using GOG GALAXY. While CDPR and GOG are part of the same group, they are separate companies, and in the end it's up to the developer to decide on the rewards.
It's much appreciated that we get a well defined stance on this.

This is clearly a choice on GOG's part, though. GOG has the power to make such demands on developers, in particular at the point where contracts are drawn up. And as direct customers of GOG, our business is with GOG, not the developers, so it's arguably GOG's job to act as the intermediary. But I'm sure the stance GOG has chosen makes it easier to actually get those contracts signed, which I fully appreciate, so I believe I can see where this is coming from.

I think it's important that you fully understand the ramifications from making that choice. In this particular case (i.e. what essentially amounts to withholding part of a paid-for product as an incentive to use Galaxy) it touches on a sore spot with those of us who have no interest in Galaxy, which is supposed to be 100% optional, and frankly already felt like we were being treated as second-class citizens long before that particular controversy happened. From that viewpoint the way GOG's stance manifests in this case reflects badly on GOG amongst that part of your customer base. I think many of the posts here illustrate this quite clearly, so I'll leave it at that.

With all that said, I think that occasionally making announcements laying out the points that GOG is currently willing to commit to is a step in the right direction, assuming you also stick to your guns and are true to your word in future actions, and with the caveat that the way they are worded in this thread leaves a lot of wiggle room, which limits their significance (as already pointed out by many).

I also think the move to add more detailed information on each game (and better search filtering) is definitely a good idea, all else aside.

Finally I'd like to add that by making responses to people's comments here - and in particular controversial ones like the one I quote above - you have already taken the first few baby steps to earning back the easy 50% of my previously lost trust in GOG. That should account for something, I think. I do realize it can be a thankless job sometimes to read and even respond to people's sometimes rather impolite comments, especially after people's personal peeves have been festering for a long time, and I don't envy that position, but I believe it's nevertheless very important for a company like GOG to keep that communication flow going. You have my sincere appreciation for trying.

EDIT: Removed comment that was really off topic here.

Gede: I wish GOGmixes were back.
Seconded. Those were great.

cmclout: 1. All single-player gameplay content must be available offline (not just "single-player mode", which could contain only a portion of the total single-player content, such as Hitman 2016). Note that I wrote "gameplay content". I did this specifically to exclude non-gameplay things, such as achievements (unless earning those achievements unlocks additional gameplay elements, in which case the achievements would be considered gameplay content). Cosmetics ARE gameplay content because they affect the gameplay (even if only visually).
Don't get me wrong - I fully agree with you that the first point in the OP could use some clarification - but I'm sure there are many people who would argue that achievements are inherently part of the gameplay, even if they don't have any further gameplay effects. I'd expect that for a significant amount of people, they are the main goal of gameplay even in a fully single-player setting, and even if nobody else ever gets to see it.

For what it's worth, I personally have no stake in them as I tend to mostly ignore them.
Post edited March 18, 2022 by Hexchild
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TomNuke: *simp noises*
What's truly toxic? The users who complain about and protest bad, anti-consumer policies and lies from a company they wish they could support in good conscience, or the mindless, consumerist stooges like yourself who justify these practices and encourage GOG to continue with them?

Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Oh, and it's called Zoom Platform for a reason, not hard to find if you're being honest, but we know you aren't.

JMB9: The interesting thing about what GOG clarifies is that they really give the impression that DRM-free can really mean
different things.
"We're committed to DRM free by giving you a very nebulous, flexible definition of DRM free that reinforces nothing, and absolves us of any guilt when we use it to justify future DRM creep."

This PR is GOG doublespeak at its finest, and I'm glad to see most commenters have seen right through it.
Post edited March 18, 2022 by ReynardFox
Thank you GOG for restating your commitment to DRM-Free gaming.

It was a happy surprise to see it on the front page. I appreciate that you're remaining committed to this stance because it must make it harder for yourselves to add new major titles to the store.

As we know DRM-Free remains a niche for a small and possibly shrinking set of consumers. I'm guessing that the average age of conusmers here continues to increase every year as the most popular games for young people like Roblox and Fortnite are both online and not very preservation friendly.

I appreciate the first point that single player games will not require an online connection. For the types of games I play that is sufficient.

However, as time goes on it's likely to cause problems because major studios have indicated a push towards subscription services like game pass. My concern is that the broader gaming market is heading towards being dominated by subscriptions like TV and music have. That will make it harder for the major games being released today to come here in the future. That's okay for me because I'm not too interested in AAA games, but I recognize that those are the ones that probably bring in the largest sales compared with the obscure 90's games that I come here for.

In addition, if the only new games you can bring to the platform are indie games then it may be harder to compete on price when Epic is giving away a lot of the higher profile indie games for free on their store and lower profile games are being included in these massive charity bundles on itch. In both of these cases the games are primarily DRM-Free so as a result I'm buying less and less new games here.
Post edited March 18, 2022 by llamas