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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.
Neeranel: Back in my old days, multiplayer was just a matter of opening a server and connecting to an IP. Guess this requires a DRM now?
GoG could (should?) have a clear stance on that matter. People like me like (liked?) GoG for two reasons: because you own the games you buy, and because games were supposedly filtered to only keep Good games (which is subjective, yes, but can still represent a minimal quality requirement). Those were very similar and compatible with the Linux mentality, and I'm pretty sure GoG has a much bigger ratio of Linux users than other platforms.

However, what has it become now? GoG Galaxy 2.0 (also known as "the update nobody wanted") arrived, unfinished but yet mandatory, still incompatible with Linux, and allowing games to implement a DRM *inside* GoG. Two issues here, one obvious, and the other a bit less as it has been forgotten long ago, it seems:
- GoG is supposed to fight against DRM, not to implement them
- GoG is not supposed to accept games with DRM, and should a game be sold on GoG while still including DRMs (whether using Galaxy or not), it should be removed as quickly as possible from the store, allow anyone who bought it to be refunded, and never come back unless every kind of DRM has been removed. Yes, it is extreme, but it should *never* happen if the GoG team filtered the game properly in the first place.

Now why would it matter that much for GoG? Money is money, and if people who got lured into using GoG for DRM-free games forgot about it and keep buying without thinking, it's all good, no?
Well, let's put aside the moral aspects (since those seem to be long forgotten anyway). Out of all decent game shops, the only ones that still provide DRM-free games are GoG, and Out of those two, GoG is the only one that has the strength (let's not forget that CDPR made more money than, for example, Ubisoft: if they want to do something, they can) to attract big games and "force" them to provide fully DRM-free versions. Yes, it means losing money (or rather, losing profit, which is not the same), and making a lot of efforts, and showing a lot of honesty towards buyers. Yes, it is hard.
It is hard, but the main strength of GoG is the trust from people who buy there. As far as I know, most people who buy on GoG will try to mainly buy on GoG, even if prices are a bit lower on steam or whatever. That's because they trust and like this platform. However, all this relatively dishonest talk about DRMs while still implementing them is destroying this trust, and I'm not sure there is much left. People like me are getting really disappointed at GoG, and don't see it as "a good alternative" but a "less bad alternative". I am more and more frequently going on Itch to see if the games I want on GoG are there, and I'd rather buy on Itch than on GoG now. Even though they have a relatively crappy interface which makes everything more complicated.

Now I don't know who is at fault here. Marketing teams deciding that money is worth more than trust? CDPR for not putting enough budget in GoG? Community managers giving off a wrong idea of the current stance of GoG about DRMs (as this post may suggest)? I don't know, and to be honest it's not my job to find out. GoG made a single promise, that it keeps on breaking more and more. Buyers like me are trying to be patient with GoG, to give it a chance to stop doing all this nonsense, but we're getting close to the point of no-return. Trust isn't something you can get back, as a company, especially when you prove that no matter how central your promises are, you can still break them for something as trivial as money for a company as big as CDPR.

It would be time to go back to the core of what made GoG a serious platform: the idea that a game retailer could still have ethics and morals. Because it's your last opportunity to disappoint us, or not.
Actually if you go back in time
multplayer over the internet was not a thing
the only way to play multiplayer games back in those days was physically meeting up and playing on a coach in front of a tv or using lan
or going to the arcades
Some people like yourself like to pretend that drm free online miltiplayer was always a thing wich coudnt be further from the truth

But i guess im older than most people in these forums and remember that
Post edited March 17, 2022 by Lodium
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SmollestLight: The in-game items received in Cyberpunk 2077 are purely cosmetic and in no way affect the single player experience of the game.
This steadfast refusal to remove the Galaxy DRM for that cosmetic nonsense really flies right in the face of all those fancy words. This is your sister company's game - don't they think (or do they not care) that gating content behind Galaxy is kinda hurting the gog brand? What's the cost/benefit ratio here? Do they think attracting a handful of cretins that go "Hurr durr, must install Galaxy so I get teh free t-shirt!" is actually worth alienating the hardcore DRM-free crowd for, which gog has tried its damndest to attract over the years?

Apparently, they're adament to keep the Galaxy requirement - it's quite baffling, really.
> The single-player mode has to be accessible offline.

Notice how it doesn't say something like "Single-player mode has to offer the full single-player content while being offline".

With the current wording their recent Hitman debacle with its always-online requirement to access all content would be totally fine because you can access it while being offline despite missing out on content.
Post edited March 17, 2022 by p1881
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.
4. If I legitimately own a game on a (well-known) platform X then I'm able to play the game on a (well-known) platform Y WITHOUT paying for it. Such kind of "an ability to own and the right to play" seems most reasonable to me, the buyer/player.
SmollestLight: As for changelogs, those are provided by publishers and developers.
How about making that "What did just update" thread (you know, one of the most helpful threads in the whole general forum where GOG customers post every new changelog they can find) finally a sticky one as it was requested many many many times?
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SmollestLight: The in-game items received in Cyberpunk 2077 are purely cosmetic and in no way affect the single player experience of the game.
Cool. So then these cosmetics are so inconsequential that there shouldn't be an issue with CDPR releasing a new offline DLC installer for these items, right? Many other GOG games handle their DLCs this way, and I would imagine that CDPR of all companies can set an example by following this DRM-free trend.

Other than that, I appreciate this post and support the vision for GOG as outlined by it.
Post edited March 17, 2022 by SpikedWallMan
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Once again I want to register my congratulations for having started/resumed the CLEAR dialogue with the users. As a customer, this is exactly the type of differential that I would like to have more often, and this new proposal is very pleasing to me. And, precisely on this position, it was excellent for having, finally, grounded in a very objective way the philosophy of GOG with DRM. Congratulations!

For a future dialogue, I'm sure that most users would like to know what are the criteria that GOG uses to accept a game in the catalog, in addition to the obligation to be DRM-free, that is, what are the elements that make up the curation system. In this sense, I also wanted to understand how the dialogue with developers works so that they apply, or not, extra Galaxy features such as online multiplayer, cloud saves, achievements, and the obligation to always update their games here.

Once again, congratulations on this new moment of transparency!
This seems to be a lot of PR buildup to state that you learned basically nothing from the Hitman release and intend to try and do it again.

The "we see you, we hear you" corporate speech never means anything and especially when you continue to repeat the same issues.

It's embarrassing that you can't even do it right in your own games.
TheGrimLord: I'm just going to say that I remember the days when GOG's policy actually stated that a user didn't just own the game but that they could put it on a disc and give it to friends. I don't believe I'm mis-remembering, but we are obviously leagues away from that now. "If you buy it, it's yours."
I'm pretty sure that was never an official GOG's policy, but instead it was an answer from TheEnigmaticT when he was asked, if it would be ok to lend games to a friend. But he also said that it was his personal opinion. Don't have a link to that post though, maybe someone else can help with that.
Points 1 and 3: If this means no special downloader nor special client needed to download, install, launch and play the games (practically keeping and keeping up to date the offline installers), then it is OK.

Games having LAN / split screen / hotseat multiplayer feature back in the days of their release should be played the same way without internet connection or any client. Games that never had multiplayer features other than online, not expected to be altered to have, it is OK. But they should have offline installers as well to access all single player contents, if any. Violation of the above should be a subject of refund without question.

GoG, keep on drm-free forever, it is your essence.
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Considering that today just as much as thirty years ago, multiplayer via LAN is for all intents and purposes a technological subset of multiplayer via WAN (aka "the Internet"), I am rather sad to see no stance against developers who willfully spend *more* money to make their games *less* multiplayer capable by deploying proprietary servers they will later shut down.

... Should the game page not at least state, until what date multiplayer will be available for such games? And if not, should I be able to return one on the day this feature is suddenly sabotaged from afar?

Instead all I see is an explicit focus on Singleplayer, implicitly condoning schemes such as that of Relic, when they removed LAN capability from games that had it for years, or of Capcom, whose asynchronous multiplayer features in Dragon's Dogma have been broken for the GoG version since release and only work on Steam. Small studios do it too: Flow Fire Games' Synthetik will eventually, suddenly and permanently lose (at least) full half of its features - namely the Coop Campaign.

If a developer can push a button and suddenly arbitrary parts of my game are broken without recurse, how is that not DRM? They *spend money to make it so*! - Of course it is not an accident or an inconvenience, but very much deliberate.

(Also, of course, I can turn any LAN-capable game into a WAN-capable game quite easily using but consumer applications, whereas the other way around generally requires *very* time intensive reverse engineering and thence EULA breaking.)
Post edited March 17, 2022 by Zsar1
Magnitus: - An official supported way to manage offline installers at scale. The browser is not a scalable to manage your backups when you start having hundreds of games. If you don't wish to support a client that enables that important use-case internally, at the very least publish an official simpler api that third-party clients can interact with. Currently, the unofficial api is not only unofficial, but also grossly inefficient for everyone (for us and for the GOG servers)
This. It was asked for years and instead of slowly provide solutions we get less and less ways to backup and organize our games.
I would also like to add that the system still don't recognize games you own if you own all the part of a bundle and vice versa and nothing has been done about that.
Magnitus: - An official supported way to manage offline installers at scale. The browser is not a scalable to manage your backups when you start having hundreds of games.
While I don't think they will create a new client just for downloads / manage backups any time soon; what they should at least have done IMHO is improve Galaxy download functionality to make it more convenient to use as a replacement of the downloader.

While it is usable as a downloader it still requires way too many click to do so making a pain to do so if you want to download multiple games at the same time and it lacks the download verification that the downloader had.