LAN play is mostly dead nowadays, I used to do LAN parties years ago but today nobody wants to drive, dragging your gaming PC along, just to play with friends for a couple of hours, peoples do it online.
Depends on the game you play, but you can use laptops.
I don't really think it's a question of "control", for EA or Ubi probably yes, but I doubt most Indy or smaller devs really care about forcing peoples to play online, it's more a question of return on investment, is it worth spending time and money creating, testing, maintaining a whole toolkit that support both online and LAN when 99% of your customers will never uses the later.
I'm not talking about the developers themselves, but rather the stores that establish permanent gaming platforms (GOG, Steam, etc).
With Steam, its pretty much par for the course, but given where GOG came from, it was somewhat disappointing.
Yes and usually those peoples do it via Steam using the family share feature.
Interesting to know, though those many of us don't use Steam.
IMHO the only way to have something "DRM-free'ish" for multiplayer would be if Gog (or let's be crazy Steam, it's already what the goldberd emulator allows) someday release the server code of Galaxy as open source and allows peoples to create third party servers for it.
I see 3 possibilities (in order of how much work they want to put in the open-source realm):
- They open-source Galaxy (probably under some strong copy-left license or otherwise a Server Side license like Mongodb or otherwise a non-commercial creative commons)
- They open-source a subset of Galaxy under the above license (personally, I'd be thrilled just to have the multiplayer)
- They release the protocol specs for the multiplayer part of Galaxy and let the community come up with an implementation
The only additional effort beyond the above would be to modify the client binding library to allow for a custom server endpoint (at least for the multiplayer part).
Honestly though, when it comes down to it, even if they could support it for free with zero effort on their part, I don't think they really want a drm-free self-hosted alternative to their centralised servers. I think they have some future business plans that depend on them having an iron-grip on the online ecosystem that Galaxy enables, including multiplayer unfortunately.