I'm not so sure this is the case, or, at least not the way you seem to frame it here. Going beyond GOG for a moment, it seems to me that what these companies want most is control over products. For example, we have seen how when we got Diablo and Warcraft here, they sold like gangbusters. Meanwhile, people were apparently locked out of Diablo II recently because of some online requirement
/). You would think given how much Diablo I and the Warcrafts sold here, it would be a no-brainer to bring Diablo II and Warcraft 3 here. Total easy money. Yet they are not here. Why is that? You could substitute these Blizzard games out for other choice companies too.
I have posted numerous times on these forums to say without any sarcasm or joking that if we could get DRM-free releases of certain titles, I would be willing to pay beyond full price. I said recently if Rockstar brought the GTA trilogy here I would be willing to buy them EACH at $59.99. To have an effectively ownable digital version of this stuff is worth way more than the typical prices imo. Granted, I know not everyone would agree or buy it but you know if they did something like release GTA III here tomorrow at $20 it would rocket up the best seller list. The fact that companies have the option to (arguably) "price-gouge" like this if they were to bring a game here for us to "pay the DRM-free tax" to buy it, and yet they STILL pass it up for their precious control, is beyond telling.
Most of GOG's moves appear to me designed to lock people into their proprietary client ecosystem. While one could argue this is profit-motivated, I think it is a different and worse sort of motivation compared to how you seem to frame it as "we don't want to release a DRMed game, but we know if we do it'll sell and it keeps the lights on for another month". I think we can debate whether or not that would be considered acceptable or not, but if the strategy is less that and more "come on guise we just really want more of your money so accept these anti-consumer practices already" I don't think there is much justifying it.
Agreed. I think it is less about making a profit now for them and more about strategizing on how to squeeze every possible dollar out of their ips in the long term (less about honest labor, more about chess-like rentierish, everflowing, self-maintaning, and ideally evergrowing stream of income), even if it is a raw deal for the customer (it is not about fairness or social good, it is about maximizing profits).
Basically, they'd rather sell a game at 0.25$ a month forever than make 60$ now. And if they can, they want to sell it to you at 60$ now AND ALSO pay 0.25$ a month forever (if not right now, at the very least keep the possibility of it alive). Or you now, sell it to you at 60$ now, re-sell it to you at 30$ in 5 years, another 15$ couple of years after that and then finally stream it for 0.25$ a month forever. Mix and match. And its not just the game developers (usually larger ones), the platforms are in on the action wanting to maximise their cut too (sometimes in cases like steam, against the interests of many of the developers who created the original source of value in the first place).
Its an urge that we all have to various degrees. We feel it when we play games. But we just can't behave that way in real life.