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Unfortunately, this list has become necessary. GOG has publicly stated, that they are OK with selling DRM-ed games through Galaxy (the Epic deal). But the website stays 100% DRM-free, right? Wrong! There are some games that have DRM on parts of the single player campaign. So far only parts of single player games are DRM-ed. But those parts are getting bigger. From pure cosmetics, to actual quests. So let's compile a list of games that aren't really 100% DRM-free, so that buyers may beware. Please tell us of all examples that you know of - and correct me, if I unjustly deem a game as DRM-ed. I'll try to keep the list up to date. I will also include instances of 'soft' or 'only cosmetic' DRM, that don't really affect the gameplay. So everyone is free to decide for themselves whether the DRM (or not-really-DRM) reported is bad for them or not.

Absolver - Installs the invasive EAC anti-cheat software even for single player and won't start without it. Boss re-matches are locked behind an online requirement. Boss loot too. As well as some techniques that can be used in offline play but can only be learned online.

Age of Wonders III - cosmetic/name only: it is impossible to create a single player profile. Without connection to the server you have to play as 'Guest'.

Battletech - arguably only cosmetic. Decorations and emblems, that disappear from single-player if one isn't online.

Carcassonne Tiles & Tactics - the 'free' DLC "The Abbot" requires a third party account and registration with the publisher.

Cyberpunk 2077 - Rewards, which are single-player content, require connecting the game to your account via Galaxy. A blue one officially stated this.

Dying Light - 'free' weapons and other items that are only available in Singleplayer if you go online.

F.E.A.R. - arguably a bug that stays unfixed. Securom remnants weren't removed and can cause the single player game not to start. See post 41

Stronghold: Warlords - cosmetic. Some Warlord-skins are locked behind an online registration.

Synthetik: Legion Rising - some weapons and other starting gear are locked behind a Galaxy requirement and a newsletter registration.

X4 - Foundations - cosmetic. Online registration is needed for some ship designs, paints and features.

... to be continued ...

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Legacy cases: either not DRM-ed or not on GOG anymore:
Crysis Warhead 32 bit version, build "1.1.1.711 (gog-4)" - still had the 'chicken' DRM active. But it was removed from GOG 'for technical reasons'. Now only the 64- bit version is available.

Hybrid Wars - one of three characters for single-player was only available through online registration. The game was removed from GOG. Of course the game is still available for those that bought it. But at least it isn't sold any longer.

Nex Machina required Galaxy to save your highscore, which unlocks further levels. That meant those levels stayed locked if you didn't use Galaxy! But it was fixed. Don't know when the fix occurred, but as of March 2021 it is DRM-free for single player again.

No Man's Sky - quests and a ship: the quicksilver shop required you to register online. However, that requirement was patched out by Hello Games in v3.13. Now all singleplayer content works offline again.

Northgard - solo mode required Galaxy. But according to GOG and the devs, that was a bug and as of 02.04.2021 the solo mode is DRM-free again.

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts - had spyware (arguably not DRM. You decide.): "Easy Anti Cheat" spyware was installed with the game, which is especially ridiculous, since the game doesn't even have multiplayer, according to it's page. However, it was removed in patch 1.08 (https://www.gog.com/forum/sniper_ghost_warrior_series/sniper_ghost_warrior_contracts_changelog/post4)

Wasteland 3 The pre-order goods required online verification, but that was patched out in patch 1.3

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FYI: a statement by a GOG blue, reported by mqstout, clarifies GOG's new stance on DRM:

All games available on GOG have offline installers available. We stay in touch with the partners and do our best to keep them up to date. However, video games continue to evolve with many titles offering online modes, cosmetics, and incentives for completing certain actions by players. This might be subjective, but as long as these additional features and rewards do not affect the single-player offline experience in a major way, we believe that the developers and publishers should be free to design and sell their games in a way they choose.
Post edited April 07, 2021 by Lifthrasil
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Note: a list for games that require the use of CD-keys can be found here. So I won't include them in this list again.

[Multiplayer]

A list of multiplayer games with DRM will get very, very long. After all GOG likes to pretend that DRM is 'necessary for multiplayer!'
Perhaps it would be easier to compile a list of Mutliplayergames without DRM? Let me know what you think. I can compile a list of the multiplayer DRM offenders here too. In any case, I'll start with the worst offender. For the rest, I'll require your input since I don't play multiplayer games myself.

Worst offender:
GWENT - microtransactions are the sole reason for this game to exist. So of course it needs DRM, because otherwise the purchases couldn't be related to an account. A micro-transaction driven game on GOG was quite a shock at the time. By now almost everyone has gotten used to it and the game set a precedent.

List of games that state: "Multiplayer Notice: Please note that the GOG Galaxy Client is required to access Multiplayer.", if there is more (like a third party account), it will be mentioned in the description:
8-Bit-Armies and Hordes
Absolver
Age of Wonders 3: All modes except Hotseat require a unique CD key, which will be located in your game shelf, and an on-line account with Triumph Studios.
Alien Versus Predator Classic 2000
Ancestors Legacy
Aragami
Ashes of the Singularity
Baseball Stars 2
Battletech: third party. you do need a Paradox Account to challenge other players in 1v1 multiplayer matches and to redeem unlock codes for Kickstarter Backer or Pre-Order DLC.
Battlezone 98 Redux:
Carcassonne - Tiles & Tactics: third party account required for online multiplayer.
Craft The World + DLCs
Deathtrap
Descent Underground
Double Dragon Trilogy
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen
Dying Light
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
Gauntlet™ Slayer Edition
Gauntlet™ Slayer Edition - Lilith the Necromancer Pack
Gremlins Inc.
Homeworld® Remastered Collection
Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak

Iron Harvest
Master of Orion 2016
Metal Slug, 2, X and 3

No Man's Sky:
Northgard
Offworld Trading Company
Rise of the Triad (2013)
Phantom Doctrine
Serious Sam's Bogus Detour
Shadow Warrior 2
Shock Troopers
Shock Troopers: 2nd. Squad
STAR WARS™ Battlefront™ II (Classic, 2005) - Also has a Galaxy-free multi-player version (classic installer)
Streets of Rage 4
Streets of Rogue
Stronghold Crusader 2
Synthetic Legion Rising
THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIII GALAXY EDITION
The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition (unverified)
The Last Blade
Tooth and Tail
Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power
Twinkle Star Sprites
Vikings-Wolves of Midgard
Witcher Adventure Game, The
Worms W.M.D
Post edited March 19, 2021 by Lifthrasil
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Well, I think there are various games which have some online feature for offering daily/weekly challenges, but claiming anything you can't access purely offline is some sort of DRM seems like quite a stretch to me.

Metal Gear Solid technically has some DRM where you had to look up a radio frequency on the back of physical box.
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I don't think Hybrid Wars was removed because GOG wanted it to be. Pretty sure it was removed from sale everywhere because Wargaming decided to kill it.
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Robette: Well, I think there are various games which have some online feature for offering daily/weekly challenges, but claiming anything you can't access purely offline is some sort of DRM seems like quite a stretch to me.

Metal Gear Solid technically has some DRM where you had to look up a radio frequency on the back of physical box.
No, if it is a part of the single player game that requires you to go online, then it is DRM. The only remaining promise of GOG, after lots of broken promises, was '100% DRM-free single-player'. I.e. single-player can be played offline. 100%. If there are quests/events in the single-player games that require you to be online, then it isn't 100% offline playable and not 100% DRM-free.

If those events you speak of are multiplayer-events only, then I don't care. At least then they don't affect the single-player games.

A code on the back of the physical box isn't exactly digital. Like the Monkey Island code wheel it is more physical than digital. But of course on GOG games such a copy protection should be patched out, like they were in the case of the Monkey Island games.
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DoomSooth: I don't think Hybrid Wars was removed because GOG wanted it to be. Pretty sure it was removed from sale everywhere because Wargaming decided to kill it.
That's possible. Still, good riddance!
Post edited November 24, 2020 by Lifthrasil
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Lifthrasil: Absolver - Installs the invasive EAC anti-cheat software even for single player and won't start without it.
Having to install an anti-cheat software, while it can be argued how "invasive" it is or not, has nothing to do with DRM as long as it can be done while offline and doesn't prevent the game from itself being played offline.
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Lifthrasil: No Man's Sky - quests and a ship: the quicksilver shop requires you to register online. Without that, you won't be able to do the quickilver questline and you won't get the void ship. GOG has officially stated that they aren't willing to do anything about it. Tickets concerning this issue have been marked as 'solved' after a non-commital 'We can't comment on this issue' message.
No they never said that, the only official statement we had for now is one of the blue telling us that they are in contact with HG to see what can be done. For the tickets part the thing you are conveniently ignoring every time is that it's the case for every game with technical issue, they close the tickets as "solved" as soon as they transfer it to product team even if the issue itself is not yet solved. And it happened before for games where the issue was finally solved like the Escapist Walking Dead game that for some time didn't work offline.
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I think the 8 bit series has multiplayer through galaxy lock if i'm not mistaken.
you can't simply put it on two computers you own to functionally use your multiplayer licence in a multibox setup because it relies on your galaxy username and won't allow using that same name twice in a local lan lobby.
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Lifthrasil: ... to be continued ...
Hopefully not!


Thanks a lot for starting this list, glad you're including the cosmetic only ones too. So sad what's happened to Gog recently :-(
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Lifthrasil: Absolver - Installs the invasive EAC anti-cheat software even for single player and won't start without it.
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Gersen: Having to install an anti-cheat software, while it can be argued how "invasive" it is or not, has nothing to do with DRM as long as it can be done while offline and doesn't prevent the game from itself being played offline.
I would argue that any system that prevents modified versions from running would count as a form of DRM. (In particular, anything that would prevent one from cheating either by modifying the executable, the save file, or using something like Cheat Engine would be considered DRM to me.)
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Lifthrasil: Tickets concerning this issue have been marked as 'solved' after a non-commital 'We can't comment on this issue' message.
This statement requires corroboration via you posting verbatim quotations of both a) what message was submitted to GOG about this and b) what GOG's response to that same submission was.
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"Age of Wonders III".

Let me explain it.

Yes, you can play the single player part of it. Without creating a account on the devs website.
But you allways have to play as "GUEST" on every session.
And i say this is some kind of DRM and discrimination.

In a true DRM free GOG adaption. It must be possible, to offline create my own Single Player Profile, for the campaigns.
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Lifthrasil: [Multiplayer]

A list of multiplayer games with DRM will get very, very long. After all GOG likes to pretend that DRM is 'necessary for multiplayer!'
We already have one, kind of:
https://www.gog.com/forum/general/lists_games_that_need_galaxy_for_multiplayer_and_the_ones_that_dont/page1

The problem with this list is that it does not consider games that require registration with third party services to play online, Also it doesn't consider things like CD key restrictions.
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dtgreene: I would argue that any system that prevents modified versions from running would count as a form of DRM.
Fully agree. I have no idea what EAC in particular does, but the ability to modify game binaries, load custom dlls, or run them on a system without official dlls from Microsoft is absolutely vital to ensure the game can be patched and run e.g. on Wine.
Post edited November 24, 2020 by clarry
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Lifthrasil: Absolver - Installs the invasive EAC anti-cheat software even for single player and won't start without it.
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Gersen: Having to install an anti-cheat software, while it can be argued how "invasive" it is or not, has nothing to do with DRM as long as it can be done while offline and doesn't prevent the game from itself being played offline.
Well, Easy Anti Cheat is a spyware that monitors your system and uploads snapshots / hashes of it to a server. So it does require an online connection now and then. Check the Absolver forums. There are some instances of EAC blocking players from starting an offline game. I would say everyone is free to decide for themselves whether spyware is DRM-equivalent for them or not. Same with DRM on cosmetic parts of a game. That's why I include cosmetic DRM too - everyone can decide whether to tolerate that or not.

I, for one, don't. I reluctantly accepted that GOG sells DRM-ed multiplayer games, because I don't play multiplayer. So it didn't affect me. But this increasing infestation of single player games with increasing percentages of DRM-ed parts worries me. Or more precisely: it shows that my suspicion was correct that GOG actually does want to sell DRM-ed games. They just have to take small steps to get there to appease their remaining customer base.

It would be way more honest if they would just openly state: "Hey, we decided to sell DRM-ed games too, now." just like they did with regional pricing, regional restrictions and all their other broken promises. However, this time they won't be so honest, since they know that their pretended 'anti-DRM' stance is the only thing setting them apart among the many online store. So marketing will keep pretending that GOG is anti-DRM, while in reality they will try to sell as many games as possible, no matter whether they have DRM or not.

And since GOG doesn't even warn on the product pages whether there is DRM and to what degree, it is important to collect this information in a list. Like we did with regional pricing and regional restrictions.
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Lifthrasil: [Multiplayer]
If it is an online multiplayer game against unknown participants, I actually prefer DRM because that makes it easier for the admins to completely ban cheaters for good, at least in games where you either have to buy the game in order to play, or there is some kind of ID verification which can't be easily fooled.

Team Fortress 2 is pretty shit nowadays due to constant influx of cheater bots which make the game impossible to play, and whose main point seem to be to annoy other players (like lately there have been bots which start playing some kind of loud scratchy sound to annoy you, and earlier there were the lag-bots which caused the game to become laggy for all players in the server, and crash the whole server if someone started a votekick to kick out the bot... nice.).

The reason Valve can't get rid of the cheater bots is because even if they keep banning them (the whole Steam account from which a cheater bot is running), the cheater system apparently just creates a new free Steam account so that a new bot can run on it. It is all automated apparently, even creating several Steam accounts within seconds.

At the same time, the "competitive" side of Team Fortress 2 is apparently free of cheaters because in order to access it, you actually have to pay a bit of money (and I think also give your valid phone number). So it is the combination of requiring a small amount of money, and/or identification with your phone, that makes sure automated cheater bots can't get into the competitive multiplayer part, and human cheaters are wary of cheating on the competitive side either (because then they risk getting ban on an account where they have spent money).

Too bad the TF2 competitive multiplayer sucks balls compared to the free casual play, as it takes ages to join a game, and you can't freely choose what map to play. Yuck.
Post edited November 24, 2020 by timppu
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Lifthrasil: Tickets concerning this issue have been marked as 'solved' after a non-commital 'We can't comment on this issue' message.
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Ancient-Red-Dragon: This statement requires corroboration via you posting verbatim quotations of both a) what message was submitted to GOG about this and b) what GOG's response to that same submission was.
Read here: https://www.gog.com/forum/general/no_mans_sky_isnt_fully_drmfree/post486

I got the same reply.
My message to support was:

Hello,
it was brought to my attention, that No Man's Sky now contains single player content that is exclusive to Galaxy and requires an online connection. In other words: updates have introduced DRM-ed single-player content (The Quicksilver store and questline). That is an absolute no-go. Completely DRM-free single-player games is the last promise that GOG hadn't broken yet - and frankly the only reason to buy at GOG at all. I ask and expect you to either:
- remove the game from the store until the dev fixes it
- or create a patch of your own, that bypasses the online requirement
- or at the very least keep the last actually DRM-free version of the game available as a backup offline installer.
Also, please notify your customers, what you are going to do about this problem in the thread where this issue is discussed: https://www.gog.com/forum/general/no_mans_sky_isnt_fully_drmfree/

Until you do, I won't buy any games on GOG anymore.
Best regards
[my name] (Lifthrasil)
After a long while, support replied:

Hello,
Apologies for the late reply.

I understand your concerns, yet cannot provide any comments regarding this situation.
Please rest assured that your feedback has been forwarded to the appropriate GOG team for further investigation.

Kind regards,
Ross
GOG Customer Support
Upon which GOG closed the ticket as 'solved'. I protested that 'no comment' is no solution, but the ticket was closed as 'solved' again. This time with no reply, just an automated 'your ticket has been solved' mail.

Now some argue that this is just a standard 'We can't do anything about this, it's up to the dev to solve it' support reply and that closing tickets as 'solved' is just the Support way of saying: 'Don't bother us with this'. So it is not a public statement that GOG wants to sell DRM-ed games. But it shows some things:
- GOG doesn't see this instance of DRM, which was introduced via an update, as a bug.
- This instance of DRM is not a bug, but was placed there intentionally.
- There were instances in the past where DRM remnants were accidentally on a game. Those were cases that Support could fix - it is their job to fix things that are broken. The lower two solutions suggested by me would be tasks for support.
- The fact that support uses 'solved' instead of 'deferred' or 'escalated', shows that they really have no intent of solving the issue. Someone stated that that is business as usual. That support escalates things to some higher level where nothing ever happens. But this is A) a very sad state of the support and B) a difference to how GOG used to react to accidental DRM in the past.

Now, on the 'reasonable doubt' side: Chandra said two months ago that GOG contacted Hello Games about this. But it was never revealed how that contact looked and what the reply was, if any. Follow up questions are ignored. Both by Chandra, by other blues and by support. So GOG doesn't want to do anything about the problem but wants to sweep it under the rug.