I was more of thinking ahead, and this is not related only to GOG, but using Linux (also for gaming) in general. How to reduce the risk that I can't play some game (be it a native Linux game, or a Windows game running in WINE) ten or 15 years from now on a future Linux platform. I got the impression that these self-contained packages are also more future-proof. As in, the game does not work with some future version of a system dependency which has changed so much or maybe even removed: who cares, as the game container includes the very dependency with which the game works.
packages are not more future-proof than a simple bundling. In fact, the opposite is true.
Some of the problems:
1) these packages are an applications per se
and may require additional libraries to the ones needed for the contained payload (I personally have run into an Appimage of the FreeCAD that refused to load due to system/required library mismatch);
2) in order to provide full compatibility one need to encapsulate the Linux kernel itself. Even though Linus Torvalds is strongly opposed to ABI changes, there is no guarantee they will not occur in the future. And containerization will not save from that. Not to mention future removal of 32bit support on 64bit kernels (AKA "multilib").
I was also thinking of the recent Linux discussion here where someone complained that Linux in itself is against the ideals of GOG
, as Linux in general relies so much on being online when you try to get the correct dependencies to run a certain piece of software etc.
Next time you hear that tell him/her about "Windows 10" mandatory online updates. :) Last time I checked (which was literally yesterday :) ) Linux could work without any internet connection just fine.
And you can order a complete collection of software for Debian (5 DVD's as I can recall) for complete offline install. Needless to say, GOG is an online
game store, entirely relying on its customers being… well… online. :)
If anything, there is no such thing as "ideals of GOG". To us, customers, GOG tells one story (old game preservation, you don't games, you own them, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah) but to its owners (stock share holders) CDProjekt Group tells entirely different things: social platform, online services, GOG Galaxy as a key factor in evolving into something more than just a store (not a single mention of the term "DRM-free" :) ). You can check their annual reports.
Also if some Linux game developer chose to use e.g. appimages to release their Linux games on Steam (so that the Steam client mostly just downloads and launches the appimage), maybe that would also increase the likelihood of the same game (Linux version) appear on GOG, as I presume there would be no need to modify the appimage at all for GOG, from its Steam counterpart. (I have no idea how an appimage game would interact with Steam and Galaxy extra features though, like cloud saves, achievements etc.).
A flawed approach:
1) it uses an external redundant
wrapper to bypass/fool Steam's and GOG's infrastructures. Another part of the mechanism -- another point of falure;
2) it uses an external redundant wrapper to bypass/fool
Steam's and GOG's infrastructures. Valve will most probably not be amused when someone intentionally toys with its service;
3) it uses an external redundant wrapper to bypass/fool
Steam's and GOG's infrastructures. Even provided Valve can not be bothered to actually check on every one of its developers, GOG, on the other hand, takes pride
in actual manual checking of the games/patches delivered for distribution, ensuring everything works and repackaging/bundling with Galaxy. Even if it means a weekly delay after an initial Steam release (many developers have reported it takes additional and draining effort to provide simultanious release on GOG, as all of the materials should be sent preemptively). There is no way GOG is gonna handle this distribution process down to developers. It is a political descision and can not be negotiated.