...Changing system requirements long time after the release may be done by developers (I've seen patches like that) but doubtfully by GOG. And on GOG patches are optional so existing customers may ignore such patches from developers.
Actually, this is *exactly* what has happened - the developer has not changed their system requirements but GOG has through the addition of its Galaxy.dll, which is non-optional (despite Galaxy itself being claimed to be optional).
If a GOG user purchases a game that indicates on the store page as being compatible with a certain OS, then it is reasonable to expect that future DL access to said game will remain so.
Indeed - otherwise people would be safer sticking with CD/DVD releases.
The moment the game gets updated beyond support for these previous advertised compatible OSes, the older (offline, non-Galaxy) installers should be made permanently available on the DL page, appropriately tagged for identification. Then they may continue to provide newer updates that keep the game compatible with newer OSes. This would be perfectly acceptable, as really old games (particularly SP) will rarely need updates for antiquated OSes.
I would agree with this in cases (which seem pretty rare) where the *developer* withdraws support for an OS.
In this case though, it is GOG that has thrown a spanner in the works and GOG that should offer a solution - whether that be a galaxy.dll-free version (which really should be the default for offline, non-Galaxy downloads) or a replacement dummy dll.
...but nobody at GOG is going to haul out a test machine to make sure. Same thing with Windows XP. Even if it may work, they can't test it and be sure, so better to CYA by not labeling it as such then to have some future patch break it.
No-one is asking GOG to guarantee compatibility with older games (though it shouldn't be *that* hard to provide an exact copy of the orginal files with no installer, no scripting, no addons which expert users could make use of). It is a simple case of GOG *not* adding anything that might break compatibility.
Unfortunately they seem so desperate to push Galaxy down everyone's throats (almost all support responses now seem to start "Have you downloaded the latest version from Galaxy?") that disenfrancising part of their customer base seems to be a non-issue.
I do recall rather clearly that GOG gave advance notice that they were no longer supporting Windows XP, and nobody batted and eye when Windows Vista support was quietly pulled.
Not everyone lives on the forums here - had I know about the news item or thread, I would certainly have posted. However one point of "DRM-free" gaming is that you shouldn't have to continuously monitor a website or forum to guarantee your games continues to work.
As more games (and customers) are affected, I would expect complaints to continue. Another potential example looks to be ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery)
- GOG list their minimum requirement as Windows 7 while the Developer FAQ
indicates WinXP compatibility (see "Q: Where does the Windows version store the saved games?"). Of course, the original, free version (ADOM Classic) runs on a wider range of OSes - including AmigaOS...
To put some figures on this, Statcounter
reports a market share of 0.91% (36.39% x 2.51%) for WinXP in September 2018, compared to 0.78% for Linux (excluding Android). So WinXP is still being used more widely than the Penguin. :) And it exceeds Win8 (2.24% of Windows marketshare compared to 2.51% for WinXP). NetMarketShare
shows a bigger difference - 4.61% on WinXP, 1.45% on Linux, 1.13% on Win8 - this is just looking at desktop systems though.
good Old games, the old name with emphasis on "Old". My vain attempt to tell gOg not to forget where the store came from and who helped get them here: those who showed up for the old games.
I'd agree (although belatedly late) with such a sentiment - though I can aso understand the business reason behind it.