I really don't see any benefit for customers in general except keeping people who are paranoid about "closed" software from being suspicious.I don't see any benefit for the greater user base. Im looking for practical benefits and not this trust thing some people go on about
To what extent have you ever been involved in any open source software?
Anyway, you want to see the benefits, all right, let's make a rundown:
a) The part of the community who's capable at programming can make:
- Their own, personal branches of the application to suit their own needs
- Collaborate on public branches, implementing functionality that GOG would never have thought of, with the possibility of GOG incorporating the best ones into the core application - that's free work for GOG and more options for every customer. Good example would be cloud saves, video streaming etc. - I'm willing to bet that if GOG doesn't implement them in the first place, this functionality will get into a useable state withing weeks of community contribution. And best of all, GOG does not have to actually accept these features and incorporate them into the main release.
b) Developers! If GOG provides both API AND source code for the application, devs can actually make their own additions of features they would expect of the client - again, with no cost for GOG, but with the benefit of GOG saying whether or not that particular feature is acceptable.
c) The security thing you seem to not give a toss about
d) Free debugging/bug fixing. If there's a bug GOG can't quite murderize - a common occurence in GOG's software - at one point or another, a community member will come out and do it for them. For free.
e) Talent hunting. Whenever GOG or CD-Project needs to expand their teams, suddenly they'll have a bunch of proven developers to choose from.
in case of Linux open source client can be packaged in system repositories
g) Popularity. If GOG wants to expand to Linux world and releases an open source client, they suddenly get a lot of converts from Steam and a shitton of sales.
Now let's take a look at the downsides:
a) ... ... ...