At this point, I mostly view single-player DRM-free as the hill GOG should die on (as long as single-player content can be played fine without an internet connection, we're good; you buy "microtransaction" single-player content through the 'net, but that content can be played offline if you want), so I'm not even that worried about GOG allowing games here that allow optional microtransactions as long as any single-player content is DRM-free. (vs, I guess, "pro-consumerism" being GOG's brand) Players can say "fck off" to the game if they want, but others can buy it here if they want.
(First, thank you as well for really good discussion. I consider this on-topic because in my view we are living in the "post-apo" era of gaming).
I understand your position and am not completely removed from it. Where I generally draw the line is at what I consider brand identity. That said, I am probably pining for an ideal of DRM-free that is extremely unlikely to ever come back. To use my own analogy, I don't think there is any way to "put the Galaxy genie back in the bottle" with things like multiplayer requirements so you are probably right that the best we can hope for anymore is "single-player DRM-free." Still, that is sad, and makes people confused about GOG's brand. More on this after the next quote. For what it's worth, I am not necessarily saying I don't want some such games (well, some of them) here as a consumer but I am trying to look at the situation from a more detached, long-term view.
I think you and I probably will never see eye-to-eye on this if (and I don't want to suggest something wrong about your opinions or views, so please correct me) you view GOG as a business who should be a shining force for good in the game world, vs. a store that provides a product we want and who is trying to find a niche in the marketplace. I know some here seem
to view GOG as the "shining force for good"[...]
Striving to be a "shining force for good" is not where I'm coming from, though that would be a good start at finding their niche in the marketplace. My concern is that by GOG diluting its identity, it makes it that much harder to carve out a niche in the market, just for branding reasons alone:
"We're a DRM-free store. Our games are DRM-free for singleplayer, but for multiplayer...well, that's up to the developer. But wait, have you seen our own proprietary client that incorporates other proprietary clients?". Way too convoluted!
Contrast how the standard set out on FCKDRM.com is simply "100% DRM-free." That makes a lot more sense to the average customer. A lot less moving parts, and nothing left defined as "maybe,maybe not".
Clearly, though, GOG chose "more games" at the expense of weakening its brand. To the point that a plain reading of FCKDRM.com ironically invalidates viewing GOG as a 100% DRM-free source.
One might also ask this question: does GOG need to control what games come here to prevent their customers from making bad decisions (like spending too much on microtransactions because they have an addiction)? On a broader scale, do you like to see governments regulate businesses/act as a protector of citizens? (Also, are you familiar with YouTuber Jim Sterling and his rants against anti-consumer practices? If so, how do you feel about Jim?)
The reason I don't want microtransactions here is as simple as that I think (at least most of) the games that have them are tied up with other forms of DRM that don't belong here. I'm not aware of many (any?) examples of games that would be 100% DRM-free for singleplayer, but which also feature the option to connect to their servers and buy stuff. And we both know that developers aren't jumping to make a custom GOG build that gives this sort of compromise.
If you asked my personal opinion, I would also say that most games with microtransactions are poor games due to being built around the microtransactions (as, if the microtransactions didn't significantly improve the game, very few people would buy them) and could be rejected by curation for that reason too, but I think excluding them from GOG is as simple as maintaining strong brand identity of DRM-free.
And I'm as opposite from that sort of forced "paternalism" as you can imagine, as I am all about voluntary interaction. In my view, it's up to businesses (really, the individuals behind them) to decide how to run their stores, so something like store curation is valid by my standards in a way that a national ban on games with microtransactions, is not. That said, you wouldn't see me protesting that ban, haha.
As for YouTubers in general, I find it bothersome that none of the visible ones are really advocating that people buy DRM-free. I don't know if Jim is like this (only watched a video or two of his), but it seems to me most of these cats talk a good game about how evil EA is, etc, but still keep supporting the Scheme monopoly. The only gaming media-person I've seen talk positively about GOG and against Scheme DRM is a blogger.
In short, I want GOG to "try saving what's left of the gaming world." I'm not saying that they are a shining force for good; they are a business like any other. But GOG provides a strong combination that is unavailable from any other store. GOG somehow has a combination of big games here, that are DRM-free. I would prefer they cultivate this without sacrificing either of these pillars; meaning, not accepting all indie games, but also not accepting bigger games that would require more drastic compromises.