GOG 2022 update #2: our commitment to DRM-free gaming

Thanks for all the feedback you gave us after the previous update. You’re awesome and it shows the GOG insights piques your interest. Today’s article is about a topic that we know is very important to you – our commitment to DRM-free gaming and what it exactly means.
GOG was built on trust, which is at the very core of our identity. It is evidenced by our 30-day refund policy or releasing games DRM-free, among other things. At the same time, we understand DRM-free might mean different things to different people, especially when modern games blend offline and online experiences.
When GOG first launched, the gaming market looked very different from what it is now – retail was the main place to buy games, and digital distribution was just taking baby steps. DRM, the copy protection software created to protect licenses against unauthorized disc copying, was a huge source of annoyance for gamers often restricting how they can access their content. From the beginning, part of GOG’s mission was to provide gamers with a simple way to access and play games, without the need to fiddle with files or deal with any DRM. Making sure you can play games purchased on GOG offline, make backup copies, and install them as many times as you need is even more relevant now, as things like game preservation become an important topic for the whole industry.
Today, while some of the most infamous DRMs of the past are thankfully long gone, it doesn’t mean the constraints are fully gone. They just have a different, more complex face.
Games are evolving and many titles offer features beyond single-player offline gameplay, like multiplayer, achievements, vanities, rewards. Many such games are already on GOG and will continue to join our catalog. But it also raises the question: is this a new frontier for DRM?
And this is the crux of the matter. Some think it is, some don’t. Some hate it, some don’t mind it. And to be fair, we didn’t comment on it ourselves for quite some time and feel this is the time to do so:
We believe you should have freedom of choice and the right to decide how you use, enjoy, and keep the games you bought. It manifests in three points:
  • 1. The single-player mode has to be accessible offline.
  • 2. Games you bought and downloaded can never be taken from you or altered against your will.
  • 3. The GOG GALAXY client is and will remain optional for accessing single-player offline mode.
  • We fully commit to all those points. Aside from this, we reaffirm our continuous effort to make games compatible with future OSs and available for you for years to come.
    As for multiplayer, achievements, and all that jazz – games with those features belong on GOG. Having said that, we believe that you have the right to make an informed choice about the content that you choose to enjoy and we won’t tell you how and where you can access or store your games. To make it easier to discover titles that include features like multiplayer, unlockable cosmetics, timed events, or user-generated content, we’re adding information about such functionalities on product pages. In short, you’ll always know.
    We always took a lot of pride in the freedom we provide gamers. While we know DRM-free may have a different meaning to everyone, we believe you have the right to decide how you use, enjoy, and keep the titles you get on GOG. With games evolving towards adding more online features, we want you to understand our DRM-free approach and what it means to us. It is an important topic – let us know what you think.