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GOG Sells-Out to “Big Gaming” Company

View Nelson Schneider's Profile

By Nelson Schneider - 07/06/24 at 11:57 PM CT

We at MeltedJoystick have been less-than-impressed by GOG – formerly GoodOldGames – and its failure to deliver any meaningful action to follow up its talk. GOG has been making news in Gaming circles since it first launched in 2008 with its novel approach of being a 100% DRM-free marketplace. Subsequently, the company made waves with its FCKDRM Initiative, which quietly went away; and with its GOG Connect program to provide DRM-free backups of select Steam games, which quietly went away; and with its GOG Galaxy client, which was supposed to put all of our digital games in one place, but which is poorly managed, riddled with bugs, and reliant on volunteer coders to maintain most of the third-party store plugins; and the company even made noise about being in lock-step with Gamer culture, while simultaneously kissing the asses of both the Chinese Communist Party and the Marxist Fringe Left.

It should go without saying, but GOG has failed to be the independent, outsider, pro-nerd hacktivist organization they originally painted themselves as. What’s worse, on June 24, the company sent out a mass email to all GOG members effectively announcing that they were getting into bed with The Literal Devil.

Microsoft officially doesn’t consider Sony or Nintendo to be their competition in the gaming market. Rather, if questioned, any given Microsoft bootlicker would declare that their biggest competition in gaming comes from companies that most Gamers wouldn’t even think of as “gaming” companies: Google, Netflix, Apple, and Amazon. Guess which one of those GOG just inked a deal with?

If you said, “Amazon,” give yourself a pat on the back before you go and scream into your Rage Pillow. Yup, the original DRM-free software distributor is officially “collaborating” with Amazon to make GOG games compatible with Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service.

But wait… didn’t “cloud gaming” die a miserable, lonely, and predictable death a few years ago when Google launched, and subsequently dumped, Stadia in less than two years? Nope, apparently the non-gaming corporate overlords who own all of the underlying infrastructure of the Internet… don’t realize how bad, poorly distributed, and unreliable their own product is.

However, if you look at this collaboration from Amazon’s perspective, it’s the perfect exploitation. Take a second-rate digital gaming storefront that has to wrangle DRM-free licensing schemes from individual publishers and Indie developers in order to even sell their limited selection of games, then exploit that existing library of games along with the de-facto DRM-free licenses attached to them to take your own library of streamable cloud gaming offerings from “absolutely nothing” to “adequately mediocre.” As icing on the cake, the appearance of a team-up with a “friendly” company like GOG could bring Amazon some much-needed positive perception… maybe from over-extended Gamers who haven’t been paying attention and still believe that GOG is living up to its original ideals.

Other streaming apps, like Nvidia’s Geforce Now service, have faced legal backlash from within Industrial Gaming, as publishers don’t like giving customers the legal right to play their games in any way, shape, or form. This would require a lot of expensive lawfare for Amazon to iron-out on their own so as not to end up in the same boat as Nvidia… but by piggy-backing off of GOG’s DRM-free stance, they can get by with doing nothing… which is exactly what these mega-corporations do best.

Unfortunately, “doing nothing” only extends as far as benefits to the customer or end user. I have no doubt that Amazon will start issuing mandates and dictates to GOG now that the Polacks have taken the retail monopoly’s cursed and filthy lucre. I also have no doubt that actually using Luna to play GOG games will be a massive pain in the ass riddled with caveats, exceptions, and hidden fees. I am, however, left with one looming question: Who actually asked for this?

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