Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!


Posted by Rampant Coyote on September 19, 2010

Please, say it ain’t so! But this is what is on the gog.com website today:

Dear GOG users,

We have recently had to give serious thought to whether we could really keep GOG.com the way it is. We’ve debated on it for quite some time and, unfortunately, we’ve decided that GOG.com simply cannot remain in its current form.

We’re very grateful for all support we’ve received from all of you in the past two years. Working on GOG.com was a great adventure for all of us and an unforgettable journey to the past, through the long and wonderful history of PC gaming.

This doesn’t mean the idea behind GOG.com is gone forever. We’re closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await.

On a technical note, this week we’ll put in place a solution to allow everyone to re-download their games. Stay tuned to this page and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

All the best,
GOG.com Team

All I can say is: SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actually, I can probably say more than that. So I will. ‘Cuz I’m gonna vent.

Okay, I loved GOG.COM and all that they were doing. That should come as no surprise to regular readers. I eagerly anticipated each “new” (old) release. Classic games, available legally, and for peanuts. Already fixed up to work fine under Windows (courtesy of the awesomeness that is DOSBox, for DOS-based titles). I took advantage of several sales, and picked up a ton of old classics that I am not even close to finishing.

If they are truly shuttering for financial reasons, I can say, “It’s not my fault!” I was a regular customer.

And I can also say that I am happy to have taken advantage of them while I could.  I got a nice supply of classic games that I can continue to enjoy for a long time to come. I’m just sad I can’t keep getting more.

Now – are they closing for good? The jury is out, but there’s a lot of speculation and rumors and comments from the guys themselves suggesting that GOG.COM isn’t going away entirely. Some folks are calling this a PR Stunt – and if that was the case, I’d be sorely, sorely disappointed. It’d be a horrible and incredibly stupid stunt.

More likely, based on this message and some others on Twitter, is the possibility that they are undergoing a massive overhaul of their service.  That the GOG.COM as it previously existed will be no more, and that they are using this to offer a clean break between the old service (and licenses) and whatever the new construct will be. Part of some other service, perhaps? Maybe with (GAG!) DRM and stuff?

I mean, they’ve taken GREAT pains thus far to obtain licenses, test and modify games, and get everything working as-is. They could simply pull the plug on adding new games and continue to generate money forever with their existing library. Probably more than it would cost to keep the website available. But who knows?

And – to really try for a glass-half-full approach … maybe the successor to GOG.COM will make previously unobtainable classics available. Like the Black Isle Studios titles. Or the Wizardry series.

We’ll see. But – for now – we’re in a state of suck. Whether or not it somehow arises Phoenix-like from its own ashes in a similar or highly mutated form, GOG.COM is dead as of right now.



GOG.COM claims that users will be fully able to download their previous purchases including all bonus materials again starting on Thursday, citing the sudden closure was due to “business and technical reasons.” The update is at their site, but here’s the bulk of the update:

First of all, we apologize everyone for the whole situation and closing GOG.com. We do understand the timing for taking down the site caused confusion and many users didn’t manage to download all their games. Unfortunately we had to close the service due to business and technical reasons.

At the same time we guarantee that every user who bought any game on GOG.com will be able to download all their games with bonus materials, DRM-free and as many times as they need starting this Thursday.

The official statement from GOG.com’s management concerning the ongoing events is planned on Wednesday.


Filed Under: Biz, Retro - Comments: 21 Comments to Read

  • MrValdez said,

    There’s a possibility that this is a (bad?) publicity stunt:


  • mk2net said,

    This is an extreme disappointment. I’m just glad I managed to snag Age of Wonders before they shut the doors (and Arcanum). I certainly hope that if they do return, it won’t be with intrusive DRM in tow. GOG has really defined the ideal of what an online store should be in my mind. Great service, great titles, great prices.

  • mk2net said,

    Well, sorry to double post, but it looks like this is a marketing gimmick for the unveiling of GOG’s version 1.0 site. Reading on other sites, GOG’s PR team has been quick to deny that the site is down for good.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    If it’s really “just” a publicity stunt, I’d be surprised. But it may come down to your definition of Publicity Stunt. Something this extreme would indicate a major transformation. For example – GOG.COM might no longer mean “Good Old Games” anymore, but might become some other acronym that could include more modern games or something. Or indie games. Or — yes, the dreaded DRM.

    GOG.COM could become one brand within a larger service.

    Any of those would be enough to justify this kind of break. But if all this was is some kind of lame publicity stunt to go from beta to basically 1.0, that would be a pretty cruel and nasty joke to play on customers. The marketing guy who thought of it should be horse-whipped.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    It boggles the mind to imagine why a rollout from beta to 1.0 would take this much time and require the entire site to shut down like that. This would make no sense. Denying customers access to their products for more than a couple of hours while you do a changeover is the kiss of death in any company I’ve ever worked.

  • sascha/hdrs said,


    If this is a publicity stunt then it’s a very bad one!

  • Rigor Mortis said,

    If it is a marketing stunt, it’s lame, incompetent, and unprofessional.

    How unfortunate that I don’t expect any better from the modern net.business.

    Keep in mind how Ebay used to take the whole site down every week for 6-8 hours for so-called maintenance. This lameness continued even unto multibillion-dollar market cap. Or consider AOL’s years and years of technical incompetence. Two of your marquee net.bizes, run like that. Do I even need to mention how most of the companies from the dotcom bubble were run? F-edcompany.com got endless material out of such.

    The gap between those few who are competent running computer networks/businesses and those many who are not is truly massive.

    Like as not, we’ll soon have another ignominious entry for the annals of gaming PR, right down there with “Suck it down, John Romero’s about to…”

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Yeah, true, the “Suck it down” and “John Romero’s Going To Make You His Bitch” campaigns were pretty well beyond the pale. Thanks for reminding us that PR / Marketing guys really can be that stupid…. 😉

  • Miral said,

    I hope it comes back soon (marketing stunt or not). Not only is it a place of sheer brilliance which I hope continues for a very long time — I also have quite a lot of games which I purchased but never got around to actually downloading. (Download caps suck.)

  • Michael Anderson said,

    I look at it this way:
    > If they are really closed, digital downloads just took a major step backwards because people won’t trust in a virtual property that disappears so quickly.
    > if it is a PR stunt, it is slimy AND digital downloads just took a major step backwards because people won’t trust in a virtual property that disappears so quickly – and being played this way.

    Either way, I see this as a very negative thing for gamers.

  • Greg Tedder said,

    This royally sucks. I was a couple finished RPG’s away from buying Arcanum. I figure they are exploring DRM, as people just can’t seem to help themselves sharing files. I hope they come back, and if they do use some form of DRM, I hope it’s a flexible one.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    That is why I’m hoping it’s something in-between “hoax / publicity stunt” and “Permadeath.” It doesn’t have the markers of a planned, staged event — or someone truly lunatic is at the helm. If they were shuttering the service after some consideration, it would have been in character for them to just shut off the sales bits and forums, but leave people’s accounts available for at least some time (you’d expect the end of the month, or something, until their agreement with their server provider expired).

    And a migration from Beta? I’d also expect more consideration for their existing customers.

    Something happened that demanded a sudden move, before they were prepared. Or they colossally screwed up. Maybe it was a mandate by their owners (I understand they were acquired by a Polish company about a year ago). We’ll see.

  • Ed Maurina said,

    Double suck. Man I wish there had been a hint before the end. Like many reading this blog, I bought several games through GOG, but there were a few titles I could definitely still have added if I’d known they would soon be unavailable.

    Hopefully this isn’t the end. The whole concept of GOG has been and is a great one.

  • Rigor Mortis said,

    “The official statement from GOG.com’s management concerning the ongoing events is planned on Wednesday.”

    This sounds so, so much like the “news” items posted on the WWE’s website, which also pretend legitimacy and play dumb in the face of an obvious wrestling storyline/stunt.

    Some of the folks on RPGcodex think that this debacle is typical Polish humor from GOG’s new owners. If so, it’s predictably not playing well to the Western audience who are their customers.

  • getter77 said,

    Whole thing is a disaster…I’ve a substantial virtual shelf that needs, er, “tending to”—to say nothing of various tasty things on my wishlist.

  • Miral said,

    It’s really weird. According to their Twitter feed, they were announcing new games and deals pretty much right up until the moment it went dark. So whatever happened, it was sudden.

    I hope it is just a marketing stunt rather than permadeath. And that once it’s over they’ll wap their marketing manager upside the head.

  • Pardoz said,

    Just as a note, GoG’s owners have been Polish from the get-go – GoG has always been a subsidiary of CD Projekt Red, best known in the West for The Witcher (best known in Poland for doing a lot of Polish localization of imported games).

  • Calli said,

    Delurking with a little more info…

    GOG put up a new video on YouTube. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDRvuKjissQ

    Pause at 0:13 and take a good, long look. If you miss it, it’s the frame immediately before the GOG logo dissolves in. (Or you can skip to the comments, but that’s no fun!)

    Not that this precludes some of the speculation going on, but it’s looking far less like a company in distress and more like a publicity stunt.

  • Andy_Panthro said,

    There’s a link to a youtube video on the website now, which makes the move out of beta even more likely. What else will be announced is anyone’s guess though.

    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDRvuKjissQ

    I’m also hearing rumours about an Atari buyout… although can’t get any sorts of details. CD Projekt Red (owners of GOG.com) have dealt with Atari before, most notably Atari were the publisher for The Witcher.

    Not long before we find out though.

  • Andy_Panthro said,

    Something I missed from that teaser video I just posted, but thankfully noticed by the folks over at GameBanshee:


  • Michael Miller said,

    And by Calli, above you. Well spotted. So, a publicity stunt of some kind then? Bah, I suppose that’s better than shutdown but still…