So microtransactions are yet another thing which will end up there though it shouldn’t, after regional pricing, regional locking, DLC packages available separately that aren’t in any way proper expansions, preorders, preorder-exclusive content, overpriced games, games that require Galaxy for some of the functionality to be enabled, games for which those using Galaxy get patches days earlier than those who don’t, versions of games that no longer get the patches and even additional content that the developers continue to create for the versions sold on other platforms, and I’m sure I missed some. Plus probably newer games in general, since I guess that’s where it all started from, even though some of these terrible practices have since started being applied to old games as well.
Now they even got to the point of announcing that they are selling and will continue to sell an inferior version of a game as good news! And to a game having no less than 30 different prices, while at the time I’m writing this a mere 24 non-free titles still stick to their original “one world, one price” policy. And, of course, I’m just waiting for the first game which will require Galaxy to run at all, ditching even their DRM-free policy for all practical purposes. Gwent may well be that one, in fact, which you may say is quite ironic, but in truth isn’t.
So my question remains: Where do those who supported GOG for what it was at first, those who were drawn to it for those original principles and who actually got them in the position of even considering to rise beyond that initial niche level, go? They took over this niche, a digital game store with practices worth supporting and a mission to push through the increasing amount of filth in the industry and change it all for the better, then trampled all over it by expanding to compete at the highest level by imitating others and discarding all those original values and rules with the sole exception of DRM-free for the single-player part of games. They attracted new customers that don’t care about anything and outnumber and overpower the old loyal base while pretty much dismissing said loyal base and probably breathing a small sigh of relief if they even notice it at all whenever one more of the remaining few gives up, and by all accounts also hired more and more new staff members that also don’t care while many of the original ones who did have left.
Even mrkgnao left, though MaGog remains operational. And IAmSinistar, who had given up hope of the tide turning again and things getting anything but worse and worse quite some time ago, also recently stopped maintaining his threads and mixes. Some others have taken up the flag in case of those mixes, sure, but the group is ever smaller and even some who may be seen as part of it now likely aren’t as dedicated to those initial core values, while the voices of those who firmly support whatever will make GOG bigger and more profitable, just in order to get more games, keep getting stronger, also backed by the deafening apathy of the ever larger majority of users who simply stumbled in and, according to the rules that govern masses of people everywhere, don’t usually give much of a fuck about anything, won’t do anything about even the things they may claim to give a little fuck about, and are terribly easy to manipulate in order to make them do whatever’s needed to give the appearance of supporting those in power whenever they’re challenged.
So, again, where do those who want what GOG used to be go? I decided to completely stop “pirating” games for them, because there was a reason to hope that something may actually be worth supporting in this rotten industry, and then just got played, along with most others who initially supported them. I got there for games that are completely free of any form of DRM and require no clients or connections in order to install or play, that are treated as the single products they are and are therefore sold for the same price and with no blocks regardless of the customer’s location, that receive great customer support, that are pretty much the final versions in the sense that they’re as patched as they’re going to get and preferably also include all additional content that will ever be released from the beginning, that are properly tested to run well right away on modern hardware and the operating systems listed, that are affordable even for me, definitely no more than that $10, or in fact $9.99, that was the original maximum price, and that are sold by a store operated by a group of people truly dedicated to these principles and to changing the industry step by step according to them, no matter what.
Well, GOG.com is definitely not that anymore, hasn’t been at least since the original “good news” announcement, though I guess the slippery slope should have really been clear since the “Bigger. Fresher. Newer.” announcement. It has been taken over by the rotten industry and the people who just accept things as they are, while those who wish for something different, including those who truly worked, unrewarded, to help them grow and improve and become better known and more relevant, are left once again with nowhere to go. I mean, where do we go? Does anyone know of any other place like GOG used to be, that adheres to those original values and truly strives to change the industry and is actually making a dent whenever it gets a chance without allowing itself to be pushed back and thrown off that course? Because I sure don’t…