Tech

GOG loses money and will modify its model. Why is this very bad news?

If you play on PC, and especially if you have gray hair, I should almost assume you know GOG, CD Projekt Red’s online games store and, if I may comment, the only reason I continue to give the company credibility these days, after the Cyberpunk 2077 skid, which could have been about to repeat itself this Christmas , of having followed the company ahead with its plans to publish its version for the new generation this same year.

However, if you do not know GOG, you should know that it is a game store, in the style of Steam and Epic Games Store, but with some peculiarities that make it unique. The first is that all titles sold there are DRM free. Once you have bought a game, not only can you install it on as many PCs as you want, you can also download it to keep a backup copy of it. A show of respect for the client that is not common today.

And the other peculiarity of GOG is evidenced by knowing that its name is formed by the initials of Good Old Games, that is, good old games. And it is that in its catalog we can find, and generally for a very good price, games whose age can be measured in years, but in some cases also in decades. You can also find current games, of course, but what makes this store so interesting is its huge “wardrobe”, with many titles whose year of release begins with the digits “19”.

And in case you don’t know GOG and are wondering, no, they don’t follow the Rockstar model with GTA, trying to cash in on a nearly 20-year-old game as if it were a brand new release. Personally, I have bought for around five euros some games to which I spent many hours at the time, and that today I want to recover to remember those times and enjoy them again. Theme Hospital, Populous: The Beginning, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centaury… the list is endless, and a great temptation.

However, despite what is often said, it seems that nostalgia does not sell as much and, consequently, GOG would be losing money with its current business model, and, from what we can read in The Verge, CD Projekt Red I would already be undertaking changes in the store. Some changes that the company summarizes with the intention of offering a «carefully selected game selection«. In other words, it seems likely that GOG’s large back catalog is close to disappearing.

The sector of online gaming stores it is quite complex. Clearly dominated by Steam, and what we can consider its main competitor, Epic Games Store has been in deficit since its launch, and according to its estimates it will not come out of the red until 2027. Of course, it can be sustained by the income generated by Fornite, its chicken hen. the golden eggs. And that could have been the current situation for CD Projekt Red as well, if it weren’t for Cyberpunk 2077’s tremendous puncture and its effect on the company’s accounts, something that inevitably affects GOG.

And why is it very bad news? Because, in the end, we are talking about the contraction of a store that proposes a different and open model. It is true that they affirm that they will maintain their DRM-free gaming policy, but that of «Selection of carefully selected games»Sounds like the winter solstice bonfires, less known than the summer ones, but which can also be used to burn what is left over and we no longer need.

It is true and indisputable that the interest generated by many of those old titles, those good old games that gave rise to its creation and which are therefore in its DNA, is a tremendously minority. But it is no less true that are an indissoluble part of the GOG identity, and that these may end up leaving their catalog, may mean the disappearance of the only way (other than downloads, obviously) to obtain games that marked us at some point in our childhood and youth. And yes, you can call me nostalgic, but it is a shame that it saddens me greatly, and that it complicates the subsistence of a legacy that is history.

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