Sporting an intense single-player campaign and online multiplayer action, Ground Control comes to GOG packaged with the Dark Conspiracy expansion, while the second game, Evil Genius, is a 2004 release that let players indulge their inner Blofelds as they design and maintain a hidden compound, battle the forces of good and plot to rule the world. Also coming from Rebellion are the turn-based fantasy game Lords of Magic: Special Edition, which includes the Legends of Urak Quest Pack, Lord Editor and other new content, and Empire Earth: Gold Edition, the 2001 Game of the Year-winning RTS that takes players from the prehistoric era to the dark reaches of space.
“This deal with Rebellion is awesome for strategy fans,” said Tom Ohle, vice president of marketing at GOG.com. “If you’ve been big into PC strategy games in the past ten years you’ll remember a lot of these games fondly – Ground Control was an incredible game from Massive, who went on to develop World in Conflict; Evil Genius is just a ton of fun; Lords of Magic is like some sort of awesome cousin of Heroes of Might and Magic… it’s just a lot of variety and quality within the strategy genre.”
The new additions boost GOG’s catalog to almost 130 games from more than 20 different partners, Ohle said, including many well-known hits that are enjoying resurgent popularity with a new audience. “Obviously a lot of people have bought the Fallout games, but Duke Nukem 3D, Freespace 2, Beyond Good and Evil, Giants: Citizen Kabuto and Sacred have all done really well,” he said. “And for some strange reason people like free games, so Beneath a Steel Sky and the other free titles we have are kicking ass too.”
“We have a ‘Wanted List‘ where our users can vote on games they’d like to see on the site, and we take that list into account when we can,” he continued, explaining the process by which new games are chosen for the site. He said he’s been pestering Ken Levine at 2K Boston about System Shock 2 and that he’d “kill” to get Planescape: Torment and Baldur’s Gate.
“That being said, we really want to give people all the classic PC games they can get, so we’re reaching out to a lot of publishers and going after titles that we feel would really interest our users,” Ohle added. “We have some personal dream games we’re close to bringing on board, and… uhh… yeah, I probably shouldn’t say much more than that. I fear the wrath of our team in Poland.”
Like all GOG releases, the Rebellion games will be available entirely DRM-free and Ohle expressed hope that other publishers would also give up on the idea of intrusive and ultimately futile copy protection schemes in the future. “Gamers are constantly expressing their displeasure with intrusive DRM – or really any protection that gets in the way of them enjoying their games however they want,” he said. “A lot of publishers are taking note of that and easing up on DRM, but there’s still a long way to go.”
Ground Control ($5.99) and Evil Genius ($9.99) are available now, while Lords of Magic and Empire Earth will follow in the coming weeks. Have a look at GOG’s Rebellion catalog, and get ready to rule the world!