Good Old Games Faked Shutdown to Avoid Being "Boring"

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Good Old Games Faked Shutdown to Avoid Being "Boring"

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The videogame industry is apparently taking itself too seriously, and Good Old Games just thought it'd liven things up.

Good Old Games' marketing stunt where it faked its demise when it was really just relaunching is now behind us, but the aftershock is still being felt. That is to say, most people are probably just playing Baldur's Gate and forgetting that they said they wouldn't give the service another penny. But for those sticking to their guns, GOG.com's Guillaume Rambourg has offered his full explanation for the fake shutdown and why it was necessary.

In a detailed interview with Joystiq, Rambourg reveals that GOG had to shutdown anyway, and simply wanted to avoid being making a "boring" statement about it. "98% of the code of our website was rewritten ... which required a major change in our backend and as a matter of fact, taking down our platform for a few days," Rambourg said. "Due to this situation, we had only two options in terms of communication: either making an official 'boring' statement or taking a more creative route."

"We have been gamers forever and thus decided to pick the second option, as we believe the industry has been getting dead serious for the last few years," he continued. "If even the entertainment industry - which I believe is supposed to generate emotions and creativity - gets dull, where is the whole world going? Our aim was never to harm anybody here. All we wanted is to take an exotic path to cause a debate."

And cause a debate, the stunt definitely did. Looking back, Rambourg says: "I do not think we would have changed the PR angle we took ... Do not get me wrong: no arrogance here! I simply would like to stress again that we are a company willing to take a creative approach in everything we do and modestly try to help the gaming industry not to get so boring and 'sterilized.'"

Rambourg also revealed that "traffic on [GOG.com] the day of [its] launch was 20 times higher than ever in the past." The exact cause of this cannot be determined, but the widespread news of a beloved service shutting down no doubt helped market the relaunch to a few new people. Thankfully, Rambourg says GOG.com "will not have to close down the website ever again" due to the technical improvements made during the shutdown.

He does speak with regret on the situation, saying that "seeing our users wait in such difficult conditions really pained us" and that he "obsessively" checked Facebook and Twitter reactions. He also reminds everyone that GOG.com still has more Atari/Hasbro titles (which Baldur's Gate is one of) to launch in the future. Good Old Games is kind of like an abusive drug dealer. Sure, it may have hurt our feelings, but it also has what we need to get our fix.

Source: Joystiq

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So they wanted attention?
That's a pretty lame stunt.

At least he explains himself. Then again, I was never all that angry over this situation to begin with.

omega_peaches:
So they wanted attention?
That's a pretty lame stunt.

It's called good marketing.

At least they did something vaguely interesting.

good old games.com keeping life from being boring as hell

I had never heard of GoG before that stunt, so well, it worked.

Though it appears as a cheap marketing gimmick, the way he explained it added some humanity to the faked suicide. Still, you have to admire them for being able to get that much attention for basically free.

So in order to "liven things up", they thought, "Hey! Lets pretend we're shutting down, disappointing our entire consumer base. And once all hope is lost, we'll pull a 'Psych! Heil Hitler!'* And then we'll just laugh, and they'll laugh with us."

*("Psych; Heil Hitler" is a running joke over on TGWTG.com. The joke originated here: Captain America Review.)

Kind of a dick move, telling their fans that they were dead.

It's like tricking a kid into thinking that their mum's dead, to try and teach them some kind of lesson about eating their greens.

oktalist:
Kind of a dick move, telling their fans that they were dead.

iirc, they never explicitly claimed that they were dead, merely that they could not continue in their present form.

They then over hauled the website.

Technically I guess you could say that they never lied, but they sure as hell mislead.

I didn't really care to begin with and.... still don't care.

I fully understand where they're coming from, but blatant dishonesty just doesn't sit well with me.

Why does this matter? It was a stupid marketing stunt, that didnt work too well, besides the fact your giving them free publicity. They're a good service, so buy a couple games and move on.

SODAssault:
I fully understand where they're coming from, but blatant dishonesty just doesn't sit well with me.

It wasn't blatant or dishonest, they said they couldn't continue the site in its current form and as such they overhauled the site. People merely assumed it was dead. Yes I know, it sure seemed like that but they never outright said they were shutting down, we just filled in the blanks with the worst case scenario.

Long story short, we all got played by ourselves moreso than them.

whaleswiththumbs:
Why does this matter? It was a stupid marketing stunt, that didnt work too well, besides the fact your giving them free publicity. They're a good service, so buy a couple games and move on.

People are talking about it and GoG.com in general more than they have recently. I've seen numerous people say "I never even heard about them before this". It worked.

Seriously why are people still pissed about this.

I think this was a great move, and I totally agree with the "serious and sterilized" projection of the industry.

AceDiamond:

SODAssault:
I fully understand where they're coming from, but blatant dishonesty just doesn't sit well with me.

It wasn't blatant or dishonest, they said they couldn't continue the site in its current form and as such they overhauled the site. People merely assumed it was dead. Yes I know, it sure seemed like that but they never outright said they were shutting down, we just filled in the blanks with the worst case scenario.

Long story short, we all got played by ourselves moreso than them.

You, uh... did read the title of the article, yes? Not only that, but the comments made on behalf of GOG.com were an admission that they intentionally misled people. Dress it up however you like, but the purpose behind telling a half-truth is to misinform and deceive.

Well I can understand that. News in gaming has gotten rather boring as of late.

Well, I can see where it would piss people off. Being told something is dead and then given the "Psyche" answer is irritating. A number of people were suspicious when Filefront seemed to be about to die only to get a last minute reprieve. (The owners of that site admitted that the timing of their reprieve was suspicious but that it hadn't been a PR stunt and that they had been on the verge of shutdown. I believed the explanation but others didn't.) I can see where people would be aggravated over this but not more than the "lame PR stunt" reaction.

gphjr14:
I didn't really care to begin with and.... still don't care.

Pretty much how I'm feeling. Decided to actually check out their site today and I gotta say, their selection of games isn't exactly stellar. It's as bad as the selection of movies and shows on Canadian Netflix.

Good show, I reckon. It's a bit like when David Jaffe lied about Twisted Metal; a little exciting, interesting lie that doesn't really hurt anyone.

In any case, I can think of some marketing moves that are much meaner and uglier.

Sorry, I'm still with Gametap. Good job trying to get my attention, though.

Irridium:
Well I can understand that. News in gaming has gotten rather boring as of late.

Seriously? I find the EA/Activision slap fight to be much more entertaining.

latenightapplepie:
Good show, I reckon. It's a bit like when David Jaffe lied about Twisted Metal; a little exciting, interesting lie that doesn't really hurt anyone.

In any case, I can think of some marketing moves that are much meaner and uglier.

Yeah, that's a great comparison with the Jaffe statement. They're just trying to bring back some magic, no harm done.

I liked the PR stunt. If people are 'hurt' over them 'misleading' them then they seriously need to lighten up. They never said they'd close, offered a service that would allow people to redownload their games (ofcourse that service was just a hoax as well, but they did it for those crazy folk who would have been like "ZOMG! MY GAMES! NOOOO! I'LL SUE YOU!") and the whole thing, which was confirmed a PR stunt mere minutes of it going public, only lasted a few days anyway. Come on. Lighten up.

Actually, a big part of the stunt was the various sites reporting that they were closing, when the site itself said they couldn't exist as they currently were, so any sort of analysis might have hinted that there was more to it. Of course, this is a problem endemic to all news media outlets these days, and in far more serious cases, with everyone trying to report the newest story, as soon as they can and in the most attention-grabbing manner possible.

Man these guys arnt that creative... if they really wanted to be creative they should have said they were shutting down and using all of there profits to build a weapon of mass destruction to blow up the 3rd moon of Jupiter so they can invade Poland and steal all its cheese.

Hey, it worked- it got every game site in an uproar, introducing GOG to most anyone who didn't know about it. Hell, I might even buy something now.

Well if it works, it works.

Also, really? "Those games are not exactly good"? You're telling me games like Freespace 2, Heroes of Might and Magic 3, and Raptor:Call of Shadows are mediocre games?

gphjr14:
I didn't really care to begin with and.... still don't care.

Yay apathy?

Seriously not bothered about the 'shutdown' it would have been a shame but as long as I could re-download my games then cÚst la vie. They indirectly lied to get attention? well it worked and I wish them all the best.

Racthoh:
their selection of games isn't exactly stellar. It's as bad as the selection of movies and shows on Canadian Netflix.

Really?

Giants citizen kabuto
Cannon fodder(why hasn't this been milked it a superb peice of level design and simplicity)
Jagged alliance
Fallout
Outcast
Creatures
Commandos
Master of orion
and that's just a random sample.

Not one of those games appeals to you? I'll pray you and hope you find the game playing part of your soul (and i'm Ignostic so that's a big deal).

They have a good chunk of the older games worth having, they aren't meant to have lots of games just the best.
When I look at their list of games the only worry I have is they I can't afford to buy enough of them even if they are pretty cheap.

joshuaayt:
Hey, it worked- it got every game site in an uproar, introducing GOG to most anyone who didn't know about it. Hell, I might even buy something now.

It worked for me, also. I had no idea they existed before all of this and now when I get paid friday I'm getting some games from them (how I missed you, Redneck Rampage).

never heard of GoG, now i have. worked, id say

Escapist, why the hell are you talking about this so much?

EVERYONE LISTEN! This guy says he wants attention!

Er... well that was... a little interesting. A little. Still pretty stupid though.

Irridium:
Well I can understand that. News in gaming has gotten rather boring as of late.

Oh, and how.

If it's not some CEO being a dick, it's some company saying they might bring something out sometime.

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