GOG Galaxy "Optional Client" Announced

GOG Galaxy "Optional Client" Announced

GOG Galaxy will allow players to automatically update their games, organize multiplayer matches and play with gamers using competing clients.

Following substantial new announcements about The Witcher 3, CD Projekt RED and GOG use their Summer Conference live stream to unveil its new "optional client" GOG Galaxy.

According to GOG, Galaxy will be give players "unparalleled freedom" to partake in multiplayer gaming "while enjoying single-player anytime they please without needing an internet connection." The company has also stated that Galaxy is being designed as a "platform-agnostic online solution" that will allow gamers to play with each other regardless of what client their games are running from.
Sadly, this feature will only be compatible with Steam. That said, the online games seller has affirmed that it will be adding other platforms in the future.

Galaxy will also add automatic updates for GOG games, a long requested feature among its customer base. That being the case, GOG was intent on assuring gamers that Galaxy will not be a necessity going forward. "You don't have to use the GOG client," said GOG vice president Guillaume Rambourg. Players interested in just using their GOG library as it currently exists on the store's website will be free to do so.

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Saw this announced alongside the witcher adventures digital board game, I like the fact it's optional and they do the leg-work for the multiplayer stuff, CD Projekt never fail to impress me with there commitment to DRM free gaming and making it as hassle free as possible.

Though I wonder with it being optional will there actually be enough of an adoption rate to justify it's existence?

So an optional addon to something people like is in direct competition with a market juggernaut that people won't leave even if dissatisfied.

Hey GOG, you're about to live first-hand what happened to Google+

This is the kind of stuff that happens when there's enough competition in the market. Hopefully Valve and EA will follow up with some awesome updates to their own services. And hopefully Ubisoft will kill Uplay, the fuckin' idiots.

Nice, so more like Desura than like Origin or Steam. I can get behind this.

Soulrender95:
Though I wonder with it being optional will there actually be enough of an adoption rate to justify it's existence?

I'll certainly give it a try.

Heck, it might just be what I need to get through some of my GOG backlog.

I'm interested to see what the 'organising multiplayer matches' feature involves. Because if it's a Gameranger-type service which enables online play for old games, then that'd be perfect, especially if y'don't have to mess around with VPNs or owt.

Pink Gregory:
I'm interested to see what the 'organising multiplayer matches' feature involves. Because if it's a Gameranger-type service which enables online play for old games, then that'd be perfect, especially if y'don't have to mess around with VPNs or owt.

Yeah, I'm assuming that's what is going on. Will probably replace GameSpy for all those old games that wouldn't be updated otherwise due to GameSpy's frankly-vastly-overdue death.

PMAvers:

Pink Gregory:
I'm interested to see what the 'organising multiplayer matches' feature involves. Because if it's a Gameranger-type service which enables online play for old games, then that'd be perfect, especially if y'don't have to mess around with VPNs or owt.

Yeah, I'm assuming that's what is going on. Will probably replace GameSpy for all those old games that wouldn't be updated otherwise due to GameSpy's frankly-vastly-overdue death.

Well, I know they don't have *every* old game, but maintaining even a low-traffic server for so many games would require quite an expansion, unless of course they've been working on it for quite some time. Can you tell that I don't know how servers work?

Well, while the prospect of reviving the multiplayer of old games is potentially intruiging, I really question that the focus on reviving old multiplayer venues will dwarf the focus of opening up new multiplayer venues from developers that while not out of reach, just moreso impractical to gain equitable agreements with knowing the lack of what amounts to an industry standard feature nowadays.

Creating the client will draw more players in for no other reason than how much replayability multiplayer potentially has to offer, and with expanded capabilities in hand and bolstered with a larger and growing support base, people supporting it,(with money)will force developers/publishers to pay more attention to what has been viewed as a "niche market" that many dev/pub's have viewed as (by intent or accident) irrelevant enough to safely dismiss.

My only complaint is that this is so long overdue. While being wisely cautious with slow and deliberate expansions, the GoG driving principle is such an important one that honestly all consumers need this sort of consumer conscious platform available for any and all forms of digitally distributed content. Although if the likes of Google & Steam who started out from more virtuous intentions, meteoric rises tend to end up pushing toward the "evil empire" side of business, so perhaps the turtle approach is more sound.

Yes, on second thought, Definitely. Trust in tortoise wisdom.

Captcha: Cold Comfort.

I know Captcha, Such news makes me comfortably numb too.

"Those who play with the devil's toys will be brought by degrees to wield his sword." - OG Loc

Here's hoping that's not the case, in this case.

I'm on board for this one.
General rule of thumb - if it's optional, it's good.

MCerberus:

Hey GOG, you're about to live first-hand what happened to Google+

They're going to steadily grow? I'm sure that'll suck.

:slowclap:

Good old GOG.

Better customer service.
More open to how things are run.
Better filtering of games.
DRM Free.

If GOG was able to get newer-ish games to their service, I'd drop Valve's shitty service completely.

Tanis:
:slowclap:

Good old GOG.

Better customer service.
More open to how things are run.
Better filtering of games.
DRM Free.

If GOG was able to get newer-ish games to their service, I'd drop Valve's shitty service completely.

That would be kinda against their... name? I suppose.

We can give a blink to Witcher games, as Gog.com is a "sister" company of CDPR, but still.
Plus, some publishers won't be happy to remove DRM from they new shiny games, the customer irritation is all that matters, after all.

But yeah, it would be amazing.
Imagine it.
New games, from whatever, indi or not, with actual quality service on the store, no DRM, and a 30 day guarantee if it does not work...

Bloody hell, that would be paradise.

Make sure they don't ever make it compulsory to use and that you can always run games downloaded through it without running GOG Galaxy, and it could catch on.

Yes I know they say that in the video, and I generally trust GOG/CDPR, but it has to be said :)

I am very interested to know how their standalone client is "currently only compatible with steam", what on earth does that mean?

Otherwise, i only use gog for old games which don't get new patches or have functional multiplayer so it's not useful to me, but i have no doubts it's a good thing for regular gog users.

cikame:
I am very interested to know how their standalone client is "currently only compatible with steam", what on earth does that mean?

Otherwise, i only use gog for old games which don't get new patches or have functional multiplayer so it's not useful to me, but i have no doubts it's a good thing for regular gog users.

i'm guessing they're still trying to figure out how to convince origin and uplay to be useful for once

Please, please, please never make this mandatory, GOG. I've defended you for a while now and supported you financially quite a lot with my purchases as well and then you do this. Yeah, yeah, assurances that it won't become mandatory. I can only hope that is true. So far, GOG haven't lied about such issues, but it's still worrying to say the least, because this is how Steam worked in the beginning, too: At first it was optional to add your games to Steam if you wanted to make use of those features. My copy of Dawn of War: Soulstorm works like that, for instance, it doesn't have a Steam-requirement but an option. But then, inevitably, they switched it over for newer releases like Fallout New Vegas: Ultimate Edition and now it's mandatory for tons and tons of games. Please don't go that same route, GOG, please don't.

cikame:
I am very interested to know how their standalone client is "currently only compatible with steam", what on earth does that mean?

Well some games you can buy at GoG and also download via Steam (while we at it: Witcher i.e.). So maybe if you bought a game at Steam, that is available at GoG too, you can "import" it to the new Galaxy Client for updating and playing!
... that's at least, what I'm thinking ... and hell, that would be great!

This is amazing news, now i can manage all my gog games without having to mess around with downloading and installing manually. As cool as it is that is optional i would not even mind if it was not.

Now humble bundle just needs to port that android app to windows and linux and we are sorted :).

Pink Gregory:

Well, I know they don't have *every* old game, but maintaining even a low-traffic server for so many games would require quite an expansion, unless of course they've been working on it for quite some time. Can you tell that I don't know how servers work?

well, considering they are running mostly empty old game servers, they can just stuff many virtual machines on a single powerful server, each having enough processing power to emulate old servers that didnt require much for nonpowerful games. its not like they have to host 100 servers of each game like new games have to, usually 1 or 2 is going to cut it and still be empty half the time (like even F.E.A.R. had only 3 active servers only 3 years after its release, and two of them were empty anyway). so resource management in smart server may not actually require that much of an investment (relative to overall investment running site like GOG)

weirdee:
i'm guessing they're still trying to figure out how to convince origin and uplay to be useful for once

refund policies, costumer support and the "on the house" program that rivals Games for gold or PS+, except its actually free, does pretty well of convincing people to find Origin useful.
Now, only if ther actual service worked properly....

Isengrim:

That would be kinda against their... name? I suppose.

Well, they semi-officially changed their name from "Good Old Games" to "GOG.com" when they expanded their scope to include indies and an occasional (very occasional) full-price release. So that's already been taken care of. I don't know what GOG is supposed to stand for now.

We can give a blink to Witcher games, as Gog.com is a "sister" company of CDPR, but still.
Plus, some publishers won't be happy to remove DRM from they new shiny games, the customer irritation is all that matters, after all.

But yeah, it would be amazing.
Imagine it.
New games, from whatever, indi or not, with actual quality service on the store, no DRM, and a 30 day guarantee if it does not work...

Bloody hell, that would be paradise.

That might very likely be their end goal, especially since they have to keep expanding their library to stay afloat, and even now they have less and less new "classic" releases and more indies. If they're ever gonna become real competition to Steam or Origin, they have to get more AAA games in.

But there's a problem. Remember what happened a few months ago? When they announced they were going to include regional pricing in order to have some AAA releases available in the store, it was met with a massive cry of "betrayal" from the community, with a lot of people announcing they'll be "leaving GOG for Steam" (which already has regional pricing and is not DRM free on top of that) and had to be followed by a lot of damage control from the team.
Bear in mind that regional pricing was supposed to ONLY be applicable to AAA titles which they wouldn't be able to get otherwise. That lack of regional pricing was never on the list of GOG promises. And yet, the customer base went apeshit. For a small retailer like GOG (and compared to Steam, they're microscopic), customer loyalty is paramount. A big scandal like this can kill the company.
My overlong point is this: to get more big releases, GOG would likely have to make some concessions to the publishers. Regional pricing was one of them. Dropping the 30-day warranty for certain releases might turn out to be another. Every step like this will provoke people to cry foul. And that's risky. They're in a situation where they have to expand to ever become viable competition to the big names, but expansion can destroy the company.

Tanis:

That would be kinda against their... name? I suppose.

Keep in mind GoG had dropped the "Good Ole Games" moniker a while back. Either they have not decided on what the initialism should stand for now, or they have just accepted that their place in the industry is far greater than just serving old games and view the name as "Gawg"

Isengrim:

If GOG was able to get newer-ish games to their service, I'd drop Valve's shitty service completely.

Adding a client and setting themselves up to begin doing the same things that valve and others do with their clients in respect to multiplayer gaming is likely being done to grow accessibility TO newer games from holdouts who currently would glance over GOG because they want a distribution client capable of serving all needs, single player and multiplayer alike.

While there will likely be some measure of early "resurrecting dead multiplayer for old games" to get the client rolling, I doubt very highly that long term GoG is taking on such an endeavor without a fixed eye on return on such a big investment with something that is only going to represent nominal returns.

They are doing this so they CAN get those newer games which is functionally the last big hurdle for them to expand and go head to head with Steam, and even surpass it by providing a superior service to match the superior distribution system that allowed them to get to this position. As they expand their catalog to include holdout devs/pubs who did not want to release on GOG because they wanted not only a distributor, but someone to administrate the multiplayer side of their product, others will follow. As more players use it and the chance for profitability becomes more readily apparent, even the DRM fallacy would fall by the wayside and by that time platforms that cannot offer DRM free alternatives will no longer be able to remain viable (and they should never have been allowed to be viable this long regardless of individual justifications)

So there is certainly a method to the madness. It might not be apparent to most initially, but this is a very methodical and deliberate long view expansion of service that has entirely too much potential in to not be excited for.

Captcha: High time
I seriously could not have said it better myself.

Just read the press release and they mentioned 'GOG galaxy titles'.

Does that mean that only certain titles are going to be compatible at first?

I mean, I can live with that, but I'm curious.

 

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