Good Old Games, an online service that promises classic gaming goodness to modern PC owners, is gearing up for an Early Access Beta, and everyone who signs up will get in.
On September 8, the site will begin distributing access keys to everyone who signed up prior to midnight EDT on September 7. Everyone who receives a key will be able to access the full Good Old Games website, where they'll be able to join the community, write reviews and of course, buy games. Beta keys will be distributed in stages over the week following September 8, and everyone who buys a game during the Early Access Beta will also be given a code to get one game from the company's Interplay catalog at no charge.
While the full Good Old Games catalog remains largely unknown, the company promises "critically acclaimed games from major publishers in every genre," and its website, for what it's worth, displays game boxes including Giants: Citizen Kabuto, TOCA Race Driver, Sacrifice, Fallout 2, Freespace 2 and MDK. Games will sell for $5.99 and $9.99, and more importantly, Good Old Games promises all games sold will be completely DRM-free, meaning they can be re-downloaded at any time, burned onto CD, played on other PCs and don't require an internet connection to operate. The games have also been adapted to work with Windows XP and Windows Vista, and exclusive add-ons for purchased games, like guides, walkthroughs, wallpapers and more will also be available.
The first thing to enter my mind when I read about this was, "Is this legal?" Not "Russian website selling MP3s" legal, but actually within-the-boundaries-of-the-law-type legal. But according to CD Projekt's Vice-President of PR and Marketing Tom Ohle, GOG negotiates with publishers for the rights to back catalogs on an individual basis, and everything is on the up-and-up. "It's basically just pitching the publishers," he said in a recent interview with GameCyte. "If they're up for it, then we just go through the process of getting them an agreement, and getting as complete a code as we can - whether we can get the masters, or if we just end up having to basically rip a game disc." And if it's good enough for Tom Ohle, it's sure good enough for me.
To learn more about Good Old Games and sign up for your own Early Access Beta key, head to GOG.com and toss your email address in the pile.