Steam is simply the most popular digital service to buy both independent and AAA titles. As of January 2012, there were 1504 games available and 40 million active accounts on the platform. Nevertheless, Steam has been criticized for having many inconsistencies. Some of them include the fact that it allows publishers to modify the prices of their games and the regional availability. There are also lots of titles that have either been removed or never added to the service like Electronic Arts games, Minecraft and so on. Finally, one of the most important issues is the fact that the games offered through these service aren’t DRM-free and users have to constantly run a client that may affect the performance of their PC. Thankfully for those who consider these criticisms valid, there are some alternatives to Steam. Today we’ll be discussing GOG, also known as Good Old Games.
As its name clearly indicates, Good Old Games is a digital sale and distribution service which specializes in classic PC games. The service is owned by a Polish company called CD Projekt Red, which was in charge of the development of The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings. As GOG specializes in old PC games, most of the titles offered are compatible with Microsoft Windows, something that has been made possible through various patches or open source emulators. But the best characteristic of the service is that every single game in its catalog is DRM free, so if you download a game and you want to install it in both your regular PC and on your Netbook, you can. As a consequence, users don’t have to login to the internet or use woefully inadequate clients to run them. But apart from focusing on old PC games and DRM free titles, there is something else that makes GOG different from its competitors: customers can get some quite appealing extras. These include avatars, original soundtracks, manuals and wallpapers.
Additionally and once the user got the game he or she wanted, the official site has full customer support and forums in case they want to ask questions. Then, what would a digital service be without discounts? One promotion is organized once a week and not only this encourages you to get more good computer games, but also allows you to complete your collection by getting two games for the price of one, get a title for half the price and so on. As of right now, there are around 350 titles available on the service. Unfortunately it should be noted that some specific games have been removed from the service like Colin McRae Rally 2005 and Operation Flashpoint, among some others.
On a more personal note, I have been using Good Old Games for a couple of months and I definitely recommend it, especially to those who never got the chance the experience classics such as Fallout, Planescape Torment, Deus Ex, Beyond Good & Evil, Syberia or Shogo to name but a few. Furthermore, those who are either using old hardware or have a netbook should definitely give GOG a try as most of the games available are not very hardware-demanding and are absolute classics.
For more information about Good Old Games, visit the official website where you can see the full list of available titles. Note that there are some free games to those who take the time to register. These are: Beneath a Steel Sky, Dragonsphere, Lure of the Temptress, Teenagent, Tyran 2000 and Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar.