Freedom fights against DRM
The company is known for classic games and newer titles (be they indie or AAA) to be downloaded legally and then giving the user the possibility to play these independently from an internet connection or client. In a world dominated by Microsoft’s Xbox Live, Sony’s PSN, or Steam, this is a refreshing and gratifyingly ideal way to experience the history and future of gaming without online activation.
So it comes as a bit of a surprise that with GOG Galaxy there comes a client, but an optional one. So how is this possible, how does this make any sense?
A client for freedom of choice
Well, first the great thing about having the client installed is an auto-update of already owned games, something which has always been a problem with the service, as one had to manually check if a newer version or a patch was in the games library, making it an unnecessarily cumbersome way of updating the games, especially since it often required a completely new download of a file which sometimes was more GBs than certain internet connections could handle.
But where GOG Galaxy is really showing promise is the cross-play feature, something which in times of PS3/PS4-PS Vita and tablets seems another foray into the future. Even if it sounds sci-fi at the moment, GOG.com promises that when the client is installed, it will be possible to play games together online with other people from Steam.
A witcher game for every client man/woman
During the conference, a new game was also revealed which should be one of the first games to work with this exciting new concept: The Witcher Adventure Game. It’s a turn-based RPG card battle game at first glance (based on the board game), and it offers both users from GOG and Steam to play together. Although it will also be available on iOS and Android, the PC and MAC versions will be released at the end of 2014. But one can already sign up for the closed beta on the GOG Galaxy website. It’s interesting to note that it will have a single-player mode as well, and being a stand-alone game without free-to-play (pay-to-win) mechanics also sounds pretty cool.
The future of GOG Galaxy starts now
Now, after having watched the conference video and read through the first press release information, there is obviously room for speculation and new ideas. Personally, what I find interesting is that it doesn’t seem to stop with auto-patching and cross-play, but also includes achievements “and much more”. Even though achievements can be problematic for some people with their gaming experiences and sometimes pull you out from your immersion in certain titles, it’s still nice to have them for the first time on a GOG platform, and it remains to be seen if the team uses the same as on Steam or invents some new (funny) ones. Hinting at “and much more” is of course the most intriguing part of the announcement, although at the time it doesn’t make much sense to speculate what this could be.
All in all, the GOG Galaxy concept is a surprising and at first glance impressive step into the future of the company and gaming culture in general. Connecting people from different platforms (whatever Valve might think of it) is to be applauded and it will be exciting to find out what other news and of course cross-play games will be released in the coming weeks and months.
If you liked reading this article, make sure you pay a visit to Future Sack which kindly features it as well, and every Facebook LIKE or comment is appreciated :).