GOG - Refocus on Core Offering

Redglyph

SasqWatch
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,660
Location
Good old Europe
Wccf Tech reports a decision for GOG.com to restructure and refocus on a hand-picked selection of games, after poor results in the last quarter.

GOG to Refocus on Core Offering of Hand-Picked Selection of Games After Negative Financial Results

During CD Projekt RED's Q3 2021 earnings call, we learned of major changes coming to GOG.com after the digital store owned by the Polish company posted negative results in the last quarter (net profit was down by $1.15 million). Chief Financial Officer Piotr Nielubowicz said there will be some restructuring and a renewed focus on offering a hand-picked selection of games.

"Regarding GOG, its performance does present a challenge. Recently we've taken measures to improve its financial standing. First and foremost we've decided that GOG should focus more on its core business activity, which means offering a hand-picked selection of games with its unique DRM-free philosophy. In line with this approach, there will be changes in the team structure. Some GOG developers who have already been working on GOG's online solutions mainly by the studio will transfer away from the project.

Furthermore, at the end of this year, GOG will leave the GWENT consortium. This means that it will neither bear its portion of expenses nor obtain the corresponding share of revenues associated with this project. Alongside all these changes we initiated through organization of GOG's operations, we believe that all of the changes we are introducing will allow GOG to focus more on its core business and improve its financial effectiveness in 2022."

As you probably already know, GOG stands for Good Old Games. CD Projekt RED launched the digital store back in 2008 with the specific goal to provide DRM-free versions of classic games. Over time, though, the store grew to be much larger and more akin to competitors like Valve's Steam, featuring regular new game releases, too.

It seems like the latest financial results have persuaded the Polish company to scale back this enterprise and focus once again on what made GOG special in the first place.
More information.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,660
Location
Good old Europe

txa1265

SasqWatch
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
14,775
Good call - I feel like they have sort of lost the thread: games that fall into the ‘good old games’ category should absolutely be their wheelhouse … and yet when I am looking for a game that will work on modern hardware, was released on Mac & PC (and still works on both) - generally I’m better off on Steam. So lately it has become more of a ‘what’s the point?’ Hopefully refocusing on their core mission will give me an actual reason to support them.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
14,775

Andrew23

Keeper of the Watch
Joined
Oct 6, 2018
Messages
970
Updating works much better in Steam as per my experience, which is basically THE reason, why its my first choice over GOG. On GOG Im going for good old games and games developed by CD Project.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2018
Messages
970

Philistine

Keeper of the Watch
RPGWatch Donor
Original Sin Donor
Original Sin 2 Donor
Joined
Jul 7, 2010
Messages
766
I agree, GOG should stick to keeping old games running on current hardware. Sadly for me I am so invested in Steam Achievements when I play that I always buy for Steam to get them. Old games from the pre-achievement era, I get on GOG.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2010
Messages
766

SpoonFULL

SasqWatch
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
2,586
Location
United Kingdom
GoG is my first (and mostly only) stop at buying games. I also wait for games to appear on GoG before buying them. All my contributed kickstarter successfuls are chosen on GoG as well.

The only exception are the Dark Souls games which I buy through Steam.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Messages
2,586
Location
United Kingdom

Redglyph

SasqWatch
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,660
Location
Good old Europe
I tend to agree with @txa1265; and @Andrew23; about the updates. GOG made efforts but updates are regularly earlier on Steam, and I have the impression from others' posts that they're smaller. That being said, GOG offers a lot of flexibility in the temporary directories, which helps sometimes (I was running out of SSD space once and it saved me).

Regardless, GOG is my first choice because
  • it doesn't force to update,
  • the client is lighter (even optional) and doesn't update itself all the time,
  • it's a guarantee of DRM-free content. No nasty Denuvo there :p
(btw, there are achievements on GOG too, though I never compared them on both platforms).

So I'm not entirely sure which games they have in mind for their shortlist, but my personal hope is that they keep good, new games as well as "refurbished" ones, even if only by indie devs (I don't care about AAA games).
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,660
Location
Good old Europe

shamroxor

Watchdog
Joined
Jun 22, 2012
Messages
179
Location
Northern Hemisphere
I’m only interested in the old games from GOG too, there’s always some unity developed trashware on the front page; I’ll go to steam if I’m want to check that out!
25 year old Blood Omen finally releasing on GOG was one of the best gaming stories of the year; more releases like that please!
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2012
Messages
179
Location
Northern Hemisphere

SveNitoR

Keeper of the Watch
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,357
Location
Sweden
I'm guessing a lot of the losses are due to Epic Store freebies and coupons. Steam is so dominant a lot of people will buy there anyway, but GOG gets left out for the money people might spend elsewhere.

I've gotten several games for free or deeply discounted through Epic that I had considered buying from GOG. I'd guess I've probably spent at least $100 less on GOG per year since the freebies started.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,357
Location
Sweden

Carnifex

SasqWatch
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
15,759
Location
Holly Hill, FL.
Aye, my primary interest with great old games is how they bring these marvelous products from the past, so that they're playable on our current machines. Considering how business has been for them recently, this seems a smart move on their part. I hope this is a step in the right direction.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2011
Messages
15,759
Location
Holly Hill, FL.

SSIGuy

An Islander Returned
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
1,082
Location
A Misty Island
GoG is pretty much irrelevant to me now. In their early days, I bought some older titles and enjoyed playing them again but after the first half dozen years or so, it didn't seem like many (if any) older titles were getting added and I stopped buying - and even looking at them anymore.

I know a lot of people go to GoG for new games too - and that's great for them - but I'm guessing I represent their bigger issue. I use Steam and like Steam - and started using it several years before GoG. I'm well invested in Steam, have 100s of games there, so if I can buy a game there, I will.

In addition to that, there is possibly another business challenge they are facing with players like me. 15 years ago, there was less choice in games - and if you were looking for the the kinds of games you liked, you might have more trouble finding new ones - and might look at replaying older ones. Now there are so many more games being developed, I can almost always find a fresh, new game that appeals to me - and thus, I'm less likely to revisit and buy an older game.

I think they're in for tough road ahead but I wish them well because more competition is always good.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
1,082
Location
A Misty Island

Gokyabgu

Keeper of the Watch
Original Sin 2 Donor
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Messages
1,166
Location
Sigil
I do not buy any games on GOG anymore. Steam is my only gaming platform choice right now. But my reasons are purely economic. My country's currency have been losing value considerably in the last few years because of the bad management of thr government. Steam applies regional pricing on games and unfortunately I can only buy games on GOG with USD. So especially for indie games, the prices of a game can be 4-5 times cheaper on Steam. So I have to prefer Steam over GOG, although I support their DRM-free policy.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Messages
1,166
Location
Sigil

henriquejr

Fluminense Football Club
RPGWatch Donor
Original Sin 2 Donor
Joined
Nov 15, 2013
Messages
3,455
Location
Brasil
I don't know if by "(...) we've decided that GOG should focus more on its core business activity, which means offering a hand-picked selection of games with its unique DRM-free philosophy" they're meaning they'll focus only on selling those old games of 20+ years ago.

I hope not because...how much profit can you really do nowadays by selling only those type of games (the old ones which now are targeted to a niche, specific audience)? Is that enough to sustain such a business? I don't believe so and this news made me very concerned about the future existence of the GOG.com website itself.

Something doesn't smell good here, IMHO it smells worse than what they meant. :(
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2013
Messages
3,455
Location
Brasil

SveNitoR

Keeper of the Watch
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,357
Location
Sweden
It will be interesting in 20 years to see what has changed in the launcher market. I wonder if GOG will exist still? The good thing is that if they go belly up all their games are able to run from local copies.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,357
Location
Sweden

Redglyph

SasqWatch
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,660
Location
Good old Europe
I don't know if by "(…) we've decided that GOG should focus more on its core business activity, which means offering a hand-picked selection of games with its unique DRM-free philosophy" they're meaning they'll focus only on selling those old games of 20+ years ago.

I hope not because…how much profit can you really do nowadays by selling only those type of games (the old ones which now are targeted to a niche, specific audience)? Is that enough to sustain such a business? I don't believe so and this news made me very concerned about the future existence of the GOG.com website itself.

Something doesn't smell good here, IMHO it smells worse than what they meant. :(
My thoughts too about the limited profit.

It doesn't specifically say they'll focus on maintaining old games, so I understand they'll pick whatever is available, worth it and DRM-free. If that's correct, it's all benefit, I wouldn't like GOG to sell junk like the Steam platform where it's impossible to browse games anymore.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,660
Location
Good old Europe

Jaguar

Sentinel
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
297
Location
Wisconsin, USA
I don't know if by "(…) we've decided that GOG should focus more on its core business activity, which means offering a hand-picked selection of games with its unique DRM-free philosophy" they're meaning they'll focus only on selling those old games of 20+ years ago.

I hope not because…how much profit can you really do nowadays by selling only those type of games (the old ones which now are targeted to a niche, specific audience)? Is that enough to sustain such a business? I don't believe so and this news made me very concerned about the future existence of the GOG.com website itself.

Something doesn't smell good here, IMHO it smells worse than what they meant. :(

I agree, I take this as a negative. And I can't be the only one fearing that someday, one of the online gaming companies will close forever, taking all our games with them. It happened to me to a minor extent with Impulse, and it would stink if it ever happened with a platform where I owned a lot of games.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2012
Messages
297
Location
Wisconsin, USA

SveNitoR

Keeper of the Watch
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,357
Location
Sweden
I don't know if by "(...) we've decided that GOG should focus more on its core business activity, which means offering a hand-picked selection of games with its unique DRM-free philosophy" they're meaning they'll focus only on selling those old games of 20+ years ago.

I hope not because...how much profit can you really do nowadays by selling only those type of games (the old ones which now are targeted to a niche, specific audience)? Is that enough to sustain such a business? I don't believe so and this news made me very concerned about the future existence of the GOG.com website itself.

Something doesn't smell good here, IMHO it smells worse than what they meant. :(
If they keep losing money on GOG it won't be sustainable long term to keep it running. They must be selling really poorly right now. And considering people bought a lot more games during the pandemic is not a good sign.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,357
Location
Sweden

Redglyph

SasqWatch
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,660
Location
Good old Europe
If they keep losing money on GOG it won't be sustainable long term to keep it running. They must be selling really poorly right now. And considering people bought a lot more games during the pandemic is not a good sign.

Their problem is that they do their job correctly: they offer a good solution to buy and play games with minimum hassle.

But it's not what people want today, they want a platform that sells game, plays them with overlays and screenshot features, that plays video of all sorts including broadcasts by the devs and other players, with chat, forums, achievements, trading cards, and who knows what else. Part of why I'm avoiding Steam whenever I can, it became a fat, ugly and distracting client.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,660
Location
Good old Europe

SveNitoR

Keeper of the Watch
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,357
Location
Sweden
Their problem is that they do their job correctly: they offer a good solution to buy and play games with minimum hassle.

But it's not what people want today, they want a platform that sells game, plays them with overlays and screenshot features, that plays video of all sorts including broadcasts by the devs and other players, with chat, forums, achievements, trading cards, and who knows what else. Part of why I'm avoiding Steam whenever I can, it became a fat, ugly and distracting client.
I personally think it has more to do with comfort. People are used to steam and dislike buying from and dealing with another store. Just like people tend to buy stuff from the same stores over and over in general.

I mean, Epic gives away games to get new customers and it's still going very slow to get customers to spend money there.

I also believe young people and casual gamers have little knowledge about DRM and owning games (or movies/TV/music for that matter), so the customers who care are old timer gamers who still have time to play and who also care enough to often pay more. A tiny target demographic, I'd guess.

Edit: yeah the steam client is bloated. It's by far the slowest to start up and I use almost no extra features.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2009
Messages
1,357
Location
Sweden

SSIGuy

An Islander Returned
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
1,082
Location
A Misty Island
But it's not what people want today, they want a platform that sells game, plays them with overlays and screenshot features, that plays video of all sorts including broadcasts by the devs and other players, with chat, forums, achievements, trading cards, and who knows what else. Part of why I'm avoiding Steam whenever I can, it became a fat, ugly and distracting client.

It's true about what many (most?) players want these days... and I'm one of those. Some of those features (chat, forums, friends) in Steam have value to me and are part of the reason I like the platform.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
Messages
1,082
Location
A Misty Island

Redglyph

SasqWatch
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,660
Location
Good old Europe
I personally think it has more to do with comfort. People are used to steam and dislike buying from and dealing with another store. Just like people tend to buy stuff from the same stores over and over in general.

I mean, Epic gives away games to get new customers and it's still going very slow to get customers to spend money there.

I also believe young people and casual gamers have little knowledge about DRM and owning games (or movies/TV/music for that matter), so the customers who care are old timer gamers who still have time to play and who also care enough to often pay more. A tiny target demographic, I'd guess.
Those are very good points.

Real ownership does bug me a little, but it's also the extra weight of the DRM itself. Both are matter of principle, so indeed it's very personal and most probably old-fashioned in this instance. Although DRMs have prevented me from playing games in the era of Securom and CD-ROM players, and Denuvo has an impact on performance (among other things), so it's a little more than just rhetoric.

It's true about what many (most?) players want these days… and I'm one of those. Some of those features (chat, forums, friends) in Steam have value to me and are part of the reason I like the platform.
That's because I have no friends :lol:
Seriously though, I do understand those reasons, though I prefer using other channels. I suppose it all boils down to personal preference and habits, I could have ended up using those features too.

I'm still playing on Steam so it's not blocking for me, it's more a preference. But the main reason I prefer GOG is because they don't force to update before playing.

EDIT: probably "most" players. I think that's why there were rumours about Twitch being upgraded to a gaming platform (Vapor) for Amazon.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Messages
5,660
Location
Good old Europe
Top Bottom