Good Old Games' Good Old Prank

Earlier in the week, popular digital distribution site Good Old Games abruptly went down. The site, which has worked towards deals with publishers to offer classic PC games in downloadable form without Digital Rights Management, offered little in the way of explanation, but did hint that it would be back up in a different form. So what happened?

Well, it seems Good Old Games played a game on all of us. A clever one, too. By not saying much at all about its reason for downtime, the internet buzzed about why. Questions were raised about the money customers had spent on games there - what happens with a digital distribution service goes down? Are one's game ownership details, along with the means to obtain the games, lost? Could there be unforeseen trouble with the site's business model?

But in truth, was simply updating their webpage with new functionality, marking an end to their 2 year beta and rewriting 98% of their back end code so their increasing library can be better organised.

In an apology video to all of their fans, the two co-founders appear and act as monks, lamenting the days when humorous stunts were more common in the games industry:

In some additional videos, the new site's functionality is explained and some new game offers are highlighted. GOG's front page now displays a countdown to when the new site will arrive, which should be around 10pm (EST) tonight.


    Wow, that's very clever. They must have got a lot of free publicity out of that. I for one, had never heard of the site before. So seeing everyone bemoaning and whinging about the death of such a wonderful service made me wonder - maybe I missed out on something awesome.

    *abruptly :)

    I can't say I approve of how they did it but I can see what they were going for and most importantly their business model is still worthy of support

    P.S. You misspelled "abruptly" in the first sentence. Sorry. Normally I wouldn't be such a pedant, but it kinda leaps out at you, since it's such a colourful link so early in the article.

    Cheers, fixed :)

    It was an awful PR move, and I don't think that monk video made it any better. Fortunately for them everybody will probably just forget about it when they start hating on someone else in a week.

    I always liked the idea of GOG and liked the games they released...

    But i preffer Steam with its Application front end and managment...

    WIth some of the good games from GOG coming to steam recently (Myst etc) i think ill hold out :)

    Good on them though and very well done job on the site :)

    Think about all the free publicity they just gained by their abrupt closure and whinging on the Intahwebz.

    They are just about to go big :)

    /waits to buy Duke Nukem 3D

    Most people assumed it was a prank for the new version came out the day it happened. I think it was insulting to customers, a business denying their customers their legally-owned products and pretending they went out of business? That's ridiculous, and illiegal to boot. If, say, a bank or a supply company did that, they'd get the shit sued out of them. You don't joke around with people's money. "it's just a joke" doesn't cut it when you mess with my money.

      Amen. This was an absolutely f'ing terrible idea for a PR stunt. The Monk business doesn't make it any better either. I want a proper f'ing apology before I go back to that site. What a joke these guys are now. I've been a customer there for 12 months.

        Chillout guy. Are you upset that they played a fun prank in an all too serious world, or that because of it, a ton of people now know about GOG, and this in turn makes you feel less elitest?

          No, we're upset because we're paying customers who were denied our rights. How do you think people would feel if Microsoft shut down Live saying it was dead and came back a week later and said "lol just kidding it's time for a new version of Live!"? Do you think that would go down well?

    Dammit GOG, your service is just too good for me to get mad about this.

    I had NEVER heard of GOG prior to this stunt, but within the space of 24 hours every gaming site I read made mention of it.

    Well played GOG, well played indeed.

    I love GoG, and this didn't effect me since I had backed up the installers of all the games I've purchased from there (yay DRM free!), but even I can see that this was a horrible PR stunt.
    At least on the gaming sites I frequent, this seems to have lost them as many customers as it has exposed them to...

    On the flipside though, it seems that everyone had already figured it was just a PR stunt and would just be relaunched, and not down permanently, but are still raging anyway just because it was a (very) bad idea.
    Although I don't think their 'apology'(or genuine lack thereof) helped matters much either.

      I read a lot of the same too...especially on their face book page..GoG really pissed off a lot of people with this stunt. Me included as I hadnt dl all the games I had purchased...

    oh GOG u so craaazy

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