Good Old Games No Longer Using Geo-IP To Determine Your Region

Yesterday we spoke to the Managing Director of Good Old Games, who flat out admitted that region based pricing for digitally distributed content was unfair. Now, quite possibly as a result of the Australian Witcher 2 fracas, Good Old Games has now updated its privacy policy and will no longer use Geo-IP to determine your region.

"We’ve come to the conclusion," reads an official statement, "that there are a number of issues with using a customer’s IP address to determine what offer they are being presented with from GOG.com. A good number of users can find themselves negatively impacted by a policy of using geo IP to set their region.

"For example, customers may be travelling when they want to purchase or download a game from GOG.com. In this case, automatic IP address capture might change the price or the content of the game they’re ordering (such as the default language of the installer). Further, geo IP data collection is not always right. IP addresses are not a perfect or unique identifier of location, and can report the incorrect region of users, particularly ones who are not using standard Internet connections. Finally, we’re always very sensitive of our users’ privacy. Effective privacy protections for our users means that any data that we don’t need to collect, we shouldn’t. We only need to know the country that you’re making this purchase from, so although we originally planned to use geo-IP to determine user’s location, we’ve decided to trust our users and let them inform us as to the correct region for their purchase."

It's probably worth noting that Good Old Games hasn't stop region based pricing, but now has no means to force it on you against your will.

Now, essentially, the choice is yours.


Comments

    No Strange tag to thank her for pointing this out? I'm disappointed! ;)

    huh... no more buying games from Steam now.

    Wonder how much of a gutpunch this will deliver to Valve's Australian Steam market?

      IM pretty sure Steam has very little to worry about...

      Just get your account unlocked... Then you can order from UK, US or AU stores...

        Can you tell me how? I have been searching for this for a while now..

      Outside of The Witcher 2 sales, not much I'd think. GoG has an older and different (but no less great) selection of games on offer to those on Steam.

      unless GoG starts selling every game, instead of what are mostly classic's i don't think steam has anything to worry about.

      and i would presume that if they did Steam would quickly drop their Geo-IP as well. and when the retailers bitch about competition they can bitch back :P.

    I am very impressed with this. Thanks GOG ;)

    Excellent. Most excellent news. Way to go guys. Truly exceptional.

    I wonder if, in this instance, this will create a situation where gamers are prosecuted for purchasing banned games. It is illegal to import banned games in to Australia. While GOG are appealing to their customer base and saying we'll sell it to you if you say you are living in another country, Australian's are going to risk prosecution for importing banned games.

    This does not solve the problem that we have with our ratings system. It will just create a situation where a retailer indemnifies themselves of the blame in order to get on their customers good side while opening their customers up for prosecution.

      while its not unimaginable, it'd be ridiculous for someone to get prosecuted for importing mortal kombat.

      i'd be inclined to think the authorities won't do that (unless a complete asshat is in charge), as a lot of non-gaming folks will remember older MKs, and go, "wtf?".

        Charges for Tier 1 and Tier 2 level RC import offences do not apply to single copy personal use imports. The fines in those instances aren't exactly life ruining, though hardly pleasant.

        If you were intending to import 25 copies of MK or more for re-sale/distribution or for public display then you would indeed be looking at $110,000 in fines and a possible 5 years worth of imprisonment for a Tier 1 offence, Tier 2 being something in the order of a possible 10 years with a fine in excess of $250,000.

      As I understand it Importing is illegal but owning an imported game is not. With digital distribution, there is no actual importation of goods. Gamers can't be prosecuted for buying banned games. Only retailers for selling them.

        Over here in Western Australia, it is also illegal to own banned goods (such as RC games).

          Lucky The Witcher 2 has not been RC then. It is not illegal to own a game that has not been classified, only those that have failed to be classified and RC. For example it is illegal in WA to own unmodifed L4D2 since that was RC.

      as Jamie said, you haven't imported it into the country, and ownership isn't illegal.

      The reason it's illegal to import Banned Games into the country is the same reason it's illegal to import canabis here.

      The game is A) viewed as a contraband and B) if it's going to be sold it's going to be sold on a black market.

      Law is mainly there to prevent people importing 1000 copies of Mortal Kombat and then selling them inside australia for profit.

        Is that true? I remember in uni reading stuff about how it was illegal to export high-strength encryption, or something along those lines, and I'm pretty sure that included downloading through the net counting as a form of import/export.

        Anyone else know for sure?

      But the thing is, the game is NOT banned. It was never refused classification and is perfectly legal to import or download in its uncensored form.

      Namco Bandai Partners tried to force GoG (and succeeded in forcing Steam) to sell the censored version purely as part of their anti-competitive price-fixing strategy. GoG's statement is essentially a declaration that they will no longer be a party to such rip-off tactics. Wish Steam had balls as big as that. Then I wouldn't have had to organise getting the game gifted to me from the UK...

        The game was refused classification in its uncensored form. Inwhich case it was resubmitted for classification with the offending content removed and then allowed to be placed on sale upon release.

          No Sean, the game was absolutely NOT refused classification, not in any form. The modifications were the initiative of Namco Bandai, who probably wanted to eliminate the possibility of having to re-submit.

          Checks the Classification Board web site database. Witcher 2 was submitted ONCE. It was rated MA15+.

          It is perfectly legal to import (and perfectly legal for Steam to sell uncensored, at that). Why Namco Bandai's rep told Kotaku it had been refused classification is a mystery, because that is completely false.

    GOG have now established themselves as one of the best retailers for their honesty and their terrific response to consumer concerns. I vote Kudos goes to GOG this week :P

    As long as they still don't check where your CC card is from when purchasing as with a US region GoG, this is very good news.

    I wasn't happy about their choice to enforce regional pricing (and still not), however the fact that they've listened to the community and added such a loophole is fantastic.

    Great success!
    Sorry for the old quote, but it sounds like the right move considering the position expressed yesterday.
    While accurate, the reason for discarding the IP-based locations sounds like a placeholder to excuse them for opening the playing field online.
    While many people will put their location as Australia anyway, it's a credit to GOG that they took this small but significant step.

    ARG! Ordered off US Steam store too early!

      You can cancel your pre-order from Steam easily. Just contact customer support. I did it a few days ago.

        What Hawkules says is true... I canceled my $90 brink order on steam and purchased from ozgameshop for $36 instead.
        Get your skates on and cancel it before it's released! Steam support takes a day or two to answer new support requests.

    Steam should do this. It obviously doesn't impact on GOG's business partners, so why should it affect Steam's?

      Mainly because GOG only has 1 game that is region priced i believe(Witcher 2) and they probably aren't going to get many more.

      And this will probably hurt them slightly if any other company that likes to price gouge considered using them as a Distribution method.

      Steam doesn't really compete with any other Digital Distro that doesn't do the same thing.

      Steam actually provides us with the ability to buy said games(albiet at the jacked prices) where D2D simply blocks us from their service.

      looking now it seems just about every EA game on D2D are US and canada only(most likely because EA have their own store to rip off the rest of the world)

    comedy gold

    So now you can tell GoG you're an American to get Witcher 2 cheaper and uncensored *hint hint* ;)

      Seems so! GoG deserve massive props.

    Brilliant.
    Absolutely admirable.
    More people need to follow suit.

    Legal loopholes FTW

    It appears on the issue of censorship that Politicians took too long and now they have been left behind. Well O'Conner did try to warn them...

    Added to the Conroy black-list in 3... 2... 1...

      Thing is - The more that Conroy adds onto the Black-list, the more opposition that he'll encounter - And he also said that the filter would only work if the number of blocked websites remained below the 1000 mark - But... Knowing the way he operates, he'll try. -_-

    Good on you Good Old Games, wooohooo!!

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