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GOG made its name selling classic software without digital-rights management, and now it is bringing that concept to PC-gaming clients.
The company announced GOG Galaxy today, which is its alternative to digital-distribution platforms such as Valve’s Steam, Electronic Arts’ Origin, Ubisoft’s Uplay, or GamersGate. Games started through GOG Galaxy will always launch and work even if they aren’t connected to the Internet. This is compared to something like Watch Dogs, which requires a connection to Uplay to work even in single-player mode. While some PC players might find this exciting, GOG is stressing that Galaxy is optional. GOG will release Galaxy soon, and the company thinks it is important to offer one place where gamers can come together. The service will also finally bring auto-updating to the software you purchase from GOG, and that alone might justify Galaxy’s existence.
“We realize there are hundreds of clients, and everyone probably has a couple installed,” GOG vice president Guillaume Rambourg said during a stage presentation. “You don’t have to use the GOG client. You can do things manually.”
GOG says it built Galaxy on three pillars. The first is to enable launching games whether the computer is connected to the Internet or not. This is something you can already do with games that you buy from GOG.
“We believe gamers should have the ability to play a game anywhere and any time,” said Rambourg. “The game is yours, you should have the power to do with it what you want.”
The second pillar is that the client is always optional. No GOG game will ever require Galaxy. Finally, the third pillar, is something called cross-play, which GOG says will enable players who bought games from one PC distribution network to play with people who got it from another.
“Let’s say you bought the game on Steam and I bought it on GOG,” said Rambourg. “We are friends, so we should be able to play together. That’s where GOG Galaxy comes into play. It will connect players whether they are on the same platform or not.”