Earlier today, CD Projekt announced plans to launch an ambitious service called Good Old Games that will provide us with a means to purchase cheap, DRM-free PC games that are no longer easily obtainable. Classics such as Fallout, Descent, Jagged Alliance 2, and Sacrifice have already been confirmed for the service, with dozens more to be announced prior to GOG's launch in September. To get a better idea of how it will work and what games we can expect to see on the service in the months to come, we fired over a set of questions to CD Projekt's Tom Ohle:
GB: What prompted you to create the Good Old Games service? Is this something CD Projekt has envisioned doing for years?
Tom: If by saying "years" we can infer "1 and a half years" then absolutely! I think there's always been an issue with trying to legitimately buy older games, and that's essentially what caused some of the higher-ups at CD Projekt (long before I officially got involved) to start working toward the launch of GOG.com. I started with the company in February, and the site was already well underway; now it's just a matter of making sure everything works, signing more publishers and getting people excited.
GB: At the moment, there are only a handful of games depicted on the GOG website. Are you able to give us at least a partial list of games that you already know will be available at launch?
Tom: I'll mention some of my favorites that aren't on the teaser site... Jagged Alliance 2, MDK 2, Redneck Rampage, Kingpin, Lionheart, Descent 1-3, Shogo... ah the list goes on and on.
GB: In addition to classic titles, do you plan on offering new games on this service too? The Witcher, perhaps?
Tom: Not at the moment. There are so many good old games (yeah, I'll sneak that in wherever I can!) out there that we haven't signed on yet, that I think we could just release back-catalog games for a few years and still be trying to get more. Maybe some day we'll consider bringing in new games, but for now people have a lot of options in that area, with Steam, Direct2Drive, Impulse, etc.
GB: There are already a few services (Steam, GameTap, etc.) that are similar in scope to Good Old Games. What sets your service apart? Why should gamers be excited about it?
Tom: The full package we offer, I think, makes GOG.com unique. We're offering the games really cheap, without copy protection, compatible with Vista and XP, and you don't have to install any software to get it all. Combined with our plans for community development -- a big forum section, user-submitted guides and screenshots, patches, mods, retrospective articles, game rankings and ratings, etc. -- I think we're giving people a pretty damn cool site. There's no reason we can't coexist with other digital distribution services -- everyone has something unique to offer.