Has anyone else tried the beta of GOG Galaxy?
GOG Galaxy is looking like a promising alternative to Steam, one which I think gamers who care about the future direction of game distribution need to take seriously. GOG has always been an appealing store thanks to it’s DRM-free policy, but up until now it required that games were installed and patched manually. This is very 2004. Moreover, cloud features were not supported. GOG Galaxy resolves these problems while remaining optional and keeping the games DRM-free - the best of both worlds.
Especially in countries where bandwidth is a finite resource, having an installer that you can back up and reuse, but also add the game to a client for automatic updates, gives GOG a practical advantage (as opposed to just an ideological one). This is unlike the Humble Store DRM-free installers which cannot be used with Steam, even if they give you a Steam key (if you want to use the Steam client with the game, you have to download the game through Steam). Previously I’ve been supporting DRM-free gaming primarily through Humble Store, which usually provides a Steam key and a DRM-free installer. But because GOG Galaxy is creating a whole platform based around DRM-free, that gives me motivation to purchase the games on GOG instead. I’m not going to miss out on a game if it’s Steam only, but perhaps first and foremost I will purchase from GOG now for this reason.
So far, the Galaxy client feels clean and minimalist. That’s a good thing, as Steam tends to feel a bit bloated in places. Unfortunately I was not able to add my existing installed GOG games to GOG Galaxy - I’ll need to redownload the installers for those. However, existing games purchased through GOG downloaded fine using the GOG Galaxy client.
So far we don’t know how many games will support the cloud features of GOG Galaxy. My hope is that most games on GOG that support Steam’s cloud features will also support GOG’s achievements, stats, etc. That’s probably wishful thinking, but if it’s made easy for developers to implement, why not?
GOG still needs more modern games to compete with Steam, Origin, and UPlay. More games are being released all the time (most recently Metro: Last Light Redux). I figure that if more gamers take an interest in GOG, more publishers will too. Supply and demand. If we gamers really are opposed to DRM and care about giving gamers a choice, I think we need to take seriously the arguments for purchasing our games through GOG and using GOG Galaxy to manage our game libraries instead of just Steam, even though it’s more convenient to manage all games through a single client (Steam).
Now where was that game again? In my Steam or GOG library?