Good Old Games To Deliver Good Old Stories

Game developers CD Projekt recently unveiled their latest project. It’s not a new game; rather, it’s a lot of old games. In September, the team behind The Witcher will launch Good Old Games, an online distributor of older PC games that are considered classics by PC gaming veterans.

With the tagline, “We’ve got games your 10-year-old won’t be better at,” CD Projekt is playing up the “old games for old people” angle. In a recent interview at Rock, Paper, Shotgun, managing director Adam Oldakowski and VP of PR and marketing Tom Ohle* say that their site is mainly marketed towards a nostalgic demographic. Even so, this site will be an excellent way for younger gamers to experience classic games they might have missed the first time around.

* As a side note, is it even possible for two guys making a site called “Good Old Games” have more appropriate last names? Okay, maybe if one of them was Gary Oldman.

For my part, I’m most excited about Fallout 2 being front and center on their splash page. I only recently played the game for the first time, but even with patches it was so bug-ridden that I never finished the game. After the third forced restart due to corrupted save files, I gave up on the whole thing, which is a shame, because I was thoroughly enjoying it up to that point. Fallout 2 wasn’t a game with a story, it was a storytelling platform. It gave you a basic objective and let you decide how you got to that point. For example, a gamer going by “Hipolito” on the Octopus Overlords forum has been recounting his experience of playing through the game as a high-luck, low-intelligence character. A Gump, if you will.

I’m digressing, though. Good Old Games has claimed that they’re making sure all of their games run well on Windows XP and Vista. Whether that is just making sure installation runs smooth as they say or actually working to fix some bugs in the game, it certainly makes me more willing to purchase Fallout 2 through their site.

Oh yeah, did I mention that no game will sell for more than $10?

Of course, Good Old Games is launching about a month before Fallout 3 will be released, so I imagine they’ll have a lot of business because of that as well. It’s the same thing that Blizzard did with Diablo 2, and although CD Projekt claims the timing is not intentional, it’s still diabolical.

I’ll end this with the GOG’s press release:

CD Projekt Announces DRM-Free Online Store for Classic PC Games

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Warsaw, Poland– July 10, 2008. CD Projekt, best known in the Western world for its award-winning PC RPG, The Witcher, is proud to unveil its invention of time travel. The company sent several representatives to the past and they’ve returned with some amazing findings. Quick to capitalize on the incredible treasures of history, the company is pleased to reveal its newest project, GOG.com. The site, whose name is an acronym for Good Old Games, is a new games-on-demand platform that allows old fogies (and young fogies) to buy some of the best PC games of all time– many of which just can’t be found in stores anymore– and play them on modern hardware, completely free of intrusive DRM. GOG.com is poised to become the center of the classic-games universe with a huge community section including forums, user reviews and ratings, as well as insightful commentary and editorials from some of the industry’s most beloved writers. A closed public beta of the site is scheduled for launch on August 1st, and excited old-school gamers can sign up for more info and a chance to enter the beta by visiting GOG.com.

The site makes it tremendously easy for gamers to buy, download and install some of their all-time favorite PC games. The games will be sold for $5.99 or $9.99, are guaranteed to work on Windows Vista and Windows XP systems and are available to download as many times as needed. This is very nice, yes? The DRM-free games, low prices, the site’s ease-of-use and the community are some of the main features that make Good Old Games something more than just another digital distribution outlet.

GOG.com has already lined up agreements with such publishers as Interplay and Codemasters to make their games available on the site. Among the titles those companies are bringing to the site are in-demand classics like Fallout, Freespace 2, Operation Flashpoint: Game of the Year Edition and TOCA Race Driver 3. Negotiations are in progress with several other publishers, with the ultimate goal of GOG.com offering a comprehensive collection of classic PC games from the 80s, 90s and 2000s.

“Our main goal is to create a user-friendly site with the best classic PC games for a price that might be considered impossible to achieve,” said Adam Oldakowski, Managing Director of GOG.com.“The people behind GOG.com are gamers and we all know how difficult it is to find a lot of classic games. So we’ve started building a great games catalogue, gotten rid of the copy protection that gamers hate so much, optimized the games to work on modern operating systems, and made them cheap enough that piracy seems like a rip-off. It’s so easy to buy, download and install a game and then get deeply involved in the community; we’re very confident that gamers will absolutely love the site.”

Okay, so that part about inventing time travel was a lie. Sorry.

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