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April 22nd, 2013, 17:19
GOG has posted results of a recent survey. The questions on the survey dealt with topics on DLC, DRM, and pre-release alphas. Prepare to be surprised by the results.

Thanks go to PCGamer for the newsbit.

In almost all cases, the surveyed customers voted in favour of the additions. That’s somewhat surprising. GOG have historically focused on bringing old, DRM-free games to digital distribution, and creating bespoke special editions through bonus content. That might suggest a user base who would be sceptical of the modern industry’s love of extending a game’s life through additional post-release content. That, apparently, is not the case; although it’s worth remembering that the survey wasn’t set up to judge whether these features are popular or liked, just whether they should be allowed into GOG’s catalogue.

Of the general survey questions, the most supported potential addition was DLC, followed by episodic games and “Early Access” alphas. All three got over a 60% positive response. DLC and Episodic Season Passes also got majority of support, although these proved more controversial, with 52.29% and 56.23% yes votes respectively.

The only proposed plans that failed to gain majority support were for non-MMO multiplayer games requiring some form of online activation to access. Serial Key protection was narrowly rejected – 50.47% said no – while a third-party account was overwhelmingly dismissed, with over 70% of respondents dismissing the idea. Understandable perhaps, except the response was quite different when users were given specifics.

Planetary Annihilation was offered as an example, with GOG noting that it’s online and skirmish focused, DRM-free for offline, but also that: “A unique key is required for Internet multiplayer, and an account with the developer’s service is only required for the persistent online features.” Given this choice, almost 78% of respondents were happy for the game to be sold.

Which makes it hard to draw firm conclusions. At best, the thing to note is that, far from people being immovably against DLC, or even DRM, consumers are more interested in judging things on a case-by-case basis – and what bonuses they’re being offered as a result of perceived negatives.

As for GOG, as well as assuring they’ll be considerate with their offerings of DLC And episodic content, they conclude by saying, “any game that we bring you guys with persistent multiplayer features will be at least as offline-friendly as Planetary Annihilation is.”
More information.
Last edited by Couchpotato; April 22nd, 2013 at 19:16.
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April 22nd, 2013, 17:19
What it shows me is that options are good. Forced stuff is not good.

DLC is an optional thing. If it's available, fine. More stuff for people who want more stuff. I personally find the DLC model to be a bit shady in that, a few years ago most games would come out with X amount of content, and these days it seems like a lot of the bigger games come out with X - Z content where Z ends up being instantly available DLC or DLC for the first few DLCs but they still charge the same up front for the initial game and to get the whole game they expect you to pay 50% or so more than what we used to be paying for games. Inflation bites us all but not usually THAT insanely.

If there's online play and you have to do something extra to use it, fine. As long as it's an option and not forced online.
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April 22nd, 2013, 18:45
I'm not so happy about this. I hope the GOG guys will have a close look on who exactly voted for what - I could imagine they might alienate a significant proportion of their most ardent and loyal, possibly best-paying clientele should they go down the DRM path even a little.
Also, if they allow DRM on their service, publishers will take note, and they won't see why they should let GOG sell any of their games without DRM at all if GOG provides that service for other games.
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April 22nd, 2013, 18:54
This is a bit annoying. I hope GOG doesn't start selling DRM'd games now. Perhaps the voters thought more choice equals more competition with Steam, Green Man etc, which would provide better pricing? Somehow I don't think that will happen.

I could care less about DLC unless the content warrants the price, which has been few and far between for the games that I play.
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April 22nd, 2013, 19:04
On their page with the survey results they state explicitly:

One of the defining characteristics of GOG.com is that the games that we sell have no DRM; this isn't going to change, and we will continue to evaluate the games that we bring to you to make sure that they're not only great games, but great games that we think will fit in well with how we do business.
So no need to worry about DRM.
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April 23rd, 2013, 01:11
I like DLC if it's completely separate from the game and optional. Basically, like if the game was 'Lord of the Rings' (movies) and DLC was the visit to Tom Bombadil. I'm also ok with DLC that adds functionality to the original game, like for Crusader Kings 2 when new DLC opens up new gameplay elements that were not part of the original game. I don't like DLC when it 'completes the story', or if it's shoved down your throat like in DA:O.
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April 23rd, 2013, 01:20
I agree with the vote to allow DLC since that increases the amount of games that can go on GOG which means more games without DRM. There is at least 1 game I know of that would go on GOG if DLC was allowed.
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April 23rd, 2013, 10:29
Surprising results to be honest. Shocking really. I've seen some good DLCs over the years, and I don't mind more DLCs, but I really hope they use the few good ones as examples. There are still way too many 30 min DLCs for almost the full price of an expansion pack.
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April 23rd, 2013, 12:40
Well, it's not like GOG has any effect on DLC as it's being used today - so I have no problem with this.

DLC is just the first step, really.

It's sort of an introduction to what the future holds in terms of offering games as a service, so as to maximise profit for the people funding development.

But people adapt - we all adapt.

We could have avoided it if people were smarter - but it's too late by far now.
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