I’ve sung Good Old Games’ (GOG) praises before, and I’ll continue to do so: their unwavering goodwill towards their customers and games free of the yoke of DRM keeps them, in my mind, firmly at the forefront of game distribution. But ever since Steam instituted their local pricing policy, the premium on GOG titles has become an increasingly bitter pill to swallow – I’m happy to put my money where my mouth is but I’m not exactly reveling in it.
Clearly, GOG’s been listening to (or eyeing with suspicion; more on this in a bit) some of their customers who cross buy across multiple bundles and services, because they’ve just announced GOG Connect: a frankly ridiculous service that will allow you to connect a single Steam account of your choice to your GOG account, then redeem eligible games from your Steam library on GOG. You keep your Steam version of the games, and you get the full GOG version of the same.
There’s some caveats in the FAQ, however. Signing into GOG Connect with your Steam account is irreversible and permanently links the two. Games on the list are eligible for redemption for a limited time. And if for any reason a game is removed from your Steam library, GOG reserves the right to remove it from your GOG library. I’m not sure how, exactly, this would impact users who have already downloaded the game’s installer.
From a customer perspective it’s a grand gesture, but I’m struggling to understand how exactly this benefits GOG unless there’s some exchange we’re not being made aware of. Perhaps they’re willing to take the financial hit in order to introduce gamers who are interested in GOG’s offering but don’t want to abandon Steam?
It might be to minimise the amount of shadiness that now accompanies bundle game sales, where people purchase keys in mass amounts, redeem it on one service while selling or trading the rest. Perhaps the bleed is substantial enough that GOG and its partner developers feel that it’s worth linking accounts between the two services.
You can check out the details about how it all works here.