It was originally called "Good Old Games," because that was what it purported to sell: older titles, often from the nineties up to the first decade of the new millennium. These older games ranged in price from six to ten dollars, and the biggest pull of the site, beyond its low prices and catalog of sometimes hard-to-find classics and obscure cult favorites, was the fact that it was DRM free.
Today, GOG.com has newer titles, including such recent releases as The Legend of Grimrock and Alan Wake, as well as pre-orders for the indie adventure Resonance and Retro City Rampage (which has to be one of the greatest concepts in the history of gaming.) All of these titles, though, are DRM free. This includes The Witcher and The Witcher 2: Assasins of Kings, both of which are hosted on the site since it's run by CD Projekt, tied to CD Projekt RED (which developed both Witcher titles).
This DRM-free business means that, once you buy the game and download the installer, that game is yours. It doesn't ask for a code, for online authentication or any validation whatsoever. It just installs and assumes the best: that you are a paying customer and your copy of the game is legitimate. Whereas Valve's idea of customer service is to provide features that make the shackles of the Steam service worthwhile to customers, CD Projekt aims, instead, to keep gamers happy by displaying trust that they will, when presented with a good deal and an honest merchant, have the scruples to give him his due, rather than distributing DRM-free copies of the games they've gotten from the site to all of their friends, free of charge.
These two wildly disparate approaches to digital distribution, though, align on one thing: They are absolutely dependent on quality customer service. By presenting a face to the world that is likable and genial, supportive of the gaming community in so many ways, they become the "good guys," and gamers want to spend their money with them because there's a level of perceived respect there, as well as trust. In some ways, it's an illusion, yes. These are both still businesses and, in the end, their focus is the bottom line, but they have a good understanding of the kinds of individuals to whom they appeal and they work with them in mind, garnering camaraderie and support.
Date: July 26, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*