GOG.com has announced the changes that are currently being made to the store in terms of online products.
The service wants to add more games that only offer online multiplayer, but they will be clearly marked. Among them, most likely, shareware games will appear.
In another store, such a statement would be redundant, but GOG.com was created as a place for DRM-free games. However, it is difficult to use such a term to describe games that only allow online play, especially if they do not allow players to create their own servers and continue playing even after the developers have stopped support.
In addition, on the forums, an employee of the service said that all multiplayer games that will be released on GOG will offer the possibility of cross-play with other services. This is important because until now it was often lacking, and GOG is such a niche store that it caused problems finding people who would like to play.
At the same time, it was emphasized that this would not affect single-user offerings in any way, which would continue to be DRM-free.
It hasn’t been said outright, but this statement likely opens the door to DRM-enabled multiplayer games. This is because most games of this type currently do not allow players to freely set up their own servers, which would allow the online mode to continue to function even after the developers have abandoned it. Especially in the case of shareware games, there is no chance of this. In order for cross-play with other services to be possible, DRM will be required in many cases.
The reaction on the site’s forum is mixed. There is no shortage of criticism that such games should not appear on GOG. However, many users do not mind adding online games to the range, as long as they are labeled accordingly. Some also express the hope that this will bring more customers and resources to the store, allowing it to acquire the rights to more older single-player games. One user also half-jokingly stated that he hoped this would allow the old Dark Sun Online-style MMORPGs, which were shut down in 1999, to be added to the site.
However, there are also claims that the labeling of games that only offer online multiplayer needs to be clearer. An example of this type is the recently released GOG Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, where the nature of the game is only listed in the system requirements.
GOG should be very careful in this regard due to last year’s Hitman scandal. This stealth game, although designed for a single player, requires an internet connection to access all content. Users regarded this as a betrayal of the principles on which the service was built. The reaction was so negative that the game was eventually removed from the store.