Archive for August, 2009
Ok, I’ve tried to come up with a clever intro for this interview, but I couldn’t find one that can top this: “We’re proud to present GOG.com, the site where it’s all about Good Old Games and the people that play them”. I know, it’s copy-pasted from here, but this is truly the essence of GOG.com and I don’t think there’s anything more to add to it .
We had an interesting chat with Łukasz Kukawski, PR of GOG.com, about their games catalogue, about how they see the indie market and about the “good old gaming” spirit in recent games.
GMZzz: It’s obvious that GOG.com is focused on downloadable content. What do you think about the Patapon 2 release? A game case with no UMD, but with a download voucher, manual and everything else. Do you think this is a solution for all the old-school games fans who are craving for having the physical stuff instead of the digital?
Łukasz Kukawski: I don’t think that solution will perform well. If I decide to buy a game in retail, I want to get the game itself – box and manual is just a nice addition. Now with Patapon 2, you have to go to the store, buy the “game” and additionally you have to log in to internet and download the game before you can even play it. That ain’t cool in my opinion. Because we’re not applying any sort of DRM in GOG.com’s games you actually can have a physical copy of the game. Just download the game and burn it on CD, print the manual and all sorts of additional materials and place the CD case on your shelf. That’s why I think GOG.com is a great solution for all old-school games fans – those who care about having a physical copy and those who are only interested in playing those great games.
GMZzz: In one of the FAQs you clearly specify to the publishers that “GOG.com stands for GOOD old games“. Have you ever been in the situation to turn down a publisher because the game was a BAD old game?
Łukasz Kukawski: We try to stay true to our name and keep our offer on a fairly high level. We won’t release a game that is 1 year old or a game that averaged 50% scores, because that’s not what GOG.com has been made for. Of course we won’t turn down a publisher that has lots of great classics, because he wants us to release one or two games that were less popular. Sometimes it’s just a matter of compromise and deciding what’s better for our users and us.
GMZzz: You’re doing a great job reviving the really good old games and making gamers focus their attention on them again. Where does GOG.com stand relative to the indie games?
Łukasz Kukawski: At the moment indie games are out of our focus. We have a long list of classics that need to be revived to the gamers and we concentrate all our resources on this. We’re aware of the growing indie market and as a fact we receive requests from indie developers to sell their games on GOG.com, but that’s something we have to think of and maybe we’ll add ‘indie genre’ to our catalogue someday.
GMZzz: Do you think it’s possible for developers to release new games, but with all the good old games characteristics (especially gameplay and feeling)?
Łukasz Kukawski: Of course it’s possible, but probably the question is: is it worth the money and time. Gaming is the biggest branch in today’s digital entertainment, so there is huge money involved – you can earn a lot, but you have to invest a lot too. So the risk of a failure is big. Publishers offer games that will sell well, or at least they think they will. Because most gamers judge new games by how they look, many developers most of their work spend on creating beautiful hi-res graphics while other aspects like story, gameplay or mechanics are less important for them. That’s why we get lots of games that look astonishing, but present a very shallow storyline. After all people are buying what they like, so maybe the time of deep and complex stories and classic gameplay has passed and the only way to play it is by reviving classics?
GMZzz: Knowing GOG.com for a while, we’ve seen that the Games Catalogue is expanding quite rapidly. What publishers can we expect to see there in the near future?
Łukasz Kukawski: Unfortunately I can’t reveal anything specific – it would ruin the surprise and could be a breach of contract ;). We have couple of big deals coming this fall/winter, so all gamers that are waiting for some classic gaming shouldn’t be worried. GOG.com is growing bigger with every month and we’re just getting started