GOG.com is about to stir up the PC gaming platform environment. Today, the gaming sales front announced the upcoming release of an all new platform, which they're calling GOG Galaxy. There are three core tenants for GOG Galaxy coined as an "Optional Client", "Freedom of Choice" and also "Cross Platform. They're all very interesting terms, but it's how these tenants translate into features that should make many gamers excited, and Steam perhaps a bit nervous.
What exactly do each of these terms mean then? Well, the full extent of each term is yet detailed, but we can go over what they're meant to imply in terms of goals:
- Freedom of Choice: With GOG Galaxy, your games will always be DRM-free launch without need for a platform or any online connection. Gamers are free to decide whether they would like to make a profile, to download the client, and what features of Galaxy they would like to use.
- Optional Client: The GOG Galaxy client will provide the ability to easily update your games as well as chat with friends, but GOG will, "never force it on you, never require you to have it to play your games."
- Cross-Platform: GOG's most ambitious promise is that no matter which digital platform you buy your games from you should be able to play with your friends. They claim no third party clients or apps required, though obviously much has to be proven in this regard.
I think the largest barrier that GOG has had in defining itself as a true Steam competitor has been its lack of a client, its absence as a true platform. Having a store front with outstanding sales and great requirements of games like no DRM is huge, but getting that promise out and available to as many gamers as possible is just as important. GOG Galaxy may just be that solution.
More than that, GOG Galaxy isn't just platform for their store-front. The entirely option client is perfect and fitting for their attitude towards game sales. More than that, the promise of truly being cross-platform is rather mind-boggling. Currently they've only said they'll support Steam cross-support, but also note that other platforms will be added in the future. It's not that GOG Galaxy sounds great, it actually sounds better than many platforms. Those are just words in the wind until the client is actually available, of course.
Gamers that are interested in GOG Galaxy can register for the upcoming beta on the new official website for the platform. Hopefully it delivers a great platform, as promised.