Ever see a comedian that was so bad it made you angry? Say a guy in Vegas, off the strip, who’s only there because he’s the owner’s brother-in-law? He’s on stage, huffing and puffing away, smelling of cheap laundromats and thrice cut cocaine telling jokes told by a ten-year old if he was a 45-year-old executive in the 50’s.
If you follow.
GOG’s ‘joke’ of closing down is exactly like that. Maybe even with a bit of Rob Schneider from “I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry” thrown in.
Is it just a translation issue with GoG’s gag? Or something else. There’s a heavy-handedness, a puerility to the joke of ‘shutting down’. It’s one thing for a news site, or a comedy site, or, really, any site where people’s bought goods aren’t at stake.
If they really wanted to go with the joke, and keep everyone onside, they’d put a massive counter on the site, counting down to when the site would go ‘dark’. They’d keep the bloody thing functional so people could, I dunno, do crazy things like download all the game they’ve bought.
And there’d be commiserating, homage sites organized, at least, if not more PR from it as the mixed grief and anger of we true nerd-core, whip into a frenzy not seen since Han’s trigger finger was made slightly slower.
It is the primary Achilles heel of any digital store. It’s the unspoken promise as well. “We Will Always Be Here, Your Money Is Safe With Us”. To make a joke that instantly draws attention to this like King Hippo replacing his belly button Band-Aid™ with a bulls-eye. A rather large one, with halogen lights attached, say, and a tasteful yet far-reaching flyer campaign.
And it’s something that makes almost no sense. Because GOG, or so I had thought, gets it. DRM-free unlimited downloads of classic PC games configured to run on modern systems?! Makes high res wallpapers, icons, even soundtracks available and bundled with the games? This is the policy of only a company that gets it. As opposed to say, Ubisoft, with its, “You Must Be Always Connected To The Internet DRM”.
GOG fights the good fight for any real fan; and does so while benefiting everyone involved, the publisher, the gamer, and even the game makers. When Age of Wonder’s rights reverted back to the original studio, the devs there approached GOG to see if they could put it up on the site. The original creators of the work getting paid actual money? Insane I tell you.
So, it was bad joke. Everyone, I’m sure has moved on. And because GOG does everything so very right, so clearly gets it, I’m sure they’ve been forgiven faster than you can say, “They’re selling Baldur’s Gate?!”.