GOG has posted an update on its blog that it will now be marking or categorizing online-only multiple-player games. The decision comes as users have commented about the addition of various online-only multiple-player games, including some older DOS games, that require an online connection in order to play. CDPR’s own game GWENT: The Witcher Card Game is an online multiplayer game. Since a primary appeal of GOG is its DRM-free content, which allows players to play their games without an online connection, it has created some confusion among its community regarding their inclusion.
GOG explains that while technically any game that requires an online connection in order to play is not DRM-free it is, however, a different category of games. GOG continues by saying that it will still use a DRM-free approach for other games on the platform. In moving forward an online multiplayer game will be labeled as such on its store page to inform players so they can better choose if they would like to purchase it.
Many of you already enjoy playing online titles, while some might question “since online-only games require an internet connection, how is this DRM-free?”. It is not – online-only games that are designed to be played with others are a separate category of games.
Rest assured this will not influence our DRM-free approach. GOG will remain the best platform for single-player DRM-free gaming, with a dedicated approach to classics and game preservation – something that’s at the very core of who we are.
Going forward, online-only multiplayer games will be marked as such on the game page – it’s up to you to decide whether you want to play them.
The decision clearly marks an attempt by GOG to find a middle ground for such games. On one hand yes, an internet connection is required, but on the other hand, there would be no way to have multiplayer games for those without local connections. While LAN parties were once a big appeal for many, some players may not even reside in the same country, or continent as each other so LAN isn’t really an option. The platform’s primary focus has been on DRM-free content, and the preservation of classics, so adapting its philosophy to modern times should be an attainable goal as long as it can distinguish between true always-online DRM and simply a need for the internet as a means of communication to other players or a server. Revenue from the growing popularity of online-only multiple-player games should also help bolster the income for the platform that reportedly was losing money for CDPR.