‘Streaming is more like renting a game’
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz at E3 this year, Lukasz Kukawski (GOG.com’s head of global communication) gave the company’s stance on what it feels streaming services are to gamers. “We don’t see it as a thing that will take over games distribution,” Kukawski said. “Our stance in digital distribution is to own the games because they are DRM free, and for many gamers, this is very important.”
Kukawski then continued, “With streaming, there’s another layer to it. You already have games with DRM, so it’s more like licensing games than owning them. And streaming is more like renting a game, so it’s another layer to this ongoing discussion.” He then goes on to say that people with non-traditional gaming platforms (such as the Mac OS) will consider it useful, but that traditional and hardcore gamers will likely never shift away from owning their titles. One main reason he cites is the delay with input latency from a streaming source.
When GOG launched in 2008, the main reason it stuck to older titles was because of how anxious publishers were to implement DRM into newer titles. It was unlikely for GOG to ever get big name releases day one on the platform since publishers didn’t want to risk piracy of its biggest games. “Then we focused on old games only because we knew there was no way people would allow us to bring day one or modern releases out without DRM,” Kukawski recounts. “But now we have indie games showing up on GOG day one on a regular basis. Of course, bigger publishers are, I would say, very careful about it.”
The rest of the interview focuses on how GOG does its best to enhance discoverability for the games it does license. There is also talk of how GOG doesn’t feel threatened by the proliferation of publisher-specific digital distribution platforms since they typically don’t include back catalogs on the service. All in all, it seems being DRM free and promoting titles is very important to GOG and likely to not change in the future (even if streaming comes in vogue).
GOG: Streaming is another layer of DRM [GamesIndustry.biz]