Classic PC gaming fans were thrown for a loop last week when the GOG.com Web site was replaced with a terse message about changing market conditions and the promise of a forthcoming further announcement. The digital distribution service also known as Good Old Games was known for offering officially licensed versions of older PC games, all packaged as DRM-free executable files, suitable for modern operating systems. But with the site down, members could no longer re-download games they had purchased (an important selling point for customers), and the future of this DRM-free experiment seemed shaky at best.
It turns out the outage was a faux crisis whipped up to kick off GOG's second anniversary, with a redesigned site and new high-profile games, including the popular 2000 title RPG Baldur's Gate. It joins other notable titles such as Fallout and Fallout 2, and the Gabriel Knight series. Most of the games available on GOG.com run from $5.99 to $9.99, and include PDF versions of original manuals, plus occasionally extras such as soundtracks and expansion packs.
Confirming the relaunch was a package that arrived this morning via FedEx. Inside was a wooden time capsule, purportedly sent from the year 1999. An imprisoned mad scientist was kind enough to include a CD-ROM version of the original Baldur's Gate game as a reminder of how annoying DRM-laden installation discs can be.
We've always been a fan of the site because it's a great resource for finding older games that will run well on low-end Netbook laptops, as well as an inexpensive way to revisit some of our old favorites.