GOG.com goes back to its roots with ‘handpicked’ library of DRM-free games

GOG.com store front showing bestselling games
(Image credit: GOG.com)

We’ve just heard that GOG.com is losing money and has decided to change tack as a result, going back to its roots.

The digital store, which is owned by CD Projekt, is taking a different approach by reverting to its original philosophy of a tight focus on a smaller selection of PC games which aren’t hampered by any DRM software.

As The Verge spotted, the CFO at CD Projekt, Piotr Nielubowicz, commented: “Regarding GOG, its performance does present a challenge, and recently we’ve taken measures to improve its financial standing.

“First and foremost, we’ve decided that GOG should focus more on its core business activity."  Nielubowicz explained, "Which means offering a handpicked selection of games with its unique DRM-free philosophy. In line with this approach, there will be changes in the team structure.”

Namely that some developers will be transferred away from GOG.com’s operation, following the announcement of the loss of around $1.14 million (about £850,000, or AU$1.6 million) in its latest financial results (even if overall revenue was up slightly).

Analysis: Back to the good old days?

GOG.com is pivoting away from its recent broad strategy of trying to compete with the big online gaming platforms on PC – namely Steam and Epic Games – and concentrating on what made it popular in the first place.

That’s DRM-free games, of course – with DRM always attracting the ire of a fair number of gamers – and old PC classics to boot (remember that GOG stands for ‘Good Old Games’) which are suitably fixed up to work on contemporary PCs, hopefully avoiding any potential frustrations with the kind of issues that can crop up with aging titles and new hardware. Most recently, we’ve seen GOG.com offer some classic Star Trek titles such as Bridge Commander from 2002 (delivered with the v1.1 patch).

On the whole, this new strategy represents an understandable move, and indeed GOG.com was always biting off a hell of a lot to attempt to compete with the big players, especially when Epic is busy throwing an absolute ton of (Fortnite) cash away on huge games as freebies to attract new users.

Hopefully GOG.com can revert to successfully carving a more profitable niche in the PC gaming scene, because we – and plenty of others – want to see it stick around.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).