Classic PC game site GOG.com back from dead

DRM-free PC gaming hub faked a site shutdown to kick off its second anniversary. The redesigned site is back up, and has added the classic RPG Baldur's Gate as a $9.99 DRM-free download.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read

A mysterious package purportedly sent from 1999 and predicting PC game digital distribution.

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.

Updated: Thirty great games you can play on a Netbook (photos)

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