Is GOG Legit? – Our GOG Review For Indie Gamers

When it comes to indie games, especially on PC, it’s very hard to escape the fact that Steam is the home of Indies. We even have an article that says as much. However, if you’re someone that’s thrifty and wants a good deal, you might consider looking elsewhere for Indie Games, in the hope of getting a better deal.

Discover the Enigmatic World of Hollow Knight | GOG

Immerse yourself in the hauntingly beautiful world of "Hollow Knight," where every step unveils secrets and challenges waiting to be conquered. With its captivating art style and intricate gameplay, embark on an epic journey filled with mystery, danger, and discovery unlike any other.

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We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

There are a number of options out there, but when you stray from the Steam Marketplace, you suddenly realize that there is a certain level of risk that comes with buying from other 3rd parties. Especially those that offer you Steam codes to redeem anyway.

One of these third parties that many turn to is GOG, a well-known name in the world of gaming due to its ties to CD Projekt Red. It’s a website that looks the part, and there are certainly savings to be had, but we want to investigate if this is really a good option for indie fans. So without further ado, we answer, Is GOG Legit?

Tl;Dr – Is GOG Legit?

In short, Yes, GOG is a legit marketplace where gamers can find a wide selection of indie games at discounted prices.

The UI is very similar to that of Steam, making it easy to find the games you are looking for, and the process of buying the games is only slightly more taxing than Steam, mainly due to the client GOG Galaxy not being anywhere near Steam’s usability standards.

What Is GOG?

GOG.com

For those unaware, GOG, or ‘Good Old Games, began life as a niche online marketplace with a focus on preserving older video games, and giving retro gamers a platform to get hold of some titles that platforms pushing more trending titles wouldn’t carry.

It’s a platform that has grown over time, and now has a wide variety of different games, including a selection of the finest modern titles around.

GOG is a company that was created by CD Projekt Red founders Marcin Iwiński and Michał Kiciński, and exists due to the pair’s past experience within game distribution where they specialized in Localisation and backward engineering game code to suit their needs.

Which allowed them to create a healthy library of older games unavailable elsewhere when they launched the site back in 2008.

While it’s not possible to say for certain what GOG’s market share in terms of games distribution on PC is, as they don’t often provide figures of this nature, we would estimate that for any given game GOG would likely generate anywhere from 3% to 15% of the overall game sales.

Is GOG Safe?

Yes, GOG is 100% safe to use. GOG has been around for a long time and has always been seen as ‘one of the good guys’ with regard to gaming distribution.

Despite some issues regarding the site temporarily shut down from 2010-2012 for ‘Business reasons’ and some controversies regarding individual releases, GOG has maintained a very positive reputation within the gaming community.

So when it comes to making a purchase from GOG, you know that the company is a trusted source of games, and has pedigree in the industry.

Not to mention, GOG has a full 30-day money-back guarantee for any technical issues, has excellent online support networks to troubleshoot any issues, and allows you to genuinely own your game, which is something that most other entities within the industry would rather not allow.

GOG never saves your personal details, does not sell your information to other parties, and above all, when you buy a game, you get what you pay for.

GOG’s Best Features

If you’re still on the fence about whether GOG is the service for you, here are some of the best features that GOG has to offer potential customers:

No DRM

If you’re someone who has grown up in the age of digital game distribution, you’ll be familiar with DRM, even if you aren’t aware that you are. Digital Rights Management is something that is in place via game publishers and online gaming platforms that ensures that you can’t pirate or steal a game’s intellectual property. But most notably for consumers, this means that once you use your game code, it’s tied to that account forever, and it’s only one use.

Well, for selected titles on GOG, if you choose the DRM Free option, you will receive a game code that can be used as many times as you like across multiple accounts and systems, meaning you can share the game with others, and play on any platform that suits you. It’s like the good old days when we got our Activation Codes on stickers in the game’s box.

So, where value for money is concerned, GOG really wipes the floor with practically every other seller out there on this front.

Retro Games Restored

GOG isn’t called Good Old Games for nothing. Their main USP is that they are able to gain the source code for older games not available on any other platform, and then reverse engineer the code to make content accessible on modern systems.

This means that if you’re a retro gamer, you’ll find that a lot of the games you wish you could play are available on the GOG Store.

There can occasionally be some technical issues that arise due to this back-engineering method, and some games may not work as well as gamers may desire, but thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee, you don’t need to worry about being out of pocket if something goes wrong.

GOG Galaxy

If you’re someone who is pretty married to Steam or any other gaming platform for that matter, GOG doesn’t force you to do without.

GOG Galaxy is a Client provided by GOG that allows you to link all of your gaming services such as Epic, Steam, Playstation Network, Xbox Live, and Ubisoft Connect to your account, and here you can see stats, launch games from other platforms, and generally be the master of all you survey.

The features do vary depending on the platform linked, as some aren’t as willing to allow GOG to operate on their behalf as others.

But even putting the connectivity to one side, this client allows you to connect with other GOG Galaxy users through live chat, and also allows you to roll back versions of different games, allowing you to avoid updates and patches that may affect your overall enjoyment. Making this a Speedrunner’s delight.

Great Customer Service

We’ve already mentioned the wonderful 30-day guarantee, but overall, GOG has superb customer service who are personable, understanding, and knowledgeable when it comes to dealing with just about any problem you throw at them.

You can either reach out to GOG staff through the on-site forums, through an email service, or you can make use of the FAQ’s which will often be enough to sort out any query you have.

The only criticism is that GOG doesn’t have a live chat service, but the service is prompt enough that you can’t complain too much. 

Extra Goodies

Then lastly, GOG is all about going the extra mile, and that extends to what the player gets when they buy a game.

Not only will you receive the game itself, but often these games will be bundled together with Digital Art Books, Soundtracks, and Scanned Manuals. Essentially this means that you get all the media for the game, rather than just the base product.

GOG’s Pain Points

Now, it wouldn’t be a very good review if we didn’t give you the full picture. So here are all the pain points that might make you want to avoid GOG when purchasing your next game:

Only On GOG Library Is Poor

It’s quite rare that you get exclusive titles where PC is concerned, and when it comes to GOG, they do offer quite a few unique options only available on this site for retro gamers, but the pickings are pretty slim in truth.

Aside from Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, which was admittedly pretty cool to see, the picks were deeply underwhelming. So if you’re thinking of making GOG your retro go-to above all others, it’s not pulling up any trees in this regard.

Limited Online Games

As you might have gathered from GOG’s focus on no DRM, that tends to mean that online games are a no-go. Online games tend to have DRM active at all times and require a steady online connection to play them, which is facilitated by the infrastructure of something like Steam, Epic, or Xbox Live for example.

So, with that in mind. Aside from a few games where dedicated servers are still running outside of the realms of the online infrastructure of today’s modern gaming landscape, you won’t find any notable online multiplayer games. So if you want the latest FIFA, Call of Duty, or NBA 2K, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

Not The Best Place To Get New Games

As GOG is dedicated to offering games free from DRM, and with as much value as possible for the player. This often means that by the time they have secured source codes and reached distribution agreements with publishers, the game has been available elsewhere for quite some time.

For example, at the time of writing Persona 3: Reload is one of the top-selling games on Steam. A game that is not available on GOG, and judging by the fact that none of the Persona games of old are available on GOG, chances are that it’s not coming any time soon.

In short, if you want to get a game on launch day, GOG is rarely the best option.

Browsing Is Just Fine

Then lastly, when compared to Steam’s marketplace browsing UI, GOG is a little bit underwhelming by comparison.

In terms of look and feel it clearly takes a lot of notes from Steam’s UI, but if you really test it out and look for something niche or specific, you’ll find that it’s just not as robust and fit for purpose as others out there.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine. Just not as impressive as GOG’s main competitors.

From An Indie Perspective

Then I suppose being Indie Game Culture, we should really give you the scoop on GOG from an indie perspective. From the developer’s point of view, GOG is pretty standard in terms of the revenue split. If you choose to publish with GOG, they will take a 70/30 split of the proceeds.

However, you’ll want to know what it’s like from an indie gamer’s perspective. Honestly, it’s a mixed bag in truth. If you’re looking for an older, well-known indie game, then you’ll probably get it for the same price or possibly cheaper than on Steam.

But in other situations, you could easily end up paying through the nose for an indie that is being sold much cheaper elsewhere, so it’s best to shop around.

The benefit here is the DRM-free copies you receive, not to mention the added extras like Soundtracks and the like if you get a good bundle. But overall, the catalog of indies is a little lacking.

At the time of writing, under the ‘Indie’ tag, there were just 63 pages of options (48 per page) and this includes DLC, add-ons, and extras. Whereas Steam has a whopping 84,000+ games under the ‘Indie’ tag. So, unless you are getting a really good sale price, Steam is almost always the place to go. GOG may be legit, but it doesn’t mean it’s always the best option.

Making A Purchase

Okay, so let’s walk through the process of making a purchase. We will be detailing our step-by-step process, and letting you know all the highs and lows as we go.

Step One: Finding A Game

When it comes to finding a game to purchase, you can either use the different popular tabs, Tags, or the search function to find what you are looking for.

For the purposes of this review, I decided to go with something easy and find Hollow Knight, which was a piece of cake. If you don’t know what you are looking for, navigating GOG can be a bit of an issue, but if you go in with a plan like me, you’ll get what you need fast.

What I loved about the game pages is that GOG integrates stats from HowLongToBeat, as this gives a clear indication of just how much time you are committing to with each game in question without the need to look elsewhere.

Otherwise, everything was straightforward, I added to the cart and proceeded to the payment screen.

Step Two: Making The Purchase

Next, we needed to make the purchase, and what I was happy to see was that there were loads of payment options available to suit every type of consumer. Whether that be by Debit Card, Paypal, or Google Pay. Or maybe something more niche like PaySafe or Skrill.

The only stumbling block was that I needed to have an account with GOG to purchase the game, as the game installs via GOG Galaxy.

As someone that is reluctant to ever change Clients, I recuctantly agreed hoping that connecting my Steam would circumvent this issue, and within seconds an account was made, and the payment was made.

Step Three: Downloading And Linking Accounts

Then came the final step of setting up GOG Galaxy, installing Hollow Knight, and launching the game. The nice thing about this is that the process is streamlined, in that, if you download a game from GOG’s browser, it will automatically set up GOG Galaxy, and then allow you to install the game you have bought.

So, while the game installed, I decided to try and link my Steam to GOG Galaxy, and much to my disappointment, I ran into a connectivity issue which is, upon some research, a common, and recurring issue.

After multiple attempts, I was unable to link Steam successfully, and after reading some Reddit threads, I decided the means of fixing this were not worth the hassle.

But the good news is, the game downloaded successfully and launched with no issues whatsoever. So I can confirm that GOG is absolutely legit and you will get what you pay for if you use this platform.

The Verdict

CategoryRating
Overall7
Catalog6
Usability7
Unique Features7
Customer Service8

Overall, GOG is a good alternative to Steam that is absolutely 100% legit, and can be a good way to stock up on retro and indie games. Is it anywhere near as good as Steam, its main competitor? No, not even close, but in truth, nothing really is.

It has enough cool features to make it something to have on the side in case a good deal pops up, there’s a free giveaway, or they happen to have an exclusive title you want access to. But I don’t think it should be anyone’s main platform. You can get around this with account connectivity, but as I mentioned, you’ll likely run into trouble there.

There are some great deals to be had, and the DRM-free approach will be a huge draw for those who want to own their games forever. But while I have all the time in the world for GOG and what they are trying to do, they still have some way to go before they can call themselves a titan of game distribution.

I hope this helps you when buying your next indie game, and as always, thanks for reading Indie Game Culture.

Discover the Enigmatic World of Hollow Knight | GOG

Immerse yourself in the hauntingly beautiful world of "Hollow Knight," where every step unveils secrets and challenges waiting to be conquered. With its captivating art style and intricate gameplay, embark on an epic journey filled with mystery, danger, and discovery unlike any other.

Check Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

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