As expected, Good Old Games going offline was not the end of the company, but rather the launch of their new site. On Wednesday, Sept 22, a bizarre virtual press conference was held that showed two monks first apologizing for the way the site launch was handled and then discussing the new features of the web site.
When the press conference started you were greeted with a video of two monks apologizing for the way this publicity stunt was conducted and for bring GOG offline so suddenly. A point that was emphasized was that regardless of what rumors were spread, Good Old Games will NOT have DRM or require a download client in order to play any games purchased from their site. They also stated that the new site will be available tomorrow at 1PM GMT and that new users will have the ability to sign up and download some free games. At launch they will also have the highly anticipated title Baldur's Gate and the expansion available for $9.99.
They further discussed that the new site has had a major overhaul with over 98% of the code rewritten. The changes in the code and infrastructure now allow the site run 10 times faster and handle 6 times the traffic. The site was redesigned to include larger graphics, a single descriptive sentence for each game, a new simplified registration process. The catalog now allows you to list games by genre and filter them by options that include single player, multiple, co-op, release date, price, and developer.Another new feature is what they call GogMixes. These are user created lists that contain selected games based around a particular theme. These lists can then be voted on by the rest of the Gog.com community where the highest voted will be displayed on the main GogMixes page. For those who are familiar with Amazon lists, this is a similar concept.Last, but not least, they announced that they will be bringing the Atari RPGs to their catalog starting with Baldur's Gate. There were some excellent RPGs released by Atari in the past that include Icewind Dale and Planescape Torment, all of which are eagerly awaited titles.Though it was expected that this was a publicity stunt, many of the people attending the conference were obviously disappointed with how it was handled. Yes, this got GOG a lot of press that they may not normally have had, but it was done at the expense of faithful users who were not only concerned that a favorite site was gone, but also angry that they were unable to download the games that they had previously purchased.