Good Old Games, a download service for classic PC Games in a DRM-free format, has announced on their front page that they are shutting down. No explanation is given for why the service shut down – simply that it shut down.
Now, I don’t have access to any profit figures for the site, but by all accounts the site was making its money back, and by presenting classic games in a DRM-free format, and with extras that weren’t available even with the original physical purchase of the game (soundtracks, strategy guides, etc.), it was a service I took advantage of on several occasions. I hope that another, similar service, opens at some point in the future, and I wish the proprietors of GOG luck in their future endeavors.
I do hope that, perhaps, Steam can learn something from what made GOG great, and possibly pick up some of their library, as well as using the digital format to provide some additional extras that physical game releases might not have, to provide that value-add.
UPDATE (9/22/2010): Well, it was all a publicity stunt. GOG has updated their front page to reveal that GOG will be coming out of beta tomorrow (9/23). While I’m glad GOG isn’t dead after all, that was still really, really dumb. Stay Classy, GOG.