"DRM-Free" = GOG?


This is useful information that I’m sure will help some people with their decision. I would like to better understand the ramifications of using the steam distribution platform. Could someone clarify the following?

If someone chooses steam as their distribution platform, will they…

[li]be able to play the game without internet access?[/li]
[li]be able to play the game without the Steam Client loaded in memory?[/li]
[li]be able to download the game without installing the Steam Client?[/li]

  1. yes, but you’ll need internet access to get the initial steam and game download.
  2. yes, but you’ll need to have steam installed, and current in order to get the initial download.
  3. no.

at least that’s how I understand steam works. kinda like a gate keeper and a key master all in one.


The answer to 1 and 2 also varies from game to game. For example, I know that you can manually load up and play the .exe file for games such as Five Nights at Freddy’s and Obduction without having steam open, but other games such as Skyrim or Legend of Grimrock 2 will want Steam to be running.


Just confirmed with our engineer that after you download UWA onto your computer, you can play UWA without Steam or internet.


ok thanks this is very helpful!


Thank you to all the responses regarding this topic.

I am definitely in the camp of willing to wait for GOG, but I also understand you guys have the pressure of needing to have a DRM-Free option on release and GOG definitely has a reputation for making things hard for developers to add their content to their library (my most hated thing about GOG, but I still prefer them over Steam).

I wonder if it’s possible for you guys to host the game yourself (on your own website or somewhere), but that might be tricky also.

I will mark down DRM-Free and hope that GOG will eventually be available (I can’t imagine the game not being available there in the future at some point). I am definitely willing to wait another month or longer for the GOG version. To be clear, I would vastly prefer NOT to play the game on another DRM-Free platform, just because I like how games are organized in library apps that Steam/GOG provide, and I’d hate to install a new app for one game or keep track of this one game that is outside of my libraries on Steam/GOG. Still, it seems like you guys are working towards a GOG release, so I imagine it will eventually work out.


I’m looking into a white-label option right now. Basically it would be like a UA launcher (client app, like Blizz has) and you would launch the game from there. Builds and updates would be handled automatically (like Steam) as I understand. You would have to create a user account to use the app, but doesn’t require Steam at all. It’s not as simple as GoG, but it might work. What do you guys think?


This sounds like the worst of two worlds combined. Nobody wants to have an account for each and every game with the chance of the servers going down after two or three years. Been there, done that (Miner Wars), never again. If the “DRM free” option ends like this, this would be the ultimate affront to anybody who backed for a DRM free copy. You could as well cancel the DRM free release altogether then and freely admit that there is none. Actually, for me, this is already the case if there is no GoG release.


My original thought was that you could release the game DRM-Free on your site while you look into fulfilling a GOG release. A launcher sounds a bit much. And the same issue exists where I would have to keep track of how to download the launcher instead of having it available in an easy-to-use library. But if it’s a temporary thing while a GOG release is pursued (however long that may take), then I wouldn’t mind.


This would work for me, provided a GOG release is actually still coming.


I recommend the launcher option so more casual players can get updates easily, though it is always good to have updates downloadable separately through your homepage. GoG is overrated and there is no need to work with them at all, so go with any other DRM free store, but the launcher is the best option.

I want to have a Steam key because Volvo handles things well and maybe some of my Steam friends will be interested in the game when they notice me playing it. Gaben has done many good things in the gaming industry.

If the game includes a launcher even with the Steam release, I would like to configure in-game settings with it before launching the actual game.


Instead of a memory resident wrapper, why not give a menu item that kicks off an update script/binary? You can always abandon the child process, then have the game binary close to release file locks if that’s an issue.


How about itch.io?


It’s not as well-known as GOG and Humble, but I think it would be a solid choice.


While I would still prefer GOG, I’ve picked Steam due to the uncertainty of alternate platform. I’m not particularly fond of any of the alternates but to help in OSE’s assessment, this is how I rank the alternates.

Humble > Itch.io > Xsolla > Self-hosted


On the contrary, I’d like to change my selection from “DRM Free” to Steam because you are not saying what this DRM Free key is on, and I don’t want it to end up on a fly by service that only allows me one download and is gone in 3 months. How do I go about that?


If it’s not GOG and I already made my selection, how do I get switched over to Steam? I don’t want yet another service to keep track of.


I just saw in the email today (don’t hang out in forums often) that the DRM free was not going to be GOG. I’m not a fan of having to create another account and use another service to get a game. IF the DRM free option is not going to be GOG, I’d frankly prefer a Steam key. I’ve been a part of too many services that have gone belly up and have nothing to show for my purchases there. I really do not want to go through that again. I’m curious as to where this is going to land in the end and will we be told so we can change our request if needed…


Imho, Steam has one important advantage: I can write a review on a highly frequented platform.