Saturday, January 25, 2020

How GOG Galaxy Might Come Out On Top

GOG, anyone ever hear of it before? It's a service owned by none other than CD Projekt, and  has been up and running since 2008. Originally it was a website where you could buy and download DRM free games, and mostly focused on old school classics. The GOG of today hasn't changed all that much, but they have expanded their library greatly since then, and continues to be the main source to download CG Projekt games from. Although a lot of people may not even do this. The thing is, a lot of games bought through GOG can actually be sent over to Steam to keep all your games in one place. This is what a lot of people do simply because Steam is such a well known service, and it makes things easier for us if things are kept together. Yeah, not really possible in today's world now is it?

With the rise of everyone having their own service, Steam is no longer the one and only. EA Origin, UPlay, Epic Games, etc... Everyone is trying to get into the PC client based online store market, and often you are required to download these clients if you want to keep playing your games on PC. Everyone fights over exclusives, and companies keep their own stuff to themselves a lot of the time. It's like the console wars, but on PC instead. So why would anyone use GOG on top of all of these if it's content can be exported to Steam? Well, it's because of GOG Galaxy 2.0.

Rather than being a simple website like they were in the past, GOG Galaxy is the downloadable client version. It functions just like all of the others, giving you a quick and easy way to download, install, and manage games (while also incorporating social media aspects), and is just easier than downloading and installing everything yourself. With GOG Galaxy 2.0 however, these features have expanded to include everything. What do I mean by everything? Well, I mean possibly everything.

After downloading the 2.0 Beta you gain the ability to connect basically all of your existing accounts to GOG. PlayStation, Xbox, Steam, EA, Ubisoft, Epic, etc. Nearly all of the major gaming accounts out there can now be connected, with even more options coming in the future. Once you have done this GOG will actually scan all of your data, and populate your GOG client with said data. Every single game you own will be added to your list, and you are able to organize and filter them however you like, and you are even able to download and install them directly from GOG. It brings all of your other PC clients content to a single location, and keeps you updated with all of your stats. Play time, achievements earned, etc, it's all here. And that applies to outside games as well.

While PlayStation and Xbox support are currently limited to PS4 and XBO, GOG is still able to follow you and your friend's progress here. All achievement history and playtime data goes on display for you to see for yourself, and you can view other player's stats as well. Also since it does scan all of your connected accounts, GOG will automatically combine all data for any game you own on multiple platforms on services. It's a convenient way to check your own gaming stats in general, and it's something that will continue to be expanded as time goes on.

So how will this help GOG come out on top? It's simple. Rather than being your standard extra game client you need to download to play PC games, GOG is slowly transforming into a one stop gaming platform. It's something that connects all aspects of your gaming life together and can be used in many different ways. It can even be used as a backlog to compare with friends by manually adding games that are not from a supported platform. And while services like Steam do allow you to add your own custom programs to your list, GOG takes it a step further by actually allowing you to manage and control said game by accessing it's original platform's data. It's truly integrated with GOG rather than being a simple shortcut. Even though it's another program you need to download, it's one that connects all of the others making many of the other clients useless. Of course this will not be replacing something like the Steam Store, but it will make keeping your games together much easier. Either way thanks to this update, GOG went from being just another PC client, to being something special. Might be worth checking out if you haven't already.