The Techdirt article below will not please the big content industries making today's games, movies and music, or anyone who believes that they need to protect their content from so-called "pirates" and "thieves" (copying isn't stealing, but many haven't seen the memo) to control distribution so that they can squeeze the hapless customer for every penny they can get. Good Old Games www.gog.com have been up and running since 2008 and they're proving that locking up content with anti-consumer DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) is pointless and counterproductive. It's even more pointless when you consider just how quickly every scheme out there is cracked, often within a day or two and a week is a long time in most cases. I have republished this Techdirt article, because I believe that we are at a turning point in time with content delivery. We will start to see some new triple-A content released that is unencumbered by pathetic DRM schemes which treat their customers like criminals, inconveniencing and annoying them in the process. Over time, this would become the norm, with all new premium content being released without DRM, treating customers like regular human beings instead of criminals. Wouldn't it be nice to buy the latest games such as Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 without any DRM shackles? It would be fantastic and the games houses would sell just as much if not more without DRM, regardless of the many unauthorised copies knocking around the internet. So, why are DRM's days numbered? Because the sales numbers speak for themselves, as GOG will announce at the London Games Conference on 10th November. For example, since music has gone DRM-free, sales have only increased, despite all the "piracy" going on and pathetic, untrue laments by the RIAA & MPAA that "piracy" is "decimating" the music & movie industries. GOG has gone from strength to strength, with their primary mission statement being not to put DRM in any of their products, as point 3 in their about page says: Not only this, but all their products are available worldwide at one price and without irritating DRM-enforced "release windows" for various regions – Steam, are you listening? Crucially, Techdirt don’t put any copyright restrictions on any of their content (they have stated this in some of their blogs and there's no copyright notice anywhere on the site) so anyone is free to republish it. The company behind Techdirt is Floor64 which is run by Mike Masnick, who writes most of the articles on Techdirt. For some info on them, here's Floor 64's about page and here's a useful Wikipedia article on GOG. The Techdirt article, written by Zachary Knight: Despite Publisher Apprehension, Good Old Games Proves A Market For Old DRM-Free Games Exists In preparation for the London Game Conference, Edge Magazine spoke with Guillaume Rambourg about the path Good Old Games has taken on DRM and what other game companies can learn from it. While Rambourg was light on the details of just what he will be speaking on at the conference, he remains confident that other publishers can learn from GOG's experiment with The Witcher 2. "I will be sharing the sales numbers on GOG compared to the competition. I think the numbers will speak for themselves, what DRM-free sales of even a triple-A title can achieve. Our values are universal and they don't only apply to older content. They apply to triple-A, day-one releases." I certainly look forward to learning more about what this experience has to show other developers but I am glad he still leaves plenty to glean from this interview. He continues by explaining that publishers have always had the ability to do exactly what GOG is doing, but they refused to do it, citing unreasonable expenses for low returns. In the early days of GOG, they were met with animosity from publishers over the idea of releasing older games. These publishers didn't want to dedicate time and resources to preparing these games to run on modern computers. They figured it was a losing strategy. This is something that I have observed over the years. Very few PC game companies have released older games for any price. This led to the creation of a number of abandonware and warez websites. These sites have made available a good number of unauthorized games to the public. GOG specifically took notice of this and has actually used those sites to its advantage. "When we sign content for GOG, we contact abandonware websites and make them our affiliates. So they remove the illegal content, and instead they put a GOG banner and they direct sales and traffic to us. Step by step, we are cleaning up the market and we are making the back catalogue segment a visible, and viable, market for the industry. This is a winning strategy. I have been to a number of these sites in the past and have observed that most of the well respected sites have policies in place to remove games that are available through legal channels and even link to that legal content when it is available. Not only does this build confidence in the abandonware site, it also builds a positive attitude toward the publisher that makes these games available. The idea of releasing older games is a proposition that only recently took hold with most publishers. A lot of it had to do with GOG and Nintendo's Virtual Console. Prior to these two platforms, most of the work done in bringing older games to modern machines was done by the fan community through the use of emulators and cracks. Most of those efforts were either ignored or attacked by the industry. Now that the experiment has been proven a success in most avenues, I would hope that game publishers will see value in bringing their older games back. The gamers want it. The publishers just need to provide it. Not only will this move provide more legal content for the fans of the games, it will also bring in more revenue that did not exist before.