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Free Game Alert: GOG Offering The Witcher

The grander the stories, usually, the humbler the beginnings. And so it was for CD Projekt Red with its first adaptation of The Witcher, Wiedźmin, based on Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski's work. The original The Witcher game was built by a CD Projekt Red that had no internal engine, and thus, had to license (then free from EA) developer Bioware's proprietary Aurora engine (used on that company's original neverwinter Nights and expansion packs).

Now, you can have this piece of CD Projekt Red's history for free. Just head on to GOG and you can snag yourself a free, DRM-less copy of the game, including some digital goodies (You'll have to download GWENT, CD Projekt Red's card game, then click on the "Get GWENT card + The Witcher for free" banner. The original game was far, far simpler - and, at the same time, more complex - than its sequels. The version on offer is the definitive one, in the form of the Enhanced Edition: CD Projekt dedicated even more time to polishing the game over the original: it includes over 200 new animations, additional NPC models and recoloring of generic NPC models as well as monsters; vastly expanded and corrected dialogues in translated versions, improved stability, redesigned inventory system and load times reduced by roughly 80%. And if that's not enough, the protagonist has white hair! And if you didn't already know: there's a Netflix series incoming.

DMCA Claim Results in Star Control: Origins Being Pulled From Steam and GOG

While seeing DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) claims used for the removal of copyrighted content on Youtube and the like is a common occurrence, seeing it used to take a game off digital store shelves is still a relatively new concept. However, that is precisely what happened to Stardock's Star Control: Origins which released back on September 20th, 2018. The DMCA claim itself comes from exclusive copyright holders Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford who were two of the original game designers that worked on the series' first and second installments back in the early 1990s for Accolade. Considering Stardock bought the brand, trademark and publishing rights in 2013, this particular DMCA claim may not be legitimate. Even so, the game has been pulled, oddly enough the DLC remains available for purchase.

While Paul and Fred are claiming exclusive copyright in regards to the original titles as well as any related materials present in said games, they also claim similar copyright in regards to Star Control 3. Even if they do have some form of a legitimate copyright claim, Stardock's title does not use characters or story threads from the previous games and is based in a separate standalone universe. Taking into account Stardock's ownership of the brand, the DMCA claim appears to be nothing more than a form of harassment directed at Stardock. Worse yet, considering the resulting loss of income due to the DMCA claim, the company will be laying off some developers assigned to Star Control: Origins. Considering this legal dispute has been ongoing for some time you can view Stardocks side of the story on a separate webpage. Meanwhile, you can see the original DMCA takedown at the source provided below.

Could Microsoft and Steam be Looking Into Enabling Crossplay Between Services?

Crossplay has become an interesting point of contention for the industry, with some very popular games and companies advocating for a unified, non-fractured player audience enjoying their games across different media consumption screens, and even gaming platforms. Microsoft has been pushing this kind of capability for some time now, launching their Xbox Play Anywhere initiative which aims to bring PC, Xbox (or both) gamers to parity - acquiring a game on one platform equals having it on both, with all game data being synced.

A new update in the Steam beta update code explicitly refers to Xbox, with an "Xbox_pairwise_id" being present, which could point towards exploration of a future feature. Microsoft adding keyboard and mouse support to their Xbox consoles, news of a new streaming-based console for Microsoft's xCloud efforts, and Steam already offering controller support are some of the little details that could make this a winning bet for both companies.

GOG Winter Sale is On Until January 3rd

GOG, the sales arm of CD Projekt RED, have just announced a winter sale for the gems on their store. And the best way to start a game sale is by offering a game, as GOG has gotten us used to (other game stores, look here), with GOG offering a copy of Full Throttle Remastered for free in the first 48H of the sale (until December 15, 2:00 PM UTC).

The sale has some 1900+ offerings on the digital table for gamers everywhere that like to ask for their games without any kind of DRM and with extra goodies, and daily flash sales will be occurring, with never-before-seen prices for some titles being available for a period of 24H only. If you were looking at CD Projekt RED's own Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, for example, you can snag it for 20% off already. Cuphead sees the same discount percentage, while Divinity II: Original Sin Definitive Edition is available at 35% off. So go on, in you go to that particular GOG candyland.

GOG Joins the Black Friday Sales Craze with up to 90% Off in DRM-Free Games

GOG, the store-front for DRM-less game titles from CD Projekt Red, have also joined in on the Black Friday craze. It's just so much of what makes the world great - from hardware to software - that's vying for our limited wallets that it's hard to know how to focus - unless you have a pretty strong will to commit to your pre-made listings (which you did do; right?).

The DRM-less storefront is listing titles with up to 90% discounts over their current RRP. This includes gems you can only find on GOG such as the Soldier of Fortune Titles, CD Projekt Red's The Witcher games, all manner of older Fallout and The Elder Scrolls titles, Spore (remember that one?) Stellaris, Battletech... As well as many more, less-mainstream offerings. Go on over to GOG - the sale is live through November 27th.

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales Falls Short of Initial Sales Expectations

The latest game set in the The Witcher universe has been met with slower initial sales than CD Projekt Red expected. According to the company's CEO Adam Kicinski, who spoke in the last earnings call, the slower uptake was the reason for the game's offering on Steam (it was initially launched as a GOG exclusive, but quickly made its way to the much more ubiquitous Steam store.)

As it is the latest game set in The Witcher universe, community interest and excitement surrounding the title increased the sales forecast, but perhaps the "slightly" different take on a Witcher game has turned some buyers' excitement to other pastures. Thronebreaker: the Witcher Tales is a single-player, story-driven adventure with card mechanics, a far cry from the third-person goodness of the now legendary The Witcher 3. Of course, the game now has a long time to rake in funds through continued sales, and it's unlikely the developer will leave The Witcher world behind even if it flops - which it definitely won't, at least not in the long run.

Shadow Warrior 2 Temporarily Available for Free on GOG.com

As an update to the GOG.com 10th anniversary celebrations, it turns out that Shadow Warrior 2 won the public vote to decide which game was to be available not only DRM-free but also monetarily-free. Accordingly, you can now head over to this page and avail yourself of a full copy at no charge for another ~40 hours as of the time of this posting.

Shadow Warrior 2 is a first-person shooter that released a little under two years ago to the day, and now has two free pieces of downloadable content as well (The Way of the Wang, and Bounty Hunt Part 1). It has a very positive rating on Steam, and elsewhere, and costs $39.99 currently. It goes without saying then that if this is a game that interests you, you should definitely pick it up for free on GOG while the offer lasts.

GOG.com Celebrates 10th Anniversary with a Makeover, Freebies and a Site-wide Sale!

It was less than a month ago that we reported on GOG.com's Back to School game sale event, and today we got wind of an even larger one. Indeed, GOG.com (previously Good Old Games) is 10 today, and decided it was as good a time as any to celebrate the anniversary with us. First up, the entire website has received a visual makeover which offers a new color palette and also some user experience improvements as it pertains to the game collections and menus.

More important to you, I presume, is the free game(s) available via a vote. As of now, visitors can vote between Shadow Warrior 2, Superhot, and Firewatch for another ~36 hours as of this posting following which the winning game will be available for free for the next 48 hours after voting ends. There are also many, many other games on sale on the website now, and GOG.com has also added in support for their media partners to curate a list of recommended games including Eurogamer, PC Gamer, and GameSpot- a move that reminds us of Steam's own Curator system for game recommendations. The page also now includes a history section showing the website's humble beginnings to what is today the leading store front for DRM-free games. Go ahead and see if you find something you like today!

GOG's Back to School Sale is Live, Features 500+ DRM-Free Game Titles

The whole concept of a Back to School game sale is confusing to many, given kids have less free time with school coursework to handle. Perhaps it is targeted more to parents, who have some time to spare now and also appreciate a good sale that brings monetary savings for games in general. GOG.com (formerly Good Old Games) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CD Projekt and aims to offer a DRM-free platform for PC gaming. The week-long sale ends 10 pm UTC on September 10 and lists over 500 games discounted by up to 90% on some titles. These also include flash deals (remember those, Steam?) as well as new additions to GOG Connect that offers DRM-free versions of games one may have purchased on Steam before.

Current flash deals as of the time of writing include Star Trek Starfleet Academy for $4.99, The Dwarves for $9.99, This Is The Police for $3.79, Prince of Persian: The Sands of Time for $2.49, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon for $2.49, and Shadowrun Dragonfall Director's Cut for $2.29. Head over to their website for more flash deals, and also deals that last the entire week featuring games both old and new alike.

GOG Launches FCK DRM Initiative: Informing Gamers, Fighting DRM

GOG as a platform has been the pioneer in delivering DRM-free games to people all around the world. The basic idea is that ownership in DRM-infused games really isn't; it's more of a time bomb contract that gamers make with a third party that may or may not fulfill their end of the bargain (or may very well end support for a game, disable DRM verification servers in for single player games, and all of that).

As part of its effort to fight against DRM's entrenchment in the industry, and part of GOG's reasoning that the way to garner loyalty is not achieved by not trusting consumers from the get go, GOG launched their FCK DRM initiative, via a blog post on their news section, pointing to their new, information laden website. GOG says that "We strongly believe that if you buy a game, it should be yours, and you can play it the way it's convenient for you, and not how others want you to use it", and that the goal of this initiative is to "educate people and ignite a discussion about DRM".

GOG Kicks Off Their Summer Game Sale - Free Xenonauts Copy To All Users

GOG has kicked off its Summer Game Sale to tide you over through until some of the upcoming summer and autumn releases. While you wait for the next big thing in gaming, you can always purchase some classics, or heavily-discounted, relatively recent games, so as to grow your potential-etched backlog of games. You can take the plunge on GOG's discounted catalog from today until June 18th.

All users get a complimentary copy of Xenonauts so long as they click a GOG banner, and the service is promising some 1000+ games with up to 90% discounts. As an added bonus, particularly prolific buyers get a free copy of the excellent Sunless Sea if they purchase at least €4.09 worth of games during the sale ($4.99), and a copy of Rime should they surpass the €16.19 mark.

GOG Holds Massive Sale with Over 150 Titles

Digital distribution platform GOG has announced their 'Most Wanted Sale' with over 150 of the most wishlisted titles and discounts up to 85%. So odds are that you probably find a game that is of your liking. For example, you can grab the entire Witcher trilogy for less than $17 or the Baldur's Gate series for under $6. Other sought-after games include Divinity: Original Sin 2, SOMA, Shadow Warrior 2, the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, and many more. The massive sale is live and will be up from now until April 23.

DRM-Free Version of Kingdom Come: Deliverance Now Available on GOG

Kingdom Come: Deliverance was released on Steam on February 13, but we know that many of you were waiting anxiously for the DRM-free version. Well, we come bearing great news! Kingdom Come: Deliverance is available as of today on GOG. The DRM-free version, which doesn't require activation or an online connection to play, carries a price tag of $47.30. Surprising or not, that's $12.69 cheaper than Steam's asking price. If you want to spoil yourself just a little bit, the OST and artbook bundle can be had for $51.46 which, if you look at it, still costs less than the standard game on Steam. Wondering if your PC can handle the game? Take a look at our Kingdom Come: Deliverance performance analysis.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance Ships With Always On DRM... For SP?

Kingdom Come: Deliverance has deployed itself unto the already overwhelming amount of games that users can spend both their time and money on ("spend" that takes the form of "invest" if it's a good experience, naturally). Kingdom Come: Deliverance is a 1400's era open-world simulator that runs on CryEngine, so expect beautiful graphics and vistas. There's been some clamoring over the games' systems; however, gripes with the game design and such considerations being put to rest (they're always better sampled by users themselves on a case by case basis, anyway), there's something strange on this distribution of the game.

This is because while Kingdom Come: Deliverance is being marketed as a fully single-player experience, there seems to be some sort of strange, overly eager DRM solution embedded, which invokes an error message that reads "There is no live connection to server" if users try to launch the game in offline mode. Not strange in the sense that developers would want to protect their return on investment - just strange that such an always-on server ping would be required for a single player experience. And alas, the game has already been cracked by the pirate scene - so this is a case where pirates are actually better served in getting the game that way than actual paying customers with an immediate lack of internet connection or spotty service. Fret not, however; for those who don't want to acquire a DRM-enabled version of the game, the developers, Warhorse Studios, are releasing a DRM-free version via GOG on February 27th. This is users' opportunity to show the developers that they abide to a DRM-less game - provided it's a good experience, naturally.

Update Feb 16th: This has been fixed by the developer in version 1.2.2 and the game will now run perfectly fine while Steam is in Offline Mode.

The GOG Winter Sale is Up - And There's a Grim Fandango Remastered Giveaway

Another wintry - depending on your global position - December, another videogame sale for our hearts' content. This time, it's GOG, part of CD Projekt Red, that's having a Winter sale, and what est way to start a sale than actually waiving all sales of a particular game? That's what's been done here, with a free copy of Grim Fandango Remastered being offered for free. Just click the banner on GOG's website or GOG Galaxy application, and off you go. Yous till have some time, though - the sale is live from today up to December 26th.

Unlike Steam's sales, GOG is still adding new games on sale each day, and they are quoting 900+ games with up to 90% discounts. There are some amazing pieces of software there, and everyone should find something to enjoy themselves with. Besides, it's DRM free, and you're indirectly funding the development of other games - namely Cyberpunk 2077 - from CD Projekt Red by filling their coffers through buying games on sale. How better could this deal be? Hardly better, that's how.

Battlezone II: Combat Commander Remaster Set to Deploy on Steam & GOG in 2018

After Rebellion 's TIGA Award-nominated remaster of Battlezone (1998), many fans of the pioneering FPS-RTS hybrid asked for its acclaimed sequel, Battlezone II: Combat Commander, to receive the same treatment. Developed by Big Boat Interactive and published by Rebellion, BATTLEZONE COMBAT COMMANDER remasters Battlezone II with slick new visuals, mod support for the game's two-decade old modding scene, cross-play online multiplayer between GOG & Steam for up to 14 players, achievements, cloud saves (only on Steam) and more.

A mysterious alien force threatens humanity itself. In this galaxy-wide war, you are in command of the resistance. Leading from the front, you take to the battlefield in thrilling first-person combat, piloting futuristic, customizable war machines including hover-tanks, colossal mech walkers, lightning-fast mortar-bikes and more. But you don't just fight from the front - you are in total command! A gripping single player campaign will test your mettle as you learn to plot strategy, construct bases, form your armies, deploy defenses and call in airstrikes. Achieving victory is no mean feat in this remarkable blend of classic real-time strategy and first-person action. To save humanity, you must prove yourself a true combat commander!

SpellForce 3 Arrives On GOG for Free Preview Weekend

SpellForce 3 returns to the roots of the SpellForce saga. Taking place before the acclaimed SpellForce: The Order of Dawn, players will unravel a deep and epic story in the SpellForce universe with over 30 hours of a single-player campaign, that is also playable in Coop. Additional multiplayer modes offer competitive battles for up to six players. Create your own heroes, develop your skillset and build your own army to fight in legendary battles with gameplay that expertly blends the RTS and top-down RPG genres together.

SpellForce 3 is launching on December 7, 2017 on PC and will be available with English and German Voice Over plus full text localization in French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian and Simplified Chinese.

GOG Announces the Halloween Sale

Good Old Games, the games distribution service that's best known for its DRM-less policy and added goodies to every game they sell - whether an oldie, or just recently released - has announced their Halloween sale. More than 200 games are up for grabs at discounts ranging from 15% to 90%. And if you spend $15 or more during this sale, you'll unlock a milestone that will grant you a free copy of what is arguably the best Borderlands game ever made: Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands.

There are also a number of horror-themed video games that have been added to GOG's Connect program - which lets you grab a DRM-less copy of a GOG game that's already sitting on your Steam library. As a humble suggestion from this news editor, if you're feeling it for a single-player, story-driven horror/thriller/philosophical experience, you should really take this opportunity to pick up Frictional Games' Soma, if you haven't already - currently 75% off and under $10. The GOG Halloween Sale runs through November 2 at 3:00 pm (PDT).

$50,000 worth of Shadow Warrior 2 Game Keys Free with GeForce Experience

Don't fancy GeForce Experience? Well, NVIDIA might have just made an argument for you to at least give it a try.

Shadow Warrior 2 has just left the oven (with no DRM) to early rave reviews, both with critics and on Steam, and now, a digital copy can be yours for the low, low price of $0. In a move to bolster the ranks of its GeForce Experience users, NVIDIA is now giving away copies of the game - and all you have to do is register your account with NVIDIA, download the latest GeForce Experience 3.0, login, and cross your fingers that you're one of the randomly-chosen lucky winners. If you already are registered, though, fret not - just make sure your app is updated and make sure to log in.

GeForce Experience allows you to not only have automatic, profile-based optimizations for your library of games, but also make use of its ShadowPlay game recording and capture software, among other features.

Now GOG.com Joins Opposition to SOPA and PIPA

The highly controversial SOPA & PIPA bills currently being rushed through Congress by Big Media are encountering ever more opposition from minor and major players alike, such as Google. Now gog.com, owned by parent company CD Projekt RED, has come out against these bills too and are one of many games companies to do so. They address the questions of "will it work?" and "will it stop piracy?" with the answers being sort-of and no.

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