In a recent chat with Joystiq, managing director of GOG.com, Guillame Rambourg, spoke about the company’s vision and disinterest in an exit strategy. This all came shortly after the company announced that GOG now offers a number of vintage EA games and will continue adding many of their retro titles to the site.
Rambourg mentioned that signing EA is not the pinnacle for GOG, but an important stepping stone to continuously grow their digital game service by securing more support from big publishers. “It’s all about building up your credibility. Every huge publisher we have signed in the past is one step forward to get higher and go to the next level,” he noted.
Just as big ships turn slowly, big companies make strategic moves similarly. Rambourg explained that it took an entire year to get EA to sign on the dotted line.
“We do hope that EA will be a door opener for us to commit the few remaining publishers. The users can read our minds — we think of LucasArts for example, a few others like Take-Two and so on, we hope to bring them all on,” Rambourg added.
With many digital download platforms being acquired by bigger fish — electronic vendors selling games or other media — surely Rambourg and GOG proper must be thinking about the potential for an acquisition. Actually, no. “We are totally not interested in being bought by anybody,” Rambourg assures.
“We want to remain free and have full control in what we are doing. I receive some emails from time to time from some VCs and stuff, they want to buy us, and we politely tell them to forget the idea with a smile on our face.”
And for those of you that think GOG will cave to modern publisher pressure and impose DRM restrictions on users, so they can carry new releases, you can probably forget about that. GOG is not really gunning for Steam’s market share. Rambourg explains, “I am trying to speak humbly right now, but I think when people want to buy new games, they go on Steam, and when it comes to classics, the first thought that comes into their mind is going to GOG, and I’m quite happy with that.”
As a Mac user, when it comes to “classics”, the first thought that comes to mind is ScummVM and other freeware emulators. Here’s hoping GOG will someday accommodate my kind.