News

GOG Launches Curated Early Access Program With Consumer Protections

by Mike Futter on Jan 28, 2016 at 02:00 AM

GOG has announced that it is getting into the Early Access business. The platform has detailed plans for today’s launch, which includes five games.

Like the rest of GOG’s offerings, the early access games will be offered without DRM. They will support the platform’s Steam app competitor, Galaxy, as well.

The games are as follows:

  • Starbound by Chucklefish
  • Ashes of the Singularity by Oxide Games
  • Project Zomboid by The Indie Stone
  • TerraTech by Payload Studios
  • The Curious Expedition by Maschinen-Mensch 

 GOG will be curating games for the program rather than throwing the doors open. “We want all gamers on GOG.com to have access to what these titles have to offer, but we want to get it right, carefully evaluating each and every game, offering a 14-day refund policy, and providing GOG Galaxy support with update rollback and more,” says GOG Managing Director Piotr Karwowski. 

Refunds will be eligible to anyone in the 14-day window, for any reason. GOG will be taking requests for future inclusions on its website.

To commemorate the launch of this new program, GOG will be offering discounts of up to 40 percent on these five games. The deals are in effect through February 2.

 

Our Take
Early Access has now become an established practice in the industry, with major publishers and console platform holders beginning to participate. There is an inherent risk for gamers, as the titles involved may never see release.

While 14-day protection doesn’t cover that eventuality, at least gamers won’t be saddled with broken games out of the gate. It’s good to see digital platform holders like Steam and GOG institute return policies and stronger protections given how prevalent downloadable libraries are becoming. There's more work to do on that front, especially as the market continues to evolve.