Once upon a time, Good Old Games started life as a way for users to buy vintage games without DRM, trading on the willingness of companies like Ubisoft to offer up back catalogue titles without their usual restrictions on copying and sharing. The Cyprus-based company later rebranded as just plain old GOG.com, and continues to expand its range of titles, including a big push to attract indie developers via a new indie-specific portal launching today.
GOG.com is offering up an advance on royalties that definitely isn’t common practice among digital games storefronts, which it says will help indie devs do some end-stage refining on game production. There’s a catch, however; instead of the usual 70/30 split that GOG offers developers, the arrangement once it goes on sale will be 60/40 until the amount advanced is paid back, after which it reverts to the standard deal. Not bad, especially if an indie project is nearing completion but runs out of budget right before the final shipping crunch.
In addition to an upfront payday, GOG offers each indie game that signs up a chance at the spotlight; every title released on the site gets to occupy the homepage’s main feature slot, and also gets an attendant marketing push on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and more. The site also says it’ll consider every option to get your game in front of an audience, and that additional marketing will likely be a bit more personalized compared to some of the larger marketplaces which see a much higher volume of indie game submissions.
The 70/30 revenue split on GOG.com is on par with the iOS App Store, as well as the reported arrangement on Steam, and Google Play. Relative newcomer the Humble Store, from the Humble Bundle company, offers up 95 percent of revenue to indie developers, easily topping the bunch, but it doesn’t actually have a centralized website yet, just widgets devs can place on their page.
There’s a bit of a land grab on right now for indie developer attention, as their titles are attracting consumers in a way that larger studios are struggling to do thanks to low price tags and innovative takes in a space that’s plagued with a lot of stagnation. GOG.com clearly wants to grab more attention from the indie devs making the games, and that’s ultimately good news for consumers looking for DRM-free software.