GOG Fires Shot At Ubisoft, Tells Players You Should Be Comfortable Owning Your Games

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The site formerly known as Good Old Games and now called GOG.com has taken a humorous potshot at Ubisoft on social media over the topic of owning games. Posted on X (formerly Twitter), the official GOG.com account wrote, "You should feel extremely comfortable with owing your games on GOG (they're DRM-free)," with a smiley face added for good measure.

This is in obvious response to recent comments made by Ubisoft's director of subscriptions, Philippe Tremblay, who discussed with GamingIndustry.biz the push into game streaming and subscriptions. The 'sound byte' that caught everyone's attention was about players "feeling comfortable with not owning your game."

To be fair, the comment was part of a broader statement, which we covered an article yesterday. It was more of an observation of past trends, as well as the perceived benefits of the game subscription model.

"[Consumers] got comfortable not owning their CD collection or DVD collection. That's a transformation that's been a bit slower to happen [in games]. As gamers grow comfortable in that aspect… you don't lose your progress. If you resume your game at another time, your progress file is still there. That's not been deleted. You don't lose what you've built in the game or your engagement with the game. So it's about feeling comfortable with not owning your game," Tremblay stated.

Tremblay also noted that he still owns boxes of DVDs and understands the perspective of gamers when it comes to physical media.

"But as people embrace that model, they will see that these games will exist, the service will continue, and you'll be able to access them when you feel like. That's reassuring," Tremblay added.

GOG.com post on X/Twitter about game ownership.

It's a fair point, though also a controversial one that, to be frank, is easy to dunk on. And that's what GOG.com has attempted to do on X/Twitter, albeit in a lighthearted and funny way. It also brings to the forefront a conversation about how past, current, and future trends can coexist.

Remember when you could walk into a Software Etc. or the like and see walls and racks filled with PC games? The same was somewhat true of GameStop stores for a bit, though digital downloads have largely replaced physical media. More recently, there's been a push towards game streaming services as technology evolves (lag is still an issue, but not like it was once was). This all raises the question, what does it mean to own a video game?

The answer lies in the often convoluted legalese of fine print. But as we've seen with digital content, expired licensing agreements and contract disputes can lead to companies removing purchased items from your digital library. Companies can do that because you don't actually own the content. That's not an issue with physical media, as nobody will come knocking on your door demanding that you hand in your DVD or Blu-ray collection (not unless you stole them, anyway).

In any event, we're glad that services like GOG.com exist. In a followup post, the company wrote, "We don't believe in controlling you and your games. Here, you won't be locked out of titles you paid for, or constantly asked to prove you own them - this is DRM-free gaming."

Cheers to that!
Tags:  Gaming, Ubisoft, GoG