GOG.com announced yesterday that its very own game client, called GOG Galaxy, is entering the beta phase of its development, and an invitation to sign up and check it out has been extended to pretty much everybody.
By signing up for the beta you’re adding yourself to a list of people who will receive an invitation to download and install the client when it’s ready. GOG says the invites “will be sent very soon” to the email address you provide.
Why you should care, is because GOG Galaxy will bring a whole lot of Steam-like functionality to the site’s library of Good Old Games.
You’ll be able to buy games, install them, keep them automatically updated, chat with friends and even unlock achievements in games that support it using the new client, a development that has been long in coming.
But by far the best part about GOG Galaxy is the fact that the developers are making it modular, and entirely optional. Nobody will be forced to use it – the GOG.com site will continue to operate as it has – and even those that do opt in will be able to pick and choose the features they want to use.
GOG has also stressed that they’re not interested in gathering personal information. On the page introducing the client are the words “We don’t track your personal data… we don’t even look for it”, which should make a lot of gamers concerned over privacy issues very happy.
The only thing that concerns me, as a gamer who owns games from just about every major publisher on PC, is that this will essentially fulfil the prediction of gamers who, back in 2004 lamented a future reality of a system tray populated by game clients when Steam launched alongside Half-Life 2.
GOG’s Galaxy client will join Ubisoft’s UPlay, Valve’s Steam, EA’s Origin, Blizzard’s Battle.net and BigFishGames (to name but a few), leading me to predict something else: another client that aggregates game clients, putting all of your purchases and all functionality from each game client in one place for your convenience. Gameception, maybe?
Anyway, that aside, GOG Galaxy looks like it might be worth closer examination, which I will do once I receive notification that the beta is live and available to download.