Following the news of layoffs and the termination of their customer fidelity program Fair Price Package in the last couple of days, GOG is definitely shaking things up. Today they came out of the woodwork with an update to their User Agreement that includes a simplified version side by side with the legalese. The main novelty is a feature called GOG Direct to Account, which the agreement explains in detail.
Direct to Account DistributionIn this case, 'applicable distribution platforms' most likely refers to platforms such as Humble Bundle, Green Man Gaming, Fanatical, Indie Gala, and so on. As explained, the Direct to Account API will remove the need to redeem any codes, probably through the use of an authentication button (which is already available through Humble Bundle for Steam purchases, though it's still basically redeeming a code). This seems to allow GOG to remove themselves partially from handling the payment processes that might overburden support teams.
6.8 We have a direct to account distribution feature (we’ll call it ‘GOG Direct to Account) where distribution platforms who partner with us would be able to sell games or other content to you, where you could choose for that game/content to be automatically activated within your GOG account, without the need to redeem any codes. Just to be clear, the whole purchase process is handled by the other platform, so in case of any issues with the purchase process please speak with them directly. We say a little bit more about this in the Refunds and Returns section below. Of course, anything connected to our platform’s services is still our responsibility.
7.5 Direct to Account purchases: Like we mentioned earlier, if you buy a game/content via an applicable third party distribution platform partner of ours who is using the GOG Direct to Account API, and you choose to activate the game/content on your GOG account, then the partner (not GOG) is responsible for the game/content – including for consumer law remedies like refunds and returns. For this particular matter therefore we cannot offer you Our Voluntary Returns Guarantee (because GOG didn’t sell the game/content).
And in the case of purchases made through GOG Direct to Account, GOG won't be able to offer Voluntary Returns Guarantee, though of course there may still be a recourse with the distribution platform in question.
Quick TakeIt seems there will be a lot more sales and bundles from GOG's catalog in the next years, as the move seems carefully orchestrated to give the storefront more visibility. It might just help their current financial woes.
What do you think of GOG Direct to Account? Given the choice, would you rather own a DRM-free copy of a game purchased from other stores, or directly from GOG's storefront? Let us know in the comments below.