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Post by Dan @ 10:49am 10/05/11 | 25 Comments
In what seems like a timely response to their recent regional price and censorship issues with The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, online games retailer GOG.com (Good Old Games) have announced that they have now removed geo IP detection from the site, trusting customers to provide their own location data.

Essentially, this means that there is no longer need for any proxy or VPN trickery if -- for example -- an Australian gamer wanted to pretend they were a North American customer in order to avoid regionalised price hiking.
“GOG.com has always been about trusting the user,” said Guillaume Rambourg, Managing Director of GOG.com. “We’ve come to the conclusion that there are a number of issues with using a customer’s IP address to determine what offer they are being presented with from GOG.com. A good number of users can find themselves negatively impacted by a policy of using geo IP to set their region.

“For example, customers may be travelling when they want to purchase or download a game from GOG.com. In this case, automatic IP address capture might change the price or the content of the game they’re ordering (such as the default language of the installer). Further, geo IP data collection is not always right. IP addresses are not a perfect or unique identifier of location, and can report the incorrect region of users, particularly ones who are not using standard Internet connections. Finally, we’re always very sensitive of our users’ privacy. Effective privacy protections for our users means that any data that we don’t need to collect, we shouldn’t. We only need to know the country that you’re making this purchase from, so although we originally planned to use geo-IP to determine user’s location, we’ve decided to trust our users and let them inform us as to the correct region for their purchase.”

Users who are finding problems with their country’s location (and the offer they are presented with) in their settings. They can update this by going to ”My Account” and clicking on “Account & Settings.”

The change is now live on GOG.com for all current purchases and preorders.
While they don't explicitly say as much, it seems rather obvious that this is a pro-consumer gesture to undermine regionalised price-gouging, a practice that our European brother and sisters are also often on the receiving end of, if not always to the same extreme as Australians.

Other online digital retail outlets such as Steam, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network have gone in the opposite direction in recent years, making it more and more difficult for customers to masquerade their location in order to get a better deal. This is a significant move from GOG to the contrary and we can only hope that it doesn't strain their relationship with publishing partners, so that they can continue to release more great classic titles for us.

Additionally, all games sold on GOG are still free of any form of DRM copy protection. So this is just yet another reason why we should offer them our support.



gog.comthe witcher 2cd projektregional pricingprice





Latest Comments
Eorl
Posted 10:55am 10/5/11
Haha, I love it when companies stick it to the man. Good on ya GOG!
ViscoS
Posted 10:55am 10/5/11
These guys are legends.
Dazhel
Posted 11:07am 10/5/11
These guys go from strength to strength.
I hope they never lose sight of the idea that goodwill from the community ultimately boils down to not acting like complete d****.
Bikkies
Posted 11:09am 10/5/11
Champions, i love the direction this company is going.
Enska
Posted 11:10am 10/5/11
yeah, champions.
Mantorok
Posted 11:17am 10/5/11
Hopefully this means I can just change the country in my profile and grab the unmodified version of The Witcher 2.
Dan
Posted 11:18am 10/5/11
Hopefully this means I can just change the country in my profile and grab the unmodified version of The Witcher 2.
I imagine that's the exact intention, but be sure to let us know if you have any issues with any other checks on the credit card mailing address etc.
Midda
Posted 11:21am 10/5/11
That's pretty awesome. I still prefer the convenience and community features of Steam, but GOG.com are winning big points in my books. If only Valve would do this as well.
teq
Posted 11:26am 10/5/11
bea-utifiul
`ViPER`
Posted 11:44am 10/5/11
HUH, nice work, a bit of a middle finger to regional pricing.
Dazhel
Posted 11:56am 10/5/11
we’ve decided to trust our users and let them inform us as to the correct region for their purchase.


Heh, yeah what Viper said. The correct region is the one with the cheapest price.
Tollaz0r!
Posted 12:06pm 10/5/11
Excellent rectification.
eski
Posted 12:19pm 10/5/11
This is awesome, but Im curious -

Is it illegal to pretend to be from another region to circumvent regional pricing?
Tanaka Khan
Posted 12:27pm 10/5/11
So do games purchased from GOG require another program to launch them (like steam, or the EA launcher)?
Can you back up the file (like steam) so you don't have to download it again?
I'm a little bit hesitant in purchasing games from these guys as I've never really heard of them.
FaceMan
Posted 12:33pm 10/5/11
Cant see that lasting long.
Dazhel
Posted 12:42pm 10/5/11
So do games purchased from GOG require another program to launch them (like steam, or the EA launcher)?

Negative. Depending on the vintage, a lot of the games are the original files bundled with a well tested DOSbox configuration file.

Can you back up the file (like steam) so you don't have to download it again?

Affirmative, the download you get is the installer. In fact, it's even better - if gog.com goes away your download still works without fail, whereas with Steam you've just got a vague promise that if Valve ever goes away they'll unlock everything.

I'm a little bit hesitant in purchasing games from these guys as I've never really heard of them.

They're fine, I've purchased close to two dozen games through them and every single time I've been impressed with the service, forum community & bundled extras (e.g. nice looking pdf manuals, wallpapers, original soundtracks, etc).

A few times over the years they've tossed out a free game to all subscribers as well, like just recently they've added a few features to the site and threw an old point & click adventure (Dragonsphere) out to celebrate. They did it with the original Tex Murphy games as well. If you've purchased those games from the site previously they'll sometimes even do a substitution.
Pirroh
Posted 04:26pm 10/5/11
I guess I know where i'm buying TW2 from now.
Llian
Posted 06:32pm 10/5/11
These guys have THE best rep in my books. I buy from them whenever I can for older games. If they got into the newer releases more I believe they would make an absolute killing.
sudbobo
Posted 07:58pm 10/5/11
I totally agree Llian.

I really hope they can grab the market for newer games but this route they have taken it seems unlikely.
Seven
Posted 09:20pm 10/5/11
FaceMan
Posted 10:01pm 10/5/11
hey, I was right.
did you see that fpot ?
kettels
Posted 07:31am 11/5/11
If you change your location in your account settings you get the different price, mines showing up at $44.99
Tim Tibbetts
Posted 07:36am 11/5/11
Exactly. That's exactly what this whole post was about. Good on them. GOG has always been great no DRM, just download the installer and boo-ya. I will buy my copy through them over Steam now.
Hogfather
Posted 07:45am 11/5/11
hey, I was right.
did you see that fpot ?

If you change your location in your account settings you get the different price, mines showing up at $44.99

Hey, you were wrong. Again.

Can't see them getting lots of new game content though. No DRM, no region gouging, not a lot to entice publishers.
FaceMan
Posted 10:41am 11/5/11
Your IP address will likely appear on the Form.
They will know where you are from.

If games publishers allowed one Company to do it they would have to allow all Companies to do it. I can understand a small price shipping a game here but surely selling you an electronic DL saves them costs associated with physical packaging.
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