On a personal note, since I’ve been stuck arguing mostly about installers for the last couple of pages, I feel like I should re-state the fact that getting an installer is not the only, and not even the main, reason I prefer buying games from GOG when the option is there. I tried to outline my reasoning a bit more in the lower half of this post earlier. In addition to thinking the service and attitude towards customers is just plain better, a big factor is also that I simply don’t want Steam to be all of PC gaming. Not because Steam are Satan, but because I think monopolies, even in the form of for-the-moment benevolent overlords, are a bad thing.
Also, since some here seem to think everyone who cares about installers and backups is some sort of safety nut, here’s what I personally do with game installers:
I don’t keep backups of everything, only things I’m pretty sure I’ll want to play again some day. I have a folder on a HDD with drm free installers from GOG, Humble etc, as well as some freeware games, mods and patches I like to keep around for convenience. That drive is then mirrored to a second one in case of hard drive failure. That’s it, and dropping files into a folder is not something I feel is bothersome.
It frequently comes in handy when I want to reinstall something. I don’t have to remember where I bought a game or where I downloaded a mod. I don’t have to wait for downloads from slow servers. I can copy the files directly to a second machine if I wish. I can just migrate the hard drives when I build a new system. It came in very handy last year when my internet went on the fritz for a week and Steam got stuck updating and wouldn’t boot to offline mode.
So my main reason for valuing backups is convenience. Is it absolute safety? Of course not, but the odds of me losing two drives at the same time as the downloads disappear from the internet are a lot lower than either of those things happening individually, so it’s a nice bonus.
I largely agree with trjp’s latest post above, but I fall quite far on the other side of the fence when it comes to the conclusions I draw.
This bit I think deserves some discussion:
This may be the case if they wanted to seriously compete with Steam for market dominance, but I don’t see it from a survival perspective. There are more games being released without DRM now than there was 10 years ago so there’s no lack of products to sell under that model - in large part because DD services like GOG, Humble and yes, Steam have shown that there is a market and that releasing without DRM doesn’t cost you all your sales which seemed to be the prevailing opinion amongst devs and publishers before then.
Personally I’ll be quite happy if GOG continues to sell the games that make sense to sell on GOG. I don’t want GOG to be “all things PC gaming” any more than I want Steam to be.