CD Projeckt is absolutely an acquisition target, and with it will go GoG. The GoG project started with the best of intentions and looked to be a passion project to resurrect old games from their abandonware graves and get them back into people’s consciousness. That worked all too well and now they’re clearly seeing the money potential from it. This client isn’t any sign of desperation. If they wanted to be what they were they didn’t need to do anything. They’re packaging themselves up to become more attractive to potential buyers.
Perhaps. I don’t think having a client-based system signifies that they want to be bought. They may well want to be bought and the evidence may well be elsewhere, but that? Well … it falls flat to me.
Uplay. Origin. Desura. Gamefly. These are clients that are there for reasons other than to make themselves purchasable. Why is that hard to believe of GoG’s client?
GoG doesn’t have a very rapidly growing inventory. There are three main ways to keep sales stable when you sell products instead of services: 1) Reach a new audience, 2) provide new products to your audience 3) increase prices. Of note is that 3 feeds back negatively into 1 and 2 feedsback positively into 1. So 2 is a great thing to do if you can.
GoG does not have a very rapidly growing catalog and consumer awareness of the games in their catalog decays by the year. Eventually, they need to do something to pull in a new audience … and bringing in new products does that. Bringing in new products that people are already aware of (hot new titles) draws in people who might not be familiar with the products in your catalog, too whereas brining in those older classic games, important a part of their business as it may be, doesn’t generate the same kind of buzz and awareness for their catalog that bringing in games that are more in demand. It’s not that it’s hard to sell old games … it’s that it’s that newer games advertise themselves and thus advertise GoG more efficiently than older games even if older games remain the focus of the site.
But really, it’s not that hard to re-focus on more recent titles–getting recent games released DRM free with a dedicated community and an emphasis on keeping games running smoothly–without losing sight entirely of rehabilitating old games.
What you can ALSO do is start providing a service. Provide a service and users keep coming back even when they don’t need new products. Now … when that service is free you don’t make money off of it directly like an office supply does off of adding a print-services counter. But it’s a great way to keep people invested in your company, and keep them in touch with your product catalog. Make them want to spend more time engaged even indirectly with your products and you increase accessibility to the full range of products and services you provide. That doesn’t magically make people buy things they wouldn’t have, but it means people buy things they wouldn’t have known you provided or because the context in which you provide it is more amenable than the context in which it is provided elsewhere.