I believe it was the great Benjamin Franklin who declared three certainties in life: death, taxes, and annual Summer Sales for PC games at low low prices. While Steam remains the primary digital distribution store for most PC gamers, GOG.com has risen up to become a reliable alternative. The GOG Summer Sale precedes Steam’s so as not to directly compete. Their 2016 Summer Sale has officially kicked off this week.
GOG has turned the sale itself into a game. Customers can earn XP and badges by checking into the website, sharing on social media, participating in live streams, and of course purchasing games on sale. Earning XP unlocks free games. With 5000 xp you receive Spelunky, 15000 nets you the recent Gabriel Knight remake, and 30000 gives you Dreamfall Chapters.
GOG used to be called Good Old Games, and formerly catered exclusively to classic PC games of the 80s and 90s. In the last several years it has expanded in scope to include modern indie games such as Shovel Knight, Bastion, and Pillars of Eternity. You can also find some larger games like Galactic Civilizations III and The Witcher III (GOG is owned by CD Projekt, creators of The Witcher video games).
The biggest difference between GOG and Steam is that GOG’s games are DRM-free. This means that you don’t purchase the license to play the game within a client (as you do with Steam) – you purchase the full game files that are yours forever. This is a major incentive for anyone that’s not a fan of technically owning their PC gaming library via Steam. GOG does offer a client to aid with downloading your purchased games called GOG Galaxy, but it’s entirely optional.
The best deals during the GOG Summer Sales lie in bundles. GOG offers some fantastic bundles that include all of the Heroes of Might and Magic games, Lucasarts adventure games, turn-based RPGs, and more. If you have any holes in your PC gaming library, this is a great time to catch up.
The 2016 GOG Summer Sale lasts until June 22. New deals arrive every day, and stay available for the duration of the sale.