They're 2 different reasonable scenarios. Having said that, I'd probably have to agree that in the widest sense of the market of gamers out there, there are probably more people who favour quick easy convenient updates that are painless than there are people like me who want to have local copies of everything for a rainy day. No reason to have to pick between both types of users and provide only a single solution though when it's easy to provide both, so we'll probably end up with both in the long run and I'd actually appreciate having both too, especially for new games that receive frequent updates (although funny enough I disable auto-updates on such games on Steam hehe).
I just don't think it is too much of a stretch to imagine that most people would prefer convenience and GOG's current system is not convenient. As for providing both options of client and manual downloads down the road, that probably isn't practical or worthwhile for the small number of people wanting to do things manually.
I want to play my games not screw around with their files regularly. I can't believe I am alone in feeling this way.
A GOG client has the potential to offer a lot of cool functionality over time as well. I think it would be a win for users here, not a loss in any way. And if they feel it is worthwhile, it certainly is possible to design a client that does not need to be running when the games are being played. It is also possible to design a client that downloads installers and patches as they offer them now and simply executes them and then offers the user the option to keep or delete them as desired. Those files would be capable of running independently of the client as well. In this way GOG could provide a client that is unique to this store particularly where it does not need to offer DRM and therefore it does not need to be running when the game is if the user doesn't want it to be.
It is absolutely possible to solve this problem in a variety of ways and I hope to see real progress on that this year.
I'm personally in favour of GOG writing a more fully functional gaming client that has lots of features and making it available as another optional piece of software users can choose to use or not. It would only be adding new value for those that would want to use it and it wouldn't be replacing anything that is here now if it was designed specifically as an option and not something mandatory. The problem is that many people hate such an idea even being an option at all because they equate it to the Steam client and believe that any piece of software that provides any functionality that even comes close to things the Steam client does, automatically means the end of the world is coming and that it is a "slippery slope" that means it will become mandatory any minute now and that DRM is soon to follow and that the Earth is going to explode and all life in the universe will cease to exist and ...
I don't think however that because people fear something that it automatically means their fears are true or even likely. I certainly don't think GOG should avoid creating such optional software for people who want to use it to be able to choose to do so out of fears of people who never want to use it and fear the end of the world.
The only thing we don't really know is what GOG.com's thoughts are about making such a piece of software an option to have available and whether or not they're working on such a thing.
Here's something to think about... under the premise that such a program might exist some day as an optional option that is optionally available to people to opt into using it, and not mandatory but just an OPTION.... What features would people want to see such software optionally include optionally?
For me, I'd like to see in no particular order:
- automated easy software updates
- automated downloading and archiving of games, content, patches, extras
- game launching functionality, and ability to view game cards off the website if currently online
- ability to buy games from GOG inside the client application as an alternative to the web store
- some simple social networking features such as instant messaging and friend lists
- ability to share your GOG wishlist with your friends and them with you, and the ability to be able to buy people things right from their wishlist such as a surprise birthday gift or what have you, as well as the ability to share the wishlist with the public if you enable that too.
- some kind of forum integration, so you can go from the game page to it's related forum in-app
- ability to redeem game codes and add them to your library
Those are some of the features that I personally appreciate and enjoy the conveniences of from some other game distribution platforms that are out there right now. It's all functionality that is not absolutely needed, but which as an option can give some subset of the gamers out there conveniences that are useful to them and potentially even to compete with some of the other platforms out there, only as an optional piece of software rather than one strictly required. That alone would be a big bonus.
Who knows what they'll surprise us with later this year, guess we'll have to wait and see. :)
More features for this would be fantasy gaming client:
- Ability to install the games, either right from your hard disk archives, removable media location(s), or optionally via the online account, transparently downloading them and optionally adding to local archives if desired.