GOG Galaxy 2.0 Aims To Be Universal Game Library
When it comes to factors like quality of life, the plethora of available PC gaming platforms has not done players any favors. Basically, it amounts to the same thing that is currently happening with streaming services. It began with Netflix, which had all the shows you can think of, everything you’d want to watch under one roof. And then slowly, different content providers started developing their own streaming services. Nowadays, having a subscription to all of them is basically no cheaper than cable TV.
And in the previous decade, the same thing happened with PC gaming platforms as well. Ten years ago, you only needed to have Steam, and you could buy most of both mainstream and indie games there, from all kinds of publishers. Nowadays, there’s EA Origin, Discord, Xbox, Battle.net, Epic Games Store, etc. And all of these have their own storefront, friends list, and games library.
Obviously, having such a fractured ecosystem for PC gaming is a source of frustration. It’s especially annoying when some of these more obscure storefronts from good publishers decide to have their newest game as an exclusive. And while the Epic Games Store has been the target of backlash most recently, they’re not the first and probably not the last. The slow process of decentralizing what could’ve been a single game library has caused much angst among players.
That’s where GOG comes in with a potential solution, which is having all of your friends and games in one huge library. In the previous week, GOG opened the beta for their latest project, named Galaxy 2.0. While it has quite a few hurdles to pass, it still shows promise. And we’ve got all of the details for you below!
The Comfort Of A Single Library Is Great
As it has promised, Galaxy 2.0 has a truly flexible system that can integrate most libraries of PC platforms into one, even a few console ones! It took only five minutes to get my Battle.net, Steam, Origin, Uplay, GOG, and Epic accounts to integrate into the seamless Galaxy 2.0 service. Once I logged into every single one, all of the games I had in these different libraries were in the Galaxy 2.0 meta library. And the service is aesthetically pleasing as well, having nice game art for most titles straight out of the box. Although some of the games on Galaxy 2.0 have missing art or it was badly cropped, it’s no big deal. Just like with Spotify or iTunes, you can edit your entry for the game and add your own art. Mostly, the interface is quite sleek and easy for navigation.
Once you’ve integrated all of your accounts and populated the library with games, you can install and launch titles straight from Galaxy 2.0. Once you want to install a game, GOG’s service will start the appropriate platform, and then everything else is quite straightforward. Unfortunately though, Galaxy 2.0 won’t show you how the download progresses, which is a major problem for a service that seeks to unify all PC gaming platforms. However, once the download is complete, you can launch the desired title directly from Galaxy 2.0.
As we’ve mentioned, GOG gives you the option of integrating your Xbox Live and PlayStation Network accounts with Galaxy 2.0. You’ll have your console games on GOG’s library as well, but you won’t be able to play them on the PC. Seemingly, this defeats the purpose of including the option for console games completely. However, some people might like the option of seeing their entire gaming collection in one place. One of the more unforgivable issues is that, if you own a game on more than one platform, you’ll see duplicates in the GOG library. Although, seeing as the service is in beta, GOG will probably fix this down the line.
There are some platforms that aren’t a part of GOG’s growing Galaxy ecosystem, such as Nintendo and Oculus. However, GOG claims that it’s constantly working to make an agreement with an increasing number of gaming companies.
Filters Improve Management
Unsurprisingly, there are some practical downsides to having all of your games integrated into one library. For avid gamers, this might mean staring at an endless sea of a couple of hundred or even thousand games. And wading through them could prove to be a chore. Luckily, GOG has implemented a system of flexible filters into Galaxy 2.0, meaning that you can curate your library according to your preferences. Naturally, it also comes with the most basic filters pre-made, such as genres, platforms, etc.
Galaxy 2.0 Secures User Privacy
As you’ll be logging into all of your gaming platforms from one piece of software, wanting to know what GOG will do with all of that valuable data is only fair. According to them, absolutely nothing. They ensure that they’re not a business that sells data, and they pointed out GOG commitment to players’ privacy. Once you choose to remove an individual platform from the Galaxy 2.0 system, all of the related data will be deleted from GOG servers.
Friends Lists Aren’t Supported Fully Yet
Beyond having the option of having an integrated games library in a single program, Galaxy 2.0’s most hefty promise is the integration of all of your friend lists from various platforms into one service. And having a single place where you can view what all of your buddies are playing across different PC platforms truly sounds amazing, especially with the chat option! But in the current beta version, this is the part where GOG has the longest way to go.
Lastly, the most blatantly missing part of Galaxy 2.0 is the option of browsing and buying games from platforms that aren’t GOG. This kind of option would truly revolutionize the digital gaming market on the PC. Imagine having the ability to compare prices on a single game across different storefronts, all in the same app! Or having a look at what your friends have been playing on all the different platforms and making a purchase accordingly? This sort of power would really be great.
At the end of the day, GOG’s Galaxy is promising, in more ways than one. The rough infrastructure is there to make it a reality in the beta we’ve tested. But make no mistake — before Galaxy 2.0 reaches its goal, it will have plenty of heavy lifting to do. There are a lot of features that still have to be added and a lot of kinks to work out. It’s no wonder, really. After all, being the one true PC platform isn’t something easily achieved.