A while back, Valve’s Steam service added Indie Game: The Movie to its library. It was an odd choice, and a lot of people expected it might set some kind of precedent. It didn’t. Only a couple of other films have been added since. Now, Steam’s most well-known competitor, GOG.com (formerly Good Old Games), has gotten into the film distribution business with 20 DRM-free documentaries running between $6 and $10.
While not every film is directly game related, the’re all documentaries that could relate to the culture in some way. Films like the VHS-centric Rewind This! or the cosplay-focused My Other Me make sense beside 100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience, Minecraft: The Story of Mojang, and (of course) Indie Game: The Movie. Many of these are docs I’ve never even heard of, such as Danny Ledonne’s Playing Columbine, but sound like they’re right up my alley.
As with its games, all of the films are available DRM-free and come with some extras like posters, trailers, and even extra bonus clips, depending on the film.
I think this is a great move on GOG’s part, both because it gives some exposure to these smaller (at least some of which are pretty good) and because it gives people another reason to look to them over the competition. The company says that more films will be added each week, and they will be expanding into narrative films as well going forward. I foresee the DRM-free aspect being an impediment to widespread adoption among Hollywood studios, but I’d love to be wrong.
GOG has done great things for digital distribution in one medium, and I’m happy to see them try to shake up another.