And lo, GOG did enter the Having Your PC Game Library On A Desktop Client Instead Of On A Digital Shelf On A Website market, thus joining Steam, Origin and, grudgingly, Uplay as a potential icon on your taskbar. In short, GOG Galaxy is now in open beta. You can join it right now (opens in new tab).
Importantly, Galaxy is an optional client, and so if you do prefer the digital shelf method you can still do that. If you do download Galaxy, though, you'll get access to achievements, friends lists, optional auto-updates and a host of other nifty features. For instance, a planned rollback option will let you revert to a previous patch should a new update break your game. Which is nice.
“With GOG Galaxy, we can start bringing new, big games to GOG.com,” says Piotr Karwowski, GOG's VP of online technologies, in a press release. “The first major release will be The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which will offer automatic updates, achievements and stats. We're getting ready to release and fully support even more AAA titles in the future.”
Head to the Galaxy page to opt-in to the beta, or to peruse the selection of features it does now (or will soon) offer.