League of Geeks released the first major DLC package for the animalistic strategy-RPG game Armello last week, but only on Steam. The DRM-free edition on GOG, for reasons that weren't made entirely clear, didn't get it, and more importantly isn't going to get it. The reaction among owners was about what you'd expect, and in response to that GOG has decided to offer refunds to anybody who wants one, no questions asked.
“Due to changes to the GOG.com version of Armello and the fact that some online functionalities and future content for the game will not be available on GOG.com, we want to make sure all prior owners have a choice,” GOG announced earlier this week. “If you feel that the current version of Armello is not something you wished for back when you bought the game—please contact our support team for a refund.”
It's a solid move, but also probably unavoidable. As I said in our initial report, it will be bad news for GOG if gamers get the idea that it's a sub-standard platform, incapable of offering the same level of support as Steam. A retroactive escape clause isn't a perfect solution, but at least it provides some level of protection against this sort of thing happening in the future.
As for why the DLC can't be brought to the GOG edition of the game, League of Geeks didn't respond to my inquiries but director Trent Kusters posted a message in the Steam forums saying that the process isn't as easy as you might think. “Just because another studio or game has DLC on DRM Free, doesn't mean it's immediately a possibility for us or Armello. Assuming as much is incredibly naive. Every team's processes, resources, and games are innumerably different,” he wrote. “Almost every single piece of conjecture about ways we could have or should roll out our DLC on DRM Free have either been wildly off course or avenues we've already investigated.”
“Of course it's theoretically possible to have DLC on DRM Free, I mean, there's a robot taking selfies on Mars right now,” he continued. “So sure, given infinite resources and time we could undertake the task of rewriting the underlying architecture at the core of this decision, but that's straight up not feasible for a vast number of reasons that are unique to LoG, Armello, where we're standing right now and where we see Armello's future.”
Kusters said he wouldn't comment on the issue further, but will add some of the questions addressed in the message to the Armello FAQ.