ScummVM & GOG relationship

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BothEyesShut
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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:08 pm

ScummVM & GOG relationship

Post by BothEyesShut »

Hi excellent gamers,

I'm a mod at the Classic Gamers Guild on Faceplant and Blade Runner has sparked some discussion we could use clarification on.

Can someone please explain how ScummVM gets financial support from GOG? I know that when there's a prominent new release ScummVM puts up a post with a link to the purchase page at GOG, and that buying via that link hooks up SVM with a commission, but are there other ways GOG helps support ScummVM?

We have a couple cynics who are sneering at GOG for profiteering off ScummVM without having done much work on their part to make games like Blade Runner available.

Can anyone help me with info on this score, please?

Thanks in advance.

-Sean, Long Beach CA

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criezy
ScummVM Developer
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Re: ScummVM & GOG relationship

Post by criezy »

Hi,

I don't know the details of the deal we have with GOG. I know we get some money from the purchases made with our referral links, but I don't know how much that amounts to, and if we get additional donations (besides some free keys). But I am not sure this is really relevant anyway.

First I think you should not underestimate the effort needed to untangle the legal situation of the game. And we also didn't own or make this game in the first place.

And second like most of the other games we reimplemented we did it for the fun and so that others can enjoy playing the game again on modern platforms (although I should point out that I did not personally work on the Blade Runner support). And while I can't speak for everybody in the team I think most of us are just happy that the game is available again to buy legally so that more people can enjoy playing it. The only thing we ask from GOG is to comply with the GPL v2 license under which we develop ScummVM, and in my opinion anything more is a bonus.

BothEyesShut
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Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:08 pm

Re: ScummVM & GOG relationship

Post by BothEyesShut »

criezy wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:49 pm
Hi,

I don't know the details of the deal we have with GOG. I know we get some money from the purchases made with our referral links, but I don't know how much that amounts to, and if we get additional donations (besides some free keys). But I am not sure this is really relevant anyway.

First I think you should not underestimate the effort needed to untangle the legal situation of the game. And we also didn't own or make this game in the first place.

And second like most of the other games we reimplemented we did it for the fun and so that others can enjoy playing the game again on modern platforms (although I should point out that I did not personally work on the Blade Runner support). And while I can't speak for everybody in the team I think most of us are just happy that the game is available again to buy legally so that more people can enjoy playing it. The only thing we ask from GOG is to comply with the GPL v2 license under which we develop ScummVM, and in my opinion anything more is a bonus.

Thank you, sir! I'll relay this to my people. Cheers to you and the other devs. You can't know what ScummVM means to us.

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sev
ScummVM Lead
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Re: ScummVM & GOG relationship

Post by sev »

Yes, I can confirm everything criezy told. So far we did not get any special payments for specific work or games. The things which we are getting for a long while are:
  • Affiliation program. When our affiliate link is used, we get a small commission. This has been running for many years now, even before they started bundling ScummVM.
  • They make games legally obtainable. This is probably the most important aspect for us, as we doing the work out of love for those games.
  • They always comply to GPL, that is, they put relevant license files and provide ScummVM sources. They never try to play with us by means of tampering with our copyrights. To give you an example, it took them about 40 minutes to add ScummVM sources to Mac/Linux releases of Blade Runner, and it was just an overlook, as it was right away in the Windows package. Compare it to weeks of persuading other companies which use ScummVM, and the sad fact that they keep "forgetting" it with almost every update or new game release.
  • After some negotiations, which I must admit, took number of months (about 10 years ago), they started marking every game which is using ScummVM as such (take a look in the compatibility details). This gives even more credit to us than the GPL requires, and is a very nice thing from them.
We never had a feeling of them "exploiting" us, as they consult with us every now and then before their public releases, and are very tentative to our feedback and follow up instantly. Other companies are a big pain to work with and some of them are seeking all opportunities to go cheap and we do have feeling of being abused.


Eugene

BothEyesShut
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Re: ScummVM & GOG relationship

Post by BothEyesShut »

sev wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:24 pm
Yes, I can confirm everything criezy told. So far we did not get any special payments for specific work or games. The things which we are getting for a long while are:
  • Affiliation program. When our affiliate link is used, we get a small commission. This has been running for many years now, even before they started bundling ScummVM.
  • They make games legally obtainable. This is probably the most important aspect for us, as we doing the work out of love for those games.
  • They always comply to GPL, that is, they put relevant license files and provide ScummVM sources. They never try to play with us by means of tampering with our copyrights. To give you an example, it took them about 40 minutes to add ScummVM sources to Mac/Linux releases of Blade Runner, and it was just an overlook, as it was right away in the Windows package. Compare it to weeks of persuading other companies which use ScummVM, and the sad fact that they keep "forgetting" it with almost every update or new game release.
  • After some negotiations, which I must admit, took number of months (about 10 years ago), they started marking every game which is using ScummVM as such (take a look in the compatibility details). This gives even more credit to us than the GPL requires, and is a very nice thing from them.
We never had a feeling of them "exploiting" us, as they consult with us every now and then before their public releases, and are very tentative to our feedback and follow up instantly. Other companies are a big pain to work with and some of them are seeking all opportunities to go cheap and we do have feeling of being abused.


Eugene
Beautiful Mr. Eugene, thank you very much for your in-depth response. I'm going to relate all of this to my crew right away.

Thank you both! People were somewhat concerned.

-S

GateKeeper
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Re: ScummVM & GOG relationship

Post by GateKeeper »

sev wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:24 pm
[*] After some negotiations, which I must admit, took number of months (about 10 years ago), they started marking every game which is using ScummVM as such (take a look in the compatibility details). This gives even more credit to us than the GPL requires, and is a very nice thing from them.
That's nice, but unfortunately they are doing a very lousy job with that.
For instance, the game card for Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers doesn't mention ScummVM anywhere, but according to changelog: "[WIN] Internal Update (23 April 2018) replaced DOSBox with ScummVM 2.0".

So after 1,5 years, they haven't updated that information, which is a real bummer for all parties - especially for those who might end up buying the game assuming it can be run with DOSBox. At least in the past, GOG's ScummVM games were distributed without the original executable, leaving ScummVM as the only choice to run the game with (not counting downloading some "abandonware" exe file and adding it to GOG distribution files).

The last time I checked, that wasn't the only game that had the information about ScummVM either being misleading, or missing entirely.

The same goes for DOSBox, at least in the past they didn't mention that the game came bundled with DOSBox, although for tech savvy buyers that is more or less obvious, but still, they should mention all third party applications that come with their games, if those applications weren't part of the original distribution.

Mim
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Re: ScummVM & GOG relationship

Post by Mim »

GateKeeper wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:58 pm
The last time I checked, that wasn't the only game that had the information about ScummVM either being misleading, or missing entirely.
You are right, I checked few games and sometimes the info about ScummVM is missing (for example The Feeble Files or I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream). I would welcome having that info reliable in all cases.
Edit: They updated info in The Feeble Files and I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream.
Last edited by Mim on Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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eriktorbjorn
ScummVM Developer
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Re: ScummVM & GOG relationship

Post by eriktorbjorn »

GateKeeper wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 5:58 pm
So after 1,5 years, they haven't updated that information, which is a real bummer for all parties - especially for those who might end up buying the game assuming it can be run with DOSBox. At least in the past, GOG's ScummVM games were distributed without the original executable, leaving ScummVM as the only choice to run the game with (not counting downloading some "abandonware" exe file and adding it to GOG distribution files).
I believe they also haven't done anything about the slightly broken version of Phantasmagoria 2 that they are selling (some of the audio is missing, which I assume was caused by a slightly botched merging of the data files) despite being told about this several times... :(

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