By YukoAsho 32 Comments
Giant Bomb, GameSpot and many other press outlets cover Steam almost exclusively when it comes to the PC, to the point where one would be forgiven for thinking that Valve's DRM service was the only place to get games. I got to thinking about this after seeing GB's quick look for The Chaos Engine. I'm not sure if there's some sort of agenda driving the "Steam is PC gaming, submit to DRM" mantra, and I hesitate to call it a fanboy agenda (though, let's be honest, Valve and Blizzard the Nintendo of PC gaming), but I thought I'd take a moment to highlight a few great PC gaming services that offer a wide variety of DRM-free gaming.
GOG.com - This is perhaps the most famous DRM-free service out there. Starting out mainly as a means of reviving classics for modern PCs, they've grown into more and more current game experiences, including the reboots for Rise of the Triad and Shadow Warrior. Of course, since the service is run by CD Projekt, they really got on the map with the first new AAA game release on the serive, The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings. They have an enormous library of games, and it's constantly growing. The sales are pretty cool too. This was also the first place to get the re-release of System Shock 2.
DotEmu.com - While not quite as vast as GOG, DotEmu makes itself known with a variety of arcade collections, as well as a ton of Sega Genesis titles for those who'd like legal, DRM-free alternatives to running them on emulators. there isn't QUITE as much overlap between GOG and DotEmu as one would think, making it worthwhile to look at both stores from time to time. The only thing is that bringing up their genre catalogs can be a bit slow at times - the site needs some serious streamlining. However, DRM-free means client-free, so once you buy, it's all good. They also have android and iOS stores, but I mainly look at their glorious DRM-free PC selection.
The Humble Bundle (mostly). While not always DRM-free, the Indie bundles are almost always DRM-free in addition to Steam Keys. They even have an Android Widget to offer DRM-free android games, which is well beyond the call of duty.
Bundle In A Box - Another "pay what you want" service, this one is far more committed to DRM-free gaming, which makes it a fair alternative even to Humble Bundle.
These are the ones I know off-hand, but if you know some more, let me (and other readers) know! And please, don't take this as some Steam hate post. While I've fallen out of love with DRM, if you can deal with it, that's cool. However, I hope that by posting this, people become more aware that there are options for DRM-free gaming on PC... LOTS of DRM-free gaming. Hopefully, by making people more aware of the many viable alternatives, we can get the gaming media, and even some of the Steam fanboys, to acknowledge that there's a world beyond their walls.