Back in the old days GOG.com used to stand for “Good Old Games”. It was a moniker worn to accommodate the tastes of gamers who enjoyed retro games from the yesteryears of gaming, and a lot of the old computer games classified as abandonware. Well, Golden Era Games’ Cleveland Mark Blackmore revealed that after being asked for years to release Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar on GOG.com, the company recently did an about-face when he informed them that the game was finally ready for release on the DRM-free storefront, saying that they were rejecting the title on GOG.com because it was “too niche”.
“[…] We’ve taken a look at Grimoire, it looks like a rich RPG game, with complex combat, deep lore, fun mechanics and simple, yet eye-catching retro graphics.
“Unfortunately, however, we feel that the game would not be a good fit for GOG, as we think that it appears to be too niche and a bit too small in scale in terms of production value for our users, which means that we aren’t confident in its release potential on our site.
“For these reasons I’m afraid we will have to pass on Grimoire: Heralds of the Winged Exemplar.
“If you have any other games in the future that might be a better fit for GOG, please let us know, and hopefully we’ll be able to work together. […]”
This e-mail was sent after developer, Cleveland Mark Blakemore, attempted to submit the latest build of the game along with a completed manual.
The game was originally released on Steam back on August 4th, 2017, but the developer has been slaving away on the title since its release to fix certain features, improve certain qualities, and take the feedback from the community to heart in order to make Grimoire the best that it could be.
On February 5th, 2019 Blakemore released version 18.104.22.168, which sported even more enhancements to the overall playability and quality of life functionality, to which many gamers have been responding positively to, raising the overall review score from mixed to “Very Positive”.
However, even with the improvements and a steadily devoted audience, GOG.com felt the game was too niche even for their platform, this is despite the fact that GOG.com continues to add tons of other highly niche indie games, such as Superhero League of Hoboken, which you can check out below courtesy of Demiath.
…Or games like The World Next Door, which doesn’t look any less niche than Grimore.
If you compare them to the gameplay, artwork, and mechanics of Grimoire, it becomes a real head-scratcher why one is considered of lower quality and being too niche while the other games aren’t?
Now, according to Blakemore, the reasons for the game being is more sociopolitically oriented. He claims he received an e-mail from a former staff member of GOG.com just before they stopped working for the company warning indie developers that GOG.com would be changing the way they curate games.
Blakemore also claims that GOG.com has been converged by Social Justice Warriors, but doesn’t actually provide proof that that’s the reason why the game was rejected from the DRM-free storefront. However, to Blackmore’s point, there have been multiple instances where the company has repeatedly apologized to Social Justice Warriors for doing simple things like using a hashtag or tweeting out a gif from a game like Postal 2. They also apologized for tweeting out an image featuring Terry Crews as a member of the PC Master Race, which was related to a Facebook video where he said he had joined the PCMR after building a gaming rig with his son.
Nevertheless, the end result is still that Grimoire has been rejected from release on GOG.com. The game is still available for purchase over on the Steam store for $19.99. It’s currently discounted by 50% off for only $9.99 up until February 11th.