Steam keys only?

Is only ever going to sell Steam keys, or will they someday offer a DRM-free version of games that are available on GOG or the Humble Store?


would like to know aswell. Because having a DRM free version would help alot. My girlfriend doesnt have a Steam account and she doesnt want one. But fro mtime to time there are some good puzzle games she could play. For example i would have bought “The Bridge” if it was DRM free. (Just saying, yeah i can let her play on my account, no problem, she prefers to play on her laptop though).
This was the case now for about 2-3 games here.
So if it is possible in future to collab with at least GoG it would raise this sites quality alot.


It’s something we’ve discussed, but we currently have no plans to go outside of Steam. When/if we do, we’ll make sure to let everyone know!

I wonder, what’s so bad about the Steam application that people avoid it?


So we always get a Steam key for anything & everything sold on


I can’t say always as we may support other platforms in the future, but so far every deal has been a Steam key. You can see what type of key you’ll get a couple places on the page:

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Just to list a few problems I have with it,

  • It is a DRM platform
  • It forces updates on me (admittedly not always immediately)
  • It has no mechanism for rolling back to previous versions of games
  • Valve’s customer support is very poor
  • It has chat baked in, with no invisible mode
  • Offline mode requires that you log in successfully before going offline, so playing games during a network outage is at the mercy of Steam’s offline mode
  • You can’t opt out of auto-installed independencesv that are unnecessary (e.g. GameSpy for some old multiplayer games)
  • Again, it’s DRM, which is anti-consumer. I am more than willing to pad on Steam sales and pay more to get a DRM-free version.

If you’re talking about game updates, doesn’t GOG also give you an already patched game, where you cannot go back to a previous version? I see no difference.

In both GOG and Steam, if you download a game during patch X, make a backup of it, then a new patch Y comes out and it is applied to the game, you can always use your backup of the game at patch X.

Can’t say anything aboout that, because I never ever had to deal with customer support. I buy games, play games and maybe refund games, that’s it, no support required.

Not true. You can go invisible (you appear offline, but people can still msg you and you get those msgs) or offline (no msgs will go through) in your “chat”, while staying online in your game, at any given time. Your last setting is remembered until you change it.

Logging in is required only once a month, then your Offline mode works perfectly even with no connection. I used to play games on a train a lot :slight_smile:

But the main thing people forget is that you can simply go to your steamapps folder and run the games .exe manually, and the game will work. So no, you are not at the mercy of Steam’s offline mode or your network functionality.
Only games that are integrated with Steam (such as CS:GO) require the Steam client open and will try to launch it if it’s not running yet.

Can you give me an example of a game that installs GameSpy through Steam? I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen that.

Sure, some older games will try to install dependencies like older versions of DirectX or video codecs, because they were made to do that. AFAIK that’s not an issue of Steam, GOG or any other dealer.

I can understand DRM issues with stuff like iOS where you buy music (for example), and then you can only use that music to play it on iOS, but not on your PC or Android, or you never get the actual files. That’s nonsense and I would never buy that kind of license.

But I don’t understand some of the DRM issues people have with Steam. You get the actual game files, you can copy them, backup them, etc., and the only difference is that they are not installed in C:\Games\whatever but in C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\whatever. I am also a GOG user, but I would definitely prefer Steam over GOG versions of games.


GOG Galaxy has a rollback feature (although not on their website, for no apparent reason).

That’s more of a workaround than a solution.

Are you running a beta release of Steam? Because I only have the “offline” option.

I have had, on a very few occasions, Steam kick me back out to the login screen when my Internet connection was acting up, and not let me use offline mode because I had apparently not logged in. This may have been a reliability issue that has since been addressed, but that is what I meant by “at the mercy of” Steam. (And the game I wanted to play at the time used SteamWorks, but otherwise had no online functionality.)

GameSpy was just one example. (And Crysis tries to install it every time I run it.) I have hardly ever run into this, though, so this is not a huge problem.

Yes, you do get the game files, but the executable still has the DRM hooks in it. Steam is definitely one of the least, if not the least, aggressive/invasive DRM systems out there, but it is still there. Having said that, I was not aware that some games available through Steam do not use Steamworks at all and can be launched directly via their executable file, without Steam ever running (as you mentioned above).


Okay, I haven’t used GOG Galaxy, so I didn’t know. Not sure if I would ever need to revert to an earlier version anyway, but well, it’s a plus for GOG.

Nope. For some reason Steam has no “invisible” option and ignores people asking for it for years.
The way you do this is that you select friends that you don’t want to see you online, right click them and select Block All Communication. They stay in your friends list at the end and they won’t get notified if you are online or if you enter a game. When you finish playing, you have to unblock them again. Note that if you have a public profile, they can go to your profile page and see that you’re online and playing something.

I think even some games that use Steamworks work without launching Steam, for example The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. I’m not sure how do I check if a game uses Steamworks tho :thinking:

Also, Wiki has a list of Steam-dependent games here, dunno how complete is that, but it might help with future purchases:

Another thing which might be worth mentioning and which is rather new is the Steam Family Sharing service. Basically you no longer have to buy a game copy for each of your friends or family. You buy the games for yourself, then you can share any game from your library with your family or friends. They still do have to download it through Steam client and have their own account, but since there is nothing on that account, they no longer need to take great care of their account. It’s ideal for cases when there is one experienced Steam user and others who don’t know Steam that well, but want to play the games available there.


there are several reasons. I wont name them now because i dont want to discuss it anyway. It are the same reasons i have a problem with any DRM that is so stealthy that it tries to cover it being a DRM.
One reason apart from that and a pretty easy reason is, i dont want to get spied out. And steam does that immensely on such a high level that i think that its ridiculous to have a facebook account and moan about privacy, but at the same time having a steam account.
Besides that there are numerous reasons of the actions from Valve, from losing private data to hackers or due to incompetence and not handling these situations properly, up to it being a slow company that doesnt care for the customers, although the last part has changed a slight bit to the better. Oh yeah and the funny thing with a so called “grey market” or how some call the websites where you can buy steamkeys. Not that im saying that these are keys that are legit (although also not automatically all of them arent aswell), but i dont think its fair to judge me as a customer through where i bought (!) my key and shove the problem into my mouth saying that i am wrong, banning my steam account or take my bought copie of the game away because they created the problem in the first place.
What is happening at the moment is, that companies lose their keys because of incompetence, these keys get sold on a website and the customer gets blamed. But when we look at it closely then i ask, when did buying a game become a shady act and since when do i have to look from where i get it? Its because steam exists in the first place. In a time when you could go anywhere and buy your copy of a game you had no problem with that. But since they all wanted to go digital and then cant manage to secure their keys or our data but blame us for that. Thats Steam in a nutshell. So you want to trust such a company? I dont. And just saying, no it never happened that my account was banned or such a thing. I just see a development int oa direction where steam not only controlls the market but also suddenly defines which shop is legit and which not, which is the biggest hypocrisy possible.

^this is only one out of a dozen reasons why i try to avoid steam whenever possible. But also because steam isnt userfriendly. I cant hand my copy to a friend (or my girlfriend) and have her play it and have me playing at the same time. GoG and Humble give me DRM free versions, so i can give her my copy without her being registered anywhere.
Thats what i grew up with and want to keep. Because thats what the flexibility of videogaming was. With that taken away i see no real reason to keep buying games when i cant use them the way i want because i bought them.
Seems quite simple right?
But i think thats a problem mostly people see who didnt grow up with steam.
Its an aggressive DRM that does so many things behind the surface, you would be surprised. Ever realized the Steam Bootstrapper running? Yeah, you will love the thing.
I loved when steam was a friendslist, was a neat feature to have especially as a CS pro gamer. But then they enhanced Steam and brought a library, then a shop for their games, then other games. They are sneaky, if you think you have still the control over what happens on your PC with using windows 10 and steam and then also facebook, you are living in a dreamworld. At best you also then buy a Rift aswell. Not saying its a big issue or must be one for you, it is for me.


In reply to NemesisZidar’s comment, or at least part of it. i.e.

I cant hand my copy to a friend (or my girlfriend) and have her play it and have me playing at the same time. GoG and Humble give me DRM free versions, so i can give her my copy without her being registered anywhere.

This attitude is one of the reasons DRM was introduced in the first place. Games are not meant to be shared amongst friends, and especially if you want to play multiplayer games, using the same copy you purchased for two or more people to use is just plain dishonest. It was due to practices like yours that developers lost literally billions in revenue, so DRM was born to protect their intellectual property. You got to remember millions are poured iinto most AAA games now. If DRM had never been added, we would not now be seeing some of the brilliant games we see today.


That is utter hogwash, and I point to CD Projekt Red and their distribution platform GOG as counterexamples.


I’d say your way of thinking is the reason DRM exists in the first place.

When a painter paints an image, some person buys the painting and displays it in his room. When his friends come over, they can freely look at the painting. By your explanation, the friends should not be able to look at the painting, instead the friends should all go to the painter and buy a new painting for each one of them to be able to look at it.

Expanding that analogy for DRM into different devices and platforms…when the person moves to a new house, he would not be allowed to move the painting to the new house with him (even though the new house has good walls to hang the painting), solely because the new house was built by a different building company that the painter doesn’t like.

Sounds like rubbish, right?


Someone who uses Windows…it also forces you to update or tries to.


your viewpoint isnt even true at any time in history. When we talk about sharing something in ye olde time, there you could rent a game or a movie, you hadnt to buy it.
You could give a friend your copy of the game so he can try it out, if you wanted to play together, you needed two copies anyway.
If it was true what yo usay, local coop would be pointless, but apparently many games do multiplayer where you dont need several copies of the game. But following your logic all the games would implement only online multiplayer. Sadly they arent and focus on local only too often (sadly because i would like them to have online so i can play the games with people over far distances).
I further point to Steam function of family share, i point over to GoG, a store in a time where digital distribution is THE way to sell videogames. Following your math, the old times in which games were sold physically were much better. Why? Because sharing a game physically is much harder than sharing it digitally, yet in that time copy protection existed, yet GoG, with these conditions, works very well. Apparently because your way of thinking is false.
Why? A friend had Factorio. The game can be downloaded without any DRM through their site with loging into your account. I could download the game from there using his account and we could play the game together, with only buying one copy. Yet, i own a copy of factorio.
Following your logic i wouldnt.

Theres so much wrong in what you say, that i cant really believe that you ever played games with people you know, im not even sure we share the same hobby. Following your logic i shouldnt share a game in my own household with my girlfriend or later with my wife and kids? Its even set in law that you are allowed to create copies of media as long as these copies are only used in your private household and you own an original copy. Which means, i am allowed to copy Justin Beibers last album as often as i want, to place it everywhere in my house if i dare to do so. (in no universe this would happen, but I guess the logic behind is understandable.)

Also “intellectual property” has not as much to do with DRM as you think it does. In fact it has very less to do with it, as there isnt the intellectual property protected with DRM, just the possession of a legit copy of what they sell.
To explain it to you, when i take Einsteins Theory of relativity and copy it and say it is from me and i invented it, then i stole intellectual property from Einstein.
When Einstein postulates his Theory and writes it on paper and then sells copies to people and i take some paper and copy these copies so i dont have to buy it from Einstein, then i stole a copy of his work, not his intellectual property, as it is still his. What i stole is the right to own a copy of it. Thats where DRM comes into play, to make sure that every legit copy is registered. In our example this would be through watermarks, a DRM for paperwork.

I think you now learned alot, have still fun with playing games, i hope though, you will at one point give your copies of your games to friends and play with them and not argue with selfmade theories based on selfmade wrong understanding of how the world works.