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GOG 'looking at' launching a service like Steam Early Access for games in development

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GOG, the DRM-free digital marketplace founded by The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red, is "looking at" launching a way to host unfinished games, in the style of Steam Early Access, co-founder Marcin Iwinski told Eurogamer

Although GOG and Steam have different approaches to what appears in their stores, GOG is "obviously looking at it" and how it might fit into the company's curated model, Iwinski said.

"As you know our concept is different," he said. "First of all it's DRM-free and second it's curated. I'm often very lost in a lot of stores — apps being my example today. Or even Steam. I don't know what's happening. There's hundreds of releases a month, and I really believe — and our community's clearly showing that — there is a place for a platform which is choosing the stuff." 

According to Iwinski, if GOG does it, it will do so in the spirit under which GOG was founded. 

"We would definitely consider it," he said, "but again it would be the GOG way. It would have to be curated and, we believe — we are always saying this very openly — we are responsible in front of the gamer for what they're buying on GOG."

Among the many things to consider, the co-founder believes that some form of consumer protection might be necessary.  

"If you would do it, it would have to have some kind of protection, because consumers are coming, they are seeing certain promise," he said. "Of course it's like, 'Hey it's alpha,' but the little devil inside your head is saying, 'Ooh I want to play. It looks so cool in the screens', and you don't know that [you will be] unhappy.

"If you're unhappy and they're constantly updating it, that's fine, but if you're unhappy and they just took your money and ran away like typical hit and run … There is somebody who has to be on the hook for it, and I really think this should be the case."

For an example of how consumers may need protected, be sure to read our coverage of Earth: Year 2066, which Valve removed from Early Access this month.