Online storefront Good Old Games is discontinuing its Fair Price Package program, it announced in a post on Tuesday.
The program was used to achieve parity in game prices between various countries. “Some games on GOG.com have regional pricing, meaning the price of the same game in one place can be higher compared to its price in North America,” GOG said. “In countries where the game is more expensive, we give users the equivalent of the price difference in GOG Wallet funds.”
On average, GOG gave people back 12% of a game’s price out of its own pocket. In some cases, that refund reached as high as 37%. While GOG was once able to cover the extra costs from its own cut of a game’s sale and still turn a small profit, increasing developer revenue shares has shrunk that profit.
“However, we look at it, at the end of the day we are a store and need to make sure we sell games without a loss,” it said.
News about the Fair Price Package program’s demise comes shortly after GOG confirmed it laid off about a dozen staff members. It told Kotaku it has been rearranging certain teams since October 2018, which led to the layoffs, but one former employee told the outlet the company is suffering from financial troubles.
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“We were told [the layoffs were] a financial decision,” that person told Kotaku. “GOG’s revenue couldn’t keep up with growth, the fact that we’re dangerously close to being in the red has come up in the past few months, and the market’s move towards higher [developer] revenue shares has, or will, affect the bottom line as well. I mean, it’s just an odd situation, like things got really desperate really fast. I know that February was a really bad month, but January on the other hand was excellent. We were in the middle of a general restructuring, moving some teams around, not unprecedented. But layoffs that big have never happened before.”
Two likely sources of GOG’s financial troubles are the recently launched Epic Games Store and disappointing sales of the digital collectible card game “Gwent.”
The Fair Price Package program officially ends on Mar. 31. Any funds received under the program will stay in a GOG user’s account for 12 months from the moment they’re granted their last funds, the company said.