Anyone who's ever bought a game on Steam or Origin is familiar with the concept of a desktop client, but what if managing your game library through a piece of software was merely an option instead of a necessity? That's the question Good Old Games is exploring: the retro PC game seller just announced GOG Galaxy: a new PC gaming platform that promises to provide customers with auto-updating software, a player communication portal and the ability to play multiplayer games with both GOG Galaxy friends and users on other platforms. Oh, and like everything else in GOG's library, the client and every game that uses it will be completely DRM free.

GOG touts the new platform as completely optional. Unlike Valve's Steam platform, you won't need to be online to launch or play your games, and you don't even need to use it if you prefer downloading games from the company's website -- but there are a few restrictions. Naturally, gamers who want to play online will need to be connected, and tracking achievements or chatting with friends will of course require a profile, but the company stresses that those aren't mandatory features. You'll never need it to play your games, but, if you want it, it's coming.

However, whereas Origin and Steam are the place to go for modern games on release day, GOG primarily houses older titles. If you want to play the likes of Dragon Age: Inquisition or Civilization: Beyond Earth on PC on day one, you'll almost assuredly have to use a platform other than Galaxy. Check out the teaser video below and stay tuned: GOG says it will announce more details later this year.

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Good Old Games is taking on Steam with an (optional) PC service of its own