As the video game digital distribution market becomes increasingly populated, it's becoming harder for all but the biggest platforms to consistently stand out. Indeed, services like the Epic Games Store and Steam have been getting the vast majority of the press as of late (not always for the best of reasons).
However, that's changing somewhat now -- to reignite interest in its own digital distribution platform, well-known video game publisher CD Projekt (not to be confused with the developer, CD Projekt Red) has unveiled a massive overhaul of its DRM-free Good Old Games (GOG) Galaxy gaming client, aptly named GOG Galaxy 2.0.
For the unaware, GOG Galaxy is an optional tool for anybody who wants to access their web-based GOG Galaxy library in a more convenient format -- the games are still DRM-free, but Galaxy also gives you access to achievements, friends chat, automatic updates, and even version control (which lets you revert to older updates if new ones break your game).
GOG Galaxy 2.0 doesn't do anything to mess with that basic formula; it's clearly worked pretty well for CD Projekt so far. Instead, 2.0 expands upon it dramatically, adding a host of new features and giving the entire client a massive visual facelift (see examples of that throughout this article). Perhaps the most important new feature with Galaxy 2.0 is the unified library functionality.
As the GOG team writes in its official announcement, Galaxy 2.0 lets you "Import all your games from PC and consoles, [then] build and organize them into one master collection." Even better, once you've done so, you can launch any PC game you own from Galaxy 2.0 no matter the platform you run it on.
Galaxy 2.0 will synchronize your achievements, hours played, and more into one location, while also allowing you to filter, sort, tag, and customize each game's listing with unique backgrounds or covers.
The synchronization doesn't stop there, either. Galaxy 2.0 will also bring all of your friends together into one platform, letting you chat with them in one place while also seeing their cross-platform achievements, game milestones, recently played games, and even their online status.
In true GOG fashion, your privacy will also be preserved. Galaxy 2.0 doesn't spy on you, and whatever data it does collect -- the bare necessities needed for the client to function -- are not shared with any third parties. If you ever decide you don't want to use Galaxy 2.0's sync features, you can remove imported games and friends data from GOG's servers with "a single click."
If you want to be the first to give GOG Galaxy's latest incarnation a shot, you can sign up for the closed beta right now, provided you have a GOG account (you don't need to have the current version of Galaxy installed). GOG has not told us when they intend to roll the client out to the general public.