CD Projekt has announced GOG Galaxy 2.0, a next-generation version of its software distribution client designed to close the gap with Valve's rival Steam.

Originally launched as Good Old Games and with a focus on re-releasing out-of-print titles, has shifted over the years to include triple-A games and non-gaming content - but all, in-keeping with parent company CD Projekt's moral philosophy, without digital rights management (DRM). Initially, games purchased were downloaded through the user's web browser; the launch of GOG Galaxy, a dedicated client, shifted the company's focus onto the desktop - though titles remain available via the browser for those who prefer it or who use Linux for gaming rather than Windows or macOS.

Now, CD Projekt has announced GOG Galaxy 2.0 - and it reveals a desire to become the one-stop launcher for all games across multiple distributors and platforms. 'As gamers, we need to juggle between multiple clients to access our games and see what our friends are playing,' explains Piotr Karwowski, managing director. 'We believe gamers deserve a better experience, and this became the driving force to redefine GOG Galaxy client. GOG Galaxy 2.0 is designed for all gamers and extends well beyond existing users into both PC and console platforms.'

The second-generation client, the company has confirmed, is designed to import games from multiple PC and console platforms and keep track of them within the GOG Galaxy client. Titles available on PC can, it further claims, be installed directly from GOG Galaxy - even if only available through a third-party distribution platform. Cross-platform achievement tracking is also a feature, along with a federated chat platform capable of communicating with users across other services.

At the same time, CD Projekt claims that GOG Galaxy respects users' privacy: The company has committed to never sharing personal data with third parties, claims that it is 'not spying on data from your computer,' and offers a one-click removal feature for imported games and data. CD Projekt has also confirmed that the client is not and will not be required to play DRM-free titles from, though those who choose to use it will gain additional Steam-like functionality including cloud saves, an in-game overlay, multiplayer and matchmaking features, and the ability to roll titles back to earlier releases in the event of a bug.

GOG Galaxy 2.0 is currently available in closed beta for Windows and macOS, with interested parties invited to sign up on the official website for access.

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