TO UPDATE: GOG has defended its delisting of fan-made ScummVM version of Blade Runner in favor of a controversial new Enhanced Edition.
A statement from GOG to Eurogamer reads: “By purchasing the title on GOG you will receive two versions of the game, the new and the original version, at the same price as the original was previously sold.
“The original version, now delisted, is not included as an add-on with the purchase of Blade Runner Enhanced Edition, but appears in your GOG library as a separate game – and both versions continue to be fully supported. This way GOG users can choose which version of the game they want to play.
“The decision to handle the release on GOG in this way, which we believe offers the most value for fans of this game, was made with input from multiple parties.”
ORIGINAL STORY:Nightdive Studios has released its Enhanced Edition of Blade Runner to the GOG Store, replacing the fan-made ScummVM version.
As previously reported, this Enhanced Edition has been a long time coming and includes the “reconstruction and suppression of original Westwood VQA video”.
However, it replaced a fan-made version that is now only available as an add-on, meaning it’s impossible to access without first purchasing the Nightdive Studios Edition.
ScummVM is a fan-made program that a group of enthusiasts have used to carefully update and restore the original adventure game adaptation of Ridley Scott’s 1997 science fiction film.
Her version was already available on the GOG Store, but is now only included as part of Nightdive Studios’ Enhanced Edition.
ScummVM member Thomas Fach-Pedersen, aka madmoose, shared his disappointment on Twitter.
“Over a number of years, along with friends, I have lovingly reverse engineered Westwood’s Blade Runner for ScummVM, revived the game and helped GOG put the game back for sale. For this we asked nothing but the honor and we get the work,” he explained.
“Now Nightdive Studios has released their ‘Enhanced’ version. It is ugly and buggy by all appearances and offers no tangible advantages over ScummVM, aside from very poor console support. They even forgot to tell me the subtitles we gave them.
“Unfortunately, it is now no longer possible to purchase and play a digital copy of Blade Runner in ScummVM without sending money to Nightdive Studios. I’m sad to see GOG relegating our free work to a mere appendix for someone else’s mediocre paid product. ”
1/4 Over a number of years I have lovingly recreated Westwood’s Blade Runner with friends @ScummVMrevive the game and help @GOGcom re-release the game for sale. For this we have asked and received nothing but the honor of work.
— Thomas Fach-Pedersen (@madmoose_dk) June 23, 2022
Eurogamer sister site Rock Paper Shotgun has published a detailed analysis of the new version, stating that it “looks 25 years old, blurry and different from itself”.
In response, fans of the game posted negative reviews of the Enhanced Edition on the GOG website, recommending the superior ScummVM version instead.
“What the…? How is that even possible? Look at the font! Look at the menus! Look at those blurry backgrounds! Look at the… I mean oh my god! I can’t believe that this is an end product,” says one comment.
It continued: “Please do not waste money or time on this ‘extended’ joke. Go for the original with the ScummVM emulator.”
Another commented: “What an absolute disaster. The original is one of the greatest games of all time, largely thanks to the excellent atmosphere. This completely removes the atmosphere, making it half the age of the original. Complete rubbish.”
Over on Steam, where the Enhanced Edition is also available, the game has a “mostly negative” review. “This is what the original game looks like when you’re teary-eyed in the rain,” joked one reviewer.
Eurogamer has reached out to GOG for comment.