The rumors of GOG.com’s demise were greatly exaggerated – by the company itself! It turns out that this week’s announcement of the site shutting down was a bit of a publicity stunt designed to announce the launch of a revamped GOG.com that includes new community and catalogue features, faster game downloads, and the ability to handle more site traffic and users.

GOG.com’s founders gave media an overview of the site’s new features via a live web broadcast. They will include:

  • 10% faster than the old site
  • Revamped welcome page, community pages and game pages
  • Ability to handle more traffic and users
  • Facebook “Like” button
  • 150 games certified compatible with Windows 7
  • Streamlined sign-up process for new members that doesn’t require email confirmation
  • Download calculator bar that displays how much time the game is going to take to download
  • Catalog that displays games by genre and lets people browse by Bestersellers, New releases, and Recommended games
  • Community Page that includes favorite topics, the ability to tag game-specific forums to participate in, and view hot forum topics
  • GOGmix – user-created list of games and recommendations

GOG.com also announced another surprise: it will be carrying the classic dungeon crawler Baldur’s Gate: The Original Saga for $9.99 (including goodies like artwork, game manual). The new site and Baldur’s Gate will be launching on 1pm GMT time on Sept. 23.