GOG is going to start deleting oversized cloud saves at the end of August

 Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty cinematics.
Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty cinematics.

Heads up, GOG users: The storefront has announced that cloud savesexceeding the default allocation of 200MB per game will be deleted on August 31, because they're just taking up too damn much space.

Cloud saves are simply saved games that are stored remotely rather than on your PC. They're a handy way to access an ongoing game across multiple devices, or to pick up where you left off if you decide to reinstall an old game. It's also handy protection against hardware failure: Your hard drive might die, but the cloud is forever. Well, except when it's not.

"As the size and number of games increase, so does the demand for Cloud Storage," GOG said in a warning about the upcoming trim. "These limits ensure that all players have access to sufficient and manageable space for their game progress, and that we keep the associated costs under control. By optimizing our storage allocation, we aim to continue providing a reliable and user-friendly platform for everyone."

If you're uncertain about the state of your GOG cloud saves, the management page will show you which games are using them, how much space they're taking up, and enable you to delete some or all of them as you see fit. You can also back them up to your PC using GOG's Galaxy client.

Animated GIF illustrating GOG's cloud save management page
Animated GIF illustrating GOG's cloud save management page

Sizes vary dramatically from game to game but 200MB isn't a huge amount of space for savegames. My local Witcher 3 save folder, for instance, is nearly 900MB in size, while my Skyrim saves are sucking up more than 1.2GB. (I admittedly might have a problem with oversaving.) Senior editor Chris Livingston said his Cyberpunk 2077 saves from a single playthrough add up to 487MB.

Given that, 200MB is a relatively tight limit. (It's also kind of ironic that, anecdotally at least, CD Projekt's games are such storage hogs—CD Projekt is the parent of GOG, after all.) But what's really odd to me is that GOG has a cap on cloud file saves but seemingly hasn't been enforcing it. Why put a restriction on it at all if the number is really just a recommendation? And not a very effective one at that: I wasn't aware there was any sort of cap on GOG cloud saves at all until today.

Steam also has limits on cloud saves, but they vary from game to game: Steam says I have 954MB available for Witcher 3 Steam Cloud saves, for instance, but just 100MB for Necromunda: Hired Gun. Those limits are set on a per-game basis by developers, however.

The good news is that not all your cloud saves will be wiped. GOG said it will remove save files beginning with the oldest and continuing forward from there until the allocation limit is hit, so at least some number of recent saves will remain. Even so, some GOG users on Reddit find the whole thing disconcerting: Cutting corners on what's perceived as a relatively inexpensive part of the operation is seen by some as a sign that GOG could be struggling financially.

Whatever the case, here's my advice: The cloud can be handy but SSDs are cheap. (Hard drives, generally speaking, are even cheaper.) Save your stuff locally—that way the only person who can freak out about all the space it's taking up and go on a mad deletion run is you.