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Old 31st August 2010, 01:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Valve: no plans to bring Steam to Linux

How can we get these people to change their minds and release stuff to Linux, it didn't seem that difficult to port to OSX, and OSX and Linux isn't much different (ethernet ports and the like a sight different name)

I could get CrossoverGames, but I'd prefer to run under a superior OS than run the game inside a Windows shell inside Wine then inside the parent OS...
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Old 31st August 2010, 03:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Most people have either windows or osx.

The people who don't, tend to like to compile stuff'n'things - and therefore aren't worth the development effort.

I realise this and I run kubuntu at home (dual boot with windows 7 for gaming) and ubuntu at work.
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Old 31st August 2010, 04:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Claiming that your OS is superior then complaining that the software you want doesn't run on it seems to counter the general theme of your argument. I've nothing against Linux, but it seems the big downsides are that it doesn't have a single source release so support costs for consumer level Linux software is often inordinately high (compared to other platforms) and the consumer level install base is very low which probably puts profit margins into the red or uncomfortably close to it. I'm sure it's technically feesable and probably quite simple to get a lot of OpenGL programs running on Linux but that alone doesn't mean a company can make money from it. Mac's actually have a sizable and growing share of the consumer market and they're easy to support because of the fixed hardware release model Apple uses.

Unless Ubuntu or some other study can show consumer Linux usage stats that match even half of what Apple has and that those users have sufficiently powerful GPUs/CPUs for gaming I can't see Valve supporting Linux for at least another 24 to 48 months. From what I understand, a big chunk of current consumer Linux use is actually for cheap non-gaming capable netbooks so the actual % of gaming capable Linux machines is far too small to support the financial overheads of a steam rollout.

The crux of the problem isn't a technical issue but one of dollars and market share.

p.s. You can't assign an increment operator so the expression in your sig would throw a syntax error.
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Old 31st August 2010, 05:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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ooooo.... interesting topic. First off, the ONLY reason I even have a copy of Windows anymore is to play games. I use Linux at home AND at work. I even use Myth for my media center and find it to be awesome. I DO agree with what you've said though Drac. It WOULD come down to the dollar.

As a side note, my understanding (and I could be wrong. It's been known to happen ) is that even if Steam was available on Linux, that doesn't mean the games would be. I think the bigger issue is that the games aren't being written for Linux. But again, like Drac said, there are SO many breeds out there, it would be hard for them. I know that Ubuntu tends to hate the ATI cards and from a gaming perspective, how many gamers out there does that just remove from the spectrum straight off the bat?
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Old 31st August 2010, 07:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Actually, Steam *is* available on Linux, but only for running game servers, look up halflife-steam this is from Gentoo

Quote:
# emerge -s steam

* games-server/halflife-steam
Latest version available: 2.0
Latest version installed: [ Not Installed ]
Size of files: 3,431 kB
Homepage: Welcome to Steam
Description: client for Valve Software's Steam content delivery program
License: ValveServer
The Linux bin file is HLDS
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Old 31st August 2010, 08:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Steam is the brand for Valve's digital distribution service, true, but dedicated server software is totally different from a front end client designed for consumers.

Not only would valve need to make a front end store/client to work on Linux (not hard, it's all run on Webkit) but they would also need to add back-end support to all of their services. Steam is more or less an online store and digital distribution service. It would cost valve a fair bit of development and testing time to add a Linux fork to the steam client and to update all of the digital store backend services to support a third platform. This wouldn't be a huge cost, sure, but in the grand scheme of things they're not going to open up an extra 33% of the market by doing this. If you do some math it would most likely be a huge waste of money for them.

Linux games would capture 1% maybe 2% more of the market. Most gamers who use Linux probably already dual boot and own games on steam thus won't be re-purchaisng anything so perhaps even that % is a bit high.

At best 10% of the developers selling through steam will offer Linux versions of their games.

Those factors combined drag the potential revenue increase (before costs) to an estimated 0.1% to 0.2%.

It's just not worth it for them. Even though Valve have been know to sink money into "value added services" I think Linux support is still too narrow an avenue for them to pursue at the present point in time. However I wouldn't write it off completely. In a few years, depending on how the market changes, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see them adding Linux support.
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Old 1st September 2010, 12:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I see it more as "Valve has the power to introduce Linux as a gaming platform"

They would not make money from it, no. But if it was easy to develop and they didn't actually loose money they could do it as a charity to support the numerous other open source developers out there. If nothing else it would be great advertising for Valve.

I think Steam is currently the only way Linux can ever become a new gaming platform. I would definitely hop on the Linux gaming bandwagon if I could.
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Old 1st September 2010, 12:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I'd have thought you'd need linux versions of games before you make a linux version of a game store?

IMO, you're more likely to see a Linux client for Blizzard's World of Warcraft before you see a Linux client for Mac. I mean, Blizzard can print money from just about any endeavour, any save Linux it seems.

There's a also a bit of a lack in quality indy game engines for Linux compared to the Mac. Oh and the iPhone gold rush has seen a lot of money spent on Mac development tools in the past few years which has had a decent kickback into OS-X native games. Most of the popular cross-platform engines Indy developers use support OS-X Cocoa OpenGL stack (which is quite similar to the OpenGL ES stack for the iPhone) but only a few support the Linux OpenGL runtime. Perhaps, in a year or two all of the Android stuff will help native gaming on Linux too?
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Old 6th September 2010, 01:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I would be happy if software companies even made decent pc ports from console games which they dont so wanting them to make games for linux unfortuantely is even more wishful hoping. If does feel that software companies are getting more and more lazy these days, theres the platform specific games ie xbox 360 only etc... bad ports to pc, games full of bugs etc.. and the list just goes on
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Old 7th September 2010, 08:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xavien View Post
I would be happy if software companies even made decent pc ports from console games which they dont so wanting them to make games for linux unfortuantely is even more wishful hoping. If does feel that software companies are getting more and more lazy these days, theres the platform specific games ie xbox 360 only etc... bad ports to pc, games full of bugs etc.. and the list just goes on
I have been enjoying some of the really old console games available on MAME, playig under Linux... 1951, Raid on Bungling Bay, and the fav commodore - Wizball
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