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Is LGP Going the Way of Loki Software?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the bad-news-bears dept.

Linux Business 124

An anonymous reader writes "After the demise of Loki Software, Linux Game Publishing sprouted up in its place, and for the past nine years has ported a number of games to Linux. But LGP may now be sharing the same fate as Loki. Linux Game Publishing hasn't updated its blog or news pages in months, has stopped responding to e-mails, and its only active ports are games they began work on in 2002/2003."

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THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661766)

This is a good thing for all concerned !!

Re:THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM !! (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663254)

Concerned what? Concerned Citizens?

Btw, Valve seems to be working on that...

But here comes Valve! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661786)

With their lovable fluffy Steam DRM... It tastes like candy!

Re:But here comes Valve! (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661960)

Steam's DRM is one of the least intrusive out there. I forget it's even there until some Slashdotter brings it up. Kind of diminishes your point when the evil DRM isn't even noticeable.

Re:But here comes Valve! (2, Insightful)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662234)

Steam's DRM is one of the least intrusive out there. I forget it's even there until some Slashdotter brings it up. Kind of diminishes your point when the evil DRM isn't even noticeable.

Quite the opposite. Just wait until you do notice the effects on everything you paid for but don't actually own.

Re:But here comes Valve! (0)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662392)

I assume your internet connection is stable, that must be the reason :P
Seriously, try using anything steam enabled with bad or no internet. You can't.

Re:But here comes Valve! (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662466)

Well, that's total bullshit, because I have and can use everything without connecting to steam.

Thing is, your argument is based on nothing. Why would I use a digital download service if I have bad or no internet? Won't that mean I won't even be able to download anything? I mean, when games weigh in at 7-10GB each, a flaky connection isn't going to make it usable at all.

Your point is moot and just another ill informed troll comment.

Re:But here comes Valve! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662606)

Except Steam games do also come on DVDs.

Re:But here comes Valve! (1)

wertigon (1204486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662608)

So I assume you will never move or switch locations to a place with lesser bandwidth?

Also, many places have high bandwidth yet also disconnect spikes. You play a great game for an hour, then bam, two minutes downtime. You can download a 10 GB game in 30 minutes with no problems whatsoever, but at peak hours it's impossible to play due to everyone leeching bandwidth. Etc.

It is a more complex issue than you think. 'Nuff said.

Re:But here comes Valve! (1)

ensignyu (417022) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662624)

There are some retail games (not made by Valve) -- as in you buy it in a box from a brick-and-mortar store and install the game off a DVD -- which require Steam in order to play the game.

I believe Steam lets you play offline for some period of time after authenticating, so this places it somewhere between the "1-time online activation on installation" style DRM and the Ubisoft "must be connected at absolutely all times" DRM.

I get many of my games on Steam, but I don't want to see them become the *only* option.

Re:But here comes Valve! (0, Troll)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663220)

hmm ... if that was a troll post, then you're a pure fanboy.
Point in case : I was looking for a gift for my niece's birthday and wanted to ask her if she would like Left 4 Dead. It took me 3 days to download my copy from steam by the way (despite a 5mb/s connection which is the best i can get where I am, but was still faster and cheaper than to have a physical disk shipped to my place). So I called her to my place, disconnected from the intertube and fired up L4D. "updating steam client ..." and then after 5mn or so "couldn't connect to steam. You have to connect to steam first to play offline" ( The phrasing might have been different but that was the gist).
I sent my niece home, and told her I'd call her as soon as I could start the game, reconnected the lan, started steam. got the message "updating steam client" (took ~only~ 10mn). Tried to start L4D ... "downloading patch. est. time : 3 hours". When the game was finally patched, I started it, it worked, called my niece, went offline as I can't really play online due to my ping of at least 200ms, and I prefer to have windows as offline as possible. My niece cam, I started Left4Dead ... "couldn't connect to steam. You have to connect to steam first to play offline".
just for the sake of it, I tried a few other steam games, and about half of them told me the same, despite the fact that I already played them all at one point or the other, which should, dixit steam, be enough to be able to play offline.
Services like Steam can be convenient (and if you're not paying in Euros, it can be cheap, as I found out yesterday when Steam told me that I'm now in Germany and not in South America anymore, and so must pay 19.99 euros instead of 19.99$ for a game, even if I am just visiting), but their DRM scheme is complete and utter shit. The net result is that I might still buy games if they are really really good, but I sure as hell will play a pirated copy if I can find one that isn't virus ridden. The only online game retailer I often find myself buying games from lately is Good Old Games : DRM free, consistent prices and http downloads! THAT is service. (no, I'm not affiliated and I'm not getting any percentage. I'm just a very happy regular customer)

Re:But here comes Valve! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663252)

Switch to offline mode retard.

Re:But here comes Valve! (0, Troll)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665364)

well, asshol'y coward, learn to read. Steam will or will not let me switch to offline mode, depending on the position of the moon. THAT is the hole point. it's a crappy DRM scheme, and you're an idiot.

Re:But here comes Valve! (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665054)

Why would I use a digital download service if I have bad or no internet? Won't that mean I won't even be able to download anything? I mean, when games weigh in at 7-10GB each, a flaky connection isn't going to make it usable at all.

Because I installed it on my laptop at home before I travelled to my cabin in the woods and wanted to fire up a game to kill some time?

Re:But here comes Valve! (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663266)

Yes, you can't use Steam offline (what's the point in using a an Online-Retail-Store and Management-System offline anyway)...but you can play most of the games without Steam, you just have to start the game directly without the Steam shortcut.

Re:But here comes Valve! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662230)

not until they fix the mess that is x11 and opengl drivers

look! I've a huge catalogue of game that crash at start! whoooooo!

Re:But here comes Valve! (2, Interesting)

parasonic (699907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664998)

I have been gaming on 64-bit Linux in GL mode since 2004. There aren't many titles to choose from, but everything that I have tried--Enemy Territory, UT2004, and a few others--run flawlessly and at higher framerates than they do in Windows XP, not to even get started with Win7. I have never had a video driver crash. I have been running NVIDIA 64-bit binary drivers the entire time.

At one point, I had a problem with ET not liking sound since it is Quake 3 based and was written to use OSS, but I was running Gentoo and of course had to spend a half hour trying to figure out how to restore sound. It runs flawlessly out of the box in Ubuntu.

The problem is not drivers and is entirely the selection of games out there. We will hopefully see some good Source-based games for Linux once Steam makes its way in.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32666792)

Just what I wanted to see

Is this really surprising? (5, Insightful)

SkOink (212592) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661790)

When Wine is good enough to run Warcraft 3, what market is there for a company selling ports of decade-old games for $40-$50 each?

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661868)

Please tell me you're joking. Yes many games will run in WINE to some degree but more often than not, there is a fairly noticeable performance hit by doing so. Also, there's the fact that many games, Starcraft being a very good example, that run somewhat buggy. Patches have to be applied manually and menus in Bnet don't show at all as well as visual artifacts being quite common. Alpha Centauri crashes in WINE and Superpower won't even install. As long as WINE has to reverse engineer Windoze there's going to be a demand for porting various games to Linux to run them natively.

Re:Is this really surprising? (3, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662250)

"As long as WINE has to reverse engineer Windoze there's going to be a demand for porting various games to Linux to run them natively."

On the other hand, I just installed a Windows game from 1998 on my Linux laptop and it ran fine -- heck, it even let me select the correct widescreen video mode -- whereas I doubt you'll find many Linux binaries from that era that will still run on an up to date distro.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665686)

whereas I doubt you'll find many Linux binaries from that era that will still run on an up to date distro.

Sure they will... if they are compiled the right way, statically.

If you know you're compiling a product that will be used on the Linux environment and don't want to be locked on a specific library version/etc, static compilations are perfect.

Re:Is this really surprising? (2, Informative)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662276)

Also, there's the fact that many games, Starcraft being a very good example, that run somewhat buggy. Patches have to be applied manually and menus in Bnet don't show at all as well as visual artifacts being quite common.

Yes, the Battle.net lobby doesn't render correctly in Starcraft, but it's still completely usable. More importantly, the actual game renders and plays flawlessly, and I've never used anything but a vanilla install of Wine to play it in the past 5+ years.

Certainly, Wine isn't perfect, but Starcraft is hardly a good example of that.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

DoomHaven (70347) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665284)

Have you done any configuring of Wine to make Starcraft run better? I don't know and can't find the settings to make it smoother, and I find that playing it with Wine feels lagged or delayed.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666150)

Most users won't wade through obvious glitches like that though to play a game. It's hard to proclaim "We don't need native ports! Wine runs almost everything great!"

Then adding the caveat that "Well, some menus display graphical glitches, and the framerate is a bit lower, and the launcher app doesn't run so you gotta launch the main EXE directly. And the patching app doesn't work so you gotta patch on a Windows machine first and then copy over the directory again. And the character's run animation skips a few frames. And the sound is jittery unless you apply the PulseAudio patch to Wine. But other than that the game runs completely fine!".

The reality is that Wine is a decent tool for the absolute most dedicated bunch of people to play some games on Linux. Most people aren't going to bother though. It's either a native port, switching to console games, or sticking to Windows (at least for gaming).

I chose option #3. All my regular computer usage is done on Ubuntu. I even run Windows XP in a VM on that Ubuntu machine so I can have iTunes on that machine (the iTunes store directory is a shared directory between the host and VM OS's). However I have a completely separate machine with good graphics hardware but a relatively small 160GB hard drive on which I keep XP and game installs for whatever I'm playing. I'll switch (via KVM) there to play my games, and when I'm done I shut off the Windows machine. It's aggravating, but it's about the only way to ensure that my games always work properly.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663352)

there is a fairly noticeable performance hit by doing so.

Moore's law + decades > overhead. That said, wine is far from perfect.

Re:Is this really surprising? (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661876)

Has anyone tried getting the games at Good Old Games [gog.com] to work in Wine? I know they're older titles comes with a pre-configured DOSBox (works 100% better than DIY DOSBox and is 100% X64 Win7 compatible) so those shouldn't be a problem, and since ALL their games have the nasty DRM stripped out and use a simple .exe installer the games there should be easier to get going than all those infested with SecuROM or Starforce. And of course at $5-$10 the price is a hell of a lot better than the prices you get for ported games.

So how about it? Has anybody given the games at GOG a shot on Linux?

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662054)

I just tried installing a couple of games from gog.com in Wine and the setup program crashed. So I guess that if you could manage to install them they might work, but installing doesn't seem to!

Re:Is this really surprising? (2, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662124)

Actually, looks like I was wrong: it crashed if I tried to install over NFS from my server, but after I copied the setup.exe file to the local machine it did install and run.

Re:Is this really surprising? (2, Informative)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665164)

As a side note, the installers are slow to start over SMB shares on Windows too. I think it's probably to do with the installer's self-verification functionality.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662076)

While I haven't tried it, I would think that using the linux version of DOSbox to play the .exe would make for a better, more stable option then WINE.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662364)

Eh...? But there IS a native Linux version of Dosbox...it'd be just copying the configs and files, then running it. I don't see why WINE is even needed.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662704)

While I said the DOSBox games would be the easiest to run, they have MANY newer titles there as well which do NOT use DOS emulation, such as Far Cry and King's Bounty: The Legend. They may be called "Good Old Games" but there is plenty of newer titles there as well, and at $10 max you really can't beat the prices, which is why I said if someone can get them to run in Wine it should be an excellent source for Linux gamers. No DRM, no install limits, easy to back up single .exe installers, good support, since someone here at /. turned me on to them I've been buying from them like mad, and it is the most hassle free game shopping experience I've ever had.

Oh, and if you like what you see put yourself on their mailing list. They don't spam and will only email you when there is a sale, and their sales are crazy! I got the entire Descent Series for something like $17, Postal 2 with the expansions for $3, when they have a sale the prices drop a good 30-50% on sale items!

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663656)

For whatever my experience is worth, I bought both Oddworld games from GOG and they worked great in Wine. Then I bought Fallout and it was unplayable.

It depends on how well the original game is supported in Wine, I guess.

Re:Is this really surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663886)

Don't run Fallout in Wine. Get a native linux copy of Dosbox (some others have mentioned this) and run it through that. GOG Fallout will run so much better and you can feel better running Linux software.

Re:Is this really surprising? (2, Informative)

CornMaster (1105789) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664372)

I downloaded MOO 1 and 2 through GOG. I ran the installer via WINE, then copied the files and ran them with linux dosbox. GOG supports MOO 1 and 2 in windows via dosbox, so I only needed WINE to extract the archive, and then run as I see fit in Linux.

Any DOS game that GOG supports would probably run the same way. I'd check the DOSBOX compatibility table first: http://www.dosbox.com/comp_list.php?letter=a [dosbox.com] and if you want to check WINE compatibility with your GOG windows only game, you can check it here: http://appdb.winehq.org/ [winehq.org]

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664402)

My experience has been that most of those games don't run, newer or older. For instance I tried Battlezone, it crapped with Direct3D errors. The solution is twofold. One, install Win 3.1 into DOSBOX to play the oldest games. Two, install XP into a VMware to play (some of) the interim ones. You can go with VirtualBox instead but there's no Direct3D support, the half-assed Wine3d Direct3D support has been crapped on by a regression in VirtualBox that will be fixed "real soon now". dxdiag just crashes. Win 3.1 and XP licenses are trivial to come up with in the used market, and install media is trivial to get with bittorrent. This is what I do for Linux.

Re:Is this really surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32664606)

Yes, they work quite well. The installer works, and if you want to use their downloader application, it uses Adobe AIR, which is corss platform. Naturally it's the game that would have the most issues, but I've had pretty good luck. I played the Fallout series, Arcanum, Giants, Sacrifice, and Heroes of Might and Magic III on my Ubuntu box not that long ago without issues (and that's just off the top of my head).
 
Don't forget that some of the games are either using Dosbox, which is in the repositories for most Linux distros, or already have a nativew Linux client from source code being released (like Freespace 2 or Jagged Alliance 2).

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665034)

I have and a fair number of them work well under Crossover if need be. Any of the ones that come bundled with dosbox can relatively easily be unbundled into a directory suitable for dosbox. I haven't done it in a while, but you extract the files from the exe and then use the included configuration files that GoG has put together for use with the game.

I've had more than a little luck with the more recent versions via Crossover. I know that in some cases you have to do some tweaking and can't run them in full screen, but there's a fair amount of advice out there and more as people add to it. If we're lucky perhaps GoG will contribute c4p files for their catalog.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665052)

pre-configured DOSBox (works 100% better than DIY DOSBox

How do you get 100% better than perfection? Really, I don't see any way to improve upon DosBox.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665266)

Because with DIY DOSBox you have to jump through flaming hoops, tweak the living hell out of the config, and maybe, just maaaaybe it'll run stable, maybe not. I'll give an example: Redneck Rampage, an old favorite of mine. Trying to get it with the expansion packs to run in DOSBox on XP was a fricking nightmare, on Windows 7 HP X64 it was damned near impossible. Sound would fuck up, lots of crashes, it just sucked. I bought it for $5 from GOG, run the .exe installer and voila! Runs perfectly on both XP and Win7 X64, no tweaking, no hoops, just install and go.

To use a /. car analogy, the difference between DIY DOSBox and the GOG version is like the difference between trying to put a car together from a pile of parts and having one built for you. Sure they'll both eventually get you where you want to go, but the former will be more work and probably won't be as nice an experience as the latter.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665292)

Oh, you're on XP. When I apt-get DosBox it "Just Works(TM)".

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

raving griff (1157645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661886)

Take it a step farther: What market is there for a company selling ports of decade-old games for a system with few users and fewer gamers for $40-$50 each?

I love Linux. I love using Linux. But there is simply no way to make money porting games to Linux.

Re:Is this really surprising? (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662092)

LGP never released anything terribly interesting. It's a nice thought but I am surprised they stuck around as long as they did.

Most of Loki's old games are more compelling than anything that LGP did.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662930)

Take it a step farther: What market is there for a company selling ports of decade-old games for a system with few users and fewer gamers for $40-$50 each? I love Linux. I love using Linux. But there is simply no way to make money porting games to Linux.

At least not that way. I use Linux, I'm a gamer. But either you're so ideologically pure you wouldn't touch a closed source port anyway, or you're enough of a pragmatist you have a Windows box/dual boot. I'm the latter, and then it just doesn't make sense to pay $50 rather than buy a $5 bargain bin Windows edition, assuming it also doesn't already run well on WINE.

Admit it, if you're not so excited about a new release that you want to go buy it RIGHT NOW, you're not much of a fan. Maybe you can stretch that a little, but not until there might be a Linux port some years from now. Which means you probably got it, played it and paying for the port is really just for the privilege of playing it on Linux.

I'm sure there's exceptions to the generalizations above, but they're just that - exceptions. I bought World of Goo the day it came out on Linux because it was at least somewhat close to release time and "one price for all platforms". As far as I can tell, it was a huge hit but they already had a fairly cross-platform engine.

That's the kind of ports that should be happening, find some game approaching release using Linux-friendly technology and have a port inside six months of release at the maximum. Preferably just for the sales boost but I could throw in a little extra for running on Linux and a reasonable "upgrade" from the Windows version, usually there isn't one.

I'll gladly admit that the Linux gaming market is rather starved. Yes, I know about the Indie Bundle but still. But there's something to being a big fish in a little pond than a small fish in a big pond. You will get lots of free press. You will get people buying to support Linux gaming. You will get more evangelics for your game. I just wish it'd happen with some major game, maybe not an AAA title but at least a game title people would recognize.

Re:Is this really surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663110)

At least not that way. I use Linux, I'm a gamer. But either you're so ideologically pure you wouldn't touch a closed source port anyway, or you're enough of a pragmatist you have a Windows box/dual boot.

The third group does exist, too: I'm playing games, I'm Linux-only, but I don't mind at all buying a CS game. But only native ones. Games on other platforms just don't exist for me - so I also don't care too much if it's an old title, as for me it is new.

Re:Is this really surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663338)

The "Linux" games sold by LGP aren't native ports to me. What I've tried is x86-only, and I run a pure amd64 system.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663882)

Most of the games they ported never had amd64 windows versions either...
But are they native x86 linux, or do they use wine? I had the mac version of X3 and it used its own bundled version of wine and doesn't run correctly on my current macbook pro.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662110)

Firstly, Warcraft 3 isn't the only game and not all games run, or run well, under Wine/Cedega. Some are newer games, but also some older games.
Better if you ignore the first part of your sentence and keep the second:

What market is there for a company selling ports of decade-old games for $40-$50 each?

Answer is...not big. Not big.

Though, in their defence, I'm pretty sure that, for example, Postal 2 was up there on or shortly after the Windows release date.
If it was available at the same price point, I would rather buy the native Linux version of a game than have to reboot to get at a Windows partition, or run it in Wine.

Re:Is this really surprising? (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662768)

I think the point is that it's cheaper to make a game run under WINE than it is to do a full native port. Games don't require any platform integration, so no one cares if they aren't using native widgets - in fact, they're more likely to complain when they do. If you care about the Linux market, just add a guy to your QA team who tests it under WINE and pay a couple of consultants to add the missing features to WINE (or just get your devs to avoid them). It's much cheaper than paying a third-party company to do a full port.

Re:Is this really surprising? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32663142)

worth noting that a game running well under wine is one compilation away from being native, thanks to winelibs

Re:Is this really surprising? (1)

TranceThrust (1391831) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662832)

I'd reduce your statement to 'what market is there for a company selling decade-old games?'. I expect almost none, and definitely not enough for a company to survive on.

Phoronix (1, Troll)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661840)

Why are the assholes at Phoronix still getting linked on Slashdot?

They just make up whatever they think will get them the most hits.

Re:Phoronix (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662386)

Same reason they post pieces that are almost entirely or entirely made up from the likes of The Register, Fox News, and The Daily Mail and the likes sometimes too.

Reposting made up shit manages to get Slashdot lots of hits too.

Re:Phoronix (2, Informative)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663684)

Can you elaborate on that? I have them in my RSS feed-reader because they're pretty much the only people who cover X and Mesa development.

Re:Phoronix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32665136)

Indeed. It's the same reason I follow their news (X, Mesa and driver development), but you have to admit - it get's really annoying with all the pimping they do for "The Phoronix Testsuite". They're also performance whores, even to the point they manage to piss off linux kernel developers with their constant benchmarks of any pre-RC kernel they can get their paws on. They would be a lot more tolerable if it was easier to filter their news.

Re:Phoronix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32664344)

Why does anything get linked on Slashdot?

UT3 (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661850)

Were they the guys behind the neverendingly delayed UT3? I know it wasn't the biggest hit on release, but the UT style is something I always associate with Linux gaming.

Re:UT3 (1)

ashridah (72567) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662264)

No, they weren't. Ryan 'Icculus' Gordon was porting the dedicated server. I don't believe the client was ever promised. (could be wrong there). He's got other paying work to do than work on the UT3 client for no monies, anyway.

Re:UT3 (1)

kcbnac (854015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663094)

UT3 client WAS promised - "at or shortly after launch" we'd have Linux binaries. Icculus has shown pictures of it on his blog, and any attempts to ask about it on the UT3 forums results in your thread getting nuked almost immediately. IIRC its even in the FAQ to not ask about Linux support at all, on the UT3 forums.

Re:UT3 (1)

apoc.famine (621563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664350)

Not only was the Linux client promised, a Linux version of the editor was talked about during the early days. I'm an almost decade old fan of UT, but these things not ever happening, plus a fucking awful game, with significantly reduced functionality from the previous version, made it hard to like the game. Haven't played it in months, despite having a dedicated server at my service. I'm not sure I'm going to buy any more UT games either.

Re:UT3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32665152)

My friends and I still play UT2k4. Bombing Run FTW.

Odd place to put a headquarters (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661866)

Nobody's heard from them since they moved development to an oil platform in the gulf to avoid taxes.

Who can blame them? Gnu Sealand hee I cum. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662978)

That's all we talk about on 888chan, 420chan, and opchan: the invasion of Sealand and it's replacement.

Speculations anyone? (5, Insightful)

Lotana (842533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661890)

Well the article does little more than point out that LGP are not responding to hails and stopped updating their information. There is really no concrete facts to conclude that they are finished, thus all we can do from here is guess.

So lets say they are dead (Which might not be the case), what do you think killed them?

Could it be that there is just not enough Linux gamers that are willing to pay to see Windows games on their platform to sustain a porting company?

Could the original Windows publishers be at fault? Perhaps they are not willing to share the code for the porting purposes.

Could it be just a case of poorly run company that finally had their decisions catch up to them?

Really with so little information any guess is as good as another.

Aside: Anyone know why Loki folded? A quick search only states "financial troubles", which is not really helpful.

Re:Speculations anyone? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32661990)

Loki's "financial problems" were largely mismanagement. Lurid tales of the owner using the company accounts as his personal ATM for buying cars and designer dresses for his wife; choosing games to port based on prestige and vanity over sound financial consideration of licensing costs and such; and other things. Loki was making money; their management just pissed it away faster than it came in, while shining everyone on until it eventually blew up.

  See, it's true that "the market is small," as other posters will point out, but porting is a pretty low-overhead proposition. You hire a couple of programmers, negotiate a licensing deal, and get porting. The game design, art, music, and other assets are all done already. It's much more like running a game company in the eighties, when you could have a couple of guys working out of a garage, than the gargantuan multi-million-dollar enterprises that you see today, so it really doesn't matter so much if the market is kind of small, as long as there's a market.
  (Plus, as the Humble Indie Bundle showed, there is money out in Linux-land. They got about 25% of their revenue from Linux, outdoing Mac users, even.)

Conspiracy theories from an AC aside (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662184)

From the outside and according to the press it looked like they were on track, the IT bubble broke, and then their investors couldn't or didn't keep their funding promises.
The above poster might know more, but then again they could just be anybody making shit up. Above poster, if you do have a clue at least sign up for an account here and we can take your views at a value above zero.

Re:Conspiracy theories from an AC aside (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32664086)

http://web.archive.org/web/20020418225227/http://www.linuxandmain.com/features/lokistory.html [archive.org]

I think the GP is doing a bit of hyperbole but it did come out of the bankruptcy proceedings that there was financial mismanagement and a few times they pulled from the company's budget for personal purchases.

Also in January, Draeker was subject to a second deposition, this time in a Federal 20-04 examination as part of the bankruptcy proceeding. In it, he testified that Loki did not retain such basic business records as bank statements or even keep careful track of the checks written by the company. After having testified in July that Kayt was and always had been chief financial officer, he now testified that she was not and never had been, and that he, Scott, always had been. And yet, Draker said, "there were several occasions where my wife mistakenly transferred money to our account prior to issuing money orders as opposed to issuing them from Loki's account." Asked if Loki had recorded these erroneous transactions, Draker replied, "We didn't have anyone keeping records at that time. It was -- it was in the bank statements, the record of that." Those bank statements had not been kept by the company. Additionally, the company was apparently unable to produce any financial records for the period from September 1999 to May 2001. The deposition took on a surreal air at times, with Draeker refusing to say whether or not he is a lawyer and in one spectacular moment testifying that as president of Loki he could say how much had been paid to Scott Draeker and when, but as Scott Draeker he could not say whether he actually received the money. Yet when asked if, shortly before the bankruptcy filing, Loki had paid him $13,000, he replied, "Uh, as I said before, there are several occasions on which Loki did pay me. And I don't recall specific dates or amounts."

Re:Conspiracy theories from an AC aside (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664798)

I followed Loki closely from start to finish, from the outside, and the GP is spot on. Loki's poor management made Linux gaming look even less profitable than it is simply because they talked big and then blew up.

If you try to start the *first* Linux porting company you face some resistance.
If you try to start a *second* Linux porting company, after the first succeeded, you only have to prove that two can be sustained.
If you try to start a *second* Linux porting company after the first was a spectacular and public flop... you have almost no chance.

So, Loki did more to harm Linux gaming long-term than it did to help it.

What, me bitter?

Re:Speculations anyone? (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662220)

Yeah, my guess is they folded because they utterly lacked advertising. I for one had never heard of them, I thought people had given up on Linux gaming after Loki. If I had known they existed, I might have bought something.

Re:Speculations anyone? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663412)

Yeah, my guess is they folded because they utterly lacked advertising.

My guess is that they're failing because they ported like two good games and a bunch of unknown lemons. When Linux gamers say "where are the games" they're not saying "where are the shitty games from the last decade". The only game there I'd consider buying is Postal 2 and I already beat it on Windows. AFAIK it was the only one of the bunch ported to Linux while people still cared about it. I mean, Creatures? That is so 1990s.

Re:Speculations anyone? (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663702)

The Descent 3 port was great! I still have that disk lying around, and it gets a play every now and then.

Re:Speculations anyone? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664754)

The Descent 3 port was great! I still have that disk lying around, and it gets a play every now and then.

Descent 3 was a Loki port, so I'm not talking about it, likewise SMAC, HOMM, UT, or anything else done by Loki. Thanks for playing, though.

Re:Speculations anyone? (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664340)

They need cult games i think.. even some older games have cult like followings and would buy the linux version. I recently got into Mount & Blade: Warband... totally addicted to it. I could see that game being a good seller on linux.

Re:Speculations anyone? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664378)

If Postal 2 is the best game in their list (that I didn't bother looking at), then the real question is how have they survived so long.

Re:Speculations anyone? (1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663540)

Look at their title list. If all they have to show for nine years of work is less than two dozen second rate PC titles then it's not surprising they've gone out of business. Nine years ago it might have made sense to have a Linux game porting company. Unfortunately the gaming landscape has changed quite a bit since then; the XBox 360, PS3, and Wii all came out and sold huge, pushing gaming back into the living room; Macintosh hardware changed to be identical to PCs, at least in terms of motherboards, graphic cards, and processors; releases of PC games, excepting MMOs, declined; and major publishers, like EA, started to (tentatively) use CodeWeavers' CrossOver tech to make non-Windows releases of their PC games. The need for a company like LGP is insignificant at this point. The gaming world has changed dramatically in the past nine years. The PS3, 360, and Wii all came out and have each sold large quantities of units, PC gaming itself declined rapidly, and for what little PC gaming has remained major publishers have started to use CodeWeavers' CrossOver tech for their Mac and Linux clients.

Re:Speculations anyone? (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663608)

Aside: Anyone know why Loki folded? A quick search only states "financial troubles", which is not really helpful.

Loki folded for a couple reasons:

1) Gross negligence by its founder (Scott Draeker). He and his wife were spending a huge portion of Loki's revenues on personal items, while not spending much (if anything) on growing the business.

2) To a lesser extent, Loki focused on the same bad business model that is probably plaguing LGP: being a porting house for obsolete Windows games rather than a conduit for original material. Sadly enough, Loki could probably have been long-term successful if not for #1 above.

The biggest obstacle here for LGP and its current business model is that it has to grovel at Windows games publishers' dinner tables in order to get pre-chewed table scraps at brand-new prices that appeal to a small segment of the Linux gaming population. This ensures that LGP can never achieve real success.

Re:Speculations anyone? (1)

Carik (205890) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663738)

What everyone else has said is true: mismanagement was the main cause of Loki's failure.

But what no one wants to admit is that when you have a relatively small market, and a majority of that market refuses to pay (or at least to pay full price) for software, you're pretty much doomed from the start.

I was subscribed to a few LUG mailing lists while Loki still existed, and it was extremely common on both lists for a group of five or ten people to get together to buy one copy of the CD, then share the game. Ok, yes, they paid for a copy of the software, but if each five people buy one copy, Loki only gets 1/5 of the money they would have otherwise. With better management, they might have been able to survive that, but with the people they had in charge, they were doomed.

Soon... (1)

excid3 (1108239) | more than 4 years ago | (#32661926)

Soon enough Valve is releasing the source engine on Linux anyways, and once we have native ports of those games, how were they going to compete anyways?

Well doh (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662006)

You can't make money selling games when they're all given away for free.

Well doh-A career in charity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662104)

You can't make a living programming for free.

Re:Well doh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662494)

Yeah... Red Hat [redhat.com] cannot exist. Unpossible!!111

Re:Well doh (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664118)

So this company is going to make a ton selling support contracts for their games?

Re:Well doh (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665884)

Red Hat is by farrrrrrrrrr not free.
They open source/GPL their alterations, but they're product is not free.

Re:Well doh (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32665858)

You can't make money selling games when they're all given away for free.

When was the last time you saw production-quality games for free other than the obvious like Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and Doom?
Torrents don't count, in this comparison.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662080)

...LGP responds to YOU!

LGPL Demise? (1)

ben_kelley (234423) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662142)

Oh sorry. LGP, not LGPL.

what the fuck is wrong with slashdot comments? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662420)

why is this shit all fucked up and I get a new page every time I click on a thread. Turn that shit off!

LGP Still Lives! (4, Informative)

flnca (1022891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662510)

LGP's blog [linuxgamepublishing.com] shows that the company is still active. Last update was from April 5, 2010.

Re:LGP Still Lives! (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662680)

And that blog makes it obvious that updates aren't their first priority. meh. Many of Phoronix' news item really suck; they're really only interested in driving traffic, or so it seems to me.

Re:LGP Still Lives! (1)

flnca (1022891) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662828)

Indeed, first thing I did was clicking on LGP's site to see if it's true. lol -- But I'm really interested in Linux games, and so I'm happy I found that site. :) Thing is, I don't use Windows at all currently (I use it only on VirtualBox if I have to use a specific tax app once a year), so I'm happy about any Linux-related products that I find. I don't mind spending money for Linux software. Right now I'm thinking of going back to a 32-Bit Linux distro for maximum compatibility, especially for gaming. I have PowerDVD, Nero and Renoise for Linux. Quake 4 worked fine some time ago, and I have to try UT3 on Linux, and install UT2004 again. I'm definitely getting some LGP ports for Linux. Their DRM seems to be pretty non-intrusive, and decent, as well. :)

I spoke with the owner a couple of weeks ago... (2, Interesting)

Maquis196 (535256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662888)

As I said, I spoke to Michael Simms a couple of weeks ago over email to see what could be done about getting the license to the Linux port of Alpha Centauri so it could be patched and sold again, etc.

Didn't see any evidence that LGP had stopped working, they're a part time company mostly from what I gather, give them some credit!

Oh and as for SMAC, it seems Mr Simms tried hard; nay VERY HARD to get the rights to it but with no success, I'm hoping that if Steam does make it to Linux we can use that as the carrot to get a few of the older Loki titles back.

Cheers,
Maquis196

Alpha Centauri ported to Alpha Platform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662956)

You don't say?

News post update from the site: (5, Informative)

PBoyUK (1591865) | more than 4 years ago | (#32663328)

"Wed, June 23 2010
Is grateful to Slashdot for finally noticing that LGP exists, after militantly ignoring any game release we have made for the last 5 years, as soon as reports of our death come through, we get a front page story. Slashdot - Your support of Linux is inspirational. For others who wonder, we are very much alive. We have had a couple of staffing issues, but work is progressing on more than one unannounced title. We will offer furether updates as and when there is news to update you with."


Seems like ya'll have hit a nerve! For me, I've bought 2 LGP games in the past, and enjoyed them, though they were certainly not AAA titles. I do wish they were more forthcoming with information though.

Short answer (2, Informative)

The Infamous Grimace (525297) | more than 4 years ago | (#32664162)

No. [linuxgamepublishing.com]

Longer answer:

LGP News

Wed, June 23 2010
Is grateful to Slashdot for finally noticing that LGP exists, after militantly ignoring any game release we have made for the last 5 years, as soon as reports of our death come through, we get a front page story. Slashdot - Your support of Linux is inspirational.
For others who wonder, we are very much alive. We have had a couple of staffing issues on the admin side of things, which explains most of our silence, but work is progressing on more than one unannounced title. We will offer further updates as and when there is news to update you with.

The REAL problem with games on linux (1)

recrudescence (1383489) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666036)

The REAL problem with games on linux is that the 'omg OpenSource' discussion kicks in whenever games on linux are mentioned, and a google search on games for linux floods you with stuff like nexuiz and frozen bubble or how to run games on linux using wine. Meanwhile, companies like LGP who, perhaps lack a strong marketing department, end up on row 24 of a google search, buried under a bunch of links which don't interest most serious gamers who are just trying to look for nice games to play on their machine.

Confound that with the fact that linux works via repositories, and there isn't a provision (in fact, there's efforts to default against it) for looking up commercial stuff like this from the repositories, and you get the idea. I consider myself a staunch linux supporter, who advocates that proper gaming would be a turning point for linux, and this is *still* the first time I've ever even heard of LGP today! I buy games for windows all the time, I would (and now will) definitely buy them for linux, once I know they exist!

(... and before the pedants react, no, looking whether a *specific* game runs on linux somehow, isn't good enough, and definitely not the solution to the exposure problem.)

Just wish more companies (1)

SLot (82781) | more than 4 years ago | (#32666590)

provided native linux ports in the first place.

S2games comes to mind.

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