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Steam Not Coming To Linux

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the put-yer-pants-back-on dept.

Games 520

dkd903 writes "A rumor has been going around for about four months that Valve was working on a Linux version of Steam and this had a lot of people in the Linux community very excited. But, Valve has now officially killed the rumor. And it is not what people wants to hear – there is no Linux version of Steam in development. Doug Lombardi, the Marketing VP of Valve Corporation, in an interview, has put an end to all the rumors by saying that they are not working on Steam for Linux right now."

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Not ready as a gaming platform (5, Insightful)

odies (1869886) | about 4 years ago | (#33339610)

It's not really a surprise. To begin with 99% of commercial games don't even have a Linux version, so there's nothing to sell to Linux gamers. You can't really rely on emulation either, if you sell the game as a Linux version you really have to do a native build. Then there are hundreds of different Linux distros and configurations which all work a little bit different. Also, just imagine the outcry about DRM and Valve not open sourcing Steam or it's games. The whole open source and everything-must-be-free mentality goes against businesses. You can already read here on slashdot how some people refuse to use Steam because it might go down in 50 years. This thinking is 100x worse with Linux users.

I think the problem with Linux is that those who develop it push their philosophy too much and refuse to give room for other philosophies, along with way too much spread ecosystem (distros, configurations, all the problems). There's a reason why we still haven't seen the year of Linux on desktop and probably never will. As much as I dislike Apple, if you want an UNIX based desktop OS you get a Mac.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339706)

Most serious gamers have dual-boot or a console. There aren't many sales to be gained, honestly.

Linux would have more to gain by this than Valve, and it's not like it's a priority for the Linux community...

Serious gamers (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339890)

"Serious gamers" is a contradiction in terms (much like "law-abiding criminals"), so "dedicated gamers" might be a better term.

Re:Serious gamers (3, Insightful)

thousandinone (918319) | about 4 years ago | (#33340142)

A contradiction in terms? On what do you base that claim exactly? Someone who has a crime on their record is a criminal, regardless of whether they're actively breaking the law or not. If you've ever paid a speeding ticket rather than (successfully) contesting it in court, you are by definition a law-abiding criminal.

Similarly, Anyone who takes any form of game seriously would meet the definition of 'serious gamer;' professional sports come to mind, as well as the 'serious business' gaming crowd. And one can be dedicated without being serious, just as one can take something seriously without being particularly dedicated to it.

Dual boot (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339964)

I use Ubuntu exclusively for business and casual use. But for gaming I'll dual boot to Windows 7 (came with the laptop) and play without having to fiddle with anything.

The Windows 7 partition has only one application: Steam. And that's the way I like it.

Even if Steam got ported to Linux, I'm not sure I would switch. I can't imagine all the games being ported, so there is not much to be gained.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (4, Informative)

watermark (913726) | about 4 years ago | (#33340058)

I do dual boot, but I wouldn't have a need to dual boot if the games ran native in Linux. The only reason windows exists on my box is to run games, bringing the cost of games to $cost_of_games+$microsoft_tax. While I like free things as much as the next guy, I expect to pay for games (just not monthly, screw Blizzard.) Steam's DRM is unintrusive and very rarely causes me inconveniences.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (0, Offtopic)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 years ago | (#33340084)

Bingo....

Wife and I were looking at some PC games on the shelf.... we walked over and bough the Xbox360 versions instead.

Why game on a tiny 24" monitor when we can use the 52 in the living room and the 7.1 surround sound that has 4500 watts and is properly set up....

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1)

JLangbridge (1613103) | about 4 years ago | (#33340220)

Your argument is sound, but there are exceptions. At home I have a PC hooked directly into the TV via HDMI, playing 5.1 (not 7.1) natively. No 24" monitor. The girlfriend plays World of Warcraft on it when she doesn't want to bring out the lappy. 1920x1080 resolution, nice fast graphics, and a wireless keyboard and mouse to drive it all. Granted, consoles are a LOT easier, as in "plug and play", and setting up the PC does take a while, and for most things a PC is overkill for a home TV, but it can be done, and isn't that difficult. That doesn't stop us from having a PS3 plugged in, which does everything the PC does, but is just easier (and faster to boot). The PS3 is sexy, and "just works", the PC is big, heavy, ugly and doesn't quite fit behind the TV. However, for some people, plugging a PC into a TV is the "norm".

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339708)

Everything you posted in the first portion was a statement of fact:

1. games aren't linux based right now
2. wine isn't perfectly reliable
3. there are a lot of distros out there
4. people who use linux tend to outcry against drm

Then you said this, which I believe got you marked as flaimbait

The whole open source and everything-must-be-free mentality goes against businesses.

I think it's quite silly moderation. Not every piece of software falls under the "give it away, sell support and/or advertising" model which has allowed some open source companies to thrive. Many large production games would never have seen the light of day if they had to use the same business model as a Redhat or Google product.

Why this insight is considered flamebait, I'm not sure.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1, Interesting)

bysin (173686) | about 4 years ago | (#33339730)

There are several things wrong with what you just said.
I'll start by saying 'Wine Is Not an Emulator', it implements Windows calls in Linux.
Everything in Linux doesn't have to be free an open source, theres no requirement of it. It would be a welcoming site to see proprietary applications being ported to Linux, even if it wasn't open sourced.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (0, Flamebait)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | about 4 years ago | (#33339938)

Sorry, Wine is an emulator. The authors created the acronym in order to separate themselves from "full" machine virtualization. Technically speaking, Wine does more than provide a reimplementation of the Windows API, it emulates certain aspects of the windows kernel and translates signals and exceptions into the X equivalent and vice-versa. Don't believe all the marketing you hear.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33340194)

it emulates certain aspects of the windows kernel and translates signals and exceptions into the X equivalent and vice-versa

"Emulation" has a precise, meaningful technical definition, one which you apparently do not understand.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (0)

RichiH (749257) | about 4 years ago | (#33339748)

First-person shooters work on Linux. And that is what most geeks, including me, seem to love.

But then, Alien Swarm, a Source-based (note the capital S) free (note the small f) TPS is not available for Mac. But Half Life 2 is. Go figure.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33339778)

Oh nonsense, it's perfectly friendly to commercial software, linux is our biggest platform in the enterprise sector I deal with.

It hasn't got a huge desktop install base, and whilst it would have won valve some kudos I'm not sure that it would have paid for its dev costs.

Me, I run it under wine and some of the games work as well as windows. Not all by a long stretch, but some.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339788)

>You can't really rely on emulation either, if you sell the game as a Linux version you really have to do a native build.
I have purchased countless PC games that were originally on Playstation 1/2, and all they were was the PS1/2 game running on an emulator. Same button assignment menus, and no real keyboard customization either. For example, Silent Hill.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (2, Interesting)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | about 4 years ago | (#33340014)

Tell that to all the developers releasing 'Mac' versions of their games when in reality it's simply the Windows version in a pretty Cider (Wine) package. I'm not disputing you by a long shot, I find the practice extremely obnoxious, but many developers aren't above doing it... EA is probably the most rampant that I've noticed.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33340168)

No, they were not running on an emulator.
Those are games directly ported to Windows without making the game more suitable for the PC.
Despite the console-like menu's and controls, what you received is actually a native build for Windows.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (4, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | about 4 years ago | (#33339814)

I think the problem with Linux is that those who develop it push their philosophy too much and refuse to give room for other philosophies

I'm probably going to upset a lot of people here by comparing Linux to religion; specifically Christianity, but the others are just as guilty of it:

When Monty Python's Life of Brian was released the church was up in arms about it, protesting and demanding it was banned because *they* didn't like it and *they* felt it was unacceptable for people to watch, that it had a negative effect on the church because it went against what they believed in. It never occurred to them that *other* people might be quite happy to go and see it without any issues at all, they just saw it as their duty to protect all us witless heathens from ourselves.

A lot of Linux users are exactly the same with anything closed source; *they* don't want closed source software and drivers because *they* feel it's unacceptable for people to use them and that it will have a negative effect on Linux because it goes against what they believe in. It never occurs to them that *other* people might be quite happy to use closed source software & drivers without any issues at all and just see it as their duty to protect all us witless heathens from ourselves.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (-1, Troll)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 4 years ago | (#33339906)

I'm probably going to upset a lot of people here

Indeed. Rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble...

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (3, Insightful)

gid (5195) | about 4 years ago | (#33339930)

I'm sure myself along with many other Linux users are perfectly fine with things such as the closed source nvidia drivers. I'm just glad they exist. I'll let the kernel developers and nvidia duke it out on their own tho.

As long as I don't have to purchase a driver, I'm fine. :)

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (2, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 years ago | (#33340034)

Linux is open source and covers many different groups. You fall guilty of the same nonsense using what was originally an M$ marketing strategy to paint all Linux users the same.

Governments use it, corporations use it, the military uses it, the bulk of ISP's use it. The majority use it to save time, hassle and of course money. Some use it because of greater control they can exercise over it.

Really it is no different to defining all M$ coders as tiny limp windrones and that statement is also not true.

Back on topic what was interesting was the answer, 'There's no Linux version that we're working on right now', so there is a Linux version and they are no longer working on it but will likely do so again in the future, likely subject to the success of smart books and Android and Linux code merging a bit.

At a guess you most likley will see and Android version for smartbooks and even phones first, all that late 90s early 2000s software ported across.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (3, Insightful)

locallyunscene (1000523) | about 4 years ago | (#33340038)

The same can be said of any ideology. Do you believe it is better to have access to the source code, or do you believe that companies will fairly use the trust you have given them to create better products? You think you know the answer that is best for you and they think they know the answer that is best for them. They aren't "forcing" anything on you like most religions I know.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33340230)

I think I, personally, have zero use for the source code, so any benefit from it being available comes from other people using it to do things I want. Except...I use Linux, and I find I don't like what I'm doing so much on it, so other people having the source code doesn't matter to me.

And as far as religions go, if you've not noticed a similarity in tone to the discussions on open source, then...lucky you.

Excuse me? (5, Insightful)

voss (52565) | about 4 years ago | (#33340074)

Who is "They" and how many is a "lot"????

I use closed source nvidia drivers with no particular ethical issues.
Most linux users (more than 50%) would be perfectly happy if their favorite game
worked on linux whether it was closed source or open source, native linux or WINE.

As a linux user I will say his "holiness" Richard Stallman does not speak for me.

Re:Excuse me? (1)

Johnny O (22313) | about 4 years ago | (#33340164)

ditto

Re:Excuse me? (5, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 4 years ago | (#33340178)

As a linux user I will say his "holiness" Richard Stallman does not speak for me.

It's GNU/Linux you heathen scum!

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | about 4 years ago | (#33340190)

The problem is not that there are so many, but that they are the most outspoken. I'd say the vast majority of Linux users are more concerned with their systems being fully functional rather then worrying over "tainting" themselves with proprietary drivers. Problem is, since they do not carry the same kind of conviction in their chosen philosophy, all you here from is the open-source extremists.

Your post akin to racism (0, Flamebait)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | about 4 years ago | (#33340248)

Group them all into a stereotype and then begin to bash the group. The groups in this case Linux, and Christians, so what's your "ultimate solution"? Send them to the gas chambers?

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339824)

It's not really a surprise. To begin with 99% of commercial games don't even have a Linux version

And in other news, fire is hot. Thank you Captain Obvious.

, so there's nothing to sell to Linux gamers. You can't really rely on emulation either, if you sell the game as a Linux version you really have to do a native build.

If you plan on selling a game for any platform, you need a native build. Again, thank you Captain Obvious.

Then there are hundreds of different Linux distros and configurations which all work a little bit different.

And? Would't be hard to have a system requirement Debian base? You know ... like many games require Windows Vista +, so you are fscked on XP or 2000.

Also, just imagine the outcry about DRM and Valve not open sourcing Steam or it's games.

VMWare Workstation ran/runs fine on Linux without open sourcing it. Nobody complains. As for DRM, not many people complain about Steam anyways.

The whole open source and everything-must-be-free mentality goes against businesses.

Yes because Redhat are bankrupt and Novell also and IBM too and oh yes, Google also.

You can already read here on slashdot how some people refuse to use Steam because it might go down in 50 years.

Is anything wrong with people standing up for their principals, morals, ethics, beleifs? Next thing you are going to complain about people refusing to eat meat because they beleive about animal rights?

This thinking is 100x worse with Linux users.

I think the problem with Linux is that those who develop it push their philosophy too much and refuse to give room for other philosophies

Because you made a scientific survey of Linux users with a good statistical sample so you can come to the conclusion that Linux users are 100x worse? Nice ad hominem sopssa, nice ad hominem.

There's a reason why we still haven't seen the year of Linux on desktop and probably never will.

The desktop is dead. And Linux is already taking over the mobile space, the next big market.

As much as I dislike Apple, if you want an UNIX based desktop OS you get a Mac.

You dislike the US, Apple, Google, Linux and are a China and MS apologist, odies. Or should we call you sopssa? Or SquarePixel? Which sockpuppet's name should we use.

Nice troll pal, nice troll. Too bad some idiot moderators can't see through.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (4, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 4 years ago | (#33339872)

To begin with 99% of commercial games don't even have a Linux version, so there's nothing to sell to Linux gamers.

The same could be said of Macs. Part of what made Steam viable on the Mac was Valve porting a number of their games over to the Mac. And they could do it again for Linux if they wanted to...

Also, just imagine the outcry about DRM and Valve not open sourcing Steam or it's games. The whole open source and everything-must-be-free mentality goes against businesses. You can already read here on slashdot how some people refuse to use Steam because it might go down in 50 years. This thinking is 100x worse with Linux users.

This, I think, is the real problem.

I like free stuff as much as the next guy... And I'm not a big fan of DRM in general... But I can at least accept that game developers need to eat, and that I'm not entitled to their games for free, and that Steam is a relatively reasonable platform.

A lot of folks here on Slashdot disagree with me. A lot of folks here on Slashdot think Steam is an absolutely horrible thing. They wouldn't touch it with a 10' pole. They sure as hell wouldn't install it on their Linux system and purchase games through it.

I think the Linux market is even smaller than the Mac market... Not because of the number of users out there, but because of the philosophy you see behind so many Linux users.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (4, Insightful)

Macrat (638047) | about 4 years ago | (#33339996)

To begin with 99% of commercial games don't even have a Linux version, so there's nothing to sell to Linux gamers.

The same could be said of Macs. Part of what made Steam viable on the Mac was Valve porting a number of their games over to the Mac. And they could do it again for Linux if they wanted to...

Most Mac owners actually BUY software.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33340128)

To begin with 99% of commercial games don't even have a Linux version, so there's nothing to sell to Linux gamers.

The same could be said of Macs. Part of what made Steam viable on the Mac was Valve porting a number of their games over to the Mac. And they could do it again for Linux if they wanted to...

Most Mac owners actually BUY software.

Only because they can't steal it from work.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1, Insightful)

mark72005 (1233572) | about 4 years ago | (#33339978)

You're right that there needs to be more room for the other viewpoints. Personally, it irritates me when I install ubuntu or similar, and drivers that I need for wireless are included in the available libraries, but you have to opt-in to those because they "are not free software". If you know that my wireless card is in there, why not turn it on by default? Why assume I won't want to use a system device unless the driver is "free software"? The assumption should be made in the other direction. Does anyone ever say "oh, it's not free software? Well, I'll just run an ethernet cable across my house! take that, broadcom!"

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (4, Informative)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | about 4 years ago | (#33340208)

I think its less to do with some ideology about only using free software, but with the license under which ubuntu is packaged, where it can't automatically opt you into closed-source software

Straw-man argument (1)

voss (52565) | about 4 years ago | (#33340010)

World of Warcraft and EVE online run just fine on Linux with WINE. Neither company uses DRM on their client. EVE online had a native linux client but
the WINE version ran better.

Despite all the mythlogy about "too many distros" the truth of the matter is that 90%+ of linux users use spinoffs of one of four distros (debian, redhat, suse, and mandriva) all of which run WINE just about the same.

Re:Straw-man argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33340200)

World of Warcraft and EVE online run just fine on Linux with WINE. Neither company uses DRM on their client.

Neither of those games uses DRM because they require subscriptions to play. You can download the World of Warcraft client for free off Blizzard's website, even.

I doubt most companies would enjoy trying to support software being run on emulators anyway though. That's just an extra layer of crap to deal with.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1)

Anne Honime (828246) | about 4 years ago | (#33340028)

I think the problem with Linux is that those who develop it push their philosophy too much and refuse to give room for other philosophies, along with way too much spread ecosystem (distros, configurations, all the problems). There's a reason why we still haven't seen the year of Linux on desktop and probably never will.

You are wrong. There are commercial products released for *some* linux flavours. Agreed, they don't fare well on the linux ecosystem at large, for simple reasons : install is complicated while native free softwares are at hand's reach after an 'apt-get install zzz' or 'yum install zzz', they don't run on every flavour whereas native apps correctly packaged do, you can't get insurance your paid software will keep on running after upgrade while free softwares can be recompiled to take advantage of new system features, commercial applications generally don't respect native look and feel relying on wine while native apps do behave nicely (at the cost of an automated compilation in the worst case), and basically, non-free softwares generally expects linux to behave like windows which is orthogonal to the desire of linuxers to have the system *not* be windows-like, favouring stability over usability. Knwo what ? Many linuxers use linux as a desktop, it works, commercial softwares are simply subpar on linux compared to native apps. End of story, until commercial editors are going to invest on native ports for the platform.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | about 4 years ago | (#33340048)

This is one of those classic cases where strength becomes weakness. The strength of Linux is diversity, but diversity is the bane of game testing and deployment.

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 years ago | (#33340134)

Exactly!

That's why there are no Closed source uses for linux....

We dont have linux running most of the internet or the Infrastructure for the fortune 500...

Oracle is not on linux. You cant do anything to make money on linux... Linux is dead.

Oh wait, Linux is used HEAVILY for commercial purposes and has software that cost more than 8000 Games at full MSRP. that is 100% closed source and chocked full of good ol' DRM.

Linux on the desktop is here. It's called ubuntu, you should try it, because a very large number of people not only have tried it, but use it every day...

Re:Not ready as a gaming platform (1)

sir lox elroy (735636) | about 4 years ago | (#33340152)

Unfortunately, you believe that all these different Distros will cause a problem with things like games, or distributing software for Linux. Perhaps if you took a while to understand what is going on you would realize this is an assumption that is incorrect. First off, there are 3 base Distros that 99.9% of the other Distros are based off of. Slackware, Debian, and Red Hat. Now these off-shoot Distros do sometimes like to use odd library versions, most the times newer libraries than their base Distro, this is easily remedy by either bringing your own, or building for the most stable base Distro (Ex. Debian Lenny, then distributing for Ubuntu, Mint, etc...). Also, it is easier to bring your own executable and all than relying on repositories or package managers. There has been and is some very successful software distributed that works on the vast majority of Distros, ex. Crossover Office (All in one binary with libraries and configs), VMWare (Again these are all in one binaries), ID Software (Again brought there own libraries and a Linux version is included on most CDs). As far as the "Pushy" philosophy you stated, the companies I mentioned are all "For Profit", which pretty much blows a hole in that theory, and shows that you do not truly understand the inner workings of Linux. And before you say it, yes Valve or whoever could bring their own registration codes, and would not have to put them out in the public, or even their source code. And yes I love to play Unreal Tournament on my Linux box. It rocks, along with RTCW, and some of the open source games.

Phoronix (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339632)

Your number one source on the web for wild speculation and misinformation in the linux world.

Wine (4, Informative)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 4 years ago | (#33339642)

Last I checked it ran pretty good in Wine (the Source engine too), so it's not a total loss.

Similar to what killed OS/2 (1, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 4 years ago | (#33339758)

Last I checked it ran pretty good in Wine (the Source engine too), so it's not a total loss.

Sure it's not a total loss, but that sort of thing is part of why OS/2 died and Windoze prevailed. OS/2 2.x+ had excellent Windows compatability up to the Win32s API's, which gave many developers little reason to target it with native versions of their code.

Re:Similar to what killed OS/2 (1)

cHiphead (17854) | about 4 years ago | (#33339854)

OS/2 was a commercial competitor with Windows, Wine is there for convenience.

Its up to developers to move to Linux, it will happen regularly as the big players get massive and small time guys can't afford to pay for patent licensing to develop a game that HAS to use proprietary technologies as a result of the host OS, we just haven't quite hit that point.

Re:Similar to what killed OS/2 (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 years ago | (#33339888)

OS/2 2.x+ had excellent Windows compatability up to the Win32s API's, which gave many developers little reason to target it with native versions of their code.

You must have been running a different version of OS/2 2.1 than I was, where you had to install Windows 3.1 under OS/2 in order to GET that compatibility, and it further shit itself regularly.

There is no fanboy more tiresome than an OS/2 fanboy, and I say this as a former Amigan (I know, I know, I don't look like a newt.) Seriously, we're talking about a two-bit unfinished OS (well, it's good for embedded systems, but the GUI is a joke, I don't care how much you love the PM, it is seriously a featureless antique today) created by an evil corporation. I know I'm not the only one who remembers that the service contract for the holocaust management equipment (the concentration camp management computers) was serviced straight out of Armonk. How can you summon such enthusiasm for such a half-assed operating system? Just because it's stable if you never ever even use the GUI? I had a friend who even ran X on top of OS/2, and didn't run OS/2 apps. Fail, fail.

I think I was misunderstood (2, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | about 4 years ago | (#33340056)

Oh I'm not a fanboy; haven't even booted OS/2 in years, and yes the compatability was at first shaky (much like Wine) then got stronger. I was just seeing a similarity here. Why develop games for Linux when many 'run OK' on Wine?

I'd LOVE to see Steam on Linux, and more games ported to Linux. I'm not sure why I was modded as flamebait when I was making a valid point that is of course open to debate.

Re:I think I was misunderstood (0, Redundant)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 years ago | (#33340088)

Oh I'm not a fanboy; haven't even booted OS/2 in years, and yes the compatability was at first shaky (much like Wine) then got stronger.

It was always shaky and always required a full install of Windows 3.1 which makes it pretty irrelevant. It was nothing like Wine.

I was just seeing a similarity here. Why develop games for Linux when many 'run OK' on Wine?

Yes, this is the essence of the flamewar which often develops when someone says what you have said.

Re:Wine (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339784)

I don't see how much overhead it would take a developer to do a couple of tests against Wine for Linux targetable games. Wine is stable now and works pretty good. I have quite a pile of Loki ports and to be honest, the windows version usually works better with Wine on my modern linux system.

For non-free software, a binary is a binary is a binary, as long as it works I don't really sweat the API they've developed to.

Re:Wine (4, Insightful)

Americano (920576) | about 4 years ago | (#33339936)

It would take just as long as testing on windows, and they'd sell a handful of additional copies as a result of that effort.

And that, in a nutshell, is why they won't bother.

Re:Wine (0, Flamebait)

JonJ (907502) | about 4 years ago | (#33339792)

Unless you have two monitors, in which case, wine is shit and steam runs like crap.

Re:Wine (2, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about 4 years ago | (#33340238)

Yes, but trying to run Steam with different games requiring different WINE settings is a giant pain in the ass.

Tis a shame, but I understand (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33339648)

It would be nice to have a gaming standard as big as Steam available for Linux, but between spotty drivers and lack of Linux versions for most games, I can understand why Valve won't make the investment.

Oh well, WINE works "good enough", I suppose...Still, this is just one more reason I keep a Windows 7 64 bit machine around.

Re:Tis a shame, but I understand (1)

armanox (826486) | about 4 years ago | (#33339796)

It would be nice to have a gaming standard as big as Steam available for Linux, but between spotty drivers and lack of Linux versions for most games, I can understand why Valve won't make the investment.

/quote> First off, I am going to have to disagree with the driver statement. This isn't 2006 anymore. Secondly, that same statement can be applied to questioning Steam on Mac OS.

Re:Tis a shame, but I understand (1)

Hyppy (74366) | about 4 years ago | (#33339980)

First off, I am going to have to disagree with the driver statement. This isn't 2006 anymore. Secondly, that same statement can be applied to questioning Steam on Mac OS.

OSX doesn't have nearly as many driver problems, because the hardware is very tightly controlled.

I'm glad (3, Insightful)

rshxd (1875730) | about 4 years ago | (#33339658)

Linux is for serious business. If you want to goof around, buy a Mac

Re:I'm glad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339668)

Swap this around and that's what happens in the real world.

Re:I'm glad (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339770)

Developing Ruby on Rails "apps" on your MacBook while taking multiple dicks up the butt is not "serious business".

Re:I'm glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339954)

That made me lol.

Re:I'm glad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33340150)

That -1, Troll mod down is actually a +5, Too Damn Close to the Truth mod...

Re:I'm glad (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | about 4 years ago | (#33339934)

Umm, yes, because so many enterprises have adopted Mac OS...

Insightful my arse. Linux is much bigger than Mac in the enterprise.

Re:I'm glad (1)

Macrat (638047) | about 4 years ago | (#33340022)

Yes, the employees in enterprises are adopting the Mac OS.

That's very different from what IT keeps in the closet.

Re:I'm glad (2, Interesting)

rshxd (1875730) | about 4 years ago | (#33340050)

Well I'm out of the closet. Want to go for a coffee one afternoon?

Re:I'm glad (1)

Americano (920576) | about 4 years ago | (#33340040)

Sure, on servers.

Do a survey of desktop systems, and then consider whether anybody even knows or cares what os the server they're talking to runs?

Re:I'm glad (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 4 years ago | (#33340174)

Riiiight.........

I see so many MAC servers in the back room running the internet and big business....

Re:I'm glad (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | about 4 years ago | (#33339782)

Linux is for serious business.

Ah, but even internet spaceships [eveonline.com] aren't officially supported anymore...

Re:I'm glad (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | about 4 years ago | (#33340130)

...because there are so many Steam games for Mac right now?

Im a MAC (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339664)

So who is the gameless OS now? Brb Iphone street fighter time.

tl;dr what everyone else is going to say: (2)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | about 4 years ago | (#33339674)

"Fuck."

Valve != iD I suppose (2, Informative)

Da w00t (1789) | about 4 years ago | (#33339682)

iD software has historically produced Linux versions of their games; I remember fondly playing the quake(s), and doom 3 under Linux. While there have been lots and lots of reports over the years showing there is a Linux gaming market, it isn't a large enough market share for these game developers to put serious effort into it. I bet some of them actually see developing for Linux as a hindrance, even though most big game dev companies essentially abstract-out the bits between PS3, XBOX, Wii, PC, etc that are different.

Re:Valve != iD I suppose (4, Interesting)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about 4 years ago | (#33339760)

I like iD, they've historically given back to the public domain after a limited period of time. As their new tech comes out they've released the older tech to the general public. My game purchases may be pittance but I like rewarding them as best I can for their actions even in this crappy economy. Still have the metal box Quake 3 Linux package and CD. >_>

Re:Valve != iD I suppose (5, Informative)

segin (883667) | about 4 years ago | (#33339772)

Developing for Linux is a lot like developing for OS X - pthreads, POSIX, OpenGL, and all. Besides, if they need their games ported to Linux, all they would have to do is contract Ryan Gordon [icculus.org] .

Re:Valve != iD I suppose (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 4 years ago | (#33339850)

The thing with Steam was getting the marketplace/appstore aspect of it into Linux. It creates a shopping venue and hence a customer base. iD might have produced a Linux version of their game, but you don't see them unless you go out searching for them specifically, and you don't tend to see other Linux games on the e-shelves to buy while you're buying the latest iD game.

It's sad, but Linux gaming is actually regressing, whilst the OS as a whole is going forward. Bioware released Neverwinter Nights for Linux. They haven't done the same for any other game. Loki was doing lots of ports for many games years ago, but they folded. The only thing Linux gets these days are indie-games like Heroes of Newerth.

I don't think it's a platform issue - if you statically compile your libraries you don't need to worry about dependencies or various distros. I think it's just a matter of mindset. Linux and most of the popular apps used on it are open source. They're free as in speech and as in beer, and that app works fine for creating applications, but it simply doesn't work for creating games. Games require many more people, and what's worse, games have to have constant new versions and new content coming out. We can work 20 years to perfect GIMP or Gnome or OpenOffice.org, but with games people need something different every few years.

I really do wish we had a native WoW client at a minimum. Blizzard makes most of their money from subscriptions anyways, so the platform is moot. And no, WINE isn't good enough. Playable, sure, but everytime I try it SOMETHING is off. The run animation is repeating the left step with no right step animation, the frames on the buttons aren't aligned correctly with the center portion, the sound is choppy, etc. If you really want your fix and refuse to run Windows or a Mac then sure, it works, but I have a better gaming experience by just keeping a Windows XP machine around to play the games on.

Re:Valve != iD I suppose (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339892)

I remember load testing an old 386sx40 with 8MB RAM. I spawned 2 instances of Quake and it redefined the concept of lag, but it didn't crash. Linux is the most stable OS I've seen.

Confirmation (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339698)

they are not working on Steam for Linux right now.

This confirms they will be working on it later! I bet it'll be out in time to make 2011 the year of Linux on the desktop!

Re:Confirmation (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 years ago | (#33340062)

Maybe they'll buy the IP for DN:F and port it?

We have WINE 1.2 now. So, miracles can happen...

Re:Confirmation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33340114)

By the time the year of Linux on the Desktop arrives, no one will use desktops.

Re:Confirmation (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | about 4 years ago | (#33340184)

they are not working on Steam for Linux right now.

This confirms they will be working on it later!

Though this is obviously in jest, it's not like it's unheard of for Valve to completely change their position on a platform.

Gabe Newell on the PS3, January 2007:

The PS3 is a total disaster on so many levels, I think it's really clear that Sony lost track of what customers and what developers wanted. I'd say, even at this late date, they should just cancel it and do a 'do over.' Just say, 'This was a horrible disaster and we're sorry and we're going to stop selling this and stop trying to convince people to develop for it.'

Gabe Newell on the PS3, October 2007:

I think [PS3 is] a waste of everybody's time. Investing in the Cell, investing in the SPE gives you no long-term benefits. There's nothing there that you're going to apply to anything else. You're not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they've created. I don't think they're going to make money off their box. I don't think it's a good solution.

Gabe Newll on the PS3, May 2010:

We would love to see the PS3 be more open like a Mac than more closed like a Gamecube. It makes it easier to justify those investments if that were the case.

One month later he was on stage at E3 during Sony's keynote announcing Portal 2.

I completely agree that Steam on Linux as a released product is unlikely any time soon. We've seen the fragments that made it in to the Mac code so we know it's being worked on, but there's a huge gap between some (or even just one) of the developers tinkering in their spare time and having a workable program plus games to deploy with it. The actual technology's not going to be much different than the Mac code, but the support for the various distros and often crappy video drivers and everything that comes with those is still the biggest hurdle to clear.

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339702)

They can keep their DRM. I decide what ops run on my silicon; not Gabe.

Re:Good (1, Offtopic)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 4 years ago | (#33339734)

I decide that Steam can run on my silicon.

Re:Good (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33339810)

Steam may have had serious problems in the past, but nowadays I find it to be the easiest form of DRM to get along with. Beyond that, being able to cloud-save my games, buy-one-copy-play-it-on-PC-or-Mac, and ease of reinstallation if/when I format my hard drive make it worth dealing with. There are also some games that, using their original install disc, can be a bit wonky on XP or Windows 7...but with Steam, they work perfectly. True, that means you have to rebuy the darn thing, but if $5 means I can play some of my older games without having to jack around with them, I see it as just a convenience fee.

Steam hate made plenty of sense back in the day when it first started up...but nowadays, it's the only way I purchase PC games (other than Good Old Games [gog.com] , of course.)

Give it up already (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339790)

Linux on the consumer desktop is dead. That movement has produced very little in terms of market share. Too many distros, too much confusion. Everyone is lording over their tiny kingdom with their arcane conventions and GUI metaphors. Ubuntu was the great white hope, but that too has not given rise to mass adoption, like say, Firefox has.

We're in the post-PC iPad era. Luckily, Linux is beating the shit out of Microsoft in the mobile arena, where it matters with Android. The bad thing is that the OS has been bent to the will of corporate behemoths like Google, despite being "open" in theory.

fooled me (2, Interesting)

ko10ha (1343785) | about 4 years ago | (#33339804)

I actually bought a new computer, partly in anticipation of steam and half-life2 coming to Linux. Silly me. And in response to those that keep saying that there are too many distro's and that Linux for games for that reason is a lost cause - I don't buy that. I'm running Openbox on Slackware, there's no gnome on my machine and I never use kde. Yet, only rarely do I encounter a program that does not run (usually because of lots of silly gnome libs not being present). I mean, what does a game need from kde or gnome or what have you? Is Linux + X not sufficient? I don't get it.

Re:fooled me (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33339874)

Games require fast access to 3D, audio and controls. Having dozens of distros all doing things their own way is a PITA.

And the last time I heard someone talk about X, he was saying it's two decades behind in terms of what games require.

Like it or not, there has to be a single Linux distro with a single specific setup if you want companies to support Linux at all.

Re:fooled me (1, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 years ago | (#33340026)

Games require fast access to 3D, audio and controls. Having dozens of distros all doing things their own way is a PITA.

No, it isn't. You target SDL, OpenAL, et cetera. They work fine on the popular distributions, i.e. the ones you have to care about.

And the last time I heard someone talk about X, he was saying it's two decades behind in terms of what games require.

He was either a liar or unqualified to comment... or it was two decades ago. We have OpenGL, we have SDL, we have OpenAL, we don't need anything else.

Like it or not, there has to be a single Linux distro with a single specific setup if you want companies to support Linux at all.

Games are being sold right now which run on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. But as anyone who has run all of these operating systems can attest, there are substantial compatibility problems between them. I have run software which will only run on all of these platforms. I have run software which runs on one or more but will not run on one or more other of them. And indeed, the Linux community will figure out how to run your software. That's how we got loki_compat [ukfsn.org] . All that is needed is to support either Debian or Fedora and the community will work it out.

Re:fooled me (1)

cowscows (103644) | about 4 years ago | (#33340116)

That's a fair point, but you could also argue that each of those different Windows environments has way more marketshare than all the different linux flavors combined. I can certainly see the business case that suggests that linux is more trouble than it's worth for game developers.

Re:fooled me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33340216)

If your game bundles all the libraries it requires, then it will work on any Linux distribution. This is how commercial software developers deploy on Linux; they're well aware of the pointless differences between the distributions so they bundle everything. If Steam ever did come to Linux, this is exactly how it would work.

Unfortunately, there are other, bigger problems, and when game developers complain about them, the freetards don't listen. WorksForMe(tm)!!!!!

Re:fooled me (2, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | about 4 years ago | (#33340108)

The reason your programs all work is that everybody is forced to live with the limitations and don't actually make the kind of programs that would have big problems with the different distros.

Like, for instance, closed-source modern games.

Re:fooled me (1)

amazeofdeath (1102843) | about 4 years ago | (#33340112)

Steam and HL2 work fine on Linux with WINE.

Burn in hell Valve (-1, Troll)

JonJ (907502) | about 4 years ago | (#33339882)

Yeah, seriously, burn.

Postal 3? (1)

slaapliedje (1884834) | about 4 years ago | (#33339896)

So does that mean that Postal 3 is going to be the only Non-Steam Source Engine game? We know it's been announced for Linux. And what of those libraries that Phoronix found? Curse your sudden, but inevitable betrayal!

Re:Postal 3? (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 4 years ago | (#33340098)

The final Troika game "Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines" beat it to this. It was one of the very first Source engine games, releasing around the same time as HL2. While there is a steam version available, there were plenty of boxed-copies sold which do not require the game to be imported into Steam. I've no idea whether it's playable under Linux; it was so buggy that a cynic might note that it wasn't even properly playable under Windows.

I don't follow (4, Insightful)

Jorl17 (1716772) | about 4 years ago | (#33339994)

I can't seem to follow this, nor get it straight in my mind.

It all started as rumors such as this one [dailyradar.com] .

But, then, they announced that it was official and that Valve had announced that it would be launching a Linux version. I do not recall seeing any actual Valve announcement, but this news hit Slashdot like a "Microsoft-is-dead!"-news-issue: http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/its-official-steam-coming-linux [linuxjournal.com]
And they say:

We recently touched on one way of being a Linux gamer. Recent news that Valve Software will soon be releasing a Linux client promises to provide another option for Linux gamers. The news could not come at a better time as the world will shortly focus on gaming with the upcoming, industry-only E3 conference, the crown jewel of the gaming industry.

While there are still no details on the list of game titles that will be available, the announcement alone is reason for any Linux gamer to get excited. Steam is a content delivery system for gamers which allows you to buy and download game titles and related media, once you have the client installed.


So, how do we go from announced to "not happening". Was this "announcement" a fake? It seems like it was...otherwise someone is BS me...

Re:I don't follow (5, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#33340132)

Protip: Those rumors had no basis in reality.. This is why you should not trust Phoronix as a source of reliable information in addition to their crappy benchmarks with questionable methodology.

Just cough up for a Windows license already (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33340064)

Seriously, an OEM copy of Windows 7 is less than $100US. That's what, 2 new release games? 5 good 2-3 year old games? If you can't dual-boot your PC, either buy a console, build a cheap gaming rig, or take what you can get.

Honestly, the idea that you have some sort of fundamental right to play closed-source, non-free games on your open-source, free platform is ridiculous on its face.

Linux is ideal for a lot of use cases. Gaming isn't one of them. Either deal with it, assist in Linux game development, or shut the fuck up.

It's not always about money. . . (1)

JSBiff (87824) | about 4 years ago | (#33340154)

I don't think anyone is saying you have a fundamental right to play Windows games on Linux. But maybe, some people prefer to use Linux. You say "Linux is ideal for a lot of use cases. Gaming isn't one of them." The primary reason is simply that native builds of many games aren't available for Linux. From a technical standpoint, there's nothing wrong with Linux as a gaming platform (unless you count the lack of DirectX/Direct3D as a technical deficiency).

Linux might be a better platform for gaming for a lot of people, from a technical standpoint, as they'd quite possibly get better stability and slightly better performance.

There's nothing wrong with people hoping that a game developer would start supporting their platform of choice. Yes, they could dual-boot into Windows to play their games (that's what I do), but honestly, it'd be really *nice* to be able to just use Linux all the time and ditch Windows completely. I'd really like to be able to buy a build of a game I want for Linux instead of Windows. I'd be willing to pay for that.

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that the Linux gamer market is too small, currently, for most studios/publishers to bother with.

Re:Just cough up for a Windows license already (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | about 4 years ago | (#33340254)

I keep a copy of XP around for gaming. Despite being mostly Linux user, I quite like XP.

I've no doubt Windows 7 may be better and more stable than XP but having set up a new Windows 7 laptop for a neighbour this past week, the Windows 7 UI is an absolute joke. Microsoft seem to have made changes for changes sake, it's more unusable than the default XP interface - fortunately, you have the Classic view in XP, I didn't have time to check if the same is available in Windows 7.

As to your comments regarding gaming on Linux, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. I have made a number of comparisons between native Linux games and their Windows counterparts (Unreal Tournament 2004, Quake I, II & III, etc.) and there is no real difference in frame-rates between the two when using the same versions of NVIDIA drivers.

My personal opinion is Linux is *BETTER* suited to gaming than Windows due to the amount of customisation you can do both within the kernel and the rest of the OS - not to mention the lack of the Windows registry which means that all the configuration for you apps and games is held in your home directory, if you want to copy those settings to another machine then you just copy them over.

Please get your facts straight in future.

This saddens me :( But we still have Wine (1)

Samulus Maximus (1868098) | about 4 years ago | (#33340122)

At least I still have games like Urban Terror and Hedgewars though. I think they should have still ported the steam client to Linux. And then just port the source engine and allow devs to choose to port other games or not. People are tired of running everything with Wine and tinkering for some games trying to get them to work properly. But at this rate with companies totally ignoring Linux I'm sure Wine will mature even more than it already is to the point where Wine will achieve 1:1 performance with Windows applications and we won't need to beg for a Linux native client anymore

Finally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33340182)

Finally they put that rumor to rest. So they can move people that were working on that project over to help finish Episode 3, right? That's what was holding it up, right? Guys?

Makes sense (-1, Troll)

frist (1441971) | about 4 years ago | (#33340244)

You can't sell software to freetards. After all, "INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE" is the freetard mantra, and Steam is all about making sure it's not free. Why does anyone care about this story?

Thats just fine (-1, Redundant)

harris s newman (714436) | about 4 years ago | (#33340246)

Who cares about closed source not running on Linux? Since I run only open source, if some company wants me to run it they must first make it open. In other words, F'-em.
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