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Blizzard Reportedly Planning A Linux Game For 2013

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the play-more-games dept.

Operating Systems 353

It looks like the recent success of Linux gaming has caught Blizzard's eye. According to "a reliable source at the company" 2013 will be the year that "at least one of their very popular titles will see a release for Ubuntu Linux." From the article: "It's been a poorly-kept secret that Blizzard has a native Linux client of World of Warcraft. As recently as 2011, the World of Warcraft Linux client was still being maintained internally. The client has been around for years and done by their own developers as a form of testing for the popular MMORPG currently offered on Windows and Mac OS X. As for why they haven't released the client, it's come down to "targeting a specific version of the platform" with Linux being "unstandardized" due to the many different distributions. There's still some fundamental problems with gaming on Linux. With World of Warcraft working generally fine under Wine as well, the company is further unmotivated to officially support a Linux build of the game."

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Gee haven't heard that before... (5, Insightful)

redmid17 (1217076) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497453)

FTA: " As for why they haven't released the client, it's come down to "targeting a specific version of the platform" with Linux being "unstandardized" due to the many different distributions." Just do what valve does. I mean I'm not going to be playing WoW, but millions do.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497497)

Awesome. And when everyone's account gets hacked they can lock everyone out of their account permanently for actions deemed inappropriate for Diablo III by the In-Game Support staff of Blizzard Entertainment. Let's do it!

Vendor lock-out. (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497875)

Blizzard ...

Meh.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497511)

Yeah, invest gobs of money on the smallest amount of market share that you will get from all of your supported platforms!

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (2)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497985)

Err the code is already done and working? Doesn't exactly require much more time and money to tar it up and post it online.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (5, Insightful)

Beetjebrak (545819) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498003)

Just release it for the most popular distro(-family), which is undeniably Ubuntu (covering Debian and Mint as well). The geeks will get it to work on everything else, no support needed or they wouldn't be using non-Ubuntu or non-Mint Linux anyway. As long as Blizzard provides builds for Ubuntu LTS x86 and amd64, the rest will be done for them.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (3, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498063)

It's called hedging your bet. With the future of Windows as a major consumer OS up in there, and with the likelihood of a Linux-based gaming platform on the horizon, it seems an awfully good idea to get your developers, particularly your platform developers, thinking in terms of portability. That way, whoever the ultimate winners in the consumer market are, you didn't fuck up your own success by backing the horse that didn't even show.

It isn't 2005 anymore, and Redmond isn't the only game in town.

Gee haven't heard that before (4, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497621)

I used to be like you, complaining that it was 'no big deal' to release a linux game. What could possibly be so hard about it? OpenGL, write once, run anywhere! Then ... I met GLX. And the documentation on opengl.org. And Gallium / LLVM. and Mesa. and ... well. i just try not to think about it too much. The doctors say I should be OK... eventually...

Re:Gee haven't heard that before (5, Interesting)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497729)

The ironic thing is to run on mac really well they already have decent GL support, not everyone is forced to use mesa libs anymore those are really a thing of the past and depricated, NVIDIA kernal modules come witht heir own set of those very same libs which are basically everywhere on every linux gamers desktops.

In essense they already have to cater to the specs of the vid card venders and what libs they prefer their hardware works with. So your argument is invalid for a big corp with devs who are very experienced in dealing with just that problem.

For a garage startup it sure is a big problem to get a good 3D engine going. But for starts you can do something with SDL libs which are fucking fantastic across all platforms.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42498283)

ugh, no, that's not the problem. The problem is that Linux gamers do not exist in the eyes of the developer, and they can not/will not release source code so it can just be complied on any version of the operating system since that will open it up to mass cheating/botting/exploits. If it will only work on one specific version of Linux, then that is the version you must run... and unlike Windows, or even MacOS, Linux breaks from even minor library updates. So say a newer version of Ubuntu comes out, and 20% update to it right away, and the WoW client stops working, Blizzard is not going to support running it on two different versions, they will only support running it on whatever version they are developing it on.

I'm saying this from the point of view of having talked to a different MMO 's QA team. It comes down to "It's bad enough we need to test against every version of Windows that people still use (Windows XP, Vista(32/64),7(32/64),8(32/64))"

The F Word (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497779)

Fragmentation.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (1)

dougmc (70836) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497687)

with Linux being "unstandardized" due to the many different distributions."

Of course, Windows has a similar number of different major "distributions" -- XP, 2003, 2008, 7, 8, Vista, etc.

Of course, Blizzard is happy to support all of those because the customer base is so much larger.

Making something that will work on the vast majority of Linux installations if not all is indeed an art -- but it's not *that* difficult, all they need to do is hire *one* guy skilled in the art and he can make it happen. Support is a bigger issue, but even there, the problem isn't really larger than it is in Windows land, it's just different and with fewer potential customers. (After all, most of the people who would use a Linux client would just use a Windows client if a Linux client isn't available -- the number of new customers who will appear because of a Linux client isn't that high.)

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (1)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497867)

Blizzard does not support server editions of Windows. Even if they did I don't know how 6 is "similar number" to the number of Linux distributions.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (3, Insightful)

Beetjebrak (545819) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498055)

6 isn't that far-fetched. You have Debian and its many derivatives which are extremely similar under the hood, RedHat and its seven dwarfs which will manage with the same RPM, OpenSUSE and a few oddballs like Arch, Gentoo and Slackware. If Blizzard supports these, the rest of the world will support itself right up to FreeBSD and back as long as Blizzard provides both x86 and amd64 builds and lets us know what libs they link against.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497879)

Obviously you have a great deal of experience porting a major, graphically intensive game to a myriad of (Linux) platforms.

Thank you for your valuable insight as to what is or isn't *that* difficult.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497945)

There aren't a myriad of Linux platforms. There's just one.

Every distribution is a collection of the same upstream projects.

On the other hand, Microsoft gaming APIs tend to change radically on each major release. Also, various combinations of hardware (like mobo+GPU) don't like to play nice with each other even under Windows. Companies put up with this because Microsoft has the majority of the market.

It has squat to do with technical considerations.

The same goes for Mac ports. It's all about the numbers. The number of potential customers.

You target Direc3D or GL or SDL or OpenAL.

All fixating on Ubuntu buys you is a set of releases that encapsulate a number of library and kernel versions.

Basic Unix tools will tell you what the game binary needs.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (1)

halltk1983 (855209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498155)

What you say is somewhat true for open source applications, though variations in drivers, kernel versions, and graphics managers make it non-trivial. But for binaries, which are released pre-compiled, things are a little more complicated.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (3, Insightful)

WrecklessSandwich (1000139) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497885)

with Linux being "unstandardized" due to the many different distributions."

Of course, Windows has a similar number of different major "distributions" -- XP, 2003, 2008, 7, 8, Vista, etc.

You're comparing apples to oranges. Supporting multiple versions of one OS does not equate to supporting different Linux distributions. Supporting Windows back to XP is more like supporting Ubuntu going back many versions (pre-4.10 if you want to do it by year, but if you want to normalize for number of OS versions you could go by what Canonical supports and start with 10.04 LTS).

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (3, Interesting)

dougmc (70836) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497977)

You're comparing apples to oranges. Supporting multiple versions of one OS does not equate to supporting different Linux distributions. Supporting Windows back to XP is more like supporting Ubuntu going back many versions (pre-4.10 if you want to do it by year, but if you want to normalize for number of OS versions you could go by what Canonical supports and start with 10.04 LTS).

See, this isn't about "normalizing", it's about differences and how difficult they are to write code to work with and support.

A modern (within the last few years) Fedora vs a modern Debian is very roughly about as different as XP vs Windows 7 (at least from the point of view of writing a program to run on them), and really, most of the compatibility problems with Linux distributions can be resolved by simply making a statically linked executable or including all the shared libraries that you need rather than assuming that they're part of the OS. (The Linux version of .dll hell, as it were, but at least they're not installed in a system directory to mess up other programs.)

I guess the problem becomes much larger if Blizzard tries to support Linux distributions going back to when XP was introduced (2001) but considering that they don't even support the original version of XP any more and instead require the most recent service pack even that's not a fair comparison. For the most part, supporting multiple Linux distributions aren't that bad -- the problems come in how 3D acceleration is handled, but even then you can pick a few systems and say you support them and not others. (For example, the open source Nvidia drivers probably don't perform well enough, when the binary blob drivers do, so support the latter but not the former.)

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (1)

dog77 (1005249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498011)

Windows software is generally written with backward compatibility in mind. Microsoft and software companies have a strong economic incentive to keep backwards compatibility. Good or bad, with free software, Linux does not have that incentive (at least in many cases) and so they are ok with breaking things and telling the users to update. If Linux wants to become a popular consumer platform, for games or business software, something needs to change.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498085)

If they just static link the necessary libraries, the difficulty of getting the software running on any major distro version from the last few years is not that hard.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42498035)

Of course, Windows has a similar number of different major "distributions" -- XP, 2003, 2008, 7, 8, Vista, etc.

Not even remotely the same thing. A game targeting DirectX9 or OpenGL should reasonably be able to run on every single OS you listed there no problem with no changes whatsoever. Trying to target a closed source to every distribution of Linux is frankly a pain in the ass. Hell, just trying to get a single blob of executable code run on any distribution is a hard sell.

well with windows vista,7, most of 8 are about the (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498209)

well with windows vista,7, most of 8 are about the same and need little changed to make a app work on all of them.

XP mainly is stuck with a older DX and older driver model.

linux has the libs mess and distributions update much faster then windows does.

The server windows os are based on the desktop ones under the hood.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497695)

Their elitists, and if you cant write your own games your not worthy of a linux client assholes!

On a more serious note their just overprotective of their baby getting bad press and they don't want to wreck the lives of millions of admins who actually do work instead of the M$ fanboi's who already are wrecked on solitare and minesweeper.

They might also be a fraid to compete with dwarf fortress, nethack and the angbhads. They might also be upset about the linux community making emulators a worse problem if they release a client to a platform that has a very tech savvy userbase.

Most likely someone with some small business sense in upper levels said... don't do it unless you want WoW to go GNU.

Re:Gee haven't heard that before... (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498237)

Personally I think that's shorthand for "requires the NVIDIA binary driver" and they don't want to step into the middle of that shitfight. The way around nearly all the other differences on x86 linux is just a static compile away.

I see the solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497475)

Break Wine. Then the free rider problem will be defeated.

No future (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497501)

Gaming for Linux (or, more specifically, binary blobs in Linux) have absolutely no future, since every distro has its own version of every library. And yes, I have read the summary: this would only work for Ubuntu Linux, then where's the point of this? It's like saying "our game will get Windows 8 compatibility" since most of us would have to use a different distro to use the game and therefore this does not affect us.

Re:No future (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497719)

It will most likely work fine with Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc, as well as Mint and Debian. Linux dependency management is very mature, and there will likely be minimal problems getting it working on other distributions.

Re:No future (5, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497833)

Gaming for Linux (or, more specifically, binary blobs in Linux) have absolutely no future, since every distro has its own version of every library.

You know, you look at this the exact wrong way.
Linux can allow the game distributor to provide the exact versions of the libraries they want. All you need to do is plop them all into one directory, say $INSTALL_DIR/lib/, and then have the wrapper run script prepend that directory to LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

And if that wasn't enough, the games company can even provide a bootable Linux DVD or USB stick which boots into linux and starts the game. Can't have much more control over the OS software than that!

Re:No future (2)

hduff (570443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497963)

Gaming for Linux (or, more specifically, binary blobs in Linux) have absolutely no future, since every distro has its own version of every library.

You know, you look at this the exact wrong way.
Linux can allow the game distributor to provide the exact versions of the libraries they want. All you need to do is plop them all into one directory, say $INSTALL_DIR/lib/, and then have the wrapper run script prepend that directory to LD_LIBRARY_PATH.

And if that wasn't enough, the games company can even provide a bootable Linux DVD or USB stick which boots into linux and starts the game. Can't have much more control over the OS software than that!

So much THIS.

Releasing for a particular distro is lazy development and only serves to fragment the Linux market, not support it.

Re:No future (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498029)

...provide a bootable Linux DVD or USB stick which boots into linux and starts the game.

I remember doing that back in the days of DOS. Either it was a custom boot floppy with specific changes in config.sys and autoexec.bat, or it was just one custom boot floppy that contained the game as well.

What was once old is now new again.

Re:No future (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498173)

Presumably some libraries will call into the kernel. Is it the case that a particular version of (say) libc will work against any kernel? (I'm genuinely asking -- I have vague memories of hitting an issue like this trying to run a statically linked binary on an ancient Linux.)

Re:No future (1)

dog77 (1005249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498199)

That may work to some extent, and that is what is often done in Windows, but there is still the matter of the libraries being compatible with the hardware architecture, frameworks, and drivers. If the later is not compatible, and the user has to figure out how to get the right components or even update their distribution, that is a problem.

As far as a game company rolling their own distribution to play the game, I am not sure that is something a game company would want to do, unless it is for dedicated hardware (i.e. like what Valve is planning), but it is an interesting idea. Its akin to treating your computer as a traditional gaming console where each game contains the entire OS it needs to run the game. I could see that working. It may even have advantages of greater stability for users who use Windows or Mac, and has the advantage of working on any hardware platform.

bootable works till the video / sound / n drivers (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498271)

bootable works till the video / sound / network drivers get out of date / are missing what in your system.

Doesn't come as a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497517)

Seing how Project: Titan is rumored to be a browser game.

Re:Doesn't come as a surprise (1)

bluescrn (2120492) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497669)

Browser game?! - really can't imagine that from Blizzard... I mean seriously, what tech would you use to make a high-end 3D MMO for the web? - HTML5 is still in it's infancy, and not fit for use for a high-end game project (due to having to distribute it as Javascript source, amongst other things). Flash/Stage3D is in a somewhat better state, but you still pay a high price in performance/functionality over native code.

So I really don't think it'll be web-based. Sadly, given what they did to Diablo3 with the real-money auction house, Free2Play/Pay2Win seems highly likely, though :(

Re:Doesn't come as a surprise (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497803)

Probobly something along the lines of QuakeLive, which uses a browser plugin to launch a real engine and just integrates very well and seemlessly with the browsers.

Too Late (5, Interesting)

89cents (589228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497519)

Blizzard used to by favorite gaming company. Now I loathe them. The recent huge disappointment of Diablo 3, the no LAN play in SC2, and with how I heard they seriously dumbed down WoW, Blizzard won't be getting anymore of my money.

Re:Too Late (4, Interesting)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497681)

Not to mention them trying to force people into using that real ID system which back fired so badly. I blame Activision for all of this. Blizzard was great until that merger.

Re:Too Late (4, Interesting)

89cents (589228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497823)

Agreed, but the fall of Blizzard started with the closure of Blizzard North, a few years before the Activision merger.

Re:Too Late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497811)

Exactly. As much as I want to see gaming on Linux be a real thing, Blizz has screwed the pooch a few too many times. They will no longer be getting any money out of me. D3 was the single largest disappointment I've seen out of any gaming company, and this is after taking Duke Nukem Forever in to account.

Re:Too Late (1)

Eirenarch (1099517) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497891)

So how many hours of gaming did you do over LAN in 2012?

Re:Too Late (1)

89cents (589228) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498045)

With Starfriend, the SC2 LAN enabler, 3-4 days a week after hours at work with coworkers.

bad wine, bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497527)

It doesn't work that well on wine.... While I get 60fps on windows, same machine running wine does 20fps.... enter a 25man raid -> 2 fps...

Wow is the *only* reason I still have windows on my pcs...

Re:bad wine, bad! (2)

Doodlesmcpooh (1981178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497671)

I haven't played since Lich King days but I used to be in quite a hardcore raiding guild. Half a dozen of us ran WoW on Linux as it actually gave a better framerate than Windows did. We cleared all content up to LK 25HC before I quit playing so my wife wouldn't leave me for ignoring her.

Re:bad wine, bad! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497919)

Pretty much the opposite of my experiences. I get terrible stuttering in Windows, while the game plays extremely smoothly in Linux. Radeon HD 5830 here.

Dosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497537)

The game will feature always online DRM and will charge you $5 for every launch. Have fun!

How long will support last? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497549)

Even if they choose one platform, how long will support for that platform last?

When I first started using Linux, Slackware was THE distro to install, then Redhat, then Fedora, then Ubuntu, and now it seems people are crapping on Ubuntu and saying "Install Mint instead." On top of that you've had people that've sworn by Gentoo throughout the timeline. People talk about how DRM will make games unusable whenever company X decides to shut down their authentication servers. I'm not sure how broken packages after the Linux flavour of the year changes will make this any better for Joe End User that's not willing to hunt down some fanmade patch (or trust it for that matter) a couple years later.

Re:How long will support last? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497819)

... and now it seems people are crapping on Ubuntu ...

It's the whole "free as in beer" thing, the geeks can't get over the idea that Canonical wants to make money off of their beloved Socialist operating system. The horror.

But guess what? A lot of people don't give a shit about "free as in beer", they are perfectly happy with Ubuntu, and are perfectly smart enough to turn the search spy off if they care to (which most do not give a shit about).

Seriously, I'd like to see Ubuntu become THE Linux gaming platform just to piss all you self righteous elitists off.

Re:How long will support last? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497961)

> It's the whole "free as in beer" thing, the geeks can't get over the idea that Canonical wants to make money

There a many ways to make money.

Not all of them are like the Roman fire brigade.

Re:How long will support last? (0)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497869)

I think they will probably follow Steam and the supported platform there.

With Windows 8 writing is on the wall that Microsoft will "App Store" everything. If you don't support "enough" maker share on Windows 8 they won't carry you... Or leave you at the bottom of the lists. Most AAA games will not pass because the hardware specs are STILL too high for new most NEW Windows 8 desktops... Let alone Surface.

When the next Xbox rolls around, you can be sure M$ (yep I go there)is gonna squeeze game makers hard. Software in boxes is dead. The only way around the gatekeepers is gonna be using Linux under the hood. ID expect Ubuntu to grow the most. They have been begging for companies to SUPPORT them with money and software so they can stay Free, but support new tech. It was never a "good enough" deal when M$ (oops!) kept its monopoly shored up as a free-for-all but they are losing the $ quickly...

Where Apple has been slowly simmering the pot. M$ is freshly free from oversight and they're gonna play "catch up" with Android and Apple in the DRM and lock-up department.

It looks like Blizzard... (0)

Curupira (1899458) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497551)

...just made Hell freeze over.

YEEEEEEEEEEEAH

Incompetence (5, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497579)

It's only "unstandardised" if you want to link against every last library.

If you treat it like OSX or Windows and ship all necessary dylibs/DLLs which aren't provided by default then it works fine.

Somehow companies like Mathworks have been managing this happily for well over a decade without making up weird claims about standardisation. Oh and hey, I've done it too. It's easy.

Re:Incompetence (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497615)

Not to mention that in practice you could probably just target a recent version of Ubuntu and reach most potential customers.

Re:Incompetence (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497787)

That doesn't work, because ubuntu 12.10 will have (e.g.) libxml.some.very.specific.version which will be different everywhere else.

Pick a binary.

type

ldd binary

look at the list.

As long as you ship it with everything listed (bar libc, libm and libstdc++) it will work fine.

Re:Incompetence (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497835)

It's going to be Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 because that's what Valve is targeting.

See: http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/steamd-penguins/

Re:Incompetence (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497973)

I have kept old dynamically linked binaries across distribution upgrades and moves to entirely different distributions.

The "problem" is not nearly as dire as some would like to make it out.

Windows installers have always solved this problem just by having free run of the system. Any deskop machine is no less a random collection of system files. Windows in truth is probably much more "fragmented" than any Linux because of this.

Re:Incompetence (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498177)

I have kept old dynamically linked binaries across distribution upgrades and moves to entirely different distributions.

That should be OK as long as everything it links to is carried around as well.

The trouble is if the version number changes linking will fail even if there is binary compatibility.

Except in libc/libstdc++ where they do deep .so magic to allow one .so to link against may previous versions.

which project do you ship? (1)

decora (1710862) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497697)

inquiring minds want to know

Re:which project do you ship? (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497769)

I preer to keep my real identity and my slashdot life separate.

Sorry.

But for extra fun, firefox, libreoffice and openoffice seem to be able to manage too.

LGPL? (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497947)

Is close-source software likely to have problems with the LGPL if they link statically instead of dynamically? That's a question, not an accusation -- I don't know which libraries game makers are likely to use, and whether they are LGPL or something else.

Re:LGPL? (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498195)

Ignore the above -- I'm not sure how I read "ship all necessary DLLs" as statically linking the libraries. I think I need more sleep...

Re:LGPL? (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498197)

Yes for LGPL2, no (???) for 3.

But you don't have to statically link anyway. You can just copy the .so's too.

Re:LGPL? (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498231)

Yeah, I badly misread the post I was replying to to imply static linking when he/she said nothing of the sort. My bad.

That's nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497617)

I've had my own Linux version of "Hello World" for years!!!!

finally... (0)

nozzo (851371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497625)

the year of Linux may be upon us. Gaming is the single reason I still run Win-dohs!

Re:finally... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497757)

Yay! 2013 is the 13th "Year of Linux!"

Re:finally... (1)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497759)

the year of Linux may be upon us. Gaming is the single reason I still run Win-dohs!

... but this year was the year of the Android/iOS gaming revolution!

Linux model needs changing (1)

dog77 (1005249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497643)

What do you do if your video card does not work well with the game you are trying to play for the distribution you are using? If your distribution does not have the time to back port the driver or the framework it uses, you are forced to upgrade your entire distribution if you want to play a game. This is a major inconvenience. Either dedicated supported hardware like what Valve is doing or some stable rolling update distribution is needed. Is there a good stable rolling distribution?

Re:Linux model needs changing (0)

TheSunborn (68004) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497725)

If you want to play 3d games on nvidia hardware, you really need the nvidia closed source driver anyway, and it does work with the most used linux distributions.

And upgrading for example Fedora is not that bad. Just use preupgrade to download it, and then wait 20 minutes to install the upgrade. Not that bad.

Re:Linux model needs changing (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497731)

What do you do when your video card does not work well with a game under Windows?

Re:Linux model needs changing (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497859)

Realize I was dumb for buying an ATI graphics card?

Re:Linux model needs changing (1)

dog77 (1005249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497911)

Submit a problem report or get the latest updated driver from the vendor. I like Linux, but when I want to upgrade some buggy software, it is unclear what I need to do to fix the situation. You can try getting the latest software, but will it be compatible with the distribution you are using? Will updating the software break the distribution update strategy? Will it work with the windows manager and libraries that you are using? With Windows I can update each component until the problem is fixed. While far from ideal, Windows is still much easier to support for the vendor, giving better results and ease of use for the consumer.

Re:Linux model needs changing (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497937)

Then you'll move your feet (and $$) to hardware that does play. Because the new locked-down BIOS is coming, you'll only be buying unlocked hardware, and certified boards to go with it.

Basically you'll stay on Win7, but when new hardware drops you'll get "Linux capable" or you just won't play "PC" games anymore. Ironically, if Microsoft pushes Valve and Blizzard to this it will make Mac Ports trivial as well. Apple doesn't seem in a rush to lock down Macs. That's their Developer platform. They are just moving most of their sales to iOS.

Freetards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497665)

Haha, just a matter of time until Linux freetards start complaining that the games are not open-source.

Re:Freetards (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497959)

They complain about Android all the time... We're past the point that Businesses and Consumers can't debate anymore.. The "almost-Linux" is the only way out of the coming lockdown.

Support (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497715)

Guys, you're missing the point being made here. It's not that the application can't run under different flavors -- it's about supporting them. Every distribution has its own quirks, its own packaging manager, its own set of libraries that are included (and some that aren't). It's a support nightmare. Rather than writing installation instructions once, you have to write it a dozen times. Versions change constantly. Everybody here has experienced the joys of googling for someone's hack script to get something working... a patch here, a tweak there... yes, it's possible.

But from a support perspective, it's difficulty level = nightmare trying to help these people. And they'll expect your help. You just gave them a major application and said it works with Linux... so you better know every flavor, every variation, every configuration possible. And that, right there, is why Blizzard hasn't jumped on the Linux bandwagon -- too many support variables.

No it isn't (2, Interesting)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497765)

The Linux community can support itself. All they need is to release a tar.gz binary package and the distributions will make their own packages and instructions. Blizzard can release it and say "Support yourselves, we're only releasing binaries. Have fun" and the community will do the rest.

Re:No it isn't (5, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497989)

There are even new installers for old Loki games that follow this same exact "support yourself" model. All Valve or Blizzard has to do is get out of the way enough to allow the community to do it's thing.

Some power user for the random obscure distribution of your choice will gladly do the legwork for you if you don't put up legal barriers.

Re:No it isn't (1)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498067)

The Linux community can support itself. All they need is to release a tar.gz binary package and the distributions will make their own packages and instructions. Blizzard can release it and say "Support yourselves, we're only releasing binaries. Have fun" and the community will do the rest.

You're absolutely right. Then you have all the damn hipsters hop onto Linux now that it supports a popular game (and is within their budget) as if it's a new OS that didn't exist last year calling into blizzard to ask why the game won't run higher than 800x640 or more than 10fps because they don't know they have to tell their distro that it's ok to run that closed driver that goes with their specific card...

Re:No it isn't (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498097)

This about supporting the end user of their product, not Linux. Blizzard doesn't want to support a platform with a bazillion permutations. The reality of it is that when a gamer calls in tech support to troubleshoot network access, they will get sucked into touching the OS to determine if it's a game library issue or a jacked up WiFi driver bug effecting only that destro with that chipset.

The do not want to get involved. Supporting Windows and over clocked flakey machines is bad enough as it is.

Re:No it isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42498145)

Blizzard can release it and say "Support yourselves, we're only releasing binaries. Have fun" and the community will do the rest.

Sounds like a great way for Blizzard get sued. People will class-action around anything these days.

Re:No it isn't (1)

Georules (655379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498289)

I sincerely hope you are joking.

Re:Support (2)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497845)

Statically linked binary tarball -> /opt. Problem solved.

Re:Support (3, Interesting)

hduff (570443) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498061)

They could release a generic, runs-most-anywhere installation bundled with all the correct libraries, specifying minimum storage,memory, videocard, kernel/glibc requirements (just like for a Windows release).

If they want to limit support, pick the top 5 distros and make certain it runs on those out-ofthe-box. Everything else is "at your own risk". Other software companies have some model for this so it can't be that difficult.

Re:Support (1)

gajop (1285284) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498269)

Mod parent up.
You don't have and shouldn't deal with package managers or system libraries, of which libraries are a huge problem if you want to have online play.
Have none of the people here tried HON or any other commercial* linux game? They aren't installed with a package manager.

*Some open source online game/engine projects (springrts f.e) are also going to switch to statically linked binaries for linux (windows always had that obviously). It makes releasing new versions for linux much simpler once set-up initially, you just need to have a distribution mechanism which most large projects have, commercial ones definitely do.

But anyhow, WoW is not a problem, at least that used to work really well 6~ years ago since I last played it (and I doubt it took a turn for the worse). It seems like Valve (and Google with Android!) is really doing a good thing for Linux gaming, I wouldn't be surprised to see most new (and probably no old) opengl games released after 2014-2015 ported to Linux.

Re:Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42498133)

Yes, but you're not supporting the OS's the game is running on, only the game itself. Is it that hard to make a check and see if the video drivers provide everything required and a list of libraries with versions in the right place?

That statement is just a red herring, tossed out there to shift attention from something else.

Re:Support (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498175)

Then they don't need to use yum or aptitude or whatever. They can either link the libraries statically or supply their own libraries and point to them, and have the whole thing dump into its own directory. I've installed plenty of software like this. Just installed Alfresco and it comes with its own copies of Java, OpenOffice, PostgresSQL and Tomcat sitting in its own directory tree under /opt.

Re:Support (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42498191)

Except that if you pick just one distro to release on and offer support on, like Valve is doing, like the article said Blizzard may end up doing, then your argument becomes invalid.

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42498247)

If Urban Terrors unpaid developers can figure out an installer that's worked on every distribution I've tried, why can't Blizzard's? UT doesn't have a "support nightmare", their shit just works.

I still won't play it (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497789)

I'll play valve. I'll buy DRM.

I even played and purchased all blizzard games in the past.

After they won a prior injunction against the makers of glider publishing their source code, I will never again buy any blizzard or activision product, or that of anyone who purchases and owns them.

This is the price of using the courts to prevent speech that does not cause physical harm.

Sorry blizzard -- nothing you do will ever save your name with me. I won't even play your games stolen or paid. Your company isn't just dead to me, it's got blood taint.

Fragment much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497829)

Great, just fragment Linux more and more by releasing stuff "for Ubuntu".

Ubuntu isn't Linux anymore; a proper game for Linux is released for any sufficiently recent Linux distro, not for one flavour only.

Roll their own distro (1)

barefoot_professor (2655607) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497877)

With Canonical becoming ever less popular with the community, the gaming companies should form a consortium and roll their own linux distro. An innovative company, like Steam perhaps, could even take the lead and just do it themselves. Doing so could be a real headstart and leave the other gaming companies clamoring to catch up.

If it doesn't work on slack, forget it (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42497905)

[nt]

Supporting Ubuntu doesn't mean supporting Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497923)

Just release a general statically linked executable for ALL Linux distros.

I laughed hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42497951)

It looks like the recent success of Linux gaming has caught Blizzard's eye.

I actually laughed out loud at this. You guys have lost your mind. Have fun playing games from 3 years ago.

A hint towards...? (1)

Squeeonline (1323439) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498111)

Linux the third major OS = HALF LIFE 3!

Yea sure... (2)

jameshofo (1454841) | about a year and a half ago | (#42498251)

Ok so a lot of people seem to be critical of the "Ubuntu is not the summation of linux!" but come on seriously, a real game development company isn't going to maintain their own libraries to run the game, that's what the distribution is for. So they picked one distro to support and went with it. If the solution for every single commercial developer is to "just release your own libraries" then I'm sorry to say we might as well just relegate this whole Linux thing to a neat geeks OS. Because that's the same kind of crap they're facing with Microsoft, except they probably make a lot more money on M$ derivatives. This touches on something that Linux so desperately needs, standardization, not that we should all run the same standard libraries or that everything has to be correct, but things need to be planned out more effectively to support a huge swath of companies that develop products that are hugely dependent on the OS.

im planning to have sun shine and no blizzard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42498259)

im planning to have sun shine and no blizzard
this works for me and its another who cares moment

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