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Steam For Linux: A Respectable Showing

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the where-there's-steam-there's-water-vapor dept.

Linux Business 372

An anonymous reader writes "Valve has just released its February, 2013 Steam Hardware & Software Survey, and the results are absolutely mind blowing. Linux is now standing strong as a legitimate gaming platform. It now represents 2.02% of all active Steam users." That's in keeping with what new submitter lars_doucet found. Lars writes: "I'm an independent game developer lucky enough to be on Steam. Recently, the Steam Linux client officially went public and was accompanied by a site-wide sale. The Linux sale featured every single Linux-compatible game on the service, including our cross-platform game Defender's Quest. .... Bottom line: during the sale we saw nearly 3 times as many Linux sales of the game as Mac (Windows still dominated overall)."

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Wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053001)

Proves that more intelligent people are gamers... as more computer illiterate people use Mac than linux.

Re:Wow (-1, Troll)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053139)

2.02% isn't that big of a number. What percentage of resources did steam put into their Linux version? I am expecting more than 2.02%. Linux desktop use has been stuck between 1% - 3% for decades.
With steam pushing so strongly with advertising and social media buzz on sites like slashdot, that have a stong Linux community. That number isn't surprising And it really isn't that good.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053163)

Ever hear of growth? You have to start somewhere. I'd say it's not bad. Just give it time, you're passing judgment too soon.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053247)

And remember that Android, too, Linux and has overtaken Apple marketshare. Before you know it, you'll be playing Left4Dead on your phone. There's a HUGE untapped market there.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053329)

Ever hear of growth? You have to start somewhere. I'd say it's not bad. Just give it time, you're passing judgment too soon.

Let me re-iterate the parent here by stating that Linux desktop use has been stuck at 1 - 3% for decades.

And yeah, 2.02% would be considered "strong"...in that range. Unfortunately, in the bigger picture, it's a rather pathetic number that has stayed rather static.

I mean damn, do I actually need to say the words "Year of the Linux Desktop" to remind everyone of just how old and pathetic that meme really is?

Linux isn't dead. It's simply thriving within a community that won't let it go, and yet refuses to collaborate for 2 seconds together to actually give Apple a run for their money. No, instead they demand their "freedom of choice" by insisting there at least 1,742 variants of Linux available at all times.

And they wonder why they've never commanded more than single-digit market share...

Re:Wow (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053437)

OSX has commanded more much more than single digit market share during that time either, and usually itself single digit. It has commanded huge profit share but market share, no.

Re:Wow (1, Troll)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053489)

Can you fire Linus Torvalds? Along with most of the team leaders? Sadly THAT is what you'd need for true growth. Look at how Torvalds just keeps cranking out the kernel, this sure as hell doesn't help stability when there isn't an ABI as it makes drivers break more often, and just look at some of the facepalming stupid move the devs have made, ALSA trashed for Pulse LONG before it was ready for primetime, KDE 4 had the same only worse as it was barely functional and had jack shit for features, and how about Gnomeshell? Makes Win 8 look like MSFT gives a fuck by way of comparison, I'm shocked they didn't change the logo to the finger because that is what they were giving their fanbase.

Waste your mod points all you want, call me the devil, as a retailer i've been begging, writing articles, fuck people we ain't asking for much here, just some true reliability and solid functionality and what do we get...now Ubuntu is going rolling release so all the breakage can be totally random! yay!

There is a REASON why pirated Windows beats your free product in marketshare by a country mile and its REALLY simple...see that copy of XP? You could install it at RTM and it would STILL BE RUNNING when EOL comes next year...that is FOURTEEN YEARS OF SUPPORT FOLKS! And see that copy of Win 7? 2020, any system its installed on now will STILL be running it in 2020 bar hardware failure. No "update foo broke my drivers" no playing hardware roulette, no having your gear working before an update and it turned into a broken mess after...fuck has ANY Linux dev heard of testing? Not from where I'm sitting they haven't.

I've been giving "The Hairyfeet Challenge" for 6 years now folks, SIX FRICKING YEARS and NOT ONE PASSED, you name your poison, not one has passed it yet! And I'm not asking for a miracle here, I'm just asking for the hardware that works at the start to be working at the end without the devs shitting on the drivers...is that REALLY so God damned much to ask for?

Fix THAT and me and every other small retailer would be HAPPY, you hear me? HAPPY to have your product on our shelves. Know how much Windows OEM eats into my sales? try 35 fricking percent, think I LIKE handing that money to Redmond? Hell no, I got bills to pay like everybody else and Redmond sure as hell hasn't been treating us system builders right. But until you can deliver a product that won't put me out of business with after sale support costs you can give it up chuck, MSFT could put out windows Goatse with smell-o-vision and it would still get more sales. hell look at that flaming turd Win 8, its already got more users than Linux and its a shitpile.

Re:Wow (2)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053617)

I love using linux, I've used it exclusively for three or four years now. I have my whole family using it, and when it works, it's a great experience. But everything you said here is the truth. Recently an Ubuntu update, one that should have been trivial, killed off my wifi in a way that took me hours to fix. Bullshit like that is unthinkable on Windows, and until it's just as unthinkable for us, the year of linux on the desktop will never, ever come.

Re:Wow (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053635)

Wow. You're going on and on about how Linux hardware support sucks and Windows' is the best ever. The computer I'm on now, a basic Dell from around 2006, came with Vista. I installed my copy of XP a while back just to update the BIOS. Guess what? The fucking Ethernet card doesn't even work! What good is a god damn creaky 14-year-old piece of shit operating system that everyone has moved on from, even the hardware manufacturers?

It's pretty bad... I've experienced some trouble in the past getting wireless cards to work, but at least generally the Ethernet card worked to actually fetch whatever firmware or other files were needed. Windows? Lucky I had an easy way of just getting the file downloaded on another machine and transferred to the target with a USB flash drive, because the last thing I want to fuck with is trying to get something as basic as an Ethernet network card to work. And there you are, bragging that this ancient rotting collection of bits works every bit as well as it did closer to its prime. Bullshit.

And I repeat, this is a Vista-era machine... IT IS FROM FUCKING 2006. The computer itself is old. I would hate to see how XP would react on a brand-new machine. Then again, maybe it would be something dangerously fascinating like a fireworks show. Don't even get me started on how "well" Windows XP worked on pre-XP (Windows ME) hardware.

Really, I'm too tired and don't even feel like reading your full response or answering any more of your points. Assuming you can call it that, it seems like nothing more than random bitching about everything today. Troll on.

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

pipatron (966506) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053197)

And the requirement for joining Mensa is that you belong to the top 2% of the population, rated by IQ. Coincidence? I think not!

Re:Wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053407)

Even if they put more than 2% of their resources into this, the actual question is whether they made more money doing this than if they had done something else.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053515)

I think the more relevant question for Valve is how likely are Microsoft to destroy their Windows-based business in the next 5 years. If Microsoft shoves an app store down the throats of their users in the next version and makes it difficult for non-enterprise users to run unapproved software, then that could make things difficult for Valve. Valve need a fallback position that isn't dependant on Microsoft (or Apple who also look to be going in that direction), and this is it, plus they also need it to save Windows license fees on their upcoming Steambox.

Re:Wow (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053483)

That 2.02% is way over inflated due to TF2 players installing Linux to get the Team Fortress 2 tux item. /v/, /vg/, reddit, /g/ and the TF2 irc channels were absolutely full of TF2 players that were looking for help to temporarily install Linux. The overwhelming opinion also seemed to be that Ubuntu is terrible and that Linux isn't worth using on the desktop.

Re:Wow (0)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053503)

As a Windows 8 user, with Ubuntu on a different partition, I can concur that it is terrible.

Re:Wow (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053509)

Firstly, I'd wager that the effort Valve has put in to Linux support is pretty much 2% of their total. The way they seem to work is to undertake a lot of different things, most of which aren't wildly profitable.

Secondly: games on linux is a chicken-and-egg thing. I use *ux daily for work, but my home desktop has been a windows machine forever, because I sometimes want to play games. Most (but not all) of the games I play are Valve titles, so being able to play them on ux makes it more likely I'd give linux on the desktop a serious try, or recommend it to a friend, than before. If they can bring more big developers to the platform (either through improving emulation, or by leveraging the upcoming "steambox" to encourage developers to make their games compatible), then Linux on the desktop becomes a viable choice for home computers for a lot of people that it just isn't at the moment, and then selling games to Linux users becomes more profitable in a spiral of awesomeness.

Every publisher seems to have their own Steam-like service, and the threat of Xbox Live, Windows8 Marketplace and Win8 phones actually interoperating to give one Steam-like system across the PC, pocket and living room is obviously a huge threat. As we've seen time and again, if you're beholden to Microsoft for your business, then you won't be in business for long, so they are pushing an alternate platform through a number of avenues and initiatives to make sure that they have a Plan B for when MS decides that they want to be the sole gatekeeper for the entire Windows games market.

Re:Wow (4, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053431)

Proves that more intelligent people are gamers... as more computer illiterate people use Mac than linux.

Almost ever single OSX users who is someone who rejected a platform where gaming is great (Windows) to move to a platform where gaming was so/so. Given the capacities are not hugely different and price leans higher that means that anyone who picked OSX over Windows probably doesn't game much. Moreover the Apple crowd in general has been aging and I suspect Steam type gaming is much more popular ages 10-30 than ages 30-50.

In the case of Linux the capacities are hugely different. The more advanced Linux window managers have no Windows or OSX equivalents. There are no GUI desktop environments with the level of configurability of KDE for Windows or OSX. Many of the applications for Linux have no equivalents, though they have competitors which are vastly more expensive. ETC...

I think it is not unreasonable you are looking at two very different populations.

THIS JUST IN: LINUX DEAD, NETCRAFT CONFIRMS IT! (0, Troll)

Narcocide (102829) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053011)

I like the part about how it took of all atrocities, Steam, to convince people that Linux is a viable gaming platform.

Re:THIS JUST IN: LINUX DEAD, NETCRAFT CONFIRMS IT! (3, Insightful)

Noughmad (1044096) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053019)

Interesting... it took a game distribution platform to convince people that Linux is a viable gaming platform. Isn't it ironic?

Re:THIS JUST IN: LINUX DEAD, NETCRAFT CONFIRMS IT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053049)

Remember how you asked me to store your hopes & dreams in my silverware drawer? Well...

I had to dump, and I had to do it bad. So, being that I'm an educated, intelligent citizen, I decided to do what is natural and dump in my silverware drawer. I hung my ass over my open silverware drawer and then I repeatedly dipped my ass down and brought it back up around 15 times. Each time I dipped my ass down, dump fell right out of my ass.

Then I remembered that your hopes & dreams were in there! It's too late for them. They're now... One With Dump! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Direct link to results (3, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053027)

http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey [steampowered.com]

Not a bad showing for Linux, all things considered. The top variant of Linux is nearly tied with Windows 8.

Re:Direct link to results (5, Informative)

Maxx169 (920414) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053037)

32 bit windows 8. X64 Windows 8 has 9% share...

Re:Direct link to results (3, Interesting)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053359)

Is _Wine_ in there?
I use Wine in XP mode to play L4D2 on Fedora 64-bit. I know Steam knows who plays in Wine, but is it part of the stats?

I also have the Fedora client from OpenSUSE, but I usually just play L4D2. Viz. It's the best quick-game for me atm; but before Wine I played a lot of AssaultCube, which is brilliant on older hw and laptops on older connections.

Re:Direct link to results (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053153)

Not a bad showing for Linux, all things considered. The top variant of Linux is nearly tied with Windows 8.

That's a wildly misleading statement, since it doesn't include 90%+ of the Windows 8 sales:

Windows 8 64 bit: 8.89%
Windows 8: 0.74%
Ubuntu 12.10 64 bit: 0.71%

A respectable showing. (0, Troll)

Maxx169 (920414) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053031)

2% - the same market share as Windows Phone 7/8... I agree, absolutely mind blowing.

Re:A respectable showing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053077)

Or 3 times as many as a platform that has long been targeted by developers. I agree, this level of popularity is absolutely mind blowing. It's a huge win for Linux as a gaming platform.

Re:A respectable showing. (5, Informative)

Gregg M (2076) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053087)

2% - the same market share as Windows Phone 7/8

Yes 2% share in a few weeks VS a gigantic company that has thrown billions into advertising.

Re:A respectable showing. (1, Interesting)

lxs (131946) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053451)

You make it sound like Valve is a poor struggling indie company and not a major player.

Re:A respectable showing. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053623)

They just handed a tenth of their workforce walking papers. Linux is killing Valve just like it killed Corel, Loki, and every other company that tried porting consumer software to it.

Proprietary software issue needs fixing first! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053035)

As a community we need to put our money where it counts and stop endorsing companies which are hurting OS adoption. Proprietary drivers and other software for Linux is not a good thing. It's making it increasingly difficult to use Linux and the general masses ultimately give up. The tiny user base we have isn't enough to sustain most products that companies release to test the water with Linux. Without more people contributing there dollars to free software friendly solutions we won't see increased adoption and we won't see the OS take off.

I want to see gaming on Linux succeed although not before the hardware problem is fixed. Right now there is only one company I'd buy a system from and thats ThinkPenguin. They don't sell gaming systems because they know how badly it hurting adoption.

2.02% so quickly? (5, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053045)

That's not bad at all. Is Microsoft shaking in their boots? Not really. Are they watching carefully? You get your ass. Is this an opportunity to upend the horrorshow that is Windows 8? I hope so.

Is answering your own questions a bit douchy? Perhaps.

Re:2.02% so quickly? (5, Funny)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053047)

Mentally replace "get" with "bet" to make sense of the comment above. Is this embarrassing? A bit. Did I laugh when I noticed the mistake? You get your ass.

Re:2.02% so quickly? (5, Funny)

Ragzouken (943900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053061)

You don't get a lot for free in life, but at least you get your ass.

Re:2.02% so quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053345)

Yeah, get your own ass buddy!

Re:2.02% so quickly? (4, Funny)

blind biker (1066130) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053423)

You don't get a lot for free in life, but at least you get your ass.

Or vagina.

Re:2.02% so quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053443)

I was born without an ass you insensitive clod!

Re:2.02% so quickly? (3, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053099)

If that happens Steam may end up with the equivalent of the ASUS tradeshow lunch with Microsoft after which the CEO of ASUS publicly apologised for linux on netbooks and discontinued selling them. Microsoft probably have Steam by the balls almost as much as they have ASUS.

Re:2.02% so quickly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053175)

how?

Re:2.02% so quickly? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053341)

If that happens Steam may end up with the equivalent of the ASUS tradeshow lunch with Microsoft after which the CEO of ASUS publicly apologised for linux on netbooks and discontinued selling them. Microsoft probably have Steam by the balls almost as much as they have ASUS.

If it doesn't happen in the next year or so, too late... many gamers will "upgrade" from Win7 to a Linux distro (instead of Win8).

Re:2.02% so quickly? (5, Insightful)

murdocj (543661) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053597)

Nope. That's why Valve is doing this... to avoid having MS having them by the balls.

Re:2.02% so quickly? (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053613)

But then Microsoft was not in competition with ASUS, it's the good old fashioned "don't mess with our business and we won't mess with yours". Steam's relationship is more similar to Microsoft's launch of Surface, the OEMs are basically being told Microsoft has a long term plan to supply the hardware themselves and boot them from the market. That's not a message they can accept, nor can Steam accept Microsoft's pushing of the Windows Store which is a very direct competitor to the Steam Store. Mac, Linux, the "Steam Box" and the market power they have to bring Windows customers with them are Valve's bail-out plan, and I can't imagine them giving up on it without a massive pay-off by Microsoft.

Sure, right now it doesn't seem very intimidating because there's so far AAA games, but in an all-out war imagine the incentives Steam could give to make people port, like a one-time prize for supporting new games, porting old games or a higher cut of sales made on non-Windows platforms. How about the ability to bundle the Steam box with "gift certificates" for games to boost sales? They don't want to launch the war because the more time they have to prepare the better positioned they'll be, but I'm quite sure they're preparing for one. Unless Microsoft steps away from the aspirations to be like Apple there will be major clashes in the next few years.

Too bad they're selling broken games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053051)

Games shown to not work out of the box are on sale too, prime example:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/214970/discussions/0/846945955359138053/

Off to a great start. Glad Steam has a solid quality control method in place...

Re:Too bad they're selling broken games (1)

pablomme (1270790) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053075)

Does not match my experience, I have 43 Linux games on Steam (mostly redeemed from Indie Bundles) and they all work fine, even on my Intel HD 4000. A quote from your "prime example",

The game runs under Linux and I bought it, but had I known it's Flash I would not have bought it...

seems to agree with my experience (not that I like flash, not that I like the status of flash on linux, but if it works, it works).

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (1)

manicb (1633645) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053135)

Genuine question- why would you use the steam key when you have direct access to a drm-free version? Was this just curious testing, or am I missing something?

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (5, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053155)

You buy the indie bundle... humble bundles for example and you are entitled to a DRM free copy. Awesome.

You use the steam key anyway because its as easy as using any other linux package manager. You select what you want, you click play and a few minutes later your playing. You switch to your laptop up stairs, launch steam, click what you want ... and start playing.

The DRM free direct downloads are great in the event steam fails or is down or something. But honestly, for all that I dislike about steam, it is easy to use. I use GoG a lot too, but find myself wishing that I could download and install those games via steam as well. Its just nice not to have all the clutter of manual downloads, manual patches, expansion packs, etc.

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (2)

razorshark (2843829) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053253)

Its just nice not to have all the clutter of manual downloads, manual patches, expansion packs, etc.

Actually, manual downloads and patches sounds great to me. Means you retain control over how you want to use your game installation, such that if a newer patch is rubbish you can choose to stick with something earlier. Yes I know in Steam you can tell it to not update a particular game, but sooner or later Steam will force the update either due to resetting that setting, or a reinstall which will necessitate it making sure everything's up to day. I don't like this automatic control because there are some games, like RAGE and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which have problems with their respective latest patches that don't exist in former ones.

People seem to enjoy trading convenience for control. I understand why, but I don't agree that the increased benefit of giving the vendor more control is the direction we want to take things.

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053465)

I don't like this automatic control because there are some games, like RAGE and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which have problems with their respective latest patches that don't exist in former ones.

The fact that it makes keeping everyone in sync version-wise trivial for multiplayer, is a godsend, that more than offsets the regression-bug argument I think.

Avoiding a few regression bugs is certainly not worth the effort of manually downloading and manually patching every game one wants to play.

People seem to enjoy trading convenience for control. I understand why, but I don't agree that the increased benefit of giving the vendor more control is the direction we want to take things.

That's fair, and finer end user controls over things like that would be cool. Perhaps the ability to select patch level to play a game at for example. I'm not sure it would really be worth the effort to develop something like that though just to have that level of control.

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (1)

razorshark (2843829) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053563)

Well I agree with you on multiplayer. That's one case where automating patches should always be done, since everyone needs the same version obviously. I generally play mostly single player games these days though so it's not as big of a deal, but I get where it's useful.

As for a patch level, that's too much effort I reckon. It's just a consequence of having a platform like Steam or Origin or whatever keeping tabs on your game library, and I'll admit regressions don't happen THAT often (except when a patch removes features, like a lot of useful console commands were in a RAGE update). As for manual downloads, bit deal - we dealt with that years ago and lived through it. It's hardly what I'd call a huge bother. Call me an old fart, I'm accepting of that. :)

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053331)

I use GoG a lot too, but find myself wishing that I could download and install those games via steam as well.

This. I have about 100 games from GOG and love their DRM-less nature but were they to partner with Steam and offer some kind of "manage in Steam" upgrade for 5% to 10% of a game's price I'd surely go for it. (Not all of them at once though.)

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053363)

Some of the Flash games, like Lone Survivor, doesn't really work any longer..

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (1)

devent (1627873) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053399)

How is that easier then "other linux package manager"? If I want a game or application, I just click on "Install" and a few minutes later I'm playing/using that application.

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053453)

Its not easier then using another package manager with a repo. Its as easy. But that is a lot easier than visiting various game websites downloading things, downloading updaters, etc etc etc

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (1)

devent (1627873) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053599)

Sorry I misread. Yes you are right of course.

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053435)

You buy the indie bundle... humble bundles for example and you are entitled to a DRM free copy. Awesome.

You use the steam key anyway because its as easy as using any other linux package manager. You select what you want, you click play and a few minutes later your playing. You switch to your laptop up stairs, launch steam, click what you want ... and start playing.

The DRM free direct downloads are great in the event steam fails or is down or something. But honestly, for all that I dislike about steam, it is easy to use. I use GoG a lot too, but find myself wishing that I could download and install those games via steam as well. Its just nice not to have all the clutter of manual downloads, manual patches, expansion packs, etc.

Not all games available through Steam and downloaded through Steam require Steam to play. Some games you can go to the location where Steam downloaded and installed the game to, and just launch the game straight from its executable without Steam running. Not all Steam games are like this though, but I have encountered a few that are.

Re: Too bad they're selling broken games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053539)

Steam makes it easy, in my opinion, to set up multiplayer games.

Windows Phone. 5% = Failure. Linux 2% = Victory (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053067)

Bing market share = failure. Linux 2% = Victory.

Re:Windows Phone. 5% = Failure. Linux 2% = Victory (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053101)

You have a point but:
1) Windows "smartphone" share a few years ago: maybe 60%? Linux share in gaming/desktop has always been low
2) Predicted Windows Phone market share, according to "analysts": 20% or so? Linux desktop: No idea, probably they never bothered to predict
3) Marketing budget: Even with what Steam spends on it Linux must be close to 0 compared to Windows phone
4) shelf space Windows Phone compared to Linux? See 3 I think.
5) Steam for Linux on market: officially since 1 month. Windows Phone? A lot longer.

So I think it is quite accurate and not exactly biased to say 5% for Windows Phone is a complete failure while 2% for Linux desktop gaming is respectable/as expected (which obviously is not the same as "victory").

Re:Windows Phone. 5% = Failure. Linux 2% = Victory (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053279)

Phones are a more open market too, it is easier to compete when the majority of existing users are not locked into a single platform... And windows mobile has been around longer than both android and ios.

Re:Windows Phone. 5% = Failure. Linux 2% = Victory (2, Informative)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053229)

What is your point, and what exactly are you talking about? Bing *or* Windows Phone?
And this is not "Linux 2%," it is "Steam for Linux 2%." Big difference.

Re:Windows Phone. 5% = Failure. Linux 2% = Victory (5, Insightful)

MrKaos (858439) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053309)

Bing market share = failure. Linux 2% = Victory.

5% of the market leader is a failure, 2% for the market trailer is a success.

Re:Windows Phone. 5% = Failure. Linux 2% = Victory (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053573)

Microsoft has never been market leader in either phones or search.

Only shitty games (-1, Troll)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053079)

Still no decent games though, only random indie stuff. It's probably good for them; since there is nothing good to buy, people buy the indie stuff that no one would have bought otherwise.

Re:Only shitty games (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053105)

Have I misunderstood the modding system? Is there a troll +3 I'm unaware of, or why is this crap at that rank?

Re:Only shitty games (0)

xaxa (988988) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053157)

Have I misunderstood the modding system? Is there a troll +3 I'm unaware of, or why is this crap at that rank?

+3 Troll could result from some "Underrated" moderations, which increase the score but don't affect the category.

The interface isn't working (I can't see the actual moderation), and it's probably changed by now, but for example +2 underrated, -2 Troll, +1 Interesting = +1 Troll.

Re:Only shitty games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053107)

It would be interesting to know what you consider indie vs. what you consider mainstream.

I can only one or two titles from mainstream companies that are actually worth playing and at least five from what I consider to be indie developers.

Re:Only shitty games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053111)

You're terribly misinformed. Valve has released HL1, CS1.6, CSCZ, and CSS for linux.

Re:Only shitty games (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053117)

So, have you asked "mainstream" developers why they don't have their steam games ported to Linux yet? Or is your category of 'shitty games' inclusive of all Steam games as well?

Re:Only shitty games (4, Informative)

heypete (60671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053125)

While there's certainly some indie games, games like Counter-Strike (standard and Source), Half-Life, and Team Fortress 2 are available and are quite popular. Not bad for starting out for a new platform. I'm sure that'll increase in time.

Re:Only shitty games (0)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053525)

What new platform? I'm pretty sure Linux has been around for a long time. Quit making excuses.

Re:Only shitty games (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053293)

Companies won't port games unless they see enough potential customers, and they have traditionally made the assumption that there are very few linux game players and that the few there are would just dual boot to play games anyway.
If enough people buy the linux games available on steam, then you will get more being made, and you will also see developers creating their initial games with portability in mind (eg using opengl instead of directx etc) to decrease the cost of porting.

Re:Only shitty games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053501)

Maybe their assumptions are not that far off.

Windows has been an active target for game developers for years. It has become somewhat of a tradition to support Windows if a PC version is to be supported at all. Most gamers are used to this idea. Those that are major gamers are entrenched in Windows because over the years they've built up large collections of games that are exclusively for Windows. There is WINE, but it is hardly perfect causing some quirks in existing games. People don't want to worry about that stuff. They don't want to worry about whether or not a new game release is going to work well on WINE when they can just use the platform the game is made for and that would be the end of it.

So long as Windows is an active target, existing gamers will not have a compelling reason to switch. They are not going to be attracted to Steam on Linux because it would mean switching to a subset of their existing collection. The people that would be attracted are Linux users who only play a few games or people who are not already gamers. This demographic is what Linux depends on to gain traction with the gaming industry and unfortunately it is not particularly strong one.

The year of the linux desktop is irrelevant (2)

MrKaos (858439) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053103)

As Linux based distributions are incrementally re-defining what the desktop is.

Thanks for coming to the party Valve, we welcome you - now it's time to buy some games for Linux.

Re:The year of the linux desktop is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053565)

As Linux based distributions are incrementally re-defining what the desktop is.

They could not declare every year the year of Linux on the desktop if they did not keep changing the definition, could they?

Re:The year of the linux desktop is irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053611)

Yay, mainstream gaming on linux, but i'm afraid i wont be thanking valve where possible, i'll throw money at any dev offering their game through the humble store or similar in a DRM-free form, steam for linux might be cool, but it's a layer of unnecessary crud between me and the products i'm paying for, meh.

Don't Count Your Chickens (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053113)

Right now it's brand new and much-hyped, we could easily be dealing with a case of regression to the mean. [wikipedia.org]
Let's see how the numbers looks 6 months down the road.

Re:Don't Count Your Chickens (2)

VzXzV (755541) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053335)

Sadly to an extent this will happen. I dual boot and I love Arch Linux and FreeBSD. So I specifically booted into Linux to buy my games during the sail just to support the platform. But to be honest at home I'm in windows most of the time mainly due to my friends saying lets play a random arma2 mod or most other games, leading to me having to reboot back into windows just to play. I have a feeling this is the case for more people than will admit to it.

Re:Don't Count Your Chickens (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053375)

Arma isn't platinum, but silver in Wine atm. Would be fun to get some DayZ action on my Fedora rig (only play L4D2 atm).

Why buy for Mac when they run Windows (0)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053133)

It doesn't suprise me that Mac games aren't doing that well. Why buy a Mac game when you can run Windows and buy Windows games?

Re:Why buy for Mac when they run Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053151)

Linux PCs also run Windows and in many cases come with it pre-installed and the license included as part of the cost of the computer. With Apple, you have to buy Windows additionally and then install it yourself.

Re:Why buy for Mac when they run Windows (2, Interesting)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053319)

I bought a Mac in 2009 because it was (and still is) the only platform where I can use Photoshop/Lightroom/Steam/vim/ssh/git/ruby natively.

Re:Why buy for Mac when they run Windows (2)

theVarangian (1948970) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053385)

It doesn't suprise me that Mac games aren't doing that well. Why buy a Mac game when you can run Windows and buy Windows games?

If you RTFA there is an update at the bottom stating that according to his 'Lifetime direct sales" data Macs, Linux and Windows were at 11, 7 and 83% respectively meaning that Mac games out did Linux games in post purchase downloads. That data contrasts with that one weeks worth of Steam sales figures and interestingly enough it wasn't mentioned in the /. summary. Nobody buys a Mac, or installs Linux for gaming. The main interest of Mac and Linux are usually not gaming. It's programming, photo processing, graphics work, word processing, CS research, general nerding around with the OS, etc... or just a desire to use something other than windows... gaming is (usually) a secondary activity for Mac/Linux and game X not being available on Mac/Linux is not the end of the world for them. Those that are really serious about gaming dual boot.

Wow, 2% is "standing strong" (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053159)

I guess MS is making a killing with Windows Phone then :-p

2% in one month. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053255)

Since you started with the idiotic "maths", I'll continue for you to balance it out: this means in four years time, it'll be 96% linux!

Re:Wow, 2% is "standing strong" (0)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053463)

Lumia is supply constrained, has been for months and looks like it will be through all of 2014.
HTC with the 8X is supply constrained.

Microsoft OEMs are selling as many Windows phones as they can make. What more do you want from a phone OS?

Standards (2)

cgt (1976654) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053195)

If only they would bother creating a standards conformant window instead of trying to replicate their non-standard GUI on Linux, which results in it being unusable under tiling window managers (at least i3, which I am using).

A Thought (4, Interesting)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053221)

Yes more people use Windows, but when XP and 7 finally have their support ended, the people using those Microsoft platforms will be forced into using precisely what they are avoiding, the 'modern' interface. It's going to be interesting to watch if they move to Mac, Linux or suck up to Microsoft and push themselves into that new UI.

Let's say they pushed themselves into that new UI. Now after months and years of using that, they will be hooked into it by Microsoft's hooks. At that point, switching to Mac or Linux would be extremely difficult due to the UI differences. It would be devastating for the future of Linux without a similar UI, that's what worries me. For Linux to have any future, the users of these OS's which support is ending, need to jump in our (Linux) lake and let their feet get wet.

That's how I'm thinking, it may be difficult for some to understand what I mean. In any case, Defender's Quest shows that there is money in the Platform. And I don't give a hoot what Microsoft is doing, I have already jumped in the Linux lake and no interest in going back again. But there are a lot of folks that, apparently, enjoy being chained up and forced to do things. You can't save the world, so grab whoever you can, unchain them, and run as fast as you can before the roof caves in.

Re:A Thought (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053297)

Linux has always had choice over UI, there is no reason someone couldn't create something similar if users actually wanted it.

Re:A Thought (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053353)

It wouldn't be hard at all actually. Just take any of the tiling window managers, rip all the resizing code out and add prime colors.

Re:A Thought (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053355)

s/prime/primary/

Re:A Thought (2)

jimicus (737525) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053349)

Yes more people use Windows, but when XP and 7 finally have their support ended, the people using those Microsoft platforms will be forced into using precisely what they are avoiding, the 'modern' interface. It's going to be interesting to watch if they move to Mac, Linux or suck up to Microsoft and push themselves into that new UI.

People were saying the exact same thing about Office 2007 6 years ago. As long as the magic word "Microsoft" is on the splash screen and in the title bar, it appears to make precisely no difference - you only get wailing and gnashing of teeth if that word is taken away.

In a hypothetical universe that wouldn't result in being sued to kingdom come, I wonder what would happen were you to build your own distribution based on Ubuntu but with some strategic rebranding - call the OS "Microsoft Windows 9", rebrand Firefox as "Microsoft Internet Explorer 11" and LibreOffice as "Microsoft Office 2014", take a test group of 100 people and tell them it's the "next big thing".

Then take another, similar group and put them in front of plain, vanilla Ubuntu.

Re:A Thought (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053487)

Me thinking you are thinking too much like an user. Take the boss of the 100 people in front of the Microsoft 9 version and tell him that his entire: document management, email, collaboration, vertical solution will migrate over at no cost. Tell the boss of the 100 people in front of Ubuntu that he's looking at 500k in server / software replacements including consulting time.

Re:A Thought (1)

jbolden (176878) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053473)

The equivalent GUI for Linux is Gnome 3. Gnome 3 is arguably better for non touchscreen because the Gnome developers weren't quite as aggressive as Microsoft, but shifting the balance once everyone owns Metro / Touchscreen will not be hard. KDE also has some touch enabled stuff though I'd say they are lagging a bit.

So Linux will be fine.

Still completely not interested. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053241)

Oh, and if "the game is licensed not sold", then my money is being LOANED not GIVEN, OK? I'll want it back later.

What %age did it for the Penguin? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053267)

I know someone who installed Linux and then Steam on Linux just so she could get the penguin in TF2. She doesn't even play TF2, but she damn well was going to get the penguin thing.

I wonder how many out there did the same.

Re:What %age did it for the Penguin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053339)

troll harder

Seems a little incomplete. (3, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053275)

When you buy a game on Steam, you get access to it in all available Steam formats. That means that for people who may use OSX, Linux, and Windows (as I do, for example) may not necessarily count as a "linux" sale, even though I'll play some of the purchased games there.

lucky enough to be on Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053389)

Do they have a lottery for inclusion? I don't know how it works, but this seems strange. How lucky do you have to be? What are the odds for getting included?

wtf (5, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053479)

A respectable showing? The steam client may be the greatest thing ever but there isn't even a single current AAA title available. Not one. The biggest game they've got is half-life 1. It was released in 1998. 15 years ago. That's something we should be getting from gog.com. This looks to me like a token effort in order to get some cheap advertising on Linux friendly sites such as Slashdot.
News flash, that game's so old it probably plays perfectly in wine anyway. When steam for Linux starts getting AAA titles within a few weeks of the windows release then they will have something worth talking about.

If this was Microsoft... (4, Insightful)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about a year and a half ago | (#43053537)

If this article had been on neowin and had praised Microsoft's new OS for breaking through on a gaming distribution platform after a lot of marketing effort from the distributor including an opening sales and had managed 2% share, Slashdotters would have been cackling and calling it hype.

What the TFA is is hype and wishful thinking. Linux has an enormous long way to go before its even considered worth porting to as part of current game development.

Its a start, but no more than that.

Those of us who are old enough can remember lots of dawns in the IT industry - most of them false.

Skyrim: Dawnguard is coming out? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43053641)

Any word when Skyrim: Dawnguard is coming out? It seems like Bethesda is playing favorites with Xbox again. Never again Egghead, you bastards. Seems like we have been waiting forever.

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