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Loki Files For Chapter 11 Protection

timothy posted about 13 years ago | from the hoping-this-is-a-false-alarm dept.

Linux Business 708

yamla writes: "Loki is dead!" and points to a Linux Review article which says the gaming company has filed for protection from creditors under bankruptcy laws. Yamla continues: "Read about it here. This is terrible news! I have paid for some of their games and they were always at least as good as the Windows versions. I hope Loki can pull out of bankruptcy and keep going but if not, it will be our loss." There is also a story at LinuxToday (pointed out by reader Beee) which draws from the Linux Review report. Meanwhile, the Loki site appears business-as-usual. Filing for bankruptcy protection is not the same as being "out of business," but it's uncomfortably close.

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Unite! Go buy a game! (5, Insightful)

!Xabbu (1769) | about 13 years ago | (#2111693)

I was going to buy my first Linux based game when Kohan came out. This frusterates me. I'm sure they will be around for this release, but UGH!

Perhaps its time to change the business model. Maybe they should focus on becoming a service for game manufacturers that ports the games for a fee but doesn't sell them?

Another thought would be to get away from the damn 1st person shooters. I'm sick of them. Its getting old. Perhaps they could get in with a windows gaming company before a game is released (wishful thinking..) and simultaneously release.

Another thought would be to release bare bones versions with a CD only and a PDF of the manual for a lower price. Kohan is bloody expensive for me to buy in Canada (so I'm not going to purchase it from Loki). Maybe they should throw a wad of cash that they don't have into marketing with large chains. Up here Business Depot carries Linux of various flavours.. maybe they could get in there.

What it comes down to is this is/will be a big kick to the crotch of linux gaming. :(

Re:Unite! Go buy a game! (1)

Jestrzcap (46989) | about 13 years ago | (#2135209)

Yes! Yes! Please show support for this wonderful company!

free games? (0)

spam368 (43865) | about 13 years ago | (#2111696)

Since loki is kicking the bucket, why dont they release thier games for free download? =)

licensing (1)

metalhed77 (250273) | about 13 years ago | (#2111905)

because all those games are owned by other companies, i'm betting loki gets part of the profit while another part of the profit goes to the company that made the game.

I have been a very happy Loki customer (4, Insightful)

Kiwi (5214) | about 13 years ago | (#2111697)

I have a number of Loki games that I have purchased, including Heroes of Might and Magic III (one of the few games I was willing to dual-boot to play) which I was delighted to see ported to Linux, and RailRoad Tycoon II.

Loki has always done a wonderful job in porting games to Linux. While, of course, the actual games had to be proprietary, they made a number of contributions to the Linux community, including the SDK kit.

I don't know how to say this politely, so I will sa it bluntly: The average game player is the ultimate addict of the consumer culture. They want someone else to hand them entertainment on a silver platter. I can see why many gamers do not have the willingness nor patience to learn how to use Linux as a desktop operating system.

Which is a shame, because a lot of those same gamers become the corporate IT department, and end up responding to the word "Linux" with great hostility.

Anyway, enough of my rant. I hope a miracle happens and Loki is able to pull out of this one. I will make sure to purchase every Loki game I can see at Fry's later on this week.

- Sam

Re:I have been a very happy Loki customer (1)

Radical Rad (138892) | about 13 years ago | (#2146641)

Anyway, enough of my rant. I hope a miracle happens and Loki is able to pull out of this one. I will make sure to purchase every Loki game I can see at Fry's later on this week.

Good luck finding it at Fry's. I was just at a Fry's in the LosAngeles area last week and couldn't find a single Linux game. I went there to see if they had the newer Loki games because the Microcenter in Cincinnati only has the same old ones that I have already bought.

I have been wanting to buy the games at retail outlets instead of online because I was hoping that if they kept them in stock people would notice the ever increasing number of commercial Linux applications. However I have wondered whether Loki makes more money selling them direct online. Regardless, I guess I better hurry up and buy online now before my opportunity is gone.

Also I wonder if Loki could start porting non-games like Quickbooks or Eudora.

Conspiracy Theory (-1, Flamebait)

nihilogos (87025) | about 13 years ago | (#2113914)

I used to dual boot windows 98 and linux. I'd only ever boot into windows to play games and relax. Since Quake 3 and Tribes 2 now run just as well if not better under linux these days I don't bother with windows anymore, and I don't imagine I'm alone.

To microsoft, this is another erosion of their market share, and it's not just the server market anymore. So I think they're out to squash linux gaming like a bug before it *really* takes off.

"Gee little dynamix finance company, it'd be really nice if you dropped your support for tribes 2. Gee Mr Loki creditor, we can make life very unpleasant for you unless you help us out with a little problem."

Isn't it about time for Code Red IV now?

Cause your all too cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2113915)

1) Most linux users in my opinion are too cheap. 2) The bulk of game players don't use linux 3) Again why do linux users use linux .. cause they don't gotta pay for it. If you wanna succeed in the game markey you gotta sell to the masses. Linux has not, still is not and probably won't be for another 5 years in the masses. Loki can't survive under those conditions and put out more than a few ports per year. They gotta sell like 300,000 copies of each port not 300 copies if they wanna survive. Either linux users pony up and pay for this stuff or they ain't gonna get games on linux. Plain and simple

I dont feel guilty. (-1, Flamebait)

Jestrzcap (46989) | about 13 years ago | (#2118169)

I own 6 Loki games, all of which were purchased at full price because I wanted to see them succeed and now they're filiing for chapter 11?!?
I would just like to give a big FUCK YOU to anyone who owns a windows copy of Quake III. If I had any money right now (starting school is a bitch) I would purchase more games, even if i didn't want them, or as gifts or something. This makes me so angry I can even begin to describe it. You people* suck.

*to those of you who purchased loki products, i aplogize for taking up your time with this vent of anger. you kick ass. if you ARE/WERE a loki member, you indeed kick so much ass, i cannot thank you enough. i hope this is not the end, it would make me very sad

Re:I dont feel guilty. (2)

MSBob (307239) | about 13 years ago | (#2129519)

Loki didn't port QIII if I remember correctly. ID did it themselves.

fuck you too (0)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 13 years ago | (#2130694)

I downloaded quake3 because it sucked so bad. the whole thing is nothing but a brightly colored funhouse. the weapons have no feel or response and no detail whatsoever. just compare a few screenshots from unreal tournament and you'll get the idea.

Re:fuck you too (1)

ergo98 (9391) | about 13 years ago | (#2146526)

Quake 3 visually BRUTALIZES Unreal Tournament (UT looks like a Quake 2 engine with simplistic structures, etc.), and this is pretty much generally accepted. UT has much more weapon variety, and shipped with a lot more play modes, however feeling wise I liked Q3a a lot more: It feels like you're more in control and the response is ultra snappy, whereas UT felt sort of mushy to me.

Q3As big mistake is that it seemed to be released presuming a tonne of great mods would quickly fill the void in the gameplay (I spent many hours playing ActionQuake which is a game I absolutely loved, however I don't believe it was ever ported to Q3A).

Re:I dont feel guilty. (1)

Carbonate (13973) | about 13 years ago | (#2155004)

I don't think Loki died because people bought windows versions of games but rather people didn't buy enough Linux versions. In the end Loki had a poor business model with a market that was too small too support it. Many ideas get abandoned becasue they just can't make money. Hence the concept of a capitalist society. While the ideas of Loki was great the substance behind just wasn't there.

I bought Quake 3 (1, Flamebait)

alsta (9424) | about 13 years ago | (#2118219)

And I never ended up installing it. Perhaps I can sell my copy on eBay for beaucoup bucks now? =)

Re:I bought Heavy Gear 2 err also (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2146028)

That was the only game I purchased after 1996. I've been meaning to buy several more but damn the time it slips away. I think I'll buy several more and help them out.

No!!! (0, Redundant)

Vardamir (266484) | about 13 years ago | (#2118226)

This is really terrible, i don't know what else can be said.

Re:No!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2135777)

You sound like an total ass kisser. Shutup.

Whaddya expect? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2118234)

He is Loki after all. You know, the Norse god who enjoyed causing trouble for his fellow gods. And, since Linux users are no less than gods, you should have known he would screw with ya sooner rather than later. For shame.

post umber one (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2118235)

eswoihggfg sfgg

It is? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2118237)

8.10.01 Great news! Today, we proudly present the playable demo of Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns! Expect Kohan to be available very soon from the Loki Store.

What are you talking about? I just went to there web page and it came up just fine.

There is no justice in the world..... (1)

chatak (117659) | about 13 years ago | (#2118238)

Surly someone with deep pockets can save this company!

Re:There is no justice in the world..... (2, Insightful)

linuxpng (314861) | about 13 years ago | (#2118256)

Yeah, every linux user out there that refuses to purchase these games. I have personally bought every loki game (except heretic2). I think everyone in the community needs to rally around loki and buy up as many games as they can. If loki goes out of business, we can pretty much count on high quality ports to stop. If every person who reads /. could just go buy one game, I think we could actually make a difference.

Re:There is no justice in the world..... (2, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2113906)

If every person who reads /. could just go buy one game

Er ... I don't even play games. Probably the majority of Slashdot readers don't play games. Why the hell should we buy them?

I suppose we could have also saved pets.com if every Slashdot reader had bought just one 50-pound sack of dog food.

Re:There is no justice in the world..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2141947)

Thanks for the point. Or rather, for missing it. Slashdot is a heavily linux-oriented group of geeks - pets.com has nothing to do with linux. loki does. :)

I just bought MindRover and Tribes 2!

I firmly believe that none of my actions will ever make a difference, but this is kinda worth doing on principal...

Re:There is no justice in the world..... (1)

chrylis (262281) | about 13 years ago | (#2130118)

My copy of Heroes of Might and Magic III is due to ship tomorrow. I must admit, I'd vastly prefer a *real* RPG (such as, say, $_=~/(M.*I)/), but the game itself is nonetheless nice to look at and disturbingly addicting. And at only $30, it's at a price even a high-school student can afford.

Only $10 at www.ebgames.com (1)

Sho0tyz (147844) | about 13 years ago | (#2144372)

That's a price just about anyone can afford.

frist dead Loki prost (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2118239)

Long live Windows!

This just proves that Linux is not viable on the desktop. Please just get over it.

Re:frist dead Loki prost (-1)

sheeplover (461448) | about 13 years ago | (#2155295)

it's funny because if someone said something as ludicrous as 'WINDOWS IS NOT VIABLE ON THE DESKTOP' it would be modded up.

People just can't accept the truth

Figures. (1)

BubbaFett (47115) | about 13 years ago | (#2118240)

The way things have been going, it's not surprising. Linux gaming never seemed to really catch on. Retailers can't make a profit from them. 3-D is getting better but still sucks royally compared to Windows. Hurray for closed hardware specs...

Re:Figures. (1)

dSV3Hl (215182) | about 13 years ago | (#2137187)

Uh, Tribes 2 runs faster under Linux (well, it was the case when it was released, patches have probably made them similar) then it does under windows, as long as your using an Nvidia card. Everyone is using an Nvidia card these days...

Quake 3 performs very well aswell.

And so does Half-Life under wine... (I get the exact same fps in Windows as Linux)

etc...

Re:Figures. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2141946)

You get the same fps running wine as you do in windows? fucking liar.

Re:Figures. (1)

linuxpng (314861) | about 13 years ago | (#2143160)

I actually get better fps on linux playing tribes2 than on windows with the exact same settings. Dunno about other people's mileage though. Perhaps you should check evil3d's comparison of the latest nvidia drivers to window drivers over at http://www.evil3d.net/reviews/gfx/vtgf3/linux/ it does focus on the geforce3, but speaks for the driver across all geforce cards.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2118242)

my f1rst p

Linux game market (4, Interesting)

Amon Re (102766) | about 13 years ago | (#2118243)

The linux game market is simply not big enough to support a company like this and when you put in the fact that they don't get the same release dates as windows versions and the high warez rate of there games...I am surprised they lasted this long.

Sad to see them go (3, Informative)

xwred1 (207269) | about 13 years ago | (#2118245)

Loki made great ports.

Its sad to see them go out for doing such good work, damn this economic crunch!

I myself own 10 Loki games and I've enjoyed each one.

They said awhile ago that they had lots of capital secured for a situation like this, and they weren't going away soon

I just hope they stick around and pull out of this bankruptcy, I'm really looking forward to Deus Ex. I put off playing the Windows version with expectations of the Linux port.

Re:Sad to see them go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2143842)

damn this economic crunch!

The consumer has been doing just fine lately, its the business sector that hasn't been buying, thus slowing the economy. The consumer portion, that is the one who would drive sales at Loki, has been increasing spending slightly the last few months. So its not the economy so much as no one buying their product, sorry, can't blame everything on someone else.

Re:Sad to see them go (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2146943)

you sir, are a fucking idiot.

:( (0)

Vertex Operator (100854) | about 13 years ago | (#2118247)

I bought several Loki games, myself. It was always a pleasure gaming under a real operating system (real shell, could handle multiple CPUs, virtual desktop, great stability, etc.).

I suppose it's implied by the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The universe moves to a state of greater entropy, and the computer universe moves to a state of sucking more.

Re::( (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2111499)

How come your web page makes you come as so intelligent? Then I see you post this drivel..."real operating system"...referring to Linux..pfft.

Re::( (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2144894)

(real shell, could handle multiple CPUs, virtual desktop, great stability) I see you are familiar with Windows 2000 Pro?

the critics cry (1)

Cephas Keken (224723) | about 13 years ago | (#2118248)

Why will answer the cry of the critic who will shout, look at what they have done to thier own kind, how can we depend on the linux community to provide qualtiy software.

Loki gave us what we wanted...and look what happened to them.

Damn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2118249)

I sure hope they haven't purchased any Aeron's recently.

What a shot below the belt (1)

xZAQx (472674) | about 13 years ago | (#2118250)

This is absolutely terrible. What a great company Loki is/was. Looks like I can forget about a Max Payne port... Damn, I'm so pissed.

Re:What a shot below the belt (2)

teg (97890) | about 13 years ago | (#2139166)

Complaining about the situation doesn't help... buying their games can. I've bought every one of their games (except EUS), and if more are releases (like Kohan and Halls of Valhalla), I'll buy them too. And you can still order from their web site. so orders now might help a bit.

This post is off-topic (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2118251)

Please mod down.

Not a big surprise (2, Interesting)

hooded1 (89250) | about 13 years ago | (#2118252)

Frankly, most people would rather have stuff free than have to pay for it. This tendency is of course magnified on Slashdot, because of the Linux Community's ideals of free software. Now does it come as a surprise to any people that a company whose only busienss was selling games to a community that would rather pirate them, than have to go all the way out to the store to buy them, would quickly go out of business? It does not to me. As much was I would like to support a company like this, i would not spend the extra money to buy quake3 for linux when I already own the PC version.

Re:Not a big surprise (2, Insightful)

antis0c (133550) | about 13 years ago | (#2129518)

First, you can play Linux Quake 3 without buying another copy of Quake 3. ID provides Linux binaries free to download (or at least used too), all you need is the PC CD/data files.

Second, you obviously have no idea what "free software" means. Often confused, Free as in Freedom. Not as in cost. Surely because of freedom there is no cost of software most of the time, but this is not always true. The only people in the world that truely use Free Software because it costs free are the 17 year old demograph who have no money in the first place. Perhaps you fit into this category?

Re:Not a big surprise (2, Interesting)

Dante Aliegri (119831) | about 13 years ago | (#2130695)

I'm not quite sure what you mean "would rather pirate them"
From the people I know that use *nix of those that hate commercial software would rather eschew it than pirate it.

As for the "buying at the store", I bought my linux version of Q3 at Electronics Boutique. The release problem, along with the "I'm not going to use software that costs money" is the problem.
The **real** problem is more than that though -- gamers won't use linux until it has enough games, and companies won't publish games for linux until there is enough of a demand. Until that point, the only choice would be to rely on wine.

While it can have a coolness to it ( eg, running windows binaies on linux ) its not a good way to go. Everyone is still at Microsoft's whim; so if they decide to break everything with DX9, people have to spend a year rewriting wine's DX support, in which time, all the gamers that **were** using linux go back to win* because they can't play their games!

Re:Not a big surprise (5, Interesting)

stevens (84346) | about 13 years ago | (#2158201)

Frankly, most people would rather have stuff free than have to pay for it.

Frankly, I don't encounter this attitude in the OSS community near me. We buy linux distributions; we spend our spare time promoting products we like (and also fit our software philosophy); we buy endless numbers of books.

Most of the linux-oriented people I hang with bought one or two titles from Loki. I personally have two. I am not aware of a huge warez scene for Loki titles. It's just that there are so very few of us compared to Windows gamers. This will change eventually.

But I'm sick and tired of hearing that Open Source enthusiasts will just not pay for things. Sure, I won't pay for something [microsoft.com] when there's a better alternative [debian.org] available. But that's simply not the case with Loki's stuff. I think they earned every penny with their attention to detail in porting and packaging (not to mention the SDL library).

Loki looks fine to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2118253)

What redirect? There website loads just fine and there is even news on it which date to 2 days ago. They seem just fine to me.

8.10.01 Great news! Today, we proudly present the playable demo of Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns! Expect Kohan to be available very soon from the Loki Store.

Did We See This Coming? (1)

Carbonate (13973) | about 13 years ago | (#2118254)

Perhaps I'm not the first to say it but didn't we all see this coming. Linux while tops in the server market is the clear minority in the Desktop market and hence also in the Games market. The volume just isn't there for a game company to support itself. I have to imagine that it was extremely hard to break even.

Small target group? (5, Informative)

bdkearns (231532) | about 13 years ago | (#2118257)

In all of Loki's games that I've played, people complained because they wanted to switch from the Windows version to the Linux one. They did not understand that Loki had to pay for rights to port the game, and actually do work to port it. Loki's only real target buyers were people who already used Linux as their primary OS. Most of these target people probably:
1. Were not used to shelling out money for games.
2. Did not play games as a primary occupation.

Before a company like Loki can succeed, I think that there needs to be:
1. A larger Linux userbase.
2. Simultaneous releases across platforms.
3. An easier way for Windows users to switch to the Linux version, than trying to return their Windows version of the game and get their money back.

Re:Small target group? (2)

Ravagin (100668) | about 13 years ago | (#2146964)

An easier way for Windows users to switch to the Linux version, than trying to return their Windows version of the game and get their money back.

Some software these days comes with a Mac and a PC version on the same CD - assuming that the user only has one or the other. So I guess you could just slap the linux version on as well.

It'd be great if you run both Windows and Linux. You only pay for the game once, but you can pay it no matter which OS you're in at the moment. That seems fair.

Of course, size is a factor....

-j

Re:Small target group? (1)

bdkearns (231532) | about 13 years ago | (#2134154)

Yes, in an ideal world, I suppose that is how it would work. But, atleast some of Loki's ports were finished post-release of the Windows or Mac versions of the games. Loki's business model would have probably needed to change from less of a vendor to more of a porting service if they wanted to just include the ports on the original producer's CDs. In my opinion, it is too late now.

Unsavable? (1, Informative)

bdkearns (231532) | about 13 years ago | (#2119161)

Apparently, according to Briareos (#loki on IRC:OPN), there are only 3 employees left at Loki:
2 interns and a contract programmer.

Even though they only filed for bankruptcy protection, I can't see Loki Games coming back to life. Most of their skilled ex-programmers have moved on to other companies.

Chapter 11 != Out of Business (4, Informative)

antis0c (133550) | about 13 years ago | (#2119766)

I'm glad the article noted that Chapter 11 does not mean you are going out of business. This is often confused. This merely means you are seeking protection from creditors to buy yourself time to re-organize and create a plan to pay back your debt, and become profitable.

In todays market, it's very hard to find funding for a tech business. We can all thank Dotcoms for that with their VC Funded Businesses based on Phantom products.

I personally think Loki will be able to pull through this. I just recently downloaded a bundle of Loki demos for Linux, very impressive. They all worked rather well and with little effort, the installer was a shell script with I think binaries encoded, haven't looked but it loaded a GTK based installer that automatically asked which demos I wanted, and downloaded them accordingly. I was very impressed. I hope their upper management has as much talent as their programmers. They'll surely pull through if this is the case. I think what would be a potentially successful model would be to create a Linux gaming "environment". Basically an environment that superceeds your normal distributions environment. Libraries, Programs, what ever required, then build all the games accordingly. This would help with a lot of cross-distribution incompatibilties and help promote gaming in Linux. Unfortunately Linux was not designed for gaming, and Linux does not own a large share of the desktop market (the market that plays the most games), so they face a very large challenge..

why does Loki owe Activision? (1)

bbh (210459) | about 13 years ago | (#2123268)

Does anyone actually know the way that Loki actually makes its money. I wonder why Loki owes money to Activision? I would have thought that the company with the game gets a company like Loki to create the port of there game, then gives a cut to Loki if a profit is made, or a cut per unit sold? Do they actually pay to purchase the rights to port the game? That seems very strange. Does anyone have any insight on this? This does truly suck.

I own Q3 Arena (the tin box) and Heroes of Might and Magic III. I played through Heroes of Might and Magic III, it played really well, installed first time no problems, and was entertaining. I never played it under windows, but the quality of it under Linux meant I had no need to get it under Windows. I hope they can pull out of this, and maybe come up with a better business model.

bbh

hope they keep it going (0)

notext (461158) | about 13 years ago | (#2125344)

It would be nice. 3d has come a long way. My q3 numbers are just slightly under the windows numbers. The problem is not that enough linux users are playing games, it's in the fact that most don't buy the linux version of the game. Stores don't like selling the linux version either. It takes up more space for the same game that can be bought as windows version and then just have the binaries downloaded.

I don't buy the linux version if I already have the windows.

I hope they finish deus ex. I have been waiting for that one.

ID Software's Fault (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2127956)

When Tribes2 was released for Linux, the numbers of people who bitched and moaned to high heaven about not being able to get the Linux version for free if they paid for the Windows version was a large majority.

Unfortunately, people had gotten so used to getting Linux ports of windows games for free, after all the Quakes, and UT, and very few people look to buy Linux versions first.

Idsoftware and Dave Taylor started, (if not gave a big boost to) commercial gaming in Linux, so this unfortunate, unintentional side-effect is just another kick in the crotch for everyone involved.

Twist of Fate - the PC gaming business explained (5, Insightful)

standards (461431) | about 13 years ago | (#2128722)

Of course, the pundits will say that there is no profit in the Linux game market, and therefore the Chapter 11.

But wait! There is almost no profit in the PC game market PERIOD. It's is very difficult to make a profit in this business. Game development is an expensive proposition - especially when it comes to the advanced graphics and gameplay that we all expect today.

Even high-quality Windoze-centric shops have gone away - just look at Looking Glass studios for one. Gone! And they didn't do ANY linux. And they had great games, and excellent sales. And they were liquidated just last year.

The fact is that computer games like "Who wants to be a millionaire" sell bigger than all the rest, and they're cheap-as-dirt to create. Why spend $5 million for game development, when for $200,000 you can create a cheesey game that has 10x the number of sales???

Strangely, these days, the home console market is the only place where sophisticated computer games have a fair chance of being profitable. The sales volumes are significantly greater than those sales for Linux... and Windows.

Catch 22 leads to chapter 11 (5, Informative)

Gen-GNU (36980) | about 13 years ago | (#2129520)

Well, I can't say I am really surprised by this...
I have personally only bought 2 games from loki. I bought quake 3 and railroad tycoon2 (one of the very first they did). In that time, I have probably bought 10 times that number of windows games.

The catch 22 is that until all games come out for linux, and at the same time as windows, most people will keep dual booting. But until enough people run linux, (and buy games), but don't run windows, game companies won't have incentive to develop for linux, except as an afterthought.

Since I have a windows partition, I usually get games I see on the shelves that look cool, or ones I have heard about from a friend. When I see a /. story about loki, I go to their site, and usually see a new game they have done, but I already own it for windows.

I wish Loki the best. And I wish I could say something like &quot From now on, I am going to buy games from loki, if only to support gaming on Linux. &quot But in truth, I know that I will continue to buy the cool new games as soon as they come out, and unfortunately, that usually means I won't be buying from Loki.

This was bound to happen ... (1)

Forager (144256) | about 13 years ago | (#2129672)

... sooner or later. There are a few fundamental problems with trying to play games on Linux that will help Linux gaming go the way of the dodo. Loki's death was preordained by the market, and by Loki themself.

::dons his flame-retardent suit::

Gaming on Linux has always suffered--much like gaming on Macs--from lack of support. Few companies--if any--support Linux out of the box; most big-title Linux games are ports from the Windows version that are contracted out to firms like Loki. As a result, these games come out days, weeks, or months after their Windows counterparts. In the mean time, the Windows version is establishing a huge user base, and by the time the Linux version is published, the numbers it pulls in are miniscule relative to the numbers pulled by the Windows version.

Linux users have always been presented with a choice: a) Keep a small partition with Windows installed just to run these games, or b) wait until the Linux version of the game is released, sometimes months afterward. If the game is in any way endorsed, published, or supported by Microsoft, however, you can forget ever seeing it on Linux (AoE, Motocross Madness, Asheron's Call, etc). Oh, and if it relies on Direct3D for its acceleration, count on it taking a LOT longer to port.

The reason Linux gaming will never break mainstream is the same reason the Mac has not been a viable game platform for years: Developers simply do not have the time / desire to build a game that must cater to an additional, less-prolific OS. They have enough to worry about, what with hardware compatibility issues and all without multiplying the complications by two, or three.

In truth, it is this principle that makes me worry for the future of the Windows PC; the X-Box really does stand poised to cause a mountain of problems for Windows-using PC gamers. Here is a $300 box that can run new games beautifully, has the potential to create a HUGE installed base literally overnight, and is very easy to develop for. No more worrying about hardware compatibility, renderer variants, etc. Just one big happy solid system to develop for, and that's it.

Regardless of speculations on a possible distant future (and that's all my X-Box fears are), Windows provides publishers with the largest installed base to cater toward; the general population uses Windows, and most games are geared toward the general population to begin with. When Joe Sixpack goes out to buy a computer game he is--more often than not--picking up software for his HP or Dell or Compaq or Gateway desktop; he probably doesn't even know that the software over in that "Linux" section won't run on his computer.

At this point in time, Windows gaming is the way to go. The games people want to play are only going to be available on Windows, with few exceptions. Loki made a valiant effort, but it will take a lot more than just one or twenty companies to make Linux gaming work. It will take the cooperation of the entire industry, and that's something we aren't likely to see until Linux has a 50% home-user market share.

[Disclaimer: I am slightly biased, since I'm a Windows user. I use Windows 2000 because it is (contrary to popular belief) stable, it runs 3DS Max 4, Photoshop (Free Dmitry, but let me do my job!), and all of other games and apps.]

~Forager.

Loki who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2130693)

Like I care. *roll eyes* Who has time to play games? Oh... don't answer.

Holy fuck (2)

MSBob (307239) | about 13 years ago | (#2131030)

These days even companies that actually produce something are going under. This is really sad. I hope these guys quickly land new jobs somwhere. I can't believe how abysmal the gaming industry has got. And with the grassroots support that Loki enjoyed it's quite frightening to see them go under.

Maybe one day someone else will try to do the same thing but I honestly can't see what Loki could've done to prevent their fate. They had a strong team and did the best they could with the very heterogenous platform that Linux is. Is there really no future for Linux gaming?

Re:Holy fuck (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2139165)

Well let's see... They were selling games to a market that is about 1% of the total PC end users out there. They were selling good ports of games that were often 3-6 (or more) months late. out of that 1% of users I would guess 90% had a copy of Windows that was able to play the games faster and sooner.

Gee, I just can't imagine why they went under.

Loki Store, Kohan Ordering? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2132131)

Can someone (who actually knows) comment on whether the Loki on-line store will continue to fulfill orders? Given that Kohan is supposed to become available for ordering on the 15th, it'd be a darn shame if they canned their ordering system before they were able to collect the fruits of this labor... or even worse, if they collected the $$ but never got around to shipping the product.

Loki should make Mac ports... (1)

Rexifer (81021) | about 13 years ago | (#2134082)

Mac users have been able to support a few different game porting companies. Loki should shift it's focus to Mac porting, with Linux porting as a secondary priority. Maybe this would keep them profitable enough to support Linux porting efforts... This is really sad, though. I bought several of their games from EB when the prices were lowered to $10, and found them all to be top notch ports.

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2135210)

In another time and place they would have made it.

If linux was a bit closer to critical mass

If tech investors were not brain damaged by the let's give stuff for free dotcommers

If people would pay for games instead of pirating them

If retailers stocked linux games

If penguins could fly...

Another Linux Lesson Learned (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2135211)

Leftist idealists with no firm grounding in real-world economics have no legitimate reason to run a company... just look at VA!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha Ha ha ha ha ha (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2137185)

Just as the communist companies collapsed, so will all of your commie OS companies.

Two words (0, Redundant)

MSBob (307239) | about 13 years ago | (#2139164)

Game Over

time to change my future (1)

OO7david (159677) | about 13 years ago | (#2139167)

I've always wanted to do something involving video games, and I've always had a knack for coding, so I've worked most of my 17 years to learn about that.

But now, with Dynamix, Loki, and God changing, closing, etc I wonder what I'm going to do.

All I can really say is for all Loki employees, I feel bad for you, and I hope for the best.

Re:time to change my future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2143841)

You just realized that not everyone in the world can get a job making video games?

Re:time to change my future (1)

nutsy (33125) | about 13 years ago | (#2157770)

Personally, I'm wondering what (if anything) is going to become of Loki's development tools [lokigames.com] like Simple DirectMedia Layer [libsdl.org] and smpeg [lokigames.com] . These projects were originated by Lokipeople (especially Sam Lantinga), and I consider these development tools much more important than a port of [Insert name of 3-D graphical wank-fest here].

Its an open source platform... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2139169)

Loki had a great idea to offer commerical games at a great price for us linux users, but unfortunately it seems as though linux is a platform where only services seem to turn a profit. Games are cool but I really don't need them to run a server. For them I'll stick to a windows machine. -Ben

Damn, damn, damn, damn... (0, Redundant)

xonker (29382) | about 13 years ago | (#2139170)

If they have filed, I hope that they're able to make a comeback somehow...

Not only do all of Loki's titles rock, they're a good bunch of people. I've talked to Scott Draeker and other folks from Loki several times and they're good people who deserve to succeed. They've worked really hard, and they weren't one of the companies that pissed away VC money as fast as they could get it.

News like this makes me want a drink -- and I don't even drink.

so go BUY a game NOW (2, Insightful)

Yahnz (443775) | about 13 years ago | (#2140413)

While a short-term influx of cash isn't likely to make a difference in the longer term, you might not be able to do that much longer (and it's a nice thing to do with that fifty you were going to blow on booze anyway).

BTW they are totally /.'ed now, so don't bother for a couple of hours...

Jan

Yet another Linux company bites the dust (1)

SumDeusExMachina (318037) | about 13 years ago | (#2141948)

Wow, I don't know how to express my sorrow at the fact that yet another Linux company has gone out of business. This is horrible. How else am I supposed to get quality games for my favorite operating system? I loved Quake III and Tribes 2, but it looks like there just weren't enough people who share my views.

However, perhaps there is a deeper lesson that can be learned here. Perhaps there really isn't money in open source and Linux. Just look at companies like Eazel and Stormix. And Ximian seems to be following the business model of "give as much away for free before the investors realize what's going on". Could it be that writing software for Linux just isn't profitable?

I mean, I always thought that Slashdot was of the opinion that you use the best tool for the job. Perl for short programs. C for serious jobs. Linux for servers. Wouldn't it follow, then, that people oughta just leave Windows on their computers if they want to play games? After all, Linux is more of a serious operating system, sporting a high powered TCP/IP stack and pitiful OpenGL support, not to mention lackluster drivers for leading video cards. While some people may accuse me of being a troll, I'd like to contend that maybe Linux isn't the best operating system for every job. Also, consider that our leader, CmdrTaco, keeps a Windows partition on his computer just for playing games.

To conclude, althought this is a tragic loss of a leading software developer, perhaps it would be a better choice to just go with the best tool for the job, instead of the best tool for your political views.

A very likely reason for this... (3, Interesting)

darthpenguin (206566) | about 13 years ago | (#2142232)

Somehow, I think the main reason that Loki didn't do as well as they should have was the way their products were marketed. For example: Tribes 2 for windows can be found at any decent computer store, and at CompUSA and Fry's, it has been on sale almost constantly for $19.99. Tribes 2 for linux, on the other hand, can be found in no retail store that I've been to. The only option I have is to buy it online, for around $50 (plus S&H). Now which version would most people go for? The only reason that I didn't spend $20 on the windows version is because I don't run windows on any of my machines, but most people aren't in that situation. I think if it was possible to get some more games into stores (at more competitive prices!), they could have done much better. The one or two copies of quake III that each store has don't count ($50 apiece).

Re:A very likely reason for this... (1)

nowt (230214) | about 13 years ago | (#2145765)

They need the $50 to help recoup costs, just like all the windows versions charge upon initial release.. but since they trail windows versions by such a great timeframe, you see the pricing discrepency.

I think they would have tried this (quake3 a case where they did..I dunno) but maybe instead of selling directly to us linux geeks, they could 'sell' their porting services to the other software houses to have their items released inside the windows version.. kinda like how all the edu-ware has 'pc/mac' versions on the same cd.

Ok, very naive I know but I really hate to see this happen to them. I just bought quake3 (had windows version for ages but hate going there ;) and was about to buy tribes 2 + others.. as previous posts suggest, I think I will (ok maybe not tribes2 for possible lack of servers :( to help them hopefully get through the chap.11.

Their creditors are knocking and any sales will go straight to them unforunately...Best of luck.

loki's games "great"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2144895)

Sorry, but Loki's ports of UT and Quake 3 arena suck ass, almost as if it were a botched implementation. On my Mandrake 7.2 system, UT can't run despite the presence of Glide_v3 and my Voodoo Banshee. Even in software mode, UT segfaults for some unknown reason. Last time I checked, there were some 4000 posts in the loki newsgroups with all sorts of weird problems with UT.

I checked out their support pages, and they're sparse at best. I then find out that I have to manually recompile and install Mesa --with-DRI-support. Okay, it's off to DRI.sourceforge.net I go. I am totally lost here.

All I have to do in Windows is double-click on the "Unreal" icon and I'm up and running. No bullshit about Mesa, X, libVoodooMesaGL.so lib_pakistani_calender.so.1. Frankly, getting Loki's ports of Q3A and UT to work in Linux is more trouble than it's worth, and goes to show that, for me, Linux just isn't a viable gaming platform.

Re:loki's games "great"? (2)

treke (62626) | about 13 years ago | (#2146027)

Funny thing is.... Loki didn't port either Quake 3 or Unreal Tournament. They where hired to do support for the games, but the ports were primarily done in house by ID and Epic.

Re:loki's games "great"? (2, Informative)

MichaelKVance (1663) | about 13 years ago | (#2119642)

This is not entirely true, especially with UT. Daniel did tons of work on the UT codebase, especially the renderer. Joe rewrote a new audio subsystem, etc. Daniel's renderer work percolated back into the Win32 realm, you'll remember. It was very good, and it's no surprise he works at Epic now.

I personally fixed a few bugs in the Quake3 code-base, and I know Bernd did much more.

m.

Re:loki's games "great"? (2)

Alex Belits (437) | about 13 years ago | (#2155294)

Really, you just had to upgrade your liux distribution to the version that already included all that.

Is there anything we can do? (1)

CptnKirk (109622) | about 13 years ago | (#2145761)

Is it too late at this point?

Sure buying games is great, but even if everyone who posted saying "Oh this is terrible", bought a game, it would only be a small blip for the year and nowhere near the amount of capital needed to turn a company around.

With that said, is there anything we can do to help Loki? Anything to help possible investors get interested in the company? Anything to help those working at Loki who may be out of a job soon?

I may not have the $$ to bring the company back to life. But if it was to go under, I'd be willing to contribute to a severance fund for the employees. Would anyone else show their support in this way? Any other ideas?

Oh well... (1)

Doc Fazulli (514847) | about 13 years ago | (#2146226)

I guess someone has to say it... "All your Loki are belong to us..."

bound to fail, unfortunately (1)

mj6798 (514047) | about 13 years ago | (#2146227)

This isn't all that surprising. Loki's ports often came out long after the Windows versions--most serious game players had already bought the Windows version (after all, you can't help but get Windows shipped with your PC anyway). Also, Linux 3D graphics support has been too difficult to install until recently.

If they can hold on for another year or so, things may start looking up. Linux 3D support is getting better, and with MacOS X, game developers may start thinking more about non-Windows platforms anyway.

Playing Kohan right now. (1)

motorsabbath (243336) | about 13 years ago | (#2146728)

Well Loki - I hope you pull through this. Whether you do or do not come out in one piece all the excellent work you've done will just seed the next phase in Linux gaming, I hope. Including SDL and the installer/updater package, which I think Sam did, no?

'Till then, I have Kohan and Tribes2 (and a few others) to keep me busy. I'll be fine (more than fine) until neverwinter nights comes out :-)

Thanks for all the great games! - JB

Help them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2146923)

I'm stunned at the news. I thought that Loki was one of the few companies in the Linux world that was making money. I know that I have bought a few games from them, and have been looking forward to buying more. It looks like I'll need to buy sooner, rather than later.

Loki is one of the cornerstones of the Linux community. Without high-quality, professional games available for Linux, there is no realistic way to convince home users to make the switch, regardless of how good Linux gets otherwise. Loki has a good business plan -- porting the most popular computer games to the Linux platform. They're the only company doing this, and if they go under, the chance that *any* company will *ever* consider it again becomes negligible.

While this is just a Chapter 11 bankruptcy (rather than the fatal Chapter 7), it indicates that Loki is in big trouble, and they very much need our help. If you have any interest in Linux games, if you have any interest in seeing Linux on the desktop, go to lokigames.com, and place an order.

Otherwise, this whole grand experiment becomes much, much harder to pull off.

Warez-like release? (5, Informative)

aralin (107264) | about 13 years ago | (#2146963)

Well, if they would sell warez-like release of their games, just downloadable files and pdf manuals or even without manuals or with just a stripped version, they could charge half the cost since all the money would go to the company and wouldn't be lost in the supply chain. And it would be very good solution for these types who say that the cost is "just too high" so they better download it from warez. I guess this could be good marketing move, no?

Must buy RUNE! (1)

Mandelbrute (308591) | about 13 years ago | (#2146966)

I've been putting off buying games for a while, but now it looks like the time, before Loki goes under.
If enough of us buy their games now they will stay afloat and port more games

looser-ware! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2147304)

another linux victory!

http://linuxmonkey.freeservers.com

Slim chances of recovery (4, Insightful)

MSBob (307239) | about 13 years ago | (#2153695)

Filing for bankruptcy protection is not the same as being "out of business," but it's uncomfortably close.

It's not over until the fat lady sings, of course, but I think I hear her sucking air into her lungs and clearing her throat. That fat lady is going to sing soon and when she does she's going to blow some eardrums. There are very few companies that survive the chapter 11 stage. Stop deluding yourselves guys.

Linux game ports, etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2153867)

You know, I remember back in the days of the Commodore 64, companies didn't need million dollar budgets, just fresh ideas and talented programmers. The Amiga was the same way. You didn't need an absolutely huge game base (and hell, if you owned an Amiga, chances are 90% of your games were pirated, anyway), and yet many game shops still did brisk business (I'm not justifying piracy, but it was the truth.)

While I applaud Loki and others for doing good "ports" work, where are the Linux originals? No, I don't mean mahjong (although that's a ton of fun). I mean, where's the Team 17's and the Bitmap Brothers? Where are the old demo-coders turned game writers? Is Linux just not an attractive enough platform for these guys?

I guess what I'm getting at is that great games don't necessarily mean great, cutting edge graphics. My favorite Role Playing Game on the Playstation is Tales of Destiny, a 2D sprite based game originally written for the Super Nintendo(Famicom). It's been stated before, but it seems everyone wants gee-whiz bang graphics (don't get me wrong, what the Bitmap Bros. and Team 17 was just short of phenomenal for it's time and I *still* like the look) and the game gets left behind.

Game Fans shout "We gotta have the latest quake/unreal engine to make a good game" and the companies follow, and no one buys it because it comes out on Windows first. What's the problem here? Maybe it's because we're focusing on the wrong way to get people to buy the games! You win when you have gamers switching to *linux* to play that uber-cool game. I don't see that happening anytime soon.

I guess the point is, fuck the ports. They're nice, if you have the cash to port them, but maybe game makers should quit having the same, stupid "me too" attitude and start writing "original" games, for linux.

Who is next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2154585)

I put my guess on Ximian. Sun (a major money provider) can't get their installed base to upgrade from older versions of solaris, never mind accept Gnome as a desktop. Sorry, not happening any time soon.

The Linux market is big enough (1)

theMAGE (51991) | about 13 years ago | (#2154586)

The problem is, most games appeared on Linux after I have bought them for Windows.

If the game will appear simultaneously on Windows and Linux or at least at Windows version launch the Linux version would be announced, I will definitely get the Linux version.

I will go and purchase one-two games to show my support for the efforts they made: persuading comercial companies to release games for Linux and developing and contributing the SDL.

Loki might go under, or somebody will buy it but Linux is a viable desktop and gaming platform. We have to show this to the game companies.

Re:The Linux market is big enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2146026)

Show them what? That Linux games don't sell?

fund? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2155005)

I'd give 'em $50-$100. It's a helluvalot less than the Microsoft task I'd pay, plus the inconvenience of having to boot out of my 100+ uptime in exchange for (tears stream) windows.

Who knows an online place like Amazon's "honor system" (or however) that gives closer to 100% to the company? (Amazon takes 15%).

I'd certainly pay, and I think many other slashdotters would too.
(Of course, conveniently, we wait until they have bankrupt status and all their big evil creditors are screwed out of their investments and 18% APR).

Re:fund? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2146968)

SIR!!!!! You are the winner of the coveted

FUCKWAD OF THE DAY AWARD!!!!

You will be the envy of all your fellow linux-lovin' fuckwads!!!!

!!!!!!!!!EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm not surprised (1)

giannifive (240187) | about 13 years ago | (#2155417)

Thanks to Loki's instructions on how to use the Windows Quake3 CD under linux, I bought the cheaper Windows version instead of Loki's linux version. I guess their helpful instructions were in the spirit of linux, but they didn't serve to make them any money in this case.

It's a shame. I really appreciated Loki's efforts.

Well, I guess there's always Tuxracer, but pretty soon you'll have to pay for that...
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