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Why Aren't More Linux Users Gamers?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the all-about-the-games dept.

693

tops writes "MadPenguin.org wonders why more Linux users aren't gamers and attempts to answer that question. The article suggests, 'As far as I'm concerned, it all comes down to a choice. Expect the gaming industry to follow the Linux doctrine or instead, build up a viable, cross platform gaming market that includes us, the Linux users.' The article urges publishers to consider Linux users as a viable market, and requests that game developers target Linux as a platform during the pre-production phase." What do you think are the most important obstacles barring the big game publishers from reaching out to the Linux market more than they already do?

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I tried to get more people into it. (5, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706112)

I have some experience trying to round up Linux gamers over the past couple years and what I've found is that there are some out there, but a lot of the people in my local LUG just weren't interested in playing games. I've hosted many events to try sparking interest, I even supplied the computers, but only a few people came each time. Perhaps the most common type of people that use Linux are now the ones that don't play games much anymore. Or at least not FPS, etc. Plus I found a lot of people made the excuse that they didn't have decent hardware for 3d games. Ironically, we might have better luck with Linux games if we had what we have now back in the 90s.

No free acclerated drivers yet but don't give up. (2, Insightful)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706168)

Trying to run non free software on Linux eliminates a lot of the advantages of running free software. Who wants to go back to the world of driver hunting? Sure, it can be done, there are distributions that make it easier and there's a lot of cool gaming that can be had but it still takes effort, almost as much as it does to keep up a Windows box.

The market is growing and now is a better time than ever. The death of XP has a lot of gamers looking at Linux. They are going to be trying. Distributions like PCLinuxOS and Ubuntu are going to make them very happy for a while. If the card makers come out with free drivers that work well in the next year or so, those new users will never look back.

Re:No free acclerated drivers yet but don't give u (5, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706290)

What "death" of XP are you referring to? XP is still the preferred OS for gaming and will probably remain in that position for at least another year or two.

Re:No free acclerated drivers yet but don't give u (2, Interesting)

Kev647 (904931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706658)

I agree that XP will last a year or two, but the gamers are going to sniff out the problems: such as Halo II being able to be run only on Vista...and as reports have told, Vista plays the same games slower. Vista plays the same games but more slowly. Thus, I am sure that the gamers thinking ahead are already wondering where to move to from here. http://www.theinquirer.net/en/inquirer/news/2006/10/07/vista-gaming-will-be-10-to-15-per-cent-slower-than-xp [theinquirer.net]

Re:No free acclerated drivers yet but don't give u (3, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706738)

such as Halo II being able to be run only on Vista
Really? [united-underground.com]

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706228)

I use Linux and play plenty of games. I just don't play games on Linux, or on PC for that matter. I find it much more enjoyable to play games on a console than to play games on PC. I also like buying a game for the console, and knowing that it will just work, and I'll never have to wonder if my computer is good enough, or if there's going to be incompatibility problems.

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (5, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706242)

Perhaps the most common type of people that use Linux are now the ones that don't play games much anymore.

I do think there's something to the argument that Linux users have already self-selected themselves into a group who don't prioritize games highly (or they probably would have stuck with Windows). It's harder to justify that as a group to spend a lot of time and money publishing games to.

I think there's also the perception that a lot of Linux users don't like to pay for things. That their reaction to something that's cool and innovative is to say "gosh, I hope someone creates a free version of that!" I know it's not completely true, but it's a perception that would have to be fought to get more titles on the platform.

And then there's the fact that Linux is in third place in desktop market share behind Win32 and MacOS X. If a gaming company is going to go risk the money, they'll probably go to the Mac first. By the time they get to Linux few will care.

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (4, Insightful)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706448)

I think you're right - perhaps we should also ask the reverse question: Why aren't more gamers using Linux?

Anyone who started out on Linux (and there are probably incredibly few of them) probably never became a gamer (at least, not using thir computer). Anyone who started out on Windows won't want the hassles of moving their gaming over to Linux. If gaming is something you do a lot, then you're going to use the most convenient platform for it.

Personally, I have a dual-boot. I play games and use photoshop on Windows, and I do most other things on Linux. The whole point of playing games is that it's relaxing; getting them to work on Linux kinda spoils that!

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (1)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706518)

I think there's also the perception that a lot of Linux users don't like to pay for things. That their reaction to something that's cool and innovative is to say "gosh, I hope someone creates a free version of that!" I know it's not completely true, but it's a perception that would have to be fought to get more titles on the platform.

Boy has this been hammered to death recently (see here).

Honestly I don't think this is Linux users per say. I've actually seen quite a few Linux users buy software. I think that the general group of computer users nowadays doesn't find value in buying software. Which is really stupid. I myself try to buy one of the popular commercial Linux games when they come out and fill out the registration. I think there are several open source purists who do the same. Open source folk are ones of high ideals and part of that is being supportive of their movement. You'd probably be surprised. If we want to keep that going then the key is to get more Linux recruits to take up the banner of free software.

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (1)

heartless_ (923947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706274)

Truth is, most of us gamers have day jobs and don't feel like coming home and figuring out why the latest game patch doesn't work with Wine or Cedega. PC Gaming, for years, has tried to make the process simple, attempting to get to the console state of "put the disc in and play". The closest PC gaming has is Windows.

I would love to have an open source OS that meets all my needs as a gamer, but I just don't see it happening anytime soon. Fedora 8 has their games spun version, but who wants to play a bunch of yesteryear games?

Hell, if Samba 4.0 will supposedly do everything that a Windows server can, why can't a Linux desktop version play games?

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706276)

i have found quite the opposite, i play guildwars and know that quite a few people i know run it on linux, also whenever you log into Sauerbraten there is almost always servers going.

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (2, Insightful)

Soleen (925936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706434)

You do not get it!
All Linux users are games, they just like different kind of games: it is called playing with your PC and Hardware.

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706480)

Linux is a time-consuming hobby - simply not much time left for gaming

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706496)

I have been waiting for the Wizards Castle Linux port from the Commodore PET.

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (1)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706516)

Plus I found a lot of people made the excuse that they didn't have decent hardware for 3d games.
It's not an excuse. Most people can't drop a couple hundred for the LAG gfx card. Every six months.

Instead of focusing on graphics and glitter, focus on gameplay. I submit, as my only examples, Starcraft and Diablo / Diablo II. They wouldn't turn heads if they were released today, but they are good games that still continue to be played. The situation is similar to the emulation scene. (ROMs, anyone?)

The FOSS community needs to make good games, not dumb-but-pretty FPSes. That FPS crap is for consoles, arcades and Windows.

Now, if you expect Leonard the Linux User to drop $50USD every month for a new FPS.... Well, you're pissing your time away and you know it. :)

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706556)

Because nobody makes games for linux. There are a lot of reasons for that:

1. The linux user group is self-selecting to under represent gamers because of the dominance of windows. Since almost all games require windows, you either have to work with each game individually to get it working with WINE or dual boot windows; the extra work of Wine is a high hurdle with no guarantee of success, and dual booting eliminates disk space, ease, and makes it so you have to buy windows anyway. Emulation has almost all the same problems, it's just easier once it's running.

2. The group that uses linux has a large portion of people that are unwilling to use closed source software. Since games are a pure luxury item, most people don't want to make a high quality, open source one (working to make one defeats the purpose unless you get pleasure from coding the game itself). If the game's closed source, it's automatically going to lose a significant portion of an already small market.

3. Linux is a moving/amorphous target. Usually people get around this by using open source, since that means you can just compile against the new kernel and you're fine. But for a closed source, binary distribution this isn't as simple. The game manufacturers (who use a lot of tricks to make their games faster and better) would have to try to optimize for a platform that has multiple distributions and multiple hardware platforms (32 bit, 64 bit, solaris, mac) where there's no guarantee the kernel or the scheduler or the window manager will remain the same. In windows they can be sure that the movement's going to be steady and they'll have to release a compatibility patch infrequently.

4. The biggest one is market share. The market for linux is already small because you have to be technically skilled to even think about using it, and yet that's what's required to even get onto the computer. That's changing slowly, but if you take a number that's less than 10% of all computer users and then take away from it as above, you're looking at a pitifully small market that requires a lot of work to address.

As linux grows, so will demand, and these problems will get worked out. Until then, I'll just have to get used to the fact that I have a ten second window when my computer boots to decide whether I'm going to be playing games or if I'm going to be more productive.

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706694)

Middleware is an issue. Games are ever growing in complexity, and more and more you have developers providing the "glue" between all sorts of libraries. The issue is that game developers/publishers would have to aquire extra licenses for the linux version(s) of the middleware in question, this provided they exist at all, and why pay the extra $$$ without the certainty of the return on investment? Just my .02c.

Re:I tried to get more people into it. (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706718)


I wish you luck in finding other Linux gamers and see nothing wrong with gaming... but I'm not sure why there should be a strong correlation between using Linux and gaming? You do get people who are generally enthusiastic about all aspects of computers - into both O/S's and games, but these two areas of interest are not inherently linked. If anything, you may find that Linux users have a smaller percentage of gamers into them for their age group than Windows users. The reason being that Linux is somewhat a specialist area, most commonly pursued by those with unusual interests, and gaming is a mainstream hobby.

But I'd certainly like to see better support for gaming in Linux and more thought given to working across platforms by developers. The number of times I've seen someone write that they only keep their Windows box around for gaming is more than I care to count.

Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706114)

Because I'm not interested in playing games. My interest piqued with Doom and SimCity 2000. I don't have the interest in gaming. It'd be the same if I ran Windows Vista.

You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all.. (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706122)

alike.

N
You are in a twisty maze of little passages, all alike.

E
it is pitch dark, you are likely to be eaten by a grue.

[DAMN!]

Linux + Gamer? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706130)

A Linux user AND a gamer?

You CANNOT be a virgin twice.

And your mom only has ONE basement.

Re:Linux + Gamer? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706340)

You CANNOT be a virgin twice.
The number of potential virginities one has is directly proportional to the number of orifaces they have.

Re:Linux + Gamer? (4, Funny)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706660)

The number of potential virginities one has is directly proportional to the number of orifaces they have.
Catholic, eh? ;)

Why Aren't More Linux Users Gamers? (4, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706138)

Because we waste all our time on /. fragging Microsoft.

Re: Why Aren't More Linux Users Gamers? (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706536)

Heh. How true. The reality probably has more to do with the relatively small market shares and the cost of porting to alternate platforms. Linux based OS's have a way to go before they can claim more market share. Once that gets to a respectable level vs. windows you should see more games.

Gaming isn't always fun (1)

jay-za (893059) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706144)

I think that, on the whole, we prefer creating games to playing them, that's not that we don't enjoy playing games, though. Speaking for myself, when I first start playing a game I enjoy it. But unless the game is really brilliant (and there really aren't too many of those for me), I soon start looking for ways to "game" the system, make it do things it wasn't meant to, preferably benefiting me in the process.

I honestly don't think a lack of games on the Linux platform inhibits me, considering I own a PS2, PS3 and a WII. I actually haven't played many PC games in quite some time.

Simple (1)

unamiccia (641291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706148)

I have better things to do with my time than use Windows or play computer games.

Re:Simple (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706628)

The reason I'm not a gamer is because I have no interest in shooting people, hitting people, or doing stuff with a ball. So pretending to do any of these things doesn't interest me. Yeah, I'm sure there are other kinds of games out there, but not enough to make it worth my while wading through all the 13-year-old-boy-ware to find them.

Biggest obstacle (5, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706158)

The biggest obstacle: DirectX. It's API is only available on Windows, no other platforms, and (especially with DirectX 10 and Vista) Windows seems to go out of it's way to make OpenGL unattractive or non-feasible. That makes it difficult for game companies to target both Windows and non-Windows systems from the same codebase.

Testing (2, Insightful)

Erioll (229536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706400)

While I agree that one codebase is a big part of it, I would also say that testing has quite a lot to do with it. Unless you have a decent rate of return on it, why test for more platforms than you really need to? And in Linux, the situation is SEVERELY exacerbated by the number of distributions, as enough of them (even the "big" ones) do it "enough differently" to completely screw you over on the small things. LSB is a great idea, but how much is it REALLY implemented?

So basically, even if you were doing cross-platform already with a library that supported it (let's say you were already doing Win and Mac, and the Mac was using OpenGL) with minimal code changes necessary, you'd STILL have a huge testing burden on any Linux port, with a questionable amount of return in purchases, along with needing to test the changes with every new sub-version of the distros you choose.

For non open-source games (virtually all of any size), they just don't have the people to find the 500 different "hacks" necessary to get it to run near-perfect on all of the iterations out there. But with Win and Mac, it's MUCH easier to be much more certain, easing both the Testing and Support burdens.

Demand some bum crack! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706510)

Goatse up in your face! [twofo.co.uk]

You nerds love it.

Re:Biggest obstacle (1)

asterix404 (1240192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706678)

I think you can even take that one further and say that there are not even decent drivers for linux for any nvidia card. ATI open sourced their drivers a while back nvidia has yet to do so. The drivers that do exist are great given the lack of specs. There is also the problem of market share where windows seems to dominate, why bother with anything else?

The lack of good games and the wine-x payed for... (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706166)

The lack of good games and the wine-x payed for system that lets you run windows games is not as good as games built for liunx.

"Games for Windows" (3, Insightful)

Tavor (845700) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706178)

Submitter:What do you think are the most important obstacles barring the big game publishers from reaching out to the Linux market more than they already do?

The "Games for Windows" campaign. I'm unsure on what the sticker requirements are for that MS programme, but I know this: I've not seen a single Games for Windows game that didn't require XP or Vista.
In my opinion, it's Microsoft exercising a monopoly position in the Gaming Industry, but try proving it.

Re:"Games for Windows" (4, Funny)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706404)

I've not seen a single Games for Windows game that didn't require XP or Vista

You haven't seen a single 'Games for Windows' that didn't require Windows? Shocking. And you know what, all those games in the boxes labeled X-Box sure don't play very well in my PS3.

Re:"Games for Windows" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706498)

Yeah, it's obviously "Microsoft exercising a monopoly position in the Gaming Industry"

and not:

* An ever changing and effectively pointless array of Linux desktop variations

* No standard application installation and packaging format that any Linux can use regardless of what version and variation

* Laughably bad development tools - a million half-assed Visual Studio clones and other 0.1 level IDE projects

* No simple and easy way for every user to simply download the latest video driver and just install it

And on and on and on and on and on...

I won't even get into stable sound and input APIs that can be counted on to be present on any machine.

Porting to Linux means for us:

1) Almost 100 percent piracy rate

2) Absurdly high amount of support calls compared to installed base

3) A constant danger of getting dragged into distro wars or screams from the GPL Kooks to 'release the source'

Never again. If I want to lose money in the games market there are much more enjoyable and easy ways to do so. No matter what people think about Microsoft they have an army of people who get up every morning and create a stable platform for developers to leverage. And they are rewarded handsomely for their efforts.

Want Linux games? Get up off your lazy asses and do the gigantic amount of work to bring Linux up to the same across the board quality for developers and end users as Microsoft provides right now.

Re:"Games for Windows" (1)

CajunArson (465943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706604)

Microsoft does not have anything close to a Monopoly position in games... look at the PS3, Wii, and the vast majority of non-MS games on XBox for proof of that. I know that every time MS makes a marketing campaign it is seen as some sort evil conspiracy that's bigger than 9/11, but face it: it's just a marketing campaign that has had about 0 impact on Microsoft's share of PC games. That's because MS dominated before the campaign, and they continue to dominate afterwords.

    Now, instead of wearing a tinfoil hat, try making constructive answers on where Linux has issues in games:
        1. APIs. Yes, I'm aware of OpenGL and other APIs that can be cobbled together, but DirectX presents a much more coherent and stable platform for game developers to work with. Even with the unpopularity of DirectX 10, look at all the games that can smoothly use DX9 and have modular support for DX10... show me a single Linux API that can work that well. The closest thing I've seen is SDL which is a shadow of DirectX, and from what I can see is basically a dead project now.

        2. No Interest in paying for software: Just read the comments on how horrifying the idea of paying for anything is on this site (unless it's Apple or AMD hardware in which case it's magically OK). Game developers have enough problems with casual pirates, let alone ones who look at getting games for free as some form of religious Jihaad.
                There ARE open source games out there... but with the rare exception (scorched3d is about the only one I know of) they are usually low quality or are just derivatives of something done better elsewhere. It's not just the graphics, it's the overall game that falls down when you don't have teams hammering and testing the game.

      3. Difficulty in making multi-platform games. Mac games have their own niche marketshare, but the desktop share of Macs is at least ten times higher than Linux, and there is a culture of actually paying for software in the Mac world. Porting from the dominant platform (Windows) over to a Linux is a big problem that involves big work. Slashdot runs at least 1 story a week about how PC games are dying (see the UT story today), so if the entire PC platform is dying... why would I want to spend millions of dollars porting to an OS with a tiny market share and a userbase that is religiously hostile to me trying to make a profit off the work?

      4. WINE. Yes, people bitch and moan about it, but it works well enough for me to play Orange Box and Civilization IV on my machine without any real problems. I actually paid for the games, and when they work under Linux I look at it as a bonus. I enjoy games, but only in spurts.

      5. Consoles: If I REALLY want the popular games, I'll run out and get a Wii and not worry about all the configuration needed on a PC. Frankly, Windows is VASTLY easier to use for games than it used to be (I'm old enough to remember getting 622K of low mem free in Dos 6.22 to play games) but it is still harder than using a console.

Re:"Games for Windows" (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706726)

I've seen a grand total of one Games for Windows branded game with other platforms - Football Manager 2008 [amazon.co.uk] , which also has Mac support. TBH, it's more that PC games aren't generally multiple OS anyway, PC CD/DVD basically meant Windows anyway (with the odd exception), so arguably Microsoft's branding has just made it more accurate.

Well... (1)

Necreia (954727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706186)

The die-hard gamers will keep a Windows XP partition to play the games -- or they will get a console.

I love games too much to sit around waiting for the day I can play them on the PC, and since I don't have Windows I just buy consoles.

It's just not worth it anymore.

Linux users are used to free software (2, Insightful)

LuniticusTheSane (1195389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706190)

Since Linux use free software, they expect it. The gaming industry doesn't see much profit in spending money developing a game that people will scoff at paying money for.

Re:Linux users are used to free software (3, Interesting)

JasonWM (991689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706332)

I don't believe anyone ever said games for linux had to be open source, or free of charge. I'd gladly pay for games that ran on linux platforms. Many of us use linux because we choose to use it, and if we do have to spend money, we just don't want it to go to Microsoft.

Re:Linux users are used to free software (1)

rasjani (97395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706754)

orly?

I dont claim you are wrong but you don't agree with you either - just from my personal experience.

Eversince i've been a linux user (and i've been one for quite a long time, around when first versions of slackware came out) i've paid for 3 types of software:

1) distro cd's (mainly slackware - because downloading wasn't a viable option)
2) Vendetta Online - http://www.vendetta-online.com/ [vendetta-online.com]
3) Eschalon Book 1. - http://www.basiliskgames.com/ [basiliskgames.com]

I've been a subscribe for vendetta approx a 8 months now and bought eschalon because demo version ran fine on my box and seemed to be really nice rpg game.

Ok, having bought 3 items in past 10 years aint much but 66% of those have been games. I'd like to mention that i'd be willing to buy more games too but been put off by quality. X2 didn't work on my machine and old loki games doesnt really interest me. I've been thinking of subscribing to Eve Online but emotions get on the way of running something on top of wine. Besides those, there just ain't good games available for linux or they arent marketed at all. Infact i was actually really suprised that i found Eschalon review on local gaming magazine and not off the internet on typical linux gaming websites..

rambling off.

Market Share (3, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706192)

Making a game is expensive, so logically you want to release it to the biggest audience you can so that you can reap the most profit (or at the very least make enough to hit the break-even point). Windows, with 85% of the OS market, has the most promise of giving you the highest audience in PC gaming.

Re:Market Share (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706690)

Actually widest audience = as many platforms as possible.

The choice is "get above break even, given current resources for given platform" trade-offs. If adding Linux functionality was "increase cost by 3%", and Linux market was 5% of the total market, they would make games for Linux. It is more like 10% vs 3% though.

common (2, Insightful)

Scorpion265 (650012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706204)

One word, directx. I hate to say it but it rules the market and microsoft isn't going to be opening the source to that any time soon. Why on earth would developers waste the manpower to develop for such a niche market. I hate to play the devils advocate (I run gentoo as a desktop OS) but it's just not going to happen.

Re:common (2, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706532)

Well, nothing stops them from using OpenGL instead. Last time I checked, OpenGL does run in Windows, even if it requires third-party drivers to do so.

Of course, I'm not a graphics developer, so there is probably more to this than simple vendor lock-in.

Why Aren't More Linux Users Gamers? (1)

Mordaximus (566304) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706214)

There are plenty of Linux users who are gamers. Most just don't game in Linux...

Re:Why Aren't More Linux Users Gamers? (1)

Scorpion265 (650012) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706330)

That statement sums it up perfectly. I own a Wii, DS, and 360. Linux for work, the other hardware for play!

Re:Why Aren't More Linux Users Gamers? (1)

mackil (668039) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706438)

That is very true. I use Ubuntu and OpenSUSE for pretty much everything, until I wish to play a round of Team Fortress 2 or Portal. For that I boot into XP. I tried running Steam on Linux, and ran into headache after headache. I jumped through so many hoops with Wine (a couple hours worth), finally got Steam installed, only to have it crash the first 2 seconds into Half Life. I gave up after that and just booted into Windows. If games worked on Linux, I would have no reason for Windows, but until then....

Linux Gamers (1)

7erPilot (1029940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706220)

Clearly linux would be more popular as a mainstream OS if it supported native ports of all of the common games. As far as I am concerned, I would have switched a long long long time ago to linux if all of the games out there were compatible. I am so sick of Microsoft XP. I would love to run Gnome and have all of my eggs in one basket.

#1: Size of potential market. (3, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706224)

Linux comprises about 1% of the desktop / notebook OS installed base. Even if ALL of that 1% were people that buy and play games regularly, it probably would only account for 10% that of the Windows game user base.

Given the ideology of a lot of Linux users, a lot of that 1% might never pay for a game or want to use commercial / closed source software.

Re:#1: Size of potential market. (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706564)

The size of the market is one thing, and close to what I think the answer is. The truth of the matter is, there aren't a lot of Linux *users*. There are mostly Linux *enthusiasts*, and a lot of casual/server/embedded copies of Linux running out there. A Linux (OSS, etc.) enthusiast is a hobbyist, the thing they play with is the OS itself. You're a bunch of geeks fiddling with ham radios, and that's cool, but it doesn't leave a lot of time to be hardcore about another hobby. There's also a lack of exclusivity-- if you are smart enough to use Linux, you are *able* to use a Mac, Windows, etc. So having Linux doesn't rule you out from buying other versions.

Re:#1: Size of potential market. (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706702)

I think you make an excellent point.

There's a reason why I was specific about it being in the installed base of desktop / notebook OSs, to try not to muddy up the waters because there are a staggering number of servers and embedded machines out there running Linux. I'm mostly going from the web use stats, it's not perfect, but I think it's indicative enough. I figure if a computer that if a computer is using a web browser to look at sites, then it's probably not being used as a server or a router or anything like that. Servers and routers usually aren't going to be used as game machines.

Simple, really (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706232)

The windows market completely dwarfs the mac and Linux markets, especially for games, which leads to most bang for the buck coming to the windows side. Ironically, because of this factor, windows gaming is starting to lose out to consoles in terms of resource focus by the game companies.

Linux is the game (5, Insightful)

avatar4d (192234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706256)

I am not intending to stereotype, although it will probably come across that way anyway. From my personal experience in working with *nix, hacking away to do various things, is the game. I spend the majority of my time trying new things and configurations instead of playing games. Although now my BSD-based laptop (OS X) allows me a wider selection of games to play compared to my FreeBSD workstation. Even when I ran Linux though it was the same; for me at least.

Linux users are spoiled (0, Flamebait)

Soleen (925936) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706258)

IMHO this is just because average Linux user is spoiled.
Linux user does not want to BUY software, when in everyday life he or she just uses package manager for searching needed tools.
Linux user tries to avoid closed source software, becuase it does not run well on his costum built kernel compiled and optimized specifically for his mojo.
Windows and Mac users are not that spoiled, they get used to the fact that most of the software you need to buy or crack, that you need to look for it in different places and not just by using yum/apt-get/pacman etc.

Linux User (-1, Troll)

Zashi (992673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706266)

I'm a linux user and a linux gamer.

I just don't like paying for stuff and refuse to pay $50 for a game.

I'll wait until it's open sourced (ala quake) or just not worry about it. My favorite games to play include Urban Terror (based on ioQuake), tremulous, warzone2120 and other free (speech/beer) games.

*shrugs* just not really the linux way to pay for high quality software.

Re:Linux User (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706358)

Think of it alternatively -- you're not paying for high-quality software, you're paying for (hopefully) high-quality CONTENT that that software (the game engine) runs. They're not incompatible.

The sole reason stick with Windows on my primary machine is because of gaming. I want to play the game, not futz around with emulation layers (sadly).

gaming vs. coding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706270)

I used to be a big gamer, back in the day. But nowadays I mostly code/hack for fun. Shrug. I think gaming was akin to masturbation - it feels good, but compared to coding, you're wasting your talents.

Because Linux IS our game? (5, Insightful)

inflexion (3981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706280)

I could go home at night and play video games. Or I could go home and play with the alpha release of Ubuntu (insert your favorite distrib). Both things are fun. Both require creativity. Both satisfy my need to be playing with digital technology. Both teach me new things.

However... The world isn't all that much better if I've beaten a level at some game millions of people have already beaten. But if I've squashed a bug in Ubuntu? The world benefits quite a bit.

Not enough Linux gamers (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706284)

I heard a great quote on the state of PC gaming on the Games For Windows podcast [1up.com] last week, saying that PC games are very profitable but don't have the same revenue as console games, and the big publishers are only interested in volume and revenue. I think this can be directly translated to the Linux argument - it is very likely that if you dedicate a small team to port a Windows game to Linux enough people will buy it that there is a net gain, but the sheer number of people who will buy the game is not sufficient to convince studios to make this happen. Companies like Popcap, Big Fish, and WildTangent have proven that a small programming effort can be very profitable, but industry leading publishers like EA and Ubisoft pretty much tune out any product that will not be purchased by at least 1 million people.

Obvious question (5, Interesting)

MooseMuffin (799896) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706298)

What kind of question is this? Linux users aren't gamers because of the hassle of gaming on linux. Wine is great and all, and I"m constantly impressed that such an ambitious project works as well as it does, but even the games that it runs perfectly still require some futzing with. Directx 9 features are being implemented currently but come on - dx9 is 5+ years old now. Combining that with wine regressions, game patches that break wine compatibility and its just not worth the effort. I'll either boot into windows or go play a game console.

Re:Obvious question (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706668)

I believe the question is why there aren't more native ports rather than why there aren't more gamers that use WINE/CrossOver/Cedega.

Linux users are gamers, just different "games" (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706314)

In the strictest definition of game, Linux users may have a lower % of gamers than other platform users. But by a looser definition, their platform is an enjoyable pass-time as they tweak their installs, optimize components, and explore the world of the platform. Rather than building points in a fragfest, they prefer to rebuild kernals and increase performance scores of their machines.

Ambiguous, Moving Targets (1, Interesting)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706346)

The biggest problem with targeting Linux, be it for games or any other commercial program, is ambiguity and the 'moving target' nature of Linux.

Ambiguity: How do you support Linux? You can't, really. What you have to do (in a practical sense) is support a distribution of Linux - for example, Fedora or Ubuntu. But then what of all the others? For every grateful Ubuntu user, there's going to be an irate Gentoo user who complains that his system isn't 'supported' (replace Ubuntu and Gentoo with any two differing distros). How do you support Linux, when 'Linux' is such a general term, and the variations can be so different?

Moving Target: What do you support? FC5? 6? 7? 9? The latest-and-greatest? Two years' worth? The last two versions? This gets especially complicated if they try to support more than one distribution. Do you target the latest two releases of Ubuntu, and the last three of Fedora? The latest two of each? What if Ubuntu releases faster? What if it has more 'latest and greatest' support (libraries, Xorg, etc.). What about drivers? Will these distros work properly with the included drivers? with binary drivers? will the game work properly with both?

How do you deal with support? Do you train your support monkeys on Windows, then run them through a six-week course on Fedoras 5 through 9, and the last three Ubuntus? What if the users are using an older Ubuntu that isn't support (but on which it should work)? What if a user has problems with the stock (open-source) NV driver? Do you recommend the closed-source one? What if they don't want to use that one, for whatever reason? What if they use it and then upgrade their kernel and it stops working? More likely, what if the system upgrades it for them?

What about DirectX? It doesn't port. You'd have to rewrite with OpenGL, OpenAL, rewrite your networking code, your 2D acceleration code, image handling, surfaces, media playback... or I suppose you could pay more to license Crossover's tech, similar to the move EA made for Mac games... but that increases your costs as well. You'd have to replace all of your Win32 API code (simple, common stuff like opening files, etc.) with cross-platform wrapper functions or #define statements. You'd have to test on both platforms.

Can it be done? Of course! Blizzard does it. If you inspect the Blizzard binary, you find a collection of strings, including 'Win95', 'Win98', 'Win2K', 'WinME', 'WinXP', 'MacOS9', 'MacOSX', and 'Linux'. Interesting. But is it worth it for most companies to hire programmers to write cross-platform code? Or is it just easier to target the large, stable, reliable, stationary target that is Windows, and leave the 2% gain that a Linux version might provide?

Don't forget, companies have existed to bring games to Linux. They failed. There's a reason.

Seems kind of obvious... (2, Insightful)

bskin (35954) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706356)

If you're planning on doing a lot of gaming, you're not going to run linux. You're not going to run OS X, either. You're going to run Windows, because like it or not, most of the big games are Windows-only.

I am a gamer... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706360)

the problem solving game I play professionally is called "programming". I personally find video games to be boring and pointless, I certainly have more productive things to do with my life... browsing slashdot for example.

Serious question about gaming and Linux (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706374)

Since I don't (yet) use any flavor of Linux, can someone enlighten me on this question: Would installing a game on Linux be like installing a game on a Windows or Mac in the sense that you have the same base OS to work with? In other words, if you have "Greatest Game Evar!!!", could you install it on Debian, Slackware, Ubuntu, etc in the same manner (putting the disc in the drive and installing) or is there tweaking involved above and beyond setting game parameters (sound, graphics, help, etc)?

If the answer is no, you have to configure each game install on each machine differently, then that may be part of the problem.

Re:Serious question about gaming and Linux (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706572)

Epic's been using a derivative of the Loki installer (I think). It's worked well for UT. You have to copy a shell script to your hard drive and run it (OH NOES! THAT'S TOO HARD!), but otherwise it acts like a regular installer.

Great question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706378)

Right up there with "Why aren't more desert-dwelling organisms fish?"

... They Play Using WINE! (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706384)

... well yeah, thats about it. ;) besides, WOW runs in linux, so what else do you need?

Here are the reasons (0, Flamebait)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706386)

1: Linux sucks! From the UI to development tools...and do not forget the "archaic" configuration tools.

2: Hundreds of distros? Give me a break.

3: The name Linux is confising to newbies. They download a Linux distro that actually sucks at every metric and try it out. They then realize that they cannot do most of what we using other OSes can do. They blame Linux in general.

OS (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706392)

I, for one, think the biggest issue is that Windows and Linux are totally different operating systems.

Because we're too smart - and we're busy. (1)

Punko (784684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706402)

Many Linux users simply dual boot if they want to play using Windows. We know how.

If a Linux version came out, we'd buy that one instead of the Windows one. So no net increase in sales. From the publishers perspective, should they spend money developing a Linux version when it won't increase sales? No.

Having said all of that, I'd play more games using Linux if Wine could get passed the bullcrap CD authenticating copy protection system that the publisher's use. I do not have the time to go out and find no-cd cracks just to enjoy a game.

The easiest system for me is when I've done all my useful stuff on my PC, including clearing my kids out of the room, then its reboot into Windows and enjoy. My kids are 4 and 5 and they boot into Ubuntu or Vista depending on what they want to do on the computer. Its second nature to them. My wife, on the other hand, sticks with Windows because she is used to it. The default on grub is vista because she wants Windows, but tends to walk out of the room during boot up.

Well THAT's easy. (1)

snarfies (115214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706442)

Because 1) I can't walk into a store and buy Linux games. 2) The few Linux games out there are not the games I want (currently playing The Witcher).

They could clear this up easily. (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706468)

Just ask the right linux users. Pretty much everyone I know games to some degree. Methinks this is just a slashvertisment probing for a sensitive issue to encompass.

Soon-to-come headlines (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706484)

"Why aren't more ELLE readers men?"
"Why aren't more M:TG players female?"
"Why the heck do automatic transmissions shift gears by themselves seriously what is up with that?"

There are Linux Gamers out there (2, Informative)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706492)

There are plenty of Linux gamers out there. You can find the greatest concentrations of them on multiplayer servers such as Wesnoth, Nexuiz, Urban Terror and Tremulous. I even heard that there were more UT2k4 Linux players than Mac OS, which makes the current state of the Linux UT3 client all the more frustrating.

I used to dual-boot Windows/Linux, especially when I had Mechwarrior 3 and Quake 3. After a while, I realised I just didn't reboot to Windows to play games anymore - Quake 3 worked on Linux and Mechwarrior eventually gathered dust. The inevitable next step was to reclaim that disk space and wipe Windows off the system.

So - it's a "build it and they will come" scenario. There aren't that many AAA titles released for Linux, hence there aren't that many AAA titles being purchased. Meanwhile, the user-created games are seeing a significant number of players. I don't thinks a question of "Linux gamers are cheapskates" either - the UT2k4 player figures show that commercial games can reach a significant gaming audience on Linux.

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

is really simple (0, Troll)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706494)

User installed base and social demographics. Developing for Linux users is not profitable. Especially since those people who are for open source seem to be more apt to pirate media and and software. Just look at the vocal majority on Slashdot. They dont want pay for media, will openly break DRM. They don't respect private property. Who in their right mind would develop a product who's profit model is based on unit sales for a community of thieves!?

Most linux users are not interested in gaming imo (1)

iregisteredjustforth (1155123) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706502)

None of the linux users I know are interested in gaming. Not because Linux is poor for gaming, but because they simply don't want to play games all that much. There is a small but vocal annoying minority that insist linux users don't play games because they can't however. Welcome to the real world, if you represent 1% of the market and are primarily interested in using FREE software, companies are not going to spend money trying to access your tiny and considerably more whiny / hard to please market. If you want to play games, buy a games console or use a platform that games are made for. Don't shut yourself in a tiny unprofitable corner of the market and cry woe is me nobody is making games for us. No one makes games for you because it would be very hard to make money doing it.

Things are Changing, and we want quality. (2, Insightful)

Cryophallion (1129715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706508)

Linux was/is known as being an OS for nerds. As it becomes more mainstream, that is changing, and as certain other OS's are having issues, more people are looking at Linux and seeing a much more user friendly OS than it was even 5 years ago. I have moved 3 friends who are NOT nerds over to a dual boot in the past 4 months, and most of them prefer linux, but I gave them the dual boot so they could return to their comfort zone if necessary.

As more non-geeks move into Linux, the market for paid games will grow. A lot of people point to games on linux "failing" a few years ago. Well, a lot has changed since then, and will continue to change. So what failed a few years ago may be more viable now or a year or so in the future.

Also, I think that the stereotypical "nerd" Linux user wants high quality games. I know I was thrilled when I found out UT 2003 ran on linux. And since it was high quality enough, I bought it. Most of the games released today are lowest common denominator games that are basically all the same, and just trying to make a quick buck. The innovative or even good games will get bought. Just don't expect people who are quality oriented to just pick up some game based on a couple of screenshots on the box.

On the other hand, we are more forgiving of OS games because we respect the philosophy (typically), and we can forgive shortcoming as they are typically in almost permanent beta.

In summary, as more people are moved to linux, games will be more viable, but only the real quality ones.

Why aren't more Jamaicans bobsled racers? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706522)

nuff said...

Number of potential customer, maybe? (1)

harelabb (1138063) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706538)

[qoute] What do you think are the most important obstacles barring the big game publishers from reaching out to the Linux market more than they already do? [/qoute] hmmmmm, could it be the number of potential customers, maybe? I didn't bother to RTFA but I think this is a given. Look at the Mac, those people outnumber Linux on the desktop and they don't get any games either. First: Do a bit of math Second: Get yourself a console of you want to play games.

Self fulfilling prophecy (1)

sjbe (173966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706540)

Linux users don't play games much because there aren't many games on linux. Logically it follows that the things that attracted linux users to linux are applications other than gaming. It's a self selecting [wikipedia.org] population. Furthermore there is the problem of network effects [wikipedia.org] for game players and developers. Most games are going to be developed for the platform(s) used by the largest groups of game players which presently are consoles and the Windows operating system. Sure, cross platform games can be developed but the economic trade offs are generally make the investment unattractive. Plus if the users of linux generally are interested in things other than games, why develop games for that platform?

Then there is the problem of development tools. So many man years have gone into tool development for games on platforms other than linux that it is hard to justify the investment. Then there is developer talent. Most game developers have lots of expertise in game development on platforms other than linux. Sure developers could make the investment but the return just doesn't look attractive. There is little competitive advantage to be gained by developing the tools and expertise in house for a very marginal market. If they help with externally developed tools they potentially have a free rider problem [wikipedia.org] . Not insurmountable and not always a problem (heck open source thrives in spite of it) but it is a factor to consider. What it comes down to is that hiring the development staff, getting adequate tools, and then selling enough extra copies of a game to get a return on that investment appears to be quite difficult on linux. It's not that it is technically impossible, just that it is economically unattractive right now. Only thing that will change that equation is if the market share of linux increases and increases significantly.

Victim of its own efficiency (1)

Marc_Hawke (130338) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706542)

I have a Linux box that I use everyday. It's a P2-400 with a 16mb graphics card.

I have a Windows PC that's a glorified Xbox. It's a Core2Duo with 2Gig of RAM and a video card that makes up almost half of the total price of the PC.

There's a HUGE chicken/egg problem with Linux Gaming. You can do most everything you want without a monster PC on Linux. So if they did make a game for Linux, nobody would have the machine to actually play it.

With Windows, MS serendipitously coded their OS so bad that you were required to buy a new machine just surf the web. This put most the machine in a state where they weren't 'that' far off for gaming.

In the article just this morning about Tim Sweeney, he complained about that very issue. "Intel Extreme Graphics" can help you surf just fine, but it can't play games worth crap. That means those people are no longer even capable of playing the new games and it makes the PC market (even Windows) less attractive.

Sure there's the platform dependant API (DirectX) in place of what should be a generic type thing (OpenGL), but that's only half the problem.

(The interesting thing about my theory is that it applies to Apple as well. They were left out of the gaming market because for the longest thing their 'hardware' was just pathetic in that regard.)

Wine...Seriously...Wine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706544)

Rather than worrying about cross platform development with limited staff and resources how about gaming companies help sponsor improvements in Wine? Seriously and I'm talking true Wine and not Cedega, Crossover or related. Google has come out of the proverbial woodwork and announced they are sponsoring improvements in Wine. They're particularly interested in support for Picasa but have also been working on Photoshop. The amount of progress with Wine in the last few months is quite amazing.

the Problem is (1)

mckniffen (983873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706568)

The people who have been writing games have been writing windows DX games for a long time. The Developers that release Linux and Mac Games (id and Blizzard) write their games and their engines from scratch to be cross platform. But when company X licenses the Unreal Engine and don't know how to specifically use platform independent modules and GL, it isn't cost efficient to then rewrite it for linux. The problem arises in the fact that most developers don't think about alternative platforms while writing and look at it as an afterthought, which isn't a cost viable way to include linux support in a game. The only "way" is to write the code to be platform independent using GL. With the Current push for DX10, many companies are backing off on this because its not the most "cutting edge" (in the eyes of the Gamers who don't use linux).

s/Games/PC Gamers/ (2, Insightful)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706570)

I use Linux exclusively (seriously, the only Windoze computer I use is my WM5 phone). I also play games.

But I play console games almost exclusively. I love tinkering with my system, but I don't want to fuck around with things just to play a game. Even Windows PC gaming is a PITA. It's like "Oh no, you have to buy a $500 video card just to enjoy this game". Fuck that, I just put a disc into my Wii or PS2 and just have fun. There's less hardware turnover for consoles: a new console generation comes out once every 6 years or so; PC hardware is obsolete annually.

It also helps that the Wii is a far more fun platform than anything else, and there's no PC equivalent.

I'd imagine that many other Linux users feel the same way: I'd guess that the percentage of heavy Linux users who are diehard console gamers is greater than the percentage of heavy Windows users who are diehard console gamers.

So make them (1)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706574)

So, some people want games for Linux and are waiting on the established companies to take the risk and time and effort to provide them. Well, it's not going to happen. Linux is viewed as too unpredictable a market to put that kind of money into. After all, can anyone name a single company that makes a profit selling consumer software for Linux? Not big business support, just software for single home PCs?
Add to that the moving target that all the different distros make and things get interesting for anyone writing up a business proposal to take to their bosses.

If anyone out there really believes that there is a market for Linux games, then start your own company and make a game. If the market is there, you could very well strike it rich. After all, if Linux ever does become the dominant OS, or even in the running, being the established games developer on the platform would be a sweet spot to be in.

However, if you don;t think that starting your own company and risking your own livelihood on Linux gaming is a smart idea, why should anyone else?

...because games aren't free, and aren't available (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706584)

I was talking to a friend about this very issue last week. He's a Linux user everywhere, I'm a Unix admin with Linux and Windows bouncing into my life intermittently. We ended up coming to a few clear conclusions.

1) People who make the head-first dive into Linux do so KNOWING that they're mostly leaving behind games. Hard-core gamers won't give up Windows, because that's where the games are!
2) Developers are somewhat reluctant to write games for Linux because of the strong 'live free or die' mentality of the open-source community. If it's not difficult then they might port a game to Linux, but writing professional-quality unique games for Linux will equate to closed-source, and are likely to be shunned by much of the potential market.

Way back 'in the day,' the OS/2 community got gaming right (although a bit too late). Galactic Civilizations came out, and was quite a good game. The community clamped down on it like a bulldog with lockjaw, and paid money (cold, hard, cash!) for it in fairly large numbers. If the OS had survived as a desktop platform, it would have done well as a gaming platform.

Major commercial products are by and large going to pass Linux by, because open-source in some cases will be considered inappropriate, whereas closed-source will ostracise the end users. In neither case is there an easy route to generating a profit, which is after all how companies operate.

Profit/Loss equations... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706610)

In terms of what publishers will put out, it all comes down to profit and loss. Let's take a quick example of the desktop world. Assume for a moment that 10% of home gamers run some *nix distro. That means that for a game company to make money on a port, it must cost less than 10% of the original cost of the game in order to put it on *nix. Worse, since publishers actually want to make money on their games, and most won't go for something that just breaks even.

Combine that with the open-source nature of a lot of *nix users (ie, if it's not open source, I won't use it), the number of distributions, and the rest, and you can see why most game companies don't target any *nix.

Because they don't have to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22706626)

"What do you think are the most important obstacles barring the big game publishers from reaching out to the Linux market more than they already do?"

Answer in subject.

Self selecting population (4, Insightful)

Basilius (184226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706630)

More Linux users aren't gamers because the gamers aren't (as an overreaching generalization) switching to Linux. People don't switch platforms if the things they do aren't easier on the target platform. Gamers are no different than AutoCAD geeks or Photoshop mavens.

The old cliche "build it and they will come" applies. But in today's "gotta make the next quarter's number" world, nobody's going to build it if the customers aren't already there.

Wall St. is the bane of capitalism's existence.

Too busy. (1)

Computershack (1143409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706670)

Linux users are too busy spending time tweaking their boxes to have time to play games.

Anecdotal answer (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706692)

Linux users are tool makers, and gamers like to be entertained and challenged. The intersection of these sets is small. Builders like to make things, while gamers need to compete. Toolmakers vs gamers yeilds a small set.

The Toolset (1)

eedok (1229362) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706734)

IMHO it's 2 things, the first being that MS provides an unmatched toolset, and they do so in a quickly. This then bubbles up to the middleware, and we see things like the Torque Game Engine Advanced become windows only, because the development speed of things like OpenGL aren't as quick as D3D.

Open Source Games (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706740)

Open Source users will play Open Source Games. We are far from the level of windows games, but it is progressing. Battle For Wesnoth costs me many hours of my free time. I heard that some FPS are decent. A year ago I tried Open Arena which looked like a decent Quake 3 clone. I guess they have improved since then.

I'm a gamer... (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706758)

...but I don't play games all that often because there just are not that many modern games for Linux. I spend all my days in Linux doing development work (well, I do run Windows in VMware for development also). I hate having to reboot because it requires me to shut down all the VM's and everything else I normally have going on.

I own UT3, Crysis and other modern games but rarely play because it requires me to reboot into Windows. I still fire up Q3 and UT2004 every so often and while these games are fun, they are old and just don't have the pop of something really pushing the hardware.

I am a gamer though. I have the machine for it (8GB of RAM, the new G92 8800 GTS card, etc) but there just are no games to play.

Simple... (0, Troll)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706760)

Because there's a zillion different Linux distributions and every single one of them would need a different binary.

Not gonna happen...

How do they know if Linux users are gamers or not? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22706770)

I think what they really mean is: why don't linux users *buy* more games for linux.

Linux users may use console games, or have a windows partition.
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