The Catch 22: Growing The Linux Gaming Market

January 18, 2013 in Editorial

The word on the street seems to be that Linux is set to be a commercially viable gaming platform. And the way it looks right now, this might actually prove to be true. There’s still some uncertainty amongst both developers and gamers though. At the core of a lot of it is this: Developers are hesitant to make games for a market as small as this, and gamers are hesitant to adopt it as a gaming platform because there are so few games for it.

I asked Ethan Lee (@flibitijibibo) if he had anything to add to what I wrote, so I have included his view on the various topics.

Right then, here’s a list of things to consider, in no specific order:

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Steam Linux Beta: The Line-up: Highlights (part 1)

January 12, 2013 in News

The Steam beta for Linux has been running for little over two months now, and there has been a slow trickle of new titles being added to the list. Here’s a look at a few titles.

Many of the current games are ones that featured in the Humble Indie Bundle previously, so I imagine sales figures for those would not be that great, but it is nice to now be able to have these games as part of Steamplay, the buy-once-play-anywhere feature of Steam. Interestingly Amnesia: The Dark Descent seems to still be topping the best sellers chart, despite having been around for a while. Anyhoo, here are a few more:

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Kickstarters Dangling the Linux Carrot

October 11, 2012 in Editorial

Linux gaming is seeing some much needed attention of late, and a lot of this seems to come from Kickstarter projects. There are some trends however that raise a few questions for me, and perhaps a gripe or two.

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Planetary Annihilation To Have Linux Support

August 19, 2012 in News

That was a fun headline to write. Sounds like a sinister plot.

Uber Entertainment have added the promise of Linux support to their Kickstarter for Planetary Annihilation, and not as a stretch goal. The funding is now at $453,000 of their $900,000 goal with 26 days to go. Platforms now confirmed are Windows, OSX and Linux. The rate of funding seems to have flattened out a bit over the past few days, so it will be interesting to see if this announcement affects it in the coming days.

What’s also interesting is that people are requesting OUYA support. My concern with this is that once you add a device into the mix with a controller-based control scheme, there is the risk that the game design itself will be affected.

SteamOS / Steam Box? Yes / No / Maybe / Both

August 18, 2012 in Editorial

A what-if piece over at Rock Paper Shotgun suggested the idea of Valve making a SteamOS. While a nice idea, I’m going to go with no. Some words from Gabe Newell in an interview with GT.TV lead me to think that my earlier speculation is closer to the truth, but not quite right either. Valve is not making a SteamOS, nor is it making a SteamBox. All they’re doing is enabling hardware manufacturers to build Steam-enabled custom hardware, whether it be “Steam Certified” desktop PCs or settop boxes.

What’s Valve Really Up To?

August 6, 2012 in Editorial

Over the past few months, some of the most disruptive news in gaming has been from Valve. The company seems to be making a baffling sharp left-turn into completely new territory. On the surface it shows a few basic components of its master plan, leaving us to only speculate on what the rest might be. The most ambitious of these revelations, is the announcement that they are planning to try and get the entire catalogue of 2500 games on Steam ported to Linux.

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Indie games. Crowd funded games. Emerging gaming platforms.