When will Linux games become more mainstream?

Developers are quite often gamers at heart. Until they get to core structure, there is no respite. Delving deep into popular games and rebuilding them are quite often the reason developers go on to develop the next generation of games.

Linux has had quite a challenging history of games and their development. These are notably due to technical and practical reasons. While sometimes the philosophy of Open source have been the hurdle for successful games development.

Linux and lack of technical framework

Technically the lack of GPU drivers for Linux-based graphic cards, like in high-performing as proprietary software and the never resolving patents do put a large hurdle-infested road map for Linux games. Experts believe the continued failure to include S3TC for open source OpenGL drivers as most are patent pending is creating a pseudo-scenario where distros are being released on the assumption that the drivers are already available. Distros without supporting graphic card drivers are as improper to have as a web browser without .jpg.

Linux and lack of revenue generation from games

The main belief for laxity in Linux games is that open source gaming sponsors find there is a lack of revenue generation as most is free software and most believe in doing-it-yourself philosophy. The limitation in specialized proprietary game-ware available currently, is that they become so niche in their genre that gamers are finding it difficult to port games across platforms.

Linux overworked by licenses?

Linux Gamers have a choice between choosing limited digitally licensed games that allow games to be installed on several systems and open source fee games. But again, the buck stops why are they not as powerful or as overwhelming as MMORG games and their ilk, given that Linux offers such fantastic scope for similar gaming ecosystems. Grapple is one of the free software projects, which is bundled with the Linux Game Publishing. It offers multiplayer opportunities and applications development.

Trend towards Linux game change

Analysts are now pinning down on new trends of platform confining proprietary games. Purist gamers believe cross-platform gaming and Linux with its high degree of cross platform compatibility are beginning to look towards Linux for better gaming solutions.

The dichotomy in Linux games seems to have been bridged somewhat by the availability of Humble Indie Bundles a non-dependent video gaming line by Wolfire Games, which are multi-platform, non-DRM and compatible with Windows, OS X as well as Linux. The first bundle released in the second quarter of May 2010, saw the likes of World of Goo, Lugaru, Penumbra, Gish and Samorost 2 as an afterthought. As the developers committed to offer these under open source if sales went beyond $1 million, the 1.25 million sales led to these games being available under the GPL license. Revenge of the Titans was released post better sales in Dec 2010.

Despite World of Goo’s success, open source yet remains a high-risk option for games owners. Humble Indie Bundle has proved a successful model and will hopefully be the harbinger of greater, more enjoyable games on the open source platform.

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  • anonymous

    I’m sorry, but your words make no sense at all. You randomly mix up the words ‘gamers’, ‘developers’ and ‘Linux’ to a degree that one just can’t figure out what you are trying to say.

  • OnoSendai

    They never will as long as game devs get the same response the creator of Braid got. I never heard such a bunch of entitled, gimme-for-free, smug, condescending, self-righteous losers in my life. (And I`m using Linux to post this).

  • Silviu C.

    The people that want to develop games for Linux (too) have two options:

    1) Target the most used (and good luck finding which one that actually is) distro and make the game run natively

    2) Work with the likes of Codeweavers to make the game work using wine as a wrapper the way google made Picasa work and the way that EA "ported" some of their games to the Mac platform by using Cedega’s Cider tech.

    You say game devs are gamers at the core and that may be true in most cases. However they are not the ones that usually make decisions over what platform gets chosen, it’s upper management and they know that Windows is where all the money is, simply because of the HUGE user base. They may also target Mac users because, face it, they got money.

    Now, if there is anything the humble indie bundles proved is that there is lots of money to be made by making crossplatform games. The latest one showed that Linux users, on average, shelled out more money than Windows and Mac users.

    In the meantime, if you got games that are not native to windows and work using wine or crossover games than donate to wine , pay for CxGames so they can continue to make this disruptive technology fill the gap until, if ever, game companies decide to target Linux.

  • I can write proper


    a) This is a rehash of someone elses better written article and
    b) You’re grammar is terrible. It read like a Google translation… No. Actually. Worse.


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  • Simeon

    Game devs have targeted linux in some form, aka Android Games. Maybe they’ll make games for Desktop linux soon. I could only hope.