THQ looking to Linux after Humble Bundle success

THQ says it is evaluating the costs and benefits of Linux, following consumer feedback on the Humble THQ Bundle.

THQ president Jason Rubin has responded to feedback from consumers on the publisher's own Humble THQ Bundle, which closed last week with more than $5 million in sales.

Rubin--who was the bundle's top contributor overall, with a donation of $10,000--replied to a consumer question on Twitter regarding THQ's plans to bring games to Linux, saying:

"Got the Linux message load [sic] and clear via #HumbleBundle feedback. Evaluating cost/benefit as we speak."

In a follow-up interview with Polygon, Rubin explained that the feedback from the Humble THQ Bundle showed him that there are "vibrant communities of gamers using other operating systems besides the dominant ones, and a company like THQ should not overlook them".

Rubin confirmed that the company is investigating its options on Linux, including taking community feedback on how operating costs might be reduced.

"Gamers have tweeted inventive ideas to me, such as letting the community help in the porting to bring down costs. THQ is committed to look at anything that makes sense."

Altogether, 885,310 Humble THQ Bundles were sold, with the average purchase price at around $5.76. Gamers had the option of spreading their contributions between charity outlets, the Humble Bundle organisation, or THQ itself.

The Humble THQ Bundle launched on November 29, allowing users to pay what they wished for six THQ-published games, including Darksiders, Metro 2033, Red Faction, Company of Heroes, Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, and Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts. Upon choosing to donate more than the average amount listed on the site, Saints Row: The Third was added to the bundle. Purchasers also received select games' soundtracks DRM free.

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Discussion

3 comments
Shai182
Shai182

well it's about freaking TIME !!!!

nate1222
nate1222

I'm glad to see THQ doing well on this. I'm a big fan of the first two Red Faction games (PC, Gamersgate, DRM-free) and my brother loves the Saints Row series.

 

It'd be cool to see more AAA stuff offered to Linux users. Right now, alotta my Linux user friends either run older games that'll run on Linux natively or run them via Wine. Fortunately, GOG has "GOG mixes" that list what'll run on what and how.

SolidTy
SolidTy

Glad to see THQ is doing well, under Rubin's Leadership. They have a ways to go, but so far the news is decent.

shyisc
shyisc

They can release the game engines under an open-source non-commercial license. It costs a ton of time and money to develop a game, even with the game engine being free. Under such a license they'd get bug-fixing and ports free from the community while making piracy easier, but then again all games get pirated sooner or later anyway.

demonic_85
demonic_85

It's not necessarily Linux, but OpenGL that needs to be supported. Then games would be compatible with just about every OS. The downside is that DirectX is more efficient than OpenGL but who knows that could change if more people put support behind it.

Icepick_Trotter
Icepick_Trotter

"We don't even know if we'll get to release this game as it is before THQ collapses, and now you want Linux support too? That's it. I quit."

 

-Everyone currently developing Metro: Last Light.

JamesJr218
JamesJr218

Choosing to donate more than the average also gave Titan Quest and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War as well, I think.

Sefrix
Sefrix moderator

"THQ is committed to look at anything that makes sense." Jason Rubin wut r u doin?! That's not very business exec like...oh wait, you're an actual video game person in charge of a video game company. Never mind then!

satyanjoy
satyanjoy

If steam become the "google play store" for Linux and adopted by all the major Linux distro,it will change the whole desktop/home computing scene.

June-GS
June-GS

Maybe it's just me, but I'm actually impressed, THQ. That's actually a very generous and humble attitude coming from you. That's something I don't see everyday from a big corporation. So nice one, folks. I'm actually convinced to check it out.

satyanjoy
satyanjoy

The only question for linux being a viable gaming platform is  - how good OpenGL 2.0 in compare to DirectX 11 in terms using the latest hardware technology

obsequies
obsequies

they should have looked at what linux users usually donate compared to the other platforms on older bundles

SteamyPotatoes
SteamyPotatoes

Not sure if coincidence because of Steam Box early next year.

Pill_Effect
Pill_Effect

I think the big deal is that Steam is currently developing for Linux, the Steambox is supposted to run on Linux. Plus Linux is free and in some ways, vastly superior to Windows. Though it's not exactly what most would call user friendly, though some distributions make it a lot easier.

fatee
fatee moderator

Fun fact: a large majority of software work is done on an linux/unix kernel for games; including server hosting (Oracle etc) - yet few games are actually made for the platform they were created in.

Jebril
Jebril

Right now is a crucial time for the Linux gaming market, people who are interested in these kind of things are and have proven willing to shell out a good bit of cash for games on the platform, especially major ones being ported. I'm sure many people would be willing to help them out too, I hope they do bring their games over to Linux, I would gladly pay for them. 

Darnasian
Darnasian

They said the same thing about Mac and then they dropped the project when they saw that the apple audience isn't really interested in gaming. You don't buy a Mac for gaming unless you're an idiot who doesn't know that the Mac has 2% of the games available on PC if not less than that!

tweezzzy
tweezzzy

VALVE: SETTING TRENDS SINCE 1998

Gen007
Gen007

IDK im not saying linux dosent have a future in gaming but breaking new ground its probably not what THQ qants to be doing right now. Steady she goes needs to be their motto right now. The need to focus on stuff like Metro and  COH because those are the games that will save them. Let valve lay the groundwork for linux gaming. Im guessing they just like the possibility of being able to milk a little extra cash off of their older titles.

Johnanth
Johnanth

 @demonic_85 Not actually more efficient. It's just as verbose as OpenGL (real game devs usually use engines or middleware) and it lacks several of the features of OpenGL. It just hasvery good advertising, as Microsoft has always had great advertising. It has ambient occlusion, for instance, 3 years (light years in the tech industry) before DirectX. There are still dozens of OpenGL features missing from DirectX, and that's usually not the case vice-versa.

 

The misconception about OpenGL being slower comes from the fact that OpenGL is slower on *WINDOWS*. It's implemented ontop of DirectX and all calls are translated to DirectX, which has an approximately 6-8% overhead (did with DX9 anyway, dunno about now). It's all about the implementation, not the specification itself.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

 @demonic_85 Very true.  I think the main problem with open standards is they usually take too long to push the envelope, so Nvidia and ATI would integrate new features into DirectX as their priority.

 

Still, for a while Firefox was doing a good job of being on the cutting edge (they've certainly lost ground recently), so it's not that open development can't work.

good_evil
good_evil

 @satyanjoy OpenGL has to become as efficient as DirectX and all game companies have to start developing on OpenGL. Can't see this happening in near future (talking at least 5 years). Unless MS would go bankrupt and opened sourced DirectX lol

nate1222
nate1222

 @satyanjoy

 I doubt it'd change it. But it'd make life even more difficult for the console makers come next gen.

 

Steam already has more users than PSN and XBLA combined. And GOG's user base is steadily climbing as well. Most of my classmates and coworkers have decided that they're not gonna move on to the next (8th) gen. Instead, they plan to upgrade their PCs and ride it out with services like Steam.

June-GS
June-GS

 @satyanjoy OpenGL's already on version 4.3, actually. But yeah, I do get your point. Unfortunately, it doesn't really matter, as game developers don't support it as much as they do MS' DirectX. And that's an understatement.

Pill_Effect
Pill_Effect

Err rather Valve is developing for Linux.

nate1222
nate1222

 @fatee

 Too true.

Hell, most console games are developed on PCs and tested on console "dev kits". And some of the development for those console games is probably done with Linux OSes as well.

obsequies
obsequies

 @Darnasian the people who own macs and play games on them are probably buying windows games to run in windows or in crossover or whatever so it further pushes devs to develop for that platform...its a hard addiction to quit as the hardware devs for video cards are the ones that everyone follows

obsequies
obsequies

 @Darnasian its like the whole wine/crossover addiction. people argue how wine damages the possibility of devs actually natively programming software or games to run in linux when they can just use wine to run it subpar. it hinders linux's growth

fatee
fatee moderator

 @Gen007 garnering a wider audience, as well as respect from the core audience who follows this news; will in turn craft more profit.

Johnanth
Johnanth

 @good_evil  @satyanjoy It IS as efficient. It has way more features than DX and was always ahead. It's the implementation on Windows that is slow as hell, as it translates calls to DirectX which compiles them into machine code. That causes about 6-8% overhead on Windows which is what has caused this misconception to spread.

tweezzzy
tweezzzy

 @bhmg  @satyanjoy  steam has more users than XBL or PSN. and considering the steam box would be running said Linux distros.....

 

it has already changed the whole desktop/home computing scene. 

 

no one knows it yet.

satyanjoy
satyanjoy

 @bhmg  need more developers supporting the platform but it will be a good start

satyanjoy
satyanjoy

 @June-GS  I am hopeful though if  Valve join the Khronos Group - consortium who manage OpenGL till now and push the R&D and bring up more innovations into it.

nate1222
nate1222

 @obsequies  @Darnasian

 Agreed.

I got a few classmates who own Macbooks. And they play Windows based games via Wine. One of the biggest reasons is that the Mac versions often have way higher system requirements that their Windows based counterparts.

 

Case in point: KOTOR on Steam. The disparity in hardware requirements for the Mac version is ridiculous.

Gen007
Gen007

 @fatee True but porting games to another OS isn't free. It requires time and money like anything else which THQ dosent have. Linux ports are not something i see paying off big for THQ the way things are right now.  We are looking at  a company that basically flatlined and dead for a short while and now they are on life support. They have a few projects that are guaranteed to bring in money for them which is what they need to focus on.

June-GS
June-GS

 @satyanjoy  @top8cat The "main" version of DirectX, yes, it's a Windows-exclusive. But M$ has a modified version of it for the Xbox/360 consoles. As for OpenGL, no, you got it reversed actually. It's the hardware developers, AMD/ATi & NVIDIA, who must support the latest standards like OpenGL 4.3, NOT the other way around. And as of this writing, the current generation of cards do. So it's not an OpenGL to hardware developer issue. It's an OpenGL to GAME developer issue. They just don't support it. I said game developers because non-game software developers in general actually DO support OpenGL and its derivatives (e.g. Adobe, Autodesk, etc.). Technically, OpenGL is a very sound standard. It actually supports MOST of the things we need or want for our gaming visuals. And believe me, gaming visuals are very important to me, second only to excellent gameplay. So the hindrance is definitely not that. But as I've implied above, that topic is beyond the scope of our very limited comment thread here. If only we were in a full-blown forum thread, we could continue the topic there about why game developers don't support a good standard like OpenGL.

satyanjoy
satyanjoy

 @June-GS  @top8cat I think DX will only work in windows os, anything other than that have to go through opengl way.Console is using opengl for a long long time, but no body is pushing the development of the SDK. If Sony and Nintendo pushed the opengl sdk R&D to match the newest hardware along with DX, they will be in a better position as of now

June-GS
June-GS

 @top8cat  Hmm, interesting. In theory, then, they could easily port to any OpenGL-supporting platform like Linux. But obviously, they won't do that, or the PS is dead. Same sitch with Xbox's DirectX flavor. M$ could easily port to Windows, but they won't. Their babies would cannibalize each other.

June-GS
June-GS

 @satyanjoy There's nothin I want more than for that to be true. I mean what idiot would wanna support M$, right? And as @ferko420 correctly mentioned, Valve and especially  id Software used to be the champions of OpenGL. But DirectX just had too much momentum behind it. The OpenGL guys couldn't keep up. While DirectX only had to please one master, OpenGL had to please a WHOLE damn consortium! Not to mention a ton of platforms! Today, the twin evils of Windows and DirectX is just too "embedded" now in the PC-owning mainstream, that for a developer to ignore it and "go Linux-OpenGL-only", is almost suicidal. And the fan base on legacy Windows games, do they ignore 'em too? If you wanna be noble, yes. If you wanna be profitable, then no. But yeah, we can hope. LOL

top8cat
top8cat

 @satyanjoy  @ferko420 I believe I read somewhere that PS3 exclusives used OpenGL, where I read that and whether or not it's true you'd need a second voice to confirm.

satyanjoy
satyanjoy

 @ferko420   Even current console game are also made in OpenGL right ??

ferko420
ferko420

 @satyanjoy  @June-GS id supported and made only opengl games up till "quake wars" *will sill play!* megatexture was it at the time, so the started next game with DirectX and xbox in mind

ferko420
ferko420

 @Gen007  @fatee there are people willing to work on this, now... probably for very little pittance.