Is it time for the latest AAA games to be released on Linux as well as PC ?

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BenderBrain

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#1 BenderBrain
Member since 2018 • 117 Posts

I approach this question from the perspective of a Windows user who, due to the increasing oppression and restrictive practises of MS in their Win10 OS, have now moved over to Linux (Fedora OS, in my case). My decision to migrate away from Windows is not due to any usability issues, in fact, I quite like Win10 as an OS. However, in my humble opinion, it is becoming nothing more than a elaborate piece of Spyware, and I for one wish to keep at least some control over what my PC does, and who does it! Further, for those who believe all such privacy issues are overblown. Well, I think you will find Windows privacy options provide little more than a placebo effect. - Try disabling Cortana, let alone removing it. Try saying NO to collection of data. Anyway, I'm not posting to blast Windows, doesn't need me to do that! Rather, I suggest that with more and more people turning away from Windows and choosing Linux -regardless of flavour and reason- is it not time for the industry to consider this growing revenue stream more seriously? Yes, I know some recent releases are available on Linux, but it's still a poor relation to Windows. Just my opinion. What's yours?

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deactivated-5ad38f8494160

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#2 deactivated-5ad38f8494160
Member since 2018 • 34 Posts

Linux will never take over Windows, but I'm sure more native ports would get more people interested.

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ArchoNils2

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#3  Edited By ArchoNils2
Member since 2005 • 10458 Posts

Sure, the more people get to play a game, the better.

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BassMan

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#4  Edited By BassMan
Member since 2002 • 10994 Posts

It would be nice, but most games use DirectX as their API. So, we would need a massive shift towards Vulkan for the ports to be easier and cost effective.

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TryIt

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#5 TryIt
Member since 2017 • 13157 Posts

that question is 110% of what Steam Machines were all about

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osan0

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#6 osan0
Member since 2004 • 15501 Posts

im kinda going to have to come to the defence of AAA publishers here. in their defence they did bring quite a few games to linux a few years ago and they barely sold anything. even now they do keep an eye on it (rise of the tomb raider is on the way for example) but i think its more of a technical exercise if anything.

if people want to see more AAA games on linux (and i really do. i do most of my PC gaming on Solus linux) then they need to buy and play games on linux and they need to be prepared to pay full price for the games. dont buy it on a promise of a linux version in the future. dont buy a windows game using the linux steam client (it makes no differnece). dont buy a game you intend to play on linux using the windows client. buy and play on linux.

at the end of the day if there is money to be made then they will port it. if there is a lot of money to be made then linux will be treated as a first class citizen. they continue to watch the situation.

as for linux (well linux distros to get pedantic) things have come a long way on the gaming front over the last 5 years. drivers are much better. AMD GPUs have gone from "OH GOD NO WHY!!" to "oh...i plug it in and it just works (though perhaps not with the absolute latest bleeding stuff but things are improving on that front also. its a timing thing more than anything. polaris and vega are well supported as well as older GPUs)". it still needs work but gaming performance is always an ongoing concern for any OS.

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theone86

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#7 theone86
Member since 2003 • 22601 Posts

It's not just AAA games that are lacking on Linux. Pretty much any professional software that handles heavy tasks doesn't have a viable open source replacement. So long as Windows A) comes pre-installed on most computers and B) maintains exclusive licenses with the most popular software, it's going to dominate Linux.

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NoodleFighter

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#8 NoodleFighter
Member since 2011 • 10609 Posts

@osan0: Another problem with why some games sell bad on Linux is because they're bad ports. You can't make a Linux port with that runs 20-30 fps worse than its Windows and Mac counterparts with and bugs and then complain about it doing badly in sales.

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osan0

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#9 osan0
Member since 2004 • 15501 Posts

@NoodleFighter: i can only go with my experience but generally the ports of linux games have been good. they work. you just download them from steam and off you go. most of my linux gaming has been done on ubuntu and solus and the experience is generally good.

performance is an issue. its not that the games are unplayable on linux. given the right hardware itll still play games just fine. its just that windows is faster in the vast majority of cases. some of that is down to bad ports. some of it is down to just the fact that the base game was deisnged for directX and the developer/publisher is not prepared to go back on a big re-engineering exercise. some of it is just being unfamiliar with an OS other than windows. and some of it is that the drivers and the software stack needs work. gaming has had an effect on the way MS has developed windows over the decades. it hasnt really on the linux side.

it is getting better year after year though. i remember going from ubuntu 14.04 to 16.04. on 14.04 victor vran was unplayable on my PC at the time (phenom 2 X4, 4GB of ram and a HD 5850). on 16.04 on the same PC it was perfectly playable. many games 5 years ago only ran on nvidia GPUs on linux because mesa was so bad and the closed source AMD driver was even worse. now mesa is treated as the reference implementation of openGL and many old games that dont offically support AMD on linux will still run on an AMD GPU just fine now. AMD themselves as well as valve, feral interactive and many other people contribute to the development effort on linux.

its probably never going to match windows due to windows being a first class citizen from a publishers point of view. no AAA games are made specifically for linux. as i said above: that will only change if more people buy and play their games on linux.

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Johnny_Rock

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#10 Johnny_Rock
Member since 2002 • 40231 Posts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems Yeah, I know it's Wikipedia, but if it's anywhere even remotely close to the actual numbers, there's never going to be a time where developers are going to risk real money on a playerbase that makes up only 1.43% of the operating systems out there.

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lucidique

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#11  Edited By lucidique
Member since 2003 • 614 Posts

@BassMan said:

It would be nice, but most games use DirectX as their API. So, we would need a massive shift towards Vulkan for the ports to be easier and cost effective.

One of the big distros would have to invest considerable resources into either OpenGL or Vulkan APIs. They would then have to convince GPU makers, as well as game developers to invest time and money optimizing their own product on that specific Linux Distro.

Which ultimately will bring us back exactly where we are now. The distro would grow bigger than the others, and the developers would start abusing that success.

Edit : This is, of course, an hypothetical scenario where said distro would gain a sudden influx of users that would make it a viable platform for an acceptable number of sales, for both GPU and game makers to actually get on board.

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osan0

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#12 osan0
Member since 2004 • 15501 Posts

@lucidique: wait what? thats not how things really work in the linux distro world. its not like each distro is a completely custom stack of software and the developer needs to test, support and optimise for each distro. thats not how it works at all.

most distros are just different spins on basically the same set of tools and applications. you dont need to optimise for each specific distro. it would be a waste of time. from a gaming perspective the linux world basically (really basically) consists of the linux kernel (basically the same accross distros) which contains all the low level stuff, mesa which is the open implementation of openGL (and i think vulkan is a part of it too) and SDL for dealing with other stuff (controller input, window handling and audio i think). the X.org window server is also a factor but im not sure how close developers get to that.

but thats basically it. openGL and vulkan are up and running and running well. openGL has seen vast improvements over the last 5 years, going from game devs not supporting it to devs supporting it out of the box.

AMD and intel actively work on the open source graphics stack (AMD in particular making huge strides) too. every kernel upgrade is basically a driver update if you have an intel or AMD GPU.

distros dont need to write their own implementation of vulkan or openGL. they dont need to write a custom window manager or a custom API for dealing with controller input or audio.

from a tech perspective there is absolutley nothing stopping the most technically demanding games coming to linux. it just comes down to money and people buying and playing games on linux. if people spend the money and play the games then the games will come.

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lucidique

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#13 lucidique
Member since 2003 • 614 Posts

@osan0: I am aware of how Linux distros work.

I was merely presenting a what if scenario. A fantasy of how this would play out.

Of course, all of it crumbles when we look at the install base.

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Jackamomo

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#14 Jackamomo
Member since 2017 • 2156 Posts

Alot of the Linux/mac ports just use WINE. Which World of Tanks uses and it's a pretty quick and cheap way to get a close port depending on your expertise using WINE.

Also alot of the games on Steam for OSX and Linux are ported by companies that simply specialise in using WINE to get the games onto a Linux machine.

Macs are a pretty good way to play games now as they have all have 3d GPU's nowadays.

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#15 tonylogan007
Member since 2011 • 101 Posts

@NoodleFighter: +1 to that