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SteamOS (isn’t) at 1900 Linux games (yet)?

Reports are going out that Steam is apparently at 1900 games for SteamOS+Linux; a bit strange considering they were at just over 1800 a few days ago. All is well though as there are 1900+ games listed for SteamOS+Linux although a number are not yet released. As of this morning the official released count is coming in at around 1821. Still a decent number considering the state of linux support a few years ago. It shows the impact SteamOS is having on industry trends particularly in indie gaming.

SteamOS 1821 Games
SteamOS showing 1821 Games

There are still a few developers, (e.g. Garry Newman of Garry’s Mod fame, yet he is not the only one) who aren’t seeing the return on the platform they hoped for, but one would expect that a platform in its infancy as SteamOS is for commercial gaming would come with some kind of disclaimer. One that was never intended from the outset to become a commercial gaming platform, just a platform.

We release games on Linux because it feels like the right thing to do, to not exclude a platform just because it doesn’t make financial sense.

We get shit because we don’t properly support linux because it makes up less than 1% of our audience. We get a lot of negativity from the linux community because we don’t spend as much time testing on it as we do on Windows.

So the obvious conclusion I arrive at is that we’d be better off if we’d have never released for linux. Our attempts to release our games for Linux are shit and aren’t appreciated. That’s made abundantly clear every time one of these posts is made, so what are we doing it for?

– reddit /r/linux_gaming/

The wonderful thing about actual Linux is that when looked at from the self-service and open perspective you have to take the approach of “this is what I did so run with it or modify it”. This is the reason it has worked, there is an effort involved, an ownership and a shared vision of what “could be”. You see this somewhat in the modding community as well where when possible people want to stand on your shoulders and be part of your journey.  Now that we have proprietary gaming becoming prevalent on the platform we are losing the ability to execute the self-serve aspect and hence the frustrations abound from both the developer and the customers.

SteamOS Big Picture - Garry's Mod
SteamOS Big Picture – Garry’s Mod

Everyone just needs to keep in mind Windows is a mature gaming platform and developers can still screw it up. Deciding to issue binary blobs to Linux and taking into its account the current infancy of the platform for propriety gaming dictates you should treat it like it is Windows regardless of the current customer base because you are going against the grain.

The main difference between Linux and Windows long term? as industry slows around the world. A high quality, secure, free OS will win out. Look at it this way the customer with the free OS has more money left in their pocket for your games and if you produce qualitywe will pay. With that being said the customer with the idealistic vision of the free OS may understandably expect your product to be free to a point also (the author). Whether that be source code, DRM free or free as in beer.

But hey, thanks for trying.

References for SteamOS 1900 Games:

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