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State and Future of Linux Gaming

1/8/13 5:32pm
tl;dr

Linux gaming is somewhat active among indie games and seems to be waiting for an opportunity to really bring Linux into the gaming market.

 

Companies like Valve are taking advantage of this by moving in the Linux direction.

It has long been the consensus of the gaming community that if you want to game, Windows is what to have. Even Mac is severely limited in what they can buy, with big companies like the now crumbling THQ having no support for Mac or Linux platforms.

This may no longer be the case.

Take for instance the Humble Indie Bundle. The bundle has sold well, and its system of pay what you want is admirable. But even more innovative is that all games on the HIB are cross platform. This directly opened the market to all platforms on an even playing field. Being that windows makes up ~90% of computers surely the numbers would be somewhat close, right?

 

In truth Windows made up only 56% of the total Humble Bundle sales. Linux made just over 13%. Maybe its just Indie games, and Linux gamers are not interested in other, bigger games? Probably not, being that they made up 12% of all Non-Indie Bundle purchases as well. In addition Linux gamers were also the most generous with their money, spending on average $11.09 versus  $6.53 from Windows users.

In fact, these numbers are low, since the THQ bundle was not cross platform. Many Indie Bundles average 20% Linux. All this seems like enough to at least raise Linux to a Mac-like level.

 

All this money and potential is not ignored. Valve has officially launched a beta for Linux Steam, as well as a Linux version of Team Fortress 2, and said Left 4 Dead isn't far behind. Some non-Valve games like Serious Sam 3 and Amnesia: The Dark Descent are available as well. In addition, recent rumors suggest a console from Valve running on some form of Linux platform.

Linux gaming may not be too far away.

Statistics credit: http://cheesetalks.twolofbees.com/humble/

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