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Support for good old Linux unlikely for Good Old Games

9/8/13 5:10pm

GOG.com marketing and PR head Trevor Longino confirmed on Thursday that the game distribution site will not be supporting Linux in the future.

According to Longino, the lack of support doesn't come from technical hurdles but rather from the company's dedication to quality customer support. The website has a policy that a full refund is offered to any customer who can't get a game to run. This becomes troublesome when considering the many distributions that Linux has to offer.

GOG.com has even considered openly supporting all Linux distributions and allowing customers to perform their own troubleshooting, but such actions aren't viable business solutions, according to Longino.

The architecture of Linux with many common distros, each of them updating fairly often, makes it incredibly challenging for any digital distribution company to be able to properly test the game in question, and then provide support for the release--all of which our users are accustomed to,” Longino wrote to GamingonLinux.com. “Sure, we could probably release a client and sell the games and let Linux users worry about the rest. We don't consider it, however, a viable option for the business model we have followed so far. Apparently our model has its drawbacks, as we cannot make everyone happy, but, as of now, we don't plan on introducing Linux support in the foreseeable future.”

Longino also stated that GOG.com doesn't wish to support only a specific distribution of Linux like Steam currently does. While Steam does support Linux, it focuses entirely on the Ubuntu distribution with Unity, GNOME or KDE GUI systems. According to Steam's Linux support page, anyone who uses a distribution other than Ubuntu can't be officially supported by Valve's Steam support team.

Another issue is how often Linux distributions are updated, Longino said. Linux distributions are updated often, and different distributions are never entirely in sync with one another. GOG.com believes this would cause severe problems if it were to offer Linux support. According to Longino, the website estimated it would have to remaster games every 14-16 months to provide viable support.

Do the Linux g1s out there agree with this conclusion?

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