Will 2013 finally be the year of Linux gaming?

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There has been some debate and consideration in recent years about when the Linux gaming platform will officially gain ground. Critics and market skeptics have wondered when it will really take off and when it will be Linux’s turn to procure large portions of the market share. New games and gaming consoles geared toward this system have left many asserting that 2013 will finally be the "year of Linux." But why?


In the past, it seemed that those who were promoting and predicting the role of Linux were not aware of what problems it had. Disasters such as losing id Software, faltering in its support of the company, and Epic Games infighting made the path to success difficult. The question of where the Linux desktop platform and the software would fit in the gaming landscape has also been called into question in the past. Yet, these controversies have seemed to subside and the key to Linux success is being predicted not on the desktop particularly but in the gaming world. It is in the games that Linux is ready to make its mark in the coming year.

Linux and Valve

One of the greatest reasons why this is to be Linux’s year is because of the growing support from Valve who runs Steam. Now, anyone who has a Linux Steam account can open the portal to many games. The Steam Linux account is a connection that fosters game play and has allowed for publishers to take notice. New games are being produced for Linux runs and that means increased revenue and notoriety. Valve has even taken their faith in Linux a bit further, creating a game console based on Linux. The result has been Valve’s increased interest in promoting games and titles that will catch users’ attention and keep them playing on the system more and more. More game titles for Linux and a new Valve game console means more opportunities for Linux to take advantage and grow.

Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition

baldur's gate

Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition is a game that should be ported on Linux and that may be among the most popular of the names behind Linux’s move to the potential forefront of gaming. In this game, the Dungeons & Dragons loving players will be entered into world of mythical and mysterious creatures. New characters are available in this expanded edition with its enhanced gameplay that offers individuals the chance to be more human or more mutant in their looks. Each chapter that opens in this multi-chapter game takes time and patience, as well as skill, to navigate through. The enhanced play that is included when this game is purchased coupled with an already strong fan base, make this a potential turner of tides for the Linux ports and gaming systems. Time will only tell but the anticipation and the publicity behind this game are already creating more interest in Linux than was seen in past years and highlights games' impact on the future of Linux.

Wasteland 2

wasteland 2

Wasteland 2 is a game that profits from people's love of role-playing games (RPG). In this graphically stunning Linux-port equipped edition, the game players enter into a post-apocolyptic game scenario. They are in charge of their character and must navigate through the world that has been turned into a wasteland of disease and depravity after disasters destroy the majority of the human and living populations. Hours of fun can be had on this visually impressive game and the depth of play with all of its involvement and needed gameplay are sure to have Linux users impressed. This could be another great title that could help Linux grow in gaming in the coming year.

This article was originally posted on Linuxaria and is reposted under Creative Commons.

Jason Phillips is a high school administrator and reviews software useful for schools and games.


Interesting article. Value is for sure driving an interest in Linux as a gaming platform with the <a href="http://www.ign.com/wikis/steam/Steam_Box">Steam Box</a> (announced in <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/8/3852144/gabe-newell-interview-steam-box-future-of-gaming">CES 2013</a>) running on Linux. The turning point would certainly be when the popular console/PC games (any <a href="http://www.callofduty.com/">COD</a> fans here?) have been ported to Linux with reasonable performance. Legendary games like <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/240/">CS:Source</a> and <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/70/">Half Life</a> are already available.

I might add to this list the gradual mainstreaming of independent game development, that is, "Indie" games. Indie games are becoming more popular in a general sense, and they are much more commonly available for Linux. They don't individually create the numbers of a large "triple A" title, but their numbers are becoming respectable enough to add up.

It's interesting to see all the popular indie games because it's reminiscent, to me, of the early days of computer gaming where one person, or a small team of developers could have a lot of success in the market. It's been said for years now that things have changed and those days could never be repeated, but the modern indie movement certainly looks a lot like those days to me.

And Steam is installed by default in Linux Lite to! I beleive they are the first distro to have done this.

Well I for one am proud and glad to see that there's more options other than the "Box"...or the "Station" out there!....and being a BIG supporter of Linux I would add that this is going to be a match made in Heaven as more and more indie label games are added to the Steam roster, I can see the majors having their curiosity piqued, and who knows?....they might be tempted to offer a few titles from their catalogue! I can honestly say that Linux is moving in directions that it has long been destined for! Long Live Open Source!

I hate to say this, but how many times have we heard the great hope story about mainstreaming gaming coming to Linux? I guess one of the key things about Linux is also its major obstacle and that is freedom. Users can use a myriad of Linux distributions and fine tune it like no other, but without any universal standardization gaming companies understand the configuration and coding nightmare (costs) they are up against. Look at the Android OS and how robust their app store has become in such a short period of time. Some may say this is apples and oranges, but I think there is a lot to learn there. Maybe it will take a company like Steam to actually bring the portability that no one else has been able to do so far. Bottom line is I too continue to hope that I will no longer have to dual boot OSes just so I can play a game…

I agree that there's a large deal of "variety" when talking about Linux, but in all actuality there's only about three or four "source-codes" out there.....most distros are based on either "Debian/Ubuntu"......RHEL/CEntOS/Fedora.....or BSD kernels and cores. What separates a lot of these distros from each other is mostly badging..and the desktop environment.....surely it can't be THAT hard to write code for three to four versions of the same kernel?...I dunno I'm not a programmer, but it just would be nice to "hear" about "modern Warfare 2" running on Fedora Linux....or something like Skyrim running on Debian.....but hey the future is looking a lot better than it did in the past.....here's to hoping!

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