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Battlefield Director: Linux Only Needs One 'Killer' Game To Explode 410

Posted by timothy
from the seems-optimistic dept.
dryriver writes with an except from Polygon's interview with DICE creative directory Lars Gustavsson, who says it would only take one "killer" game for Linux to break into mainstream gaming (something some would argue it already has): "We strongly want to get into Linux for a reason," Gustavsson said. "It took Halo for the first Xbox to kick off and go crazy — usually, it takes one killer app or game and then people are more than willing [to adopt it] — it is not hard to get your hands on Linux, for example, it only takes one game that motivates you to go there." "I think, even then, customers are getting more and more convenient, so you really need to convince them how can they marry it into their daily lives and make an integral part of their lives," he explained, sharing that the studio has used Linux servers because it was a "superior operating system to do so." Valve's recently announced Steam OS and Steam Machines are healthy for the console market, Gustavsson said when asked for his opinion on Valve's recent announcements."
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Battlefield Director: Linux Only Needs One 'Killer' Game To Explode

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  • And (Score:2, Interesting)

    by The Cat (19816) * on Saturday October 12, 2013 @09:44PM (#45111683)

    Given the overwhelming power of developing on Linux compared to Windows or Macs (Linux is so far ahead of both it's not even a contest) once developers move to the new platform, they'll never go back.

    It took 20 years, but Linux won. Face it. It's just better technology.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 12, 2013 @09:55PM (#45111753)

    >Will there ever be a Linux exclusive game?

    The best candidate on the horizon is Half-Life 3 running on Valve's upcoming SteamOS linux distro. Would Steam take that chance to push it's own gaming platform?

  • by Mabhatter (126906) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @09:59PM (#45111771)

    About the only thing I can see is Steam OS becoming a hardware target for "white box" makers. Microsoft is back to an x86 console, so how will they keep game devs on the console and not just Windows? At some point they will lock up and cripple Windows... Again... To push everybody to console.

    Enter SteamOS based on Linux. If they make it play nice with Ubuntu or Mint Linux they could grab the "power gamer" market and those people can just use Linux for their "homework". Even then Steam is already looking to be a target for APPS on windows and Mac so that might fix the missing multimedia stuff people bellyache about.

  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @10:12PM (#45111831)

    >Will there ever be a Linux exclusive game?

    The best candidate on the horizon is Half-Life 3 running on Valve's upcoming SteamOS linux distro. Would Steam take that chance to push it's own gaming platform?

    Just delaying the Windows and MAC ports will do it. After all, they can also dual boot Linux, and this promotes the Steam Box as well.

  • by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @10:54PM (#45112007) Journal

    I think the poster is not correct. He said:

    it is not hard to get your hands on Linux, for example, it only takes one game that motivates you to go there.

    First, he means GNU/Linux, not Linux. There are tons of games for Android/Linux. For GNU/Linux, he's dead wrong. I built a machine yesterday with my son with parts from Newegg, and installed Ubuntu 13.04. The motherboard was DOA. Is the average gamer going to figure that out? The Samsung SSD wouldn't come up and talk to Ubuntu until I initialized it in Windows, and even then I had to set the SATA controller in BIOS to use "IDE" mode so Linux would find it. Installing GNU/Linux remains solidly in the domain of geeks. Will Average Joe Gamer buy a $1,500 "gaming rig", wipe Windows, and install Linux? Yeah, right. Maybe Dell and HP will start selling GNU/Linux gaming rigs so our poor gamer wont have to deal with figuring out how to deal with Linux? And they'll do that because there's so much demand? Unfortunately, GNU/Linux remains solidly a hacker OS. Now, as a hacker, I quite like it :-) GNU/Linux is what it is, and if you like it like I do, then great. However, we don't have to spread it like religion to the masses.

    The GNU/Linux graphical desktop has been mostly dead for a while now, in terms of main stream adoption. Ubuntu bug #1 remains very much unresolved. It's not the fault of Linux, but of GNU/Linux. Linus won the OS kernel war, even against the great and powerful Microsoft, with his "Bazaar" approach. However, GNU lost the application war because GNU never accepted the hacker culture, where everyone is can create whatever hackish apps they like, and share them without friction. Instead, the Debian priests continue to maintain the purity of their "Cathedral" through exclusion of unworthy apps, and the process to publish an app is literally harder than getting married or getting a loan for a house. Arch is a good attempt to save GNU/Linux, but it's too little, too late, IMO. I hope I'm wrong...

  • Re: YOLD! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Saturday October 12, 2013 @11:25PM (#45112103) Journal

    I'm not sure all college students are capable of understanding those concepts or even capable of caring about them. Most college students I have seen are more worried about the bling the neighbor has, how much jack they will pocket once employed, and of course where the party is tonight. Quite a bit of college students are only there because they were told it was what they needed to do if they wanted a decent job. They aren't there exactly to learn or learn about the concepts of a micro-kernel. While a few are there to learn and further their wisdom, it is more of a put my time in so I will make lots of money thing for most college students.

  • by Electricity Likes Me (1098643) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @12:15AM (#45112253)

    The benefit of SteamOS is, strictly speaking they should be able to ship it as a bootable DVD/Blu-Ray that loads the OS and game, or runs straight off a USB key.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @12:37AM (#45112339) Homepage

    Android is a Linux distribution, there are already hundreds even thousands of game titles building up. All it is down too now is how the Android layer and other Linux distributions come together. Chances are for simplicity, they will simply load the Android layer to play games and for other major applications like office suites load them direct.

    New games are neither here nor there the problem lies with a decades long game library and porting them across and it is looking like the Android layer will be the bridge to that porting of existing games to Linux.

    Linux is making huge inroads into the windows market via Android.

  • I agree, but... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smash (1351) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @02:12AM (#45112595) Homepage Journal

    ... it's not likely to happen.

    And before i start on the reasoning - I'm talking about Linux gaming "exploding". I agree that it will get more games, but it is likely to be a secondary platform for a long, long time.

    The reason, is that the one "killer" game needs to be a platform exclusive. And to be something to encourage people to switch, it will need to be AAA. To be AAA means big art, music and programming effects budgets.

    And NO ONE is going to be spending that sort of money on a Linux exclusive game before the market exists.

    It's possible that it could have happened a few years back, as a self-booting DVD or similar, but I think the boat has been missed - optical media is dead/dying and to get online to stream it that way you need an OS installed.

    So no, given the above I don't think the Linux gaming market will "explode". You'll likely see it grow slowly as people install SteamOS rather than windows if/when the AAA games start getting ported to it. The steam box will help that, as previously there's been no reason for people to not just run games on the copy of windows that came with their PC. If valve push the steam box hard enough, people will be buying hardware which never had windows on it, saving a windows license and there will be an actual reason to run Linux for gaming on it.

    I'm really keen to see it happen though, the only reason I'm running a copy of Windows at home at all now is for games. My laptop is a Mac, my NAS is FreeNAS. My desktop i just recently built (i5-4430, GT760) just runs win8 as a steam bootloader, effectively.

  • Re:YOLD! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Eskarel (565631) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @06:02AM (#45113095)

    Microsoft has an app store, and they've moved it onto their desktop OS. No one uses it and Microsoft don't seem to care, they have an app store because they have a phone and a tablet. Nothing of any significance is distributed through it and outside of the RT which given that there's no real market for ARM based windows software doesn't even really matter, nothing at all stops you from installing software from wherever the hell you want whenever you want.

    Valve also doesn't give a crap about whether an OS is going to become controlled, they care whether they're going to be the ones who control it. Right now there's pretty much only one way to get the vast majority of games on Windows, and that's through Steam, even if you buy a physical copy you get activation through Steam.

    Valve doesn't give a flying fuck about Linux, or freedom, or open source they care about their own profit margins. They seem SteamOS as a cheap way to build a console and get a piece of that market which is right now the majority of the gaming market. They are willing to open source it all because what they're exactly like Google. They want as many people consuming their services as they can.

    This won't magically make Linux gaming, it'll still be virtually impossible to get games up and running on any given Linux distribution and publishers will still want DRM. What you'll get at the end of this is the ability to buy some games from Steam, on supported versions of Linux(essentially SteamOS only in all likelihood), with hardware that Steam supports. It might let you get rid of you Windows partition, but it won't make you free either as in beer or as in speech.

  • Re:YOLD! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gerddie (173963) on Sunday October 13, 2013 @10:12AM (#45113775)

    Any games developed for it, will only work for about 3 months without needing constant patches against newer OS's bubblegum and bailing wire package management.

    Wrong, I can still play Civilization, Call to Power(1999), Neverwinternights (2003), Doom 3 (2005) and other IDtech4 games, And yet It Moves(2009) on my current Gentoo/Linux installation. All these games haven't seem patches in ages.

    If "Linux" wants to become a competitor to the PS4/Xbone, then throw all that GUI shit away and just have a thing bare-metal layer OS. NO GUI-wowzits. If someone wants to install a GUI later so they can also use their Steambox as a Multimedia PC, Office typing thingamigiggery, let them. But just please keep quit trying to be a desktop AND a game OS.

    Guess what, "Linux" is exactly like this. Just install the latest GNU/Debian and you will have to explicitly select the GUI option. Besides, I don't really see why a GUI should be a problem. Most games open a window, often fullscreen, and then do all the drawing themselves, the only thing the GUI is doing is, drawing the windows frame if the game window is not fullscreen.

    As it is, If I need Windows development, I use Windows, if I need Mac OS X, I have a Mac Mini to do iOS development. If I could just make a Universal Binary that also worked on Linux I'd sure as hell enable that. Just Linux itself never works.

    Funny, I do all my primary development on Linux, and if I want to do cross-platform, the odd one out is usually MS Windows. Just getting all required libraries installed on Windows is a nightmare, because the only non-cygwin way to get a stable combination of libraries is to compile them all be yourself ensuring that you always use the same compiler flags.

    Nobody in their right goddamn mind would use Linux as a Desktop, let alone a game PC except for people who enjoy "hacking" things to make them work.

    No. I had two flatmates, one studying geology, the other working at a lawyers office, both preferred Ubuntu Linux, and they were certainly not "Hackers", they simply enjoyed an OS that worked on their Laptops without having to worry about the latest antivirus and with very simple means to get a lot of software for free with only a few clicks.

    Joe-average-user just wants to put the Disc in the drive or click a menu and run the game, not fiddle with drivers, dependencies and GUI bullshit.

    And Joe-average user can just do that: I bought two of the Humble Bundles and for all the games I actually cared to install I downloaded a bit TGZ, or SH file, unpacked it and the game just run. Doing the same thing with a CD/DVD should be no different. Even when I bought Civilization (call to power) in 1999 it worked by just popping a CD into the drive and installing on Linux.

Your own mileage may vary.