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id Software: Linux Hasn't Produced Positive Results

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Filiprino View Post
    Probably id Software didn't support GNU+Linux during the best times, but now is a wrong moment to stop porting games to it. They should put more money into it.
    Honestly, with such rating http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/rage I doesn't think selling Rage for Linux will give id a lot of money. (By the way id sell 2.31 million copies of Rage on all supported platforms/)

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    • #17
      Did You guys watched video - Carmack estimate results ( ID incomes from Linux ) mostly on Quake Live ( that's how I read it ). I don't know if to laugh or to cry :/

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      • #18
        Makes me wonder...

        ...how they assess the number of Linux clients. I bought both Doom 3 and Quake 4 as a Windows game, and downloaded the client. No, I don't think John will count me as a paying Linux gamer...

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Fazer View Post
          Numbers from http://www.humblebundle.com/ prove you wrong, the population of Linux gamers is almost as big as Mac ones, but interestingly they tend to pay more than Mac and Windows community. It makes me believe there is a market waiting to be discovered.
          You need to be careful with those numbers. Keep in mind that many Windows and Mac gamers already owned many of the Humble Bundle titles before they were offered as part of a Humble Bundle. I haven't bought the last 3 PC humble bundles for instance since the only games in them I had already bought on Steam a long time before. There's also a potential "bubble" effect with Linux interest. That is, Linux users are willing to pay a lot more, but those numbers might drop drastically if the Linux market starts getting a higher number of quality titles. The humble bundles might stop seeming like they're worth paying $20 for if you have access to titles that normally retail at $20 but blow the quality of (almost) all the humble bundle games out of the water.

          Again, I'm not saying that IS the case, just that it MIGHT be. Business folks do a hell of a lot more analysis of these things than just looking at two charts on Humble Bundle's site. If they're opting to stay away, it might be their reluctance to try to something new (and risky), or it might be because they know something you don't.

          Indie games however should ABSOLUTELY be targeting Linux. Small games with tiny budgets see a lot back from every single sale. So long as the Linux port time isn't too rough (and with the focus of iOS and Android for Linux gamers, they've already sloshed through OpenGL and abstracting Windows-isms out of their code, so the port shouldn't be that rough) they're likely to actually see benefit from even Linux's tiny marketshare. If I were working on an indie game on my own time, I would be absolutely sure to hit Windows, Mac, Linux, NaCl, and (if it made sense for the game) iOS and Android. Even if only 1,000 Linux users were to buy a game for $5, that would be $5,000. That's roughly 3 weeks pay for the average dev, and it sure as hell shouldn't take even close to three weeks to port a small indie game to Linux (especially if I already had the OpenGL renderer written, which I would for OS X and iOS).

          A bigger company, however, is going to spend a considerably larger amount of time and effort on the port. They not only have to code it, they also have to QA it, potentially market it, and then support it. Then there's the simple fact that to a big company, the mere administrative overhead of having to run a company and manage resources means that any particular endeavor needs to see a huge return on investment to be worth the time; a small profit disappears into the margin of error of what the core operations is expected to produce. The sales numbers need to be much bigger to see a return on investment there. And that's what Carmack was likely talking about: they surely made sales, but the sales weren't large enough to even matter given the dollar figures they pulled in from other platform.


          Originally posted by kwahoo View Post
          The id way:
          1. Sell games with Windows-only executable
          2. Put free (as beer) Linux executable on website
          3. HOW Linux users could "pay bills"?
          id's games are all multiplayer focused. They know the numbers of users of any OS given the stats their servers report. They can then extrapolate the percentages of each OS connecting to their servers to figure out what percentage of their sales figures to associate with those OSes. If they see 5% Linux users, they can assume that up to 5% of their profits were because of Linux support (possibly if they track IPs or client IDs they can figure out multi-OS users as well; don't know if they do that).

          I recall seeing a while back that the percentage of clients running Linux connecting to their servers was close to zero. I'm unsure if that was a specific game or all their games; it may have just been one of their more recent, unpopular titles.

          id also is in the odd position of having Open Sources their older engines, which has spawned a lot of the more popular Linux games. I imagine that a lot of Linux gamers might be satisfied playing a 15 year old game design and not have to pay anything while Windows gamers -- having a wider variety of much better games -- are less interested in playing crappy Quake 3 clones and go buy more modern shooters (or even games from other genres, which Linux users barely even have the choice of). Valve, being an otherwise very traditional proprietary software vendor, will not have to compete with its own past titles like id has to.

          I suppose its up to Linux gamers to decide whether they prefer technologically dated Open/Free games from id or not (as) dated proprietary games from Valve and other game vendors. (Obviously I think that the vast majority of people would rather have newer more popular titles... but then, I also think it should be law that all games be forced to be open sourced within 5 years of release. If only I were king of the world...)

          Valve does have a bit more accurate capability since Steam is required to even install the games, and hence they can track for any given customer which OS he was using when he made the purchase and which OSes he installed the game onto. Again, there's some margin of error there, as some people might install games on another platform just out of curiosity. Forgive the anecdote, but I installed several games on my Mac just for shits and giggles, but I don't think I actually ever played them there for more than a few minutes, and the Mac support of any game has certainly never affected my purchasing decision.

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          • #20
            Many things here said about JC and iDS are 100% correct.....it's really amazing the attitude of that guy....so....


            Using a famous expression of Linus,,,,


            FU JC


            ...and i only want to add that i never bought RAGE and sure i'm glad that i didn't....and will not buy any future game from them either because i'm gone now full Linux and won't go back....from now on, only will buy NATIVE Linux games...
            Last edited by AJSB; 08-04-2012, 03:54 PM.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
              Or maybe JC remembers losing a lot of money on the Quake 3 port at which point he stopped listening to the vocal minority and took an honest assessment of the Linux user base. I haven't seen a new opinion about Linux from him since 2001, long before they signed with Zenimax.
              I would really like to know how much it cost to port? I always thought ID made quick linux ports for the ultra nerds. Just a small gift. They never really sold it right?

              But I am glad he said it in the open. It really gives you insight into how he thinks and how much he knows. And to claim that _at this time_ linux support wouldn't be worth it. How can you trust anything else he might claim?

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              • #22
                ID Tech 5 bonners

                http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=...&postcount=682

                Doom 7 redux: People are tired of Doom

                Time to retire John Carmack.

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                • #23
                  Who knows - maybe TTimo left because it has been a constant fight against
                  a strong Linux support objection within the rest of the id stuff.
                  In the end it could be they even didn't allow him to port Rage on his own.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by elanthis View Post
                    id's games are all multiplayer focused.
                    Quake 1 (1996) - true
                    Quake 2 (1997) - true
                    Quake 3 Arena (1999)/Team Arena/Quake Live - true
                    Doom 3 (2004) - false, only 4 players multi
                    Rage (2011) - false

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                    • #25
                      I used to love ID's work about 2 decades ago (I played Q2 MP incessantly for almost a decade). Today, I often forget they are out still out there. It doesn't matter who they support if they can't release a title worth a damn anymore.

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                      • #26
                        I think Carmack vision is a little bit oldie because when he ported his Quakes he didn't get in contact with the most important hardware makers to improve graphics in Linux as is doing now Valve. If I remember well he got in contack only with the best graphics hardware maker at that time.
                        Also I think it might be that Steam on Linux not to be a great success, but anyway it will get users from Windows, and in the long term it will make money. In the short term it would make one or two million dollars the first year, which would pay the Linux port bill.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Alliancemd View Post
                          I was saying the same thing since the announcement of Valve being interested in Linux.
                          Linux has 1% desktop market share, from this 1% take the gamers which in Linux are just in a VERY VERY small amount.
                          Now take from this gamers the ones that are ready to pay, it goes almost to 0%. Ubuntu Software Center can be as a good demonstration that almost all of the Linux users don't want to pay a cent for software.
                          Linux is not a good platform for developers to make money on. And IDSoftware had to feel it on their skin. Put in a lot of effort to port and have additional expenses for nothing.
                          The way Valve sees it, is that Linux only has a 1% desktop share because of the lack of games. They figure if you build it, they will come. Put some games on the Linux platform and that 1% will surely rise. To how much is yet to be seen.

                          Also the difference between ID Software and Valve is nearly night and day. ID releases a few games onto Linux, and I guess they're hoping for users to switch OS's just because of ID. Valve has an ecosystem, where they bring a store and even tools for developers. They're getting very involved with linux development.

                          Linux already has something the average Joe Six Pack wants from an OS.

                          #1 Free.
                          #2 No need for anti-virus software.
                          #3 Customizable.

                          Joe Six Pack doesn't like these things about Linux.

                          #1 Software he owns working on Linux?
                          #2 Is it stupid proof?
                          #3 Why should I care?

                          The last one is important because there is lots of people still using Windows XP, and they don't care about upgrading to Windows 8 or bothering with Linux. They have no reason to.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Yfrwlf View Post
                            I donate to software projects I like/appreciate, and offering fun and polished games for Linux wins devs my donations. I will never buy a game from the Ubuntu Software Center, even though I usually run Ubuntu, because they don't give you a cross-distro application. Application freedom, the freedom to run your games and other programs on any Linux distro you want, is a requirement for me as I refuse to be bound to a proprietary Linux OS. If they provide straight-up normal binaries or cross-distro installers, I pay. Desura has provided those things with Oil Rush and Trine 2, so I had no problem paying for those games.

                            The biggest problem on Linux that I keep saying over and over again and it seems like no one listens or cares is standards, including software installation standards. If there is any chance that a particular library you are linking to isn't a solid standard and might not be on someone's installed Linux OS, you need to include the damn thing in your installer or make it easy (automatically, preferrably) to get it.

                            The most important thing for anyone's freedom in any area, hardware and software, with cars and computers and TVs and all devices, is standards. Standards = freedom, thus Linux needs more standards. I don't know why this is a hard concept for anyone who cares about openness and freedom to grasp. Instead, Canonical wants their own Apple iStore, as does Microsoft, to lock users to their platform and their platform only. None of them will get my money because of that (among other factors).
                            Same here. Even though I'm a gamer for more than 5 years my first bought game was Oil Rush. Second I bought Trine 1, which is a great game, in Humble Frozen Bundle. I also plan to buy Trine 2. All this games have in common some requirements that I have.

                            These are my requirements for buying games:
                            1. Have a first class linux client
                            2. Have a stand-alone installer (no Desura, no Steam), but being available on Desura and Steam is a plus, like Oil Rush
                            3. No DRM, maximum that I allow is a simple serial number
                            4. No Internet connection required
                            5. If it's possible LAN multiplayer (with no internet required, not Starcraft II shit)
                            6. Demo available, if not i will download an unlocked version and play it. I don't buy games that I didn't played before.
                            7. Reasonable price (less than 30 $)

                            If my requirements are not met, they should go fuck themselves, because I like my freedom and I will not buy their game.

                            And what positive results Carmack wants?
                            You don't have a first class linux client, linux market share is less than 5%, you don't advetise linux much but you want positive results?
                            If you want positive results release a long awaited game like Doom 4 on linux first and wait 3-6 monts and then release it to Windows. You will see then.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Fazer View Post
                              Numbers from http://www.humblebundle.com/ prove you wrong, the population of Linux gamers is almost as big as Mac ones, but interestingly they tend to pay more than Mac and Windows community. It makes me believe there is a market waiting to be discovered.
                              Please don't use HB as a benchmark. First of all, both Mac and Windows have a much larger selection to choose from and little indies won't appeal to groups as much that can get the AAA titles on a whim. With Linux user and HB, they are starving for a game, any game, that isn't tux racer or some decade old port. That is what you are seeing when you look at HB's numbers and that is why you see them paying more as well. Pay what you want and pay what we ask are two very different marketing strategies and will carry two very different sets of numbers.

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                              • #30
                                Well, can't just start bashing him because he hasn't made the business of games on Linux profitable - but I remember how hard it was to get ET:QW, and still is, get working in Linux because it's fairly difficult to find the latest updates, to make the binaries work, and manual it all. Perhaps if they didn't treat all Linux users including new ones like they're pro sysadmins, maybe they would've fared better.

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