Is LGP Going The Way Of Loki Software?
Born out of the demise of Loki Software in 2001 was Linux Game Publishing, but now a decade later the fate of LGP is not looking good for the company that has ported about two dozen game titles to Linux.
The newest titles to have come out of Linux Game Publishing were Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor, which were actually ported by IGIOS and then just published by LGP. These action games were supposed to come in 2008 but then challenged by delays and it was not until the second half of 2009 that Linux Game Publishing was finally mastering the copies. Aside from the Shadowgrounds games that were developed by Frozenbyte, LGP's other 2009 titles that made it out were Jets 'n' Guns and Sacred: Gold. Aside from the many niche titles that LGP has ported, the most well known games they have ported to Linux have been Cold War, X2: The Threat, and X3: Reunion.
The only games being ported -- at least publicly -- by Linux Game Publishing at the moment are Disciples II: Dark Prophecy and Bandits: Phoenix Rising; however, these titles have been in the process of being ported to Linux since 2002 and 2003, respectively. In regards to Bandits, work on that game was resurrected in 2008 by Linux Game Publishing but it's been many months now since hearing anything about it even with LGP's private beta program where we are participants. From our testing of Bandits: Phoenix Rising and what we have been told, the Linux port is effectively complete but is being held up for unknown reasons. Even one of LGP's consultants does not know the reason this game is being held up from being released.
With the silence from Linux Game Publishing in regards to these active ports, no information on future ports, a broken bug/ticket system, the beta programs not being active, the LGP blog being silent for months, LGP not responding to e-mail inquiries, and other factors, many are beginning to wonder whether LGP is dead. For instance, the last official news out of Linux Game Publishing was last December when they announced a price-cut on some of their titles and before that their was in October when announcing new Shadowgrounds patches. We reached out to Michael Simms, the CEO of Linux Game Publishing and someone that has communicated with us in the past with our LGP media coverage, but even we did not get a response. Seeking out the comment of an LGP contractor that has worked on many of LGP's past titles, we were left with even more uncertainty about the future of Linux Game Publishing. "I've been a bit concerned about what I'm seeing myself...The silence in public and behind the scenes has me wondering what's going on."
While we certainly hope Linux Game Publishing manages to stick around, so far things do not seem to be looking good for this company. LGP will also face an even tougher challenge once Linux gamers are enjoying Steam and the Source Engine on Linux and those tier-one titles that come over to Linux directly (Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Portal, etc) and the other games that will likely follow suit. There is also id Software that remains friendly towards Linux, Ryan Gordon continues to work on different projects (albeit UT3 for Linux was a flop), Frank Earl is porting some games, and indie games are doing quite well. Over the next year, we will also likely start seeing Unigine-based games appearing on Linux, like Primal Carnage.
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