As other publications have been quick to point out, word of EA at UDS comes just days after I mentioned on my Twitter, "Separate from anything #valve, #Ubuntu does evidently have some other #Linux #gaming news soon from a big publisher."
EA being this company would not be a surprise since I was told the company that Canonical inked the deal with is arguably the largest game publisher out there. EA is among the largest game publishers out there by nearly any metric. Canonical hasn't publicly announced this since the games aren't ready to be launched yet, but are expected to be this calendar year.
On the UDS-Q web-site is this session that puts Electronic Arts at 14.45 to 15.00 on 2012-05-07.
Beyond my tweet last week, Electronic Arts dabbling with Ubuntu shouldn't come as a surprise to my ardent Twitter followers... Aside from those conspiracy theorists or those that don't trust Phoronix content for whatever reason due to the plethora of content I am always vigorously working on, I've hinted at EA on Linux in the past.
Back in January I even tweeted a photo from their LA office...
another tweet with their potential interest back then.
The first time I publicly brought up the potential interest from EA developers to get involved with Linux was last year. I recall tweeting a skewed photo from an EA business card following the first time one of their guys wanted to meet up with me for beers and to discuss Linux, which was a long while ago and at the moment can't locate that old tweet.
While I haven't been formally briefed by either Canonical or Electronic Arts, here's some expectations:
- EA will be bringing some titles to Linux, but not their entire game catalog. The first games to ship in 2012.
- EA does have their "Origin" game service that's basically a competitor to Valve's Steam and Desura too. However, it's unlikely that they will be bringing Origin to Linux, at least initially. This Canonical deal is about bringing their games to Ubuntu and making them available through the Ubuntu Software Center.
- In terms of EA supporting other Linux distributions, I am not sure, but I don't believe they'll be going out of their way to ensure support for non-Ubuntu boxes. Aside from distributing via the Ubuntu Software Center, past communications from my sources have basically referred "Linux" as Ubuntu and Android.
- Valve's Linux plans will likely prove much more exciting than what the effort that Electronic Arts will have towards Linux. For those that have been living in a box, see A Special Linux Delivery At Valve Software and Valve's Gabe Newell Talks Linux Steam Client, Source Engine.
More information later as I find out other details or will also try to answer questions via Twitter. I also often reveal really interesting details and thoughts at Phoronix meet-ups (upcoming ones include Germany and Norway), particularly the European ones when tasty beer is involved. ;)