EA Talks About Gaming At UDS: It's Boring
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming on 09 May 2012 at 05:28 PM EDT. 39 Comments
Gaming
An Electronic Arts representative just finished talking at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Oakland.

As mentioned a few days ago that Electronic Arts was doing some Linux things but not as interesting as what other companies are doing (i.e. Valve). Prior to that on Twitter I had exclusively shared on Twitter that a major game publisher just inked a deal with Canonical to deliver games on Linux. Earlier this week their Ubuntu gaming push began, but the first push was a disappointment.

The initial game push were just two Flash/JavaScript browser-based games so the Ubuntu Software Center push came down to just links to launch open the web browser for the game. The games previously worked just fine on Linux when going to the web-site.

The EA talk today at Ubuntu Developer Summit was also a big disappointment, just as I've been saying it would be. Even being prepared for a unexciting 15-minute talk by Electronic Arts, the actual talk ended up exceeding my expectations for how boring the content shared actually was... There really wasn't anything exciting at all or to simply drive hope for EA Linux games. There was no announcements of any major new titles coming to Linux, no commitment to full Linux support for future titles, or that any future work would be native to Linux and not Wine-based. In fact, EA mentioned that they have 14 products right now for Wine. They say they're a platform agnostic company.

When questioned about any same-day support as their Windows launch with future work, they provided the response that's the same for basically any game company out there: it's an economic decision. They won't delay their Windows work for Linux.

In terms of open-sourcing any old games, it was said that they have done that -- the original Sim City and part of Sims 1. The response was reasonable, but doesn't raise high hopes that they'll provide open-source goodness in the same way id Software has done in the past.

Well, that was about all of interesting Linux information that was said by EA. Most of the 15 minutes was going over the history of EA, etc. What wasn't said but what you can expect in coming months, based upon my sources: expect some better things than the cruft that was pushed to the Ubuntu Software Center this week, but what's coming in the foreseeable future isn't incredibly exciting either for native Linux gaming.

Pictures and more on Twitter.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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