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With Valve On Linux, Has LGP Lost All Relevance?

Valve

Published on 18 July 2012 01:08 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve
75 Comments

Aside from how Valve can better embrace Linux and open-source, another thing to ponder with Valve officially writing about Steam/Source on Linux, is the future of Linux Game Publishing.

Linux Game Publishing got a new CEO in January and aside from a brief company update in February, nothing new has come out since. The company hasn't released any new Linux game ports in years, their blog has been silent, and there hasn't been any rumblings of new projects to be announced soon.

Their most recent work was bringing Shadowgrounds and Shadowgrounds: Survivor to Linux, but that was back in 2009. Even back in 2010 I was wondering whether LGP was going the way of Loki Software: dead.

LGP's strategy has been fundamentally problematic as most of their ports have been years old by the time they reach Linux (they're still porting titles over a decade old), these old titles generally run fine already under Wine/CrossOver so they're not really bringing anything originally new to Linux, and the prices of the games are generally high as LGP is independently porting these games to Linux.

LGP has also had server problems and some reported problems of shipping orders, which has troubled some Linux game customers, plus their bundling of Digital Rights Management.

Most Linux gamers don't want to spend $30+ USD for some game that's several years old where they may already own the Linux copy, they could buy the Windows copy for just a few dollars, and where it runs fine under Wine/CrossOver software. With Valve on Linux, we'll be getting fresh games and if you have the game already on Mac OS X or Windows, it should be available from the Steam Linux client (assuming it's been ported to Linux).

The old titles from LGP also aren't anything that were even really compelling when originally released, with most Windows gamers likely never even having heard of them, like Gorky 17, Hyperspace Delivery Boy, and Gorky 17. The few worthwhile games out of Linux Game Publishing were Shadowgrounds, X2/X3, Postal II, and Cold War.

LGP also has missed opportunities for porting the Humble Indie Bundle games for various indie game studios to Linux, instead it seems Ryan Gordon and other developers have been successfully taking that on.

Is there any hope for Linux Game Publishing in its current form?

About The Author
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 and or contacted via .
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