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Game Developer Who Ported To Linux: "I Don't Think It Was Worthwhile"

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  • Game Developer Who Ported To Linux: "I Don't Think It Was Worthwhile"

    Phoronix: Game Developer Who Ported To Linux: "I Don't Think It Was Worthwhile"

    An RPG game developer behind the Pillars of Eternity title mentioned during PAX Prime this weekend that it really wasn't worthwhile porting their game to Linux...

  • #2
    I understand their frustration.

    It seems to me that if Valve is serious about Steam as a target, Valve should be investing more of its own money in aiding these Linux ports of games. To be fair, it's possible Valve is already doing this and I'm not aware of it. But otherwise, we're dealing with the same chicken-and-egg problem that has plagued Linux gaming since the 1990s: there aren't a lot of people using Linux and buying games on it, so it doesn't make sense for a money to invest in a Linux port. That's even true in cases where the cost of a Linux port are relatively tiny, because some significant portion of the people who might play a game on Linux probably also own Windows or OS X anyway. The market of potential buyers that only run Linux is too small to be cost effective to target.


    • #3
      As a backer for PoE exclusively for the Linux support -

      Many us gave Obsidian money to hit the Linux support stretch goal. No, we didn't mean much to the initial funding, but you only got us as customers because you made that stretch goal. And I'm sure it didn't cost the tens of thousands in revenue you would not have gotten without Linux support to fix the few paltry bugs that emerged post release that only affected Linux.

      As per usual, blah blah, SteamOS. Gamers are not using Linux as their primary OS because they use whatever their computer comes with, and so few people would ever go out of their way to find System76 or other Linux vendors. The stast don't matter until Xmas this year at the earliest, or until Linux machines are available to consumers on store shelves.

      You know, like Android, that somewhat popular mobile OS that supports a lot of PoE-like games like Baldurs Gate, which Obsidian will probably port PoE to some day.
      Last edited by zanny; 30 August 2015, 09:23 PM.


      • #4
        AMD has pretty much crushed the chance of ever having serious Linux gaming.

        And probably intentionally so, too.


        • #5
          Well I think these developers don't have vision. You gotta see and notice that like android became the most used Mobile OS on the world SteamOS is set to become the standard OS for game consoles. Who knows if maybe a future version of playstation ships with SteamOS. In any case like those developers have an opinion about linux I also envision a future where SteamOS will become the standard platform for game distribution. And like android was easy to distribute because of its license, SteamOS will be too, with the only difference that Steam itself isn't open source but who cares about that....
          Last edited by TheOne; 31 August 2015, 11:35 AM.


          • #6
            I'm not much of a gamer anymore, so I wasn't aware of this game. More than likely I had seen mention of it but never looked close enough for it to have caught my attention. Being a huge fan of the old-school Bioware games, I'm pretty sure I need to fire up Steam right now and buy this. So I guess it will be 1.500001% now. Maybe that will be enough for them to think it was worth it.


            • #7
              Originally posted by johnc View Post
              AMD has pretty much crushed the chance of ever having serious Linux gaming.

              And probably intentionally so, too.
              Not true, Unity's OpenGL render is often also slower on nVidia hardware too, plenty of workarounds for intel hardware, blah, blah...

              There is just low amount of Linux users when compared to Windows, that can be sad to someone but is also true .
              Last edited by dungeon; 30 August 2015, 10:07 PM.


              • #8
                Lets examine this for 2 seconds.

                According to SteamDB there are 486,281 owners of Pillars of Eternity. At $45 each that means they made roughly $21,882,645.00 in sales (21.8 Million Dollars).

                If Linux Users are 0.85% of Steam Users and there are 125,000,000 Steam Users (February 2015) then that means there are 1,062,500 Steam Linux Users.

                A = $21,882,645.00 Total Sales
                B = Percent of Steam Users eg: 0.85%
                C = Profits from Linux Sales

                $21,882,645.00 * 0.0085 = $186,002.4825

                I seriously doubt that it cost more than 186 thousand dollars to port to Linux especially since Mac shares so much in common with Linux.

                Also, this doesn't include the SEO Page Rank building as a direct result from Linux Blogs & News sites posting backlinks to Pillars of Eternity Website, Kickstarter Campaign, and Steam Store Page.

                I find their statement technically flawed and downright autistic.

                Prepare to be enchanted by a world where the choices you make and the paths you choose shape your destiny. Obsidian Entertainment, the developer of Fallout: New Vegas? and South Park: The Stick of Truth?, together with Paradox Interactive is proud to present Pillars of Eternity.
                Last edited by ElectricPrism; 30 August 2015, 10:11 PM.


                • #9
                  You are forgetting that game is not steam only . Some people getting a game from GOG.

                  For Windows it can be probably bought on much more and many places, so it is not only about steam.
                  Last edited by dungeon; 30 August 2015, 10:22 PM.


                  • #10
                    Adding Linux support now is also an investment for the future. If Valve's push for Linux gaming gains steam (ha ha), then this developer's game will already be on the market and available for purchase. The revenue might come later, and "for free" considering that the porting work has already been done.

                    I would like to hear more about why it was hard for them to port. I understand that Unity gives you Linux support pretty much for free -- their work likely involved just integration and testing, which is not insignificant, but still couldn't be too expensive. As ElectricPrism points out, many of their sales were to Steam clients who call themselves Linux users.

                    There are many unanswered questions here. Michael, time to put on your journalist cap and do an interview.