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id Software: Linux Hasn't Produced Positive Results

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  • #11
    How can a Linux client pay the bill if it is available as a separate, free-of-charge, download only?
    Sure, that's difficult to tell how many people bought the windows version and used the Linux client.

    It's a great move from id software to open-source old game engines.
    Apart from this - honestly, who still cares about id?
    They didn't manage to release a real blockbuster since Q3A (D3 was a technology demo).
    It's definitely not due to the Linux users that id is on the skids.


    • #12
      Well, id's GNU+Linux support never was stellar. You had to download a binary from a hidden webpage, and copy contents from the DVD of the Windows version. After the copy finished, you could execute the installer that didn't install all the libraries needed, so you had to use manually your package manager to install those libraries if the installer asked for them. But at least you could play.
      Then, they launched Rage which had a lot of bugs in their initial release.

      Probably id Software didn't support GNU+Linux during the best times, but now is a wrong moment to stop porting games to it. They should put more money into it. I don't understand what Carmack means with "good will". GNU+Linux users are buyers like in other platforms, and I have to say that GNU+Linux buyers were treated worse than other platforms.

      All I can see here is that id Software has become a small studio and that kind of companies have two options: launch Windows only games (cheap) and sell enough units, or be an exclusive of a determined console platform (cheaper than being multiplatform and easier).

      Valve's approach is a bold one, with a lot more effort than id Software. And "Steam Play" games sure will be ported in the long run, some buys I made in the latest sales were based on that possibility too.
      Last edited by Filiprino; 04 August 2012, 03:02 PM.


      • #13
        Originally posted by deanjo View Post
        I really think we are seeing this new "attitude" towards linux simply because of iD's buy out. They promised business as usual but so far that has been far from the case.
        Or maybe JC remembers losing a lot of money on the Quake 3 port at which point he stopped listening to the vocal minority and took an honest assessment of the Linux user base. I haven't seen a new opinion about Linux from him since 2001, long before they signed with Zenimax.


        • #14
          What's up? Carmack is always right? Has ID achieved better results than Valve? Maybe I would never foretell the future like others, but I'm sure that valve is supporting Linux as ID did in the past, and I think we all should be happy it's happening.
          On the other hand ID's case isn't comparable to Valve's one since the first has offered single games and the installation required advanced user knowledge and Valve is offering a platform that is making M$ to sweat to kick off from Windows. Also in this case Valve is very interested in to make Steam to success in as much platforms as possible.
          Last edited by peperoni; 04 August 2012, 03:30 PM.


          • #15
            Originally posted by peperoni View Post
            Has ID achieved better results than Valve?
            Simply: no Every Valve game is the HUGE commercial success. Half-Life 2 has sold over 12 million copies, 3-4 times more than Doom 3, last successful id game (both introduced in 2004).

            Edit: and Steam is the next huge success
            Valve disclosed their Steam sales in 2011 more than doubled the mark set in 2010, marking seven consecutive years of 100 percent growth. Can we stop with the cute “PC gaming is dying”, and let the numbers speak for themselves? Steam sales are no where near slowing down based on this new information, and the number of simultaneous users surpassing the five million mark. PC gaming is thriving.
            Last edited by kwahoo; 04 August 2012, 03:29 PM.


            • #16
              Originally posted by Filiprino View Post
              Probably id Software didn't support GNU+Linux during the best times, but now is a wrong moment to stop porting games to it. They should put more money into it.
              Honestly, with such rating I doesn't think selling Rage for Linux will give id a lot of money. (By the way id sell 2.31 million copies of Rage on all supported platforms/)


              • #17
                Did You guys watched video - Carmack estimate results ( ID incomes from Linux ) mostly on Quake Live ( that's how I read it ). I don't know if to laugh or to cry :/


                • #18
                  Makes me wonder...

         they assess the number of Linux clients. I bought both Doom 3 and Quake 4 as a Windows game, and downloaded the client. No, I don't think John will count me as a paying Linux gamer...


                  • #19
                    Originally posted by Fazer View Post
                    Numbers from prove you wrong, the population of Linux gamers is almost as big as Mac ones, but interestingly they tend to pay more than Mac and Windows community. It makes me believe there is a market waiting to be discovered.
                    You need to be careful with those numbers. Keep in mind that many Windows and Mac gamers already owned many of the Humble Bundle titles before they were offered as part of a Humble Bundle. I haven't bought the last 3 PC humble bundles for instance since the only games in them I had already bought on Steam a long time before. There's also a potential "bubble" effect with Linux interest. That is, Linux users are willing to pay a lot more, but those numbers might drop drastically if the Linux market starts getting a higher number of quality titles. The humble bundles might stop seeming like they're worth paying $20 for if you have access to titles that normally retail at $20 but blow the quality of (almost) all the humble bundle games out of the water.

                    Again, I'm not saying that IS the case, just that it MIGHT be. Business folks do a hell of a lot more analysis of these things than just looking at two charts on Humble Bundle's site. If they're opting to stay away, it might be their reluctance to try to something new (and risky), or it might be because they know something you don't.

                    Indie games however should ABSOLUTELY be targeting Linux. Small games with tiny budgets see a lot back from every single sale. So long as the Linux port time isn't too rough (and with the focus of iOS and Android for Linux gamers, they've already sloshed through OpenGL and abstracting Windows-isms out of their code, so the port shouldn't be that rough) they're likely to actually see benefit from even Linux's tiny marketshare. If I were working on an indie game on my own time, I would be absolutely sure to hit Windows, Mac, Linux, NaCl, and (if it made sense for the game) iOS and Android. Even if only 1,000 Linux users were to buy a game for $5, that would be $5,000. That's roughly 3 weeks pay for the average dev, and it sure as hell shouldn't take even close to three weeks to port a small indie game to Linux (especially if I already had the OpenGL renderer written, which I would for OS X and iOS).

                    A bigger company, however, is going to spend a considerably larger amount of time and effort on the port. They not only have to code it, they also have to QA it, potentially market it, and then support it. Then there's the simple fact that to a big company, the mere administrative overhead of having to run a company and manage resources means that any particular endeavor needs to see a huge return on investment to be worth the time; a small profit disappears into the margin of error of what the core operations is expected to produce. The sales numbers need to be much bigger to see a return on investment there. And that's what Carmack was likely talking about: they surely made sales, but the sales weren't large enough to even matter given the dollar figures they pulled in from other platform.

                    Originally posted by kwahoo View Post
                    The id way:
                    1. Sell games with Windows-only executable
                    2. Put free (as beer) Linux executable on website
                    3. HOW Linux users could "pay bills"?
                    id's games are all multiplayer focused. They know the numbers of users of any OS given the stats their servers report. They can then extrapolate the percentages of each OS connecting to their servers to figure out what percentage of their sales figures to associate with those OSes. If they see 5% Linux users, they can assume that up to 5% of their profits were because of Linux support (possibly if they track IPs or client IDs they can figure out multi-OS users as well; don't know if they do that).

                    I recall seeing a while back that the percentage of clients running Linux connecting to their servers was close to zero. I'm unsure if that was a specific game or all their games; it may have just been one of their more recent, unpopular titles.

                    id also is in the odd position of having Open Sources their older engines, which has spawned a lot of the more popular Linux games. I imagine that a lot of Linux gamers might be satisfied playing a 15 year old game design and not have to pay anything while Windows gamers -- having a wider variety of much better games -- are less interested in playing crappy Quake 3 clones and go buy more modern shooters (or even games from other genres, which Linux users barely even have the choice of). Valve, being an otherwise very traditional proprietary software vendor, will not have to compete with its own past titles like id has to.

                    I suppose its up to Linux gamers to decide whether they prefer technologically dated Open/Free games from id or not (as) dated proprietary games from Valve and other game vendors. (Obviously I think that the vast majority of people would rather have newer more popular titles... but then, I also think it should be law that all games be forced to be open sourced within 5 years of release. If only I were king of the world...)

                    Valve does have a bit more accurate capability since Steam is required to even install the games, and hence they can track for any given customer which OS he was using when he made the purchase and which OSes he installed the game onto. Again, there's some margin of error there, as some people might install games on another platform just out of curiosity. Forgive the anecdote, but I installed several games on my Mac just for shits and giggles, but I don't think I actually ever played them there for more than a few minutes, and the Mac support of any game has certainly never affected my purchasing decision.


                    • #20
                      Many things here said about JC and iDS are 100%'s really amazing the attitude of that

                      Using a famous expression of Linus,,,,

                      FU JC

                      ...and i only want to add that i never bought RAGE and sure i'm glad that i didn't....and will not buy any future game from them either because i'm gone now full Linux and won't go back....from now on, only will buy NATIVE Linux games...
                      Last edited by AJSB; 04 August 2012, 03:54 PM.