Linux Gaming Was Great In 2016, But 2017 Should Be Even Better

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 27 December 2016 at 08:19 AM EST. 46 Comments
Most of you will probably agree that 2016 was the best year yet for Linux gaming with having a ton of new game releases, several of which were AAA game titles, the premiere of Vulkan is an important step for the future, Valve working on Linux VR efforts, and the Linux graphics drivers getting into better shape for handling the next era of Linux games.

While 2016 was great, some of you may have been let down by still the relatively minor amount of AAA games making their way to Linux especially on a quick turnaround time to the Windows game releases. There are also some that may have felt letdown by the relatively minor movements around Steam Machines and SteamOS this calendar year, the Steam Linux gaming percentage being around 1% or less, Linux VR support not yet up to scratch, some Linux game ports still performing significantly lower than their Windows ports, etc.

In 2017 we can look forward to more native Linux game releases, hopefully more on the VR front, continues advancements of the Linux graphics drivers, Feral Interactive and others getting to releasing Vulkan-enabled games, a 64-bit focus becoming more dominant for Linux games, and more.

For those wanting to relive all of the major Linux gaming moments of 2016, below is a look at the most popular Linux gaming articles on Phoronix out of our hundreds of original gaming news items.

Valve Expected To Show Off Linux VR Demo Today
The HTC Vive was supposed to ship with Linux support but that hadn't materialized... But it looks like it now has. Valve is expected to show off a VR Linux demo during this week's Steam Dev Days event in Seattle.

Overlord Is Being Released For Linux Tomorrow
Just one day after Virtual Programming released a new teaser video for Overlord on Linux, the OSX/Linux game porting company announced their release date for the game that is coming to Linux and Mac, the better part of a decade after the Windows release.

Valve Is Finally Releasing Dota 2 With Vulkan Support Very Soon
It has taken longer than anticipated, but it looks like Valve will be releasing Dota 2 with Vulkan API renderer support within the next week.

OpenMW 0.39 Released As Newest Open-Source Morrowind Code
OpenMW 0.39 is now available as the latest version of this open-source Elderscrolls III: Morrowind reimplementation.

Thanks To Vulkan, We Should Be Seeing More 64-bit Linux Games
One of the positive side effects of Vulkan is that hopefully we're going to be seeing more 64-bit Linux games.

SDL 2.0.4 Was Quietly Released Last Week With Wayland & Mir By Default
Released last weekend to not much fanfare was SDL 2.0.4, a significant update to the Simple DirectMedia Library, which is commonly used by cross-platform games.

Shadow of Mordor Performance For The GeForce GTX 1080 On Linux
Shadow of Mordor is a beautiful game on Linux, but quite demanding on the hardware. Here's how it performs with Linux.

An Open-Source Doom 3 Engine Is Looking To Implement Vulkan Support
While the open-source Doom 3 community hasn't been too vibrant since id Tech had open-sourced the Doom 3 code (id Tech 4) back in 2011, one of the more vibrant open-source D3 projects is looking at adding Vulkan renderer support to the engine.

Feral Interactive Said To Be Announcing "Massive" New Game For Linux Tomorrow
The Mac/Linux game porters at Feral Interactive are teasing that tomorrow they will be announcing a "massive" game.

Tomb Raider Linux Requirements Released, Looks Like It Will Work With Mesa
With prepping for the imminent release of Tomb Raider for Linux, Feral Interactive today published the Linux system requirements for this popular game.

Steam Client Stable vs. Beta Tests With Vulkan On AMDGPU-PRO
Here's the impact of benchmarking Dota 2 with Vulkan using the stable Steam client versus the Steam client beta.

Here Are The Steam Survey Results For Linux During August 2016
The start of the new month brings a new percentage about the estimated Linux gaming population as measured by the Steam survey.

Steam Beta Brings Many Improvements For Steam Controllers
If you picked up the Steam Controller during the recent deal that put it at just $35 USD or have had one of these controllers from Valve for some time, you'll definitely want to check out the latest Steam client beta available tonight.

CRYENGINE Source Code Now Available Through GitHub
It looks like in the past few days Crytek has made their CryENGINE game engine available via GitHub,

A Quake 2 Game Might Get Ported To Linux
If you are into retro gaming, there's a Quake 2 game mod that might now see a Linux port.

Valve Reports Steam Linux Usage Fell Further In March
The Steam survey results are out for March 2016 and indicate a further reduction in the Linux gaming market-share.

Steam's Survey Reports Another Drop For Linux Gamers In June 2016
The June 2016 results are now out for Valve's Steam Survey.

Valve Uses Kubuntu For Demonstrating Linux VR With The HTC Vive
Coming out of the second and final day of Steam Dev Days 2016 are some photos on Twitter from Valve's Linux VR demonstration.

Valve Rolls Out Useful Linux Updates For TF2 & CS:GO
Valve today rolled out some nice updates for gamers of Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, including Linux-specific improvements.

Dolpin 5.0 Emulator Released, Now Requires OpenGL 3 & 64-bit
Version 5.0 of the open-source Dolphin Emulator for playing Nintendo GameCube and Wii games on Windows/Linux/OSX is now available.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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