CodeWeavers CrossOver Games Preview
While we're continuing to see new Linux-native games introduced (such as the recent Shadowgrounds announcement) and the continued work by Linux Game Publishing with different games, the Linux gaming market is still far from being saturated and it keeps many gamers from even trying out Linux because of the limited choices. As they near version 1.0, WINE has been making strides at allowing gamers to run their Windows game binaries on Linux and last year Transgaming had introduced Cedega 6.0 with expanded game support -- among other improvements. Today though another option has been introduced and that is using CrossOver Games to run your favorite Windows games on Linux.
CrossOver Games is the work of CodeWeavers, which is the company behind CrossOver Office and they are involved with the development of WINE as well. CrossOver Office is WINE-based and has been around for several years with a focus on allowing desktop users to run their Windows office applications on Linux and Macintosh platforms. However, as of late CrossOver Office has begun working nicely with a few Windows games. Their latest release of CrossOver Office is version 6.2 and was released this past October with support for Valve's Team Fortress 2. Being worked on vigorously inside of their Minnesota office is CrossOver Office 7.0, which most notably will bring Linux support to Microsoft Office 2007. According to a blog posting by Jeremy White, the President and CEO of CodeWeavers, they began to notice their CrossOver Office 7.0 nightly builds behaving quite well with different games and then decided they would create a CrossOver Games product.
The key difference between CrossOver Office and CrossOver Games is that the latter will be updated much more frequently to live closer to the "bleeding edge" of WINE development, while CrossOver Office will continue seeing regular updates and its focus is upon stability and supported office applications. CrossOver Games had its first release this morning, which is coming a month before the CrossOver Office 7.0 release.
The games officially supported by CrossOver Games include EVE Online, Guild Wars, Half-Life, Steam, and World of Warcraft. Both the Steam "Orange Box" CD set and the digital downloads are supported officially on CrossOver Games. Prey, Call of Duty 2, and other games are also supported, but weren't listed with today's demo copy. This is in contrast to Transgaming's Cedega, which has over 300 games rated for its 6.0 release.