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Valve confirms their continued support for Linux gaming

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It seems my recent article about Valve removing the link to the Steam Machines page caused quite a stir, so Valve have now confirmed their continued support for Linux gaming.

Truthfully, I wasn't expecting my article to do anything, however I seem to have vastly underestimated just how many eyes there are on us now. Many larger tech and gaming sites picked it up from us like PC Gamer, Ars Technica (who amusingly called us a "fan site"), VG247 and so on. Many more sites then picked up the news from them (some claiming it was originally reported by others—oh well, can't win them all) and so it ended up as a much bigger story.

We've had quite a lot of emails and notifications about this, including a Valve rep emailing us directly to link us to this post by Pierre-Loup Griffais, where they state that the removal of the Steam Machines link was part of a "routine cleanup" where it was removed based on "user traffic".

They go on to state rather clearly, that their plans haven't really changed. They're still committed to making Linux a great place for games and applications, including those not using Steam. The most important part of their post, to me at least, is this:

At the same time, we're continuing to invest significant resources in supporting the Vulkan ecosystem, tooling and driver efforts. We also have other Linux initiatives in the pipe that we're not quite ready to talk about yet; SteamOS will continue to be our medium to deliver these improvements to our customers, and we think they will ultimately benefit the Linux ecosystem at large.

It's going to be very interesting to find out what these initiatives are that they're not currently ready to talk about, quite exciting.

It's really good to see a public comment from Valve on this, as I said constantly in the past that SteamOS and Steam Machines would never be an overnight success. Valve is clearly in it for the long game and so are we.

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hardpenguin 4 Apr, 2018
Warms my heart :)
mirv 4 Apr, 2018
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Quoting: NeverthelessWhat I find really interesting is, Valve openly claims authorship (or at least initiative) for the Metal/Vulkan and DX12/Vulkan conversion tools, and they talk about it in a Linux context! That reassures me that Linux really is a very important component of their future strategies!

They helped test it I think, and also help to fund various areas and initiatives (including LunarG). I suspect that money was used to make MoltenVK open source.
Valve are actually quite active in the Vulkan department - so much so that I don't doubt they have continued GNU/Linux plans.
WJMazepas 4 Apr, 2018
Of course all this sites would love to talk about the death of Steam Machines.

Remember when Steam Machines launched? Every place talked trash about then. And some time ago they started to post news about SteamOS dying.

If is a bad news for linux, they will post

Last edited by WJMazepas on 4 April 2018 at 8:08 am UTC
Feist 4 Apr, 2018
"other Linux initiatives in the pipe that we're not quite ready to talk about yet", this statement did sound quite hopeful to me. However, the follow up "SteamOS will continue to be our medium to deliver these improvements", made things quite a bit less exciting for me.

I was hoping for something more directly related to getting more existing games ported to linux or getting more developers committed to releasing linux versions of upcoming aaa-titles. least something vaguely related to those things but this sounds more like various software-improvements that may not have any actual impact on the above things at all.

Hope I'm dead wrong about this of course. ;)

Last edited by Feist on 4 April 2018 at 8:14 am UTC
STiAT 4 Apr, 2018
It may be that I didn't observe the Driver development too closely lately, but judging the lack of updates recently by valve on our mesa buglist I thought they're taking a different direction / Approach.

The push is clear: Vulkan. The issue is smaller Studios working with their own engines. The big Players (Crytek, Id, Epic, Croteam, Unity3D) will all head for Vulkan for the Linux Export target, that seems pretty clear by now.
Ehvis 4 Apr, 2018
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Wow! This site is awesome! I might even consider supporting it. :P
bingus 4 Apr, 2018
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Great news. Makes me wonder what the "other Linux initiatives" are. Presumably something related to VR, and maybe AMD?

Last edited by bingus on 4 April 2018 at 8:25 am UTC
STiAT 4 Apr, 2018
Quoting: Feist...However, the follow up "SteamOS will continue to be our medium to deliver these improvements", made things quite a bit less exciting for me.

It is where they'll release it. They made Statements like that in the past, though, they either made Things available lateron for everyone, as their Network stack, or they released it completely open in the beginning. I don't really think it will be SteamOS or Steam exclustive, they wouldn't make themselves a favor wanting a competing platform.
lucifertdark 4 Apr, 2018
Valve need to put pressure on developers like Adobe to get them supporting Linux.
rustybroomhandle 4 Apr, 2018
They claim they are also back to making games again. Couuuuld be that they're going to try the hardware game again, but take a page out of the PS/MS/NIN playbook and do some kind of exclusives. If that happens though, I predict it'll only work if it's Half Life 3 - which they'll never make. Ergo, I predict another bomb.

Valve might not be the benevolent saints some make them out to be, but in the realm of playing dirty they are quite far from the likes of the above mentioned other companies. This is a good thing, but also the reason they will not succeed against those companies with this venture.

The general public don't care if they're getting screwed over. People *might* be persuaded to care for half a minute, for example when Facebook leaks all their personal data, but they'll quickly go back to not caring.

I think most people want shackles. They want authority telling them what to buy and what products to use. Proprietary lock-ins and such are viewed as normal. "Exclusive" is seen as a feature of a product, not a failure.
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