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Steam Play Proton is correctly tracking Linux sales, a statement from Valve

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Recently we put up an article highlighting a possible issue with how Valve were counting Steam Play Proton sales, here's a full correction and more information.

In the previous article, it referenced a Reddit post and Valve's quick statement at the time that Steam Play Proton might not have listed Linux as the platform for a game sale. We also added an update to that article today, after speaking to a developer whose Windows-only title was purchased by myself (and others) as they had told us they saw no Linux sales which seemingly confirmed there was an issue.

As it turns out, the system is working correctly but there was a filtering issue.

Valve reached out today to GOL to issue this statement:

Hi Liam,

We've looked at the issue and don't believe there's a platform tracking problem.

On the reporting side, there are two different ways that partner track how their
game is doing on Steam. There's a per-game summary page; that one gets updated fairly quickly. There's also a detailed monthly financial reports breaking down all the payments made to a publisher, with some amount of delay.

While Linux sales were tracked properly throughout, there was filtering in place that did not separate "Linux Units and Revenue" from "Total Units and Revenue" on the per-game summary page. This would only occur when an application was not launchable via Linux, and was purely a display issue. As can be noted by checking any of the previous monthly financial reports, these transactions were separated out into Windows/Mac/Linux for all applications (regardless of their supported platforms) at the time of payment. We have made a change to the summary page to also show Linux units when they exist for an application; I expect it should help reduce confusion around this situation.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention,
 - Pierre-Loup

It's really great to see Valve keep on top of this, communicate with us on it and act so quickly to ensure there's no more confusion for developers going forward. Hopefully then, it means this issue can be put to rest and everyone gaming on Linux can continue enjoying whatever they like.

Confused on what Steam Play and Proton are? Be sure to check out our simple guide.


Update 26/02: Got a reply today from Valve to clarify other sales. The Steam Desktop client takes the initial platform, then two weeks playtime to count. All others (Android, Browser) default to Windows and then two weeks playtime. So of you buy games outside of the Linux Steam client, ensure you're loading them up for a bit otherwise it's a Windows platform sale.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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56 comments
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bingus 20 Feb
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Quoting: areamanplaysgameLet's say I buy a Windows-only game on a Linux machine, but I don't install or play it for a few weeks. Is it counted as a Linux sale, or does it default to Windows?

Ahh, the old pile-o'-shame. I was curious about this too. Same as if I buy something from an Android phone... is that technically counted as Linux?
Linas 20 Feb
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Quoting: bingusSame as if I buy something from an Android phone... is that technically counted as Linux?
Android is not a supported platform, so it simply defaults to Windows.
Tchey 20 Feb
Nice one.

So, what does it change, actually ?
Do we have an example from a few games, with filtered numbers on/off ?
Cybolic 20 Feb
Quoting: Linas
Quoting: bingusSame as if I buy something from an Android phone... is that technically counted as Linux?
Android is not a supported platform, so it simply defaults to Windows.

It'd be wonderful if it would default to the "Platform preferences" selection, in case the user only has one platform selected (like we've all hopefully done in order to please the wishlist algorithm).
Liam Dawe 20 Feb
Quoting: TcheyNice one.

So, what does it change, actually ?
Do we have an example from a few games, with filtered numbers on/off ?
Technically the only thing that changes, is how Valve shows it in reports to be more clear.

Quoting: subGreat!

Btw, since you have direct contacts to Valve, did you ever received
a word from them concerning HL:Alyx and Linux?

I understand that if you got an answer you either not allowed to share it
or don't want to.

But did they answered at all?

*sigh *This is really very unsatisfaying. :/
Different people answer that from their PR team, so far no new reply since the Windows-only mention to us originally.
Quoting: areamanplaysgameSo, do we actually know the rules now? Let's say I buy a Windows-only game on a Linux machine, but I don't install or play it for a few weeks. Is it counted as a Linux sale, or does it default to Windows?

I'm asking because I accidentally did this with Divinity: Original Sin 2. I mean, I didn't accidentally buy it, but I accidentally didn't install it soon enough. Life gets in the way.
Asked, will update if they reply.
Palantir 20 Feb
Great work Liam!
BielFPs 20 Feb
I wish our profiles in Steam had an option like "preferred platform" where we could select which OS do we prefer (Windows / Mac / Linux Distros).

Not to impact the sales statistics, but for developers in general measure if it's may worth to target some specific platform based on users choice.
Liam Dawe 20 Feb
Quoting: BielFPsI wish our profiles in Steam had an option like "preferred platform" where we could select which OS do we prefer (Windows / Mac / Linux Distros).

Not to impact the sales statistics, but for developers in general measure if it's may worth to target some specific platform based on users choice.
So you mean this?
BielFPs 20 Feb
Quoting: Liam DaweSo you mean this?


Nope. This one if I understand correctly is a filter for steam just show games with the flag the user choose.

I mean like each profile could select which specific OS they prefer most, even if they're not using it right now. So they could have an separated statistic based on this user choice (again without necessary impact in the existent ones).

If they prefer they could also separate in group distros like "Debian Family" "Fedora Family" "Arch Family" etc, and display a little icon in the user profile like the ones we have here :)
Liam Dawe 20 Feb
Quoting: BielFPs
Quoting: Liam DaweSo you mean this?


Nope. This one if I understand correctly is a filter for steam just show games with the flag the user choose.

I mean like each profile could select which specific OS they prefer most, even if they're not using it right now. So they could have an separated statistic based on this user choice (again without necessary impact in the existent ones).

If they prefer they could also separate in group distros like "Debian Family" "Fedora Family" "Arch Family" etc, and display a little icon in the user profile like the ones we have here :)
I suggest you read the article. It's not just for showing games, it shows developers as Linux if you tick only Linux on wishlist entries. Outside of that, there's nothing like what you're asking for.
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