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Valve are committed to Linux and Linux gaming with Steam, that much is currently clear. They're working with so many contractors on various things, and it seems not everything is as people think.

Recently, Collabora, one of the companies they're contracting with went over a bunch of details like their upcoming Linux Kernel work coming to Linux 5.11 and then a quick overview of everything. Many people thought that a lot of the ongoing work, like the Kernel work was to help things like anti-cheat with Steam Play Proton and it was mentioned by Collabora however it seems that's not exactly the case. Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais commented on Reddit to clear up on some speculation, mentioning that Collabora did some speculating of their own. 

Griffais mentioned the Kernel work is "nothing to do with anti-cheat" and is instead for anti-tamper and DRM to function properly while also mentioning proper anti-cheat support "is still a long ways out and will need vendor support". That alone is going to be a sore spot for a long time for multiplayer titles run through the Proton compatibility layer, which is why we have an FAQ entry for Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye (the most popular) on our dedicated Proton site.

Other points mentioned are that the Steam Linux Runtime Container has nothing to do with security, OpenXR for SteamVR was done by Valve directly (Collabora's own VR work like Monado is unrelated), and the "image-based updater work" is actually towards improving live USB media to update them without losing user data.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Misc, Valve
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38 comments
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I still want to know what the mission is with all of this. Not technically, but from a business perspective.

I get it, Linux customers are paying customers, but Valve have contracted several companies, individuals, fulltime employees, contact with GPU vendors etc. This seems like way more financial and time investment than what our meagre 1-2% is worth.
fagnerln 15 Nov
Quoting: rustybroomhandleI still want to know what the mission is with all of this. Not technically, but from a business perspective.

I get it, Linux customers are paying customers, but Valve have contracted several companies, individuals, fulltime employees, contact with GPU vendors etc. This seems like way more financial and time investment than what our meagre 1-2% is worth.

I don't think that it's something big incoming, this is just a signal to Microsoft that's a bad idea to close Windows to their store. Valve have a lot of money,even if it don't recover the investiment, I don't think that's a problem
Eike 15 Nov
Quote[...] and the "image-based updater work" is actually towards improving live USB media to update them without losing user data.

I wondered what this is about, looked it up and they're saying it "is part of a set of efforts to attempt to improve the experience of trying out Linux on a normal PC with live USB media". So they're also making efforts to help people try out Linux and eventually switch systems. :)
I have said all along that the anti cheat issue was going to need the involvement of the anti cheat vendors so I am uttlerly unsurprised that this kernel work has nothing to do with making anti cheat systems work.
Julius 15 Nov
A pity that there isn't more collaboration on OpenXR. Playstation VR supperd on Linux PCs via Monado and Steam would be cool for example ;)
amatai 15 Nov
Quoting: rustybroomhandleI still want to know what the mission is with all of this. Not technically, but from a business perspective.

I get it, Linux customers are paying customers, but Valve have contracted several companies, individuals, fulltime employees, contact with GPU vendors etc. This seems like way more financial and time investment than what our meagre 1-2% is worth.
1-2% of Valve revenue is still something like 25 to 50 millions dollars. I suppose that pay for a few fulltime employees
kuhpunkt 15 Nov
Quoting: rustybroomhandleI still want to know what the mission is with all of this. Not technically, but from a business perspective.

I get it, Linux customers are paying customers, but Valve have contracted several companies, individuals, fulltime employees, contact with GPU vendors etc. This seems like way more financial and time investment than what our meagre 1-2% is worth.

Independence and a service to users and developers/publishers by offering a platform that supports the game. That's a lot of value.
Eike 15 Nov
Quoting: amatai1-2% of Valve revenue is still something like 25 to 50 millions dollars. I suppose that pay for a few fulltime employees

But what part of it would they lose if they silently faded out of improving Linux support?
Most people would either continue to buy and play on Linux or buy and play on Windows.
1xok 15 Nov
I think, while we like to speculate about everything possible, Valve is still on a conservative path, gradually improving the gaming experience under Linux.

Which is a bit of a pity that relatively few people use it. Most people are making the creeping switch from PC to mobile devices. For the majority, this is not a conscious decision at all, it just happens.

But we shouldn't be discouraged by it. We know computer life has much more to offer than the walled gardens of Apple and others. Children profit much from Linux PCs and are very open-minded towards them as I have noticed many times in the meantime. The large availability of games makes this a lot easier. Actually nothing is really missing. You just have to take the existing games and things and do something good with them.

Other systems like Windows, MacOS, iOS or Android also have limitations. Even quite a lot of limitations. That is why we use our Linux PCs and Laptops. Let's see where Valves and our journey leads next. It remains exciting.
1xok 15 Nov
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: amatai1-2% of Valve revenue is still something like 25 to 50 millions dollars. I suppose that pay for a few fulltime employees

But what part of it would they lose if they silently faded out of improving Linux support?
Most people would either continue to buy and play on Linux or buy and play on Windows.

There must already be maintenance and improvements. Otherwise it becomes boring and static.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm already dragging some people along. Young people. Kids, mostly. They wouldn't be on Steam otherwise.

I think Linux is still a growth market where new people are actually coming in. There might be a counter-movement to the smartphones and mobile devices in the future. It won't be cool anymore to use the same device as your parents. :)

Playing under Linux is just cool. You have so many possibilities to customize things and you can do so much yourself. You can be so creative. If everyone would be just customers in the future, this can't work either.

I think there is a positive attitude and curiosity at Valve. They don't sell insurance and do pure profit maximization. Life must also be fun and have some meaning.
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