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Back in August 2018, Valve announced their new Steam Play feature with the Proton software in the Linux Steam client to play Windows-only Steam games on Linux. A little note about what platform is counted for sales.

When we spoke to Valve originally back then (shown in an update to our original article), we asked about how the sales would show up for developers and this was the response:

Hey Liam, the normal algorithm is in effect, so if at the end of the two weeks you have more playtime on Linux, it'll be a Linux sale. Proton counts as Linux.

It seems that there might be some issues where it's not correctly counted, so it shows up as a normal Windows sale as a user noted on Reddit. Since reaching out to Valve, developer Pierre-Loup Griffais has released this quick and simple statement on Twitter for all to read:

That doesn't seem like intended behavior, we'll look into it. At this early stage, the team's focus is still on compatibility and performance, so it might take a little bit.

As with anything new and in constant development there's going to be teething issues. Hopefully this hasn't been too widespread though if true.


Update 19/02/20: I've now had this verified by a developer whose game I purchased on Linux, then played entirely on Linux and I know a few others who did the same and the developer told me all show up as Windows sales.

Update #2: See a clear statement from Valve in this latest article.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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toor 11 February 2020 at 8:47 am UTC
Liam Dawe
Cyba.Cowboy
RickAndTired"early stage" he says, yet Proton already allows me to play so many great games effortlessly. I can't wait to see where it keeps going.

Any idea when they're going to update the "white list"?

protondb has a pretty long list of my games with a "Gold+" or "Platinum" rating, yet the "white list" for Proton hasn't been updated in quite a while...

and

gojulAnyway a whitelist update would be great.
Why? What do you both need from the whitelist keeping in mind you can manually set Proton on any game now? The whitelist was originally from before they let us do that.

Are they not morally engaged as they white list a game? I would expect a white listed game to work, and if it doesn't, that they would kind of make it a priority to get it to work again.
On the other hand, for other games you are on your own in theory. That's what I have been thinking about it.

I still prefere that they focus on performance and compatibility in general though


Last edited by toor on 11 February 2020 at 8:51 am UTC
Eike 11 February 2020 at 9:05 am UTC
What people need to take into account

What does that actually mean, counting as Linux sale (if it works, that is). You'll be part of a pie chart that shows that you're a Linux customer, ok. I know some play games ported to Linux on Proton for different reasons, I'm not talking about those. But for games not ported, the developers and publishers will see: "Hey, we're selling to Linux players without even porting the game to Linux! So we're not even losing all those 1% of customers by not porting, some are buying nevertheless!"

Guess how this continues:
[ ] "Let's port to Linux to not lose the chance of way less than 1 percent of people buying our game."
[ ] "We don't need to port to Linux, they are buying our game nevertheless. And we don't need to support the people buying for Proton, we never promised them anything."
Liam Dawe 11 February 2020 at 9:24 am UTC
toorAre they not morally engaged as they white list a game? I would expect a white listed game to work, and if it doesn't, that they would kind of make it a priority to get it to work again.
On the other hand, for other games you are on your own in theory. That's what I have been thinking about it.

I still prefere that they focus on performance and compatibility in general though
Valve never made any claims about what they support. Edit: In fact, their original announcement made it clear nothing would be marked as supported during the Beta (and it never left Beta).

Part of the reason I tried to get an interview but it didn't go anywhere sadly. They have their two-hour refund window, and that's how they can get around the initial "oh it doesn't start" - but if it breaks after you've played a while - we have to wait on updates to Proton.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 11 February 2020 at 9:29 am UTC
Geppeto35 11 February 2020 at 9:48 am UTC
...And there are people that only buy games that works on linux by ethics (interoperability, freedoom of choice, foss support, etc.) and with the aim to switch on only-linux but play them mostly on windows because virtual machine and dual-boots still suck. For example, I know some people with different OS on laptop and desktop for who a game working on linux or mac is essential for few hours when moving even if they mostly play on their desktop windows.

The only real measure would be to tick a box when buying mentioning why we are buying those games, and we may have an access to a "by default" of those ticked boxes in our profile.
Those boxes should be:
drm-free; linux, mac, windows-only (you can tick all the 3 boxes ;) ); independent studio versus big editor;

...and even (if not my main cup of tea) nationality of the studio (for offshoring and so on)

It will also demonstrate may-be that the current situation if not the one desired by consumers ;)
Alm888 11 February 2020 at 10:07 am UTC
Honestly, I don't see a problem here.

A Windows™ game bought and played on Linux is still a Windows™ game none the less. Why developers should care what players are using if they are paying? Plus, as an added bonus, developers are not responsible for any bugs on unsupported platforms.

And one can not blame Proton™ for anything either: it does just what it was designed for -- it brings Windows players to Linux. And it is up to those players to stop buying Windows games from then on.


Last edited by Alm888 on 11 February 2020 at 2:24 pm UTC
AwesamLinux 11 February 2020 at 10:14 am UTC
The_Aquabatwell you can always use ArchiSteamFarm to idle the game if you want, even if the game doesn't launch with proton, and you don't need to install it... it will look as it is running and playtime will count in your profile, and ArchiSteamFarm runs on Linux, so.

Considering ASF runs its own Steam client, are we sure it does accurately report what OS it is running on? And that Valve also counts it as playing the game on Linux.

I asked about this on ASF discord before and got some pretty muddy answers. As far as I understand, ASF is not trying to fake/pretend to be the real Steam client. Valve knows what users are using it, and when it is ASF making requests. And Valve allows it as long as ASF plays by the rules.

So I rarely use ASF, because I kinda suspect that Valve might be defaulting anyone idling with ASF as Windows playtime. Just like they always assume Windows in all other cases
omicron-b 11 February 2020 at 1:08 pm UTC
Cyba.Cowboy
RickAndTired"early stage" he says, yet Proton already allows me to play so many great games effortlessly. I can't wait to see where it keeps going.

Any idea when they're going to update the "white list"?

I believe "Soon". They have recently asked to re-test several games, those I got the notifications for are Dragon Age Origins and TES IV: Oblivion.
Linas 11 February 2020 at 1:39 pm UTC
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m-svoThey have recently asked to re-test several games, those I got the notifications for are Dragon Age Origins and TES IV: Oblivion.

They who? Valve? Where did you see these notifications?
omicron-b 11 February 2020 at 1:48 pm UTC
Linas
m-svoThey have recently asked to re-test several games, those I got the notifications for are Dragon Age Origins and TES IV: Oblivion.

They who? Valve? Where did you see these notifications?
Yep.
Here, Morrowind too:
https://github.com/ValveSoftware/Proton/issues/718#issuecomment-583925045

I am subscribed because I own these games and tested them earlier, did not yet have time though.
Whitewolfe80 11 February 2020 at 2:00 pm UTC
A shame but I think it's unlikely ubisoft or zenamax/Bethesda are going to go oh shit we need to support Linux with native versions. BC recent steam userbase and Linux users now it's only those with a steam survey so say maybe plus 10k to the number of users but sits at around 150k Linux users. Now they could pay to hire a whole new team to port to Linux but for those numbers and bearin in mind proton is gratis why pay anything when your game is going to be bought by Linux users regardless. Rage 2 prime example valve worked overtime to ensure proton worked on it the day it came out. It cost I'd/Bethesda nothing.
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