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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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Mohandevir 11 February 2020 at 2:13 pm 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.

What's interresting, in the Whitelist, is the fact that the game is installed with a predetermined Proton version. Exemple: in the case of Doom 2016, it's Proton 3.16. For the end user, it's some form of guarantee that it will work as intended with this proton version? What I don't know is if it gets overwritten by your preset, when you activate Proton for all titles...


Last edited by Mohandevir on 11 February 2020 at 2:15 pm UTC
omicron-b 11 February 2020 at 2:16 pm UTC
MohandevirWhat I don't know is if it gets overwritten by your preset, when you activate Proton for all titles...
No, it does not. Good point! There are quite a few titles that actually run worse with newer Proton releases, Torchlight from the top of my head.
tonyrh 11 February 2020 at 3:18 pm UTC
Buying Windows games will bring more native/supported/whatever games to Linux in the long run.
--Deluded Linux gamers (ca 2020)
BielFPs 11 February 2020 at 5:59 pm UTC
MohandevirWhat I don't know is if it gets overwritten by your preset, when you activate Proton for all titles...

Once the game is whitelisted with an specific Proton version, it'll default to this specific version unless you change manually thought the options.

m-svoNo, it does not. Good point! There are quite a few titles that actually run worse with newer Proton releases, Torchlight from the top of my head.

There's also the other way around, where the newer version runs better than the whitelisted default.

For example I did a request for an update to a whitelisted game, where once was because the new release fixed some audio glitches, but now you must change due to a recent update with the game.

So a game being whitelisted doesn't necessary mean that it'll run better/for ever except the game and your system remains the same.
dibz 11 February 2020 at 5:59 pm UTC
Honestly this has always felt liked flawed logic to me. I'll grant that one point of view for how the data is used is in worth for what platforms publishers or developers want to target, and they might not otherwise care about preferences versus where they can simply make a sale. However, many times the data isn't presented or wrote about in that context and instead used as a proof of what people's preferences are.

With that in mind, many of us run multiple computers or dual-boot, and there's no mistake that at least one of them will probably be Windows if they play desktop games. Take myself for instance, my primary workstation that I spend most of my day at is linux, but my HTPC is windows as it doubles as a gaming PC. I play games on both, but I play more often on my gaming PC without a doubt. Linux gaming has come a long way and I've no doubt most of the games I actually play would run just fine on linux, but there's always one or two or some other reason that the (HT|Gaming)PC is going to be in Windows; There's physical separation and since the purpose differs so does the hardware, as such even games that would run fine in linux don't make sense to jump computers in my personal use case. I've no doubt all of my gaming purchases end up counting as sales for Windows save for maybe the rare one that actually does get more playtime on my workstation. Plenty of us sitting on the fence that they decide to count one way or the other.

Now, the reason I say the logic is flawed is in counting majority-playtime as the sale at all is problematic. Really, logging any time on other platforms should flag as Multiplatform. Of course Windows will continue to hog the glory, it's too much of a bother to split gaming installs against OS preference for most people. Yes, some people dual-boot and share partitions; But that's problematic too. And I would wager rather a-typical because of it. The overall point being "this is a linux user using windows to play your stupid game."

Really, Valve already does occasional hardware surveys in the client. They could easily just ask a question or a survey to non-windows users about what they do versus what their actual preferences are. Really, just add a slice for Multiplatform and maybe details (Windows, Linux, Mac).
Mohandevir 11 February 2020 at 6:13 pm UTC
BielFPs
MohandevirWhat I don't know is if it gets overwritten by your preset, when you activate Proton for all titles...

Once the game is whitelisted with an specific Proton version, it'll default to this specific version unless you change manually thought the options.

m-svoNo, it does not. Good point! There are quite a few titles that actually run worse with newer Proton releases, Torchlight from the top of my head.

There's also the other way around, where the newer version runs better than the whitelisted default.

For example I did a request for an update to a whitelisted game, where once was because the new release fixed some audio glitches, but now you must change due to a recent update with the game.

So a game being whitelisted doesn't necessary mean that it'll run better/for ever except the game and your system remains the same.

Never said that the whitelist is perfect. It feels like they tried to do something at the start but priorities must have shifted during Proton development and, now, it looks like it was "put on the backburner". This said, in a perfect scenario, there would be a team maintaining the Whitelist. ProntoDB could be a good start to determine which games should be tested for whitelisting, but it's a huge task. Who knows, Valve might come back to it, at some point.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 11 February 2020 at 7:17 pm UTC
jens 11 February 2020 at 6:55 pm UTC
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EikeWhat 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."

one year later:
[ ] "Wow, already 3% on Linux, may be we should ensure that our game updates at least didn't break it for them."
[ ] "Wow, already 3% on Linux, may be we should consider these 3% for our future games and not use any weird stuff that is known to break on Linux/Proton."

two years later:
[ ] "Wow, already 4% on Linux, may be we should get familiar with that platform and don't consider Linux users second class anymore. Who know's what's in it in the future."

five years later:
...


Last edited by jens on 11 February 2020 at 6:55 pm UTC
jens 11 February 2020 at 6:57 pm UTC
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On-topic: I hope Valve gets this right, I consider this point pretty important for me.
Eike 11 February 2020 at 8:00 pm UTC
jensone year later:

Trouble is, it already is one year later and our percentage didn't budge.
jens 11 February 2020 at 8:06 pm UTC
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Eike
jensone year later:

Trouble is, it already is one year later and our percentage didn't budge.

I admit, I could be wrong by a few years ;). Though I honestly think this is our best bet to break the current chicken and egg situation.
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