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As the 2010s come to a close, let's look over a few different ways of looking at how many popular games are available on Linux as of December 2019.

Inspired by an article I did in January this year, back then when looking at the Steam 250 website we had 132 out of 250 of the best reviewed games available on Linux. Right now though? How much has changed in the space of almost one year?

Not a whole lot actually! 125 in the top 250 are available on Linux. That's still a really great amount of games, especially since these are all games that have a seriously great user rating. This includes some awesome titles like: Portal 2, Terraria, Factorio, Stardew Valley, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth.

Just like when we did this previously, let's see what happens when we add in titles played using Steam Play Proton using a rating of Platinum (according to ProtonDB). That rises another 39 to give us 164 / 250, when in January it was only 153.

How about the 250 Hidden Gems list though? Games that have a really good review score, but don't have a really high amount of reviews (usually only a few hundred). Well, there's currently 67 out of 250 that support Linux. Still reasonable, considering how niche Linux gaming is right now. Plus the Hidden Gems list fluctuates quite often so it's just a bit of fun to look at that one really. Right now some of those gems include: Wildermyth, Shipped, Ding Dong XL and Scalak.

Something to keep in mind of course is that a game reviewing well, doesn't necessarily mean it will remain popular. Some games can get a huge amount of good reviews at release and over the next year, only for people to move onto something else. What about the games that are popular based on player count, as of right now how many of those support Linux? Out of the top 100 by concurrent player count on Steam, a reasonable 40 of them currently support Linux! Fantastic games like: Oxygen Not Included, Crusader Kings II, Slay the Spire and RimWorld.

As an added extra, just for kicks: what about the growth in the amount of games on Steam, that support Linux? I had a fresh go at counting it up, this is as close to accurate as I can get without taking into account a few here and there with a different release date for Linux (click to enlarge):

How many Linux games are there on Steam as of December 2019? Approximately 6,136. We're seeing an average of about 78 games a month releasing on Steam that have Linux support.

The takeaway: Since Steam started supporting Linux officially back in 2013 gaming on Linux has exploded from a few open source titles, to a few indies and now we have some of the best games on Steam easily playable. What will the next 10 years give us? We'll be here to find out.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial, Steam
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13 comments
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dpanter 29 Dec, 2019
Nice! <3
Also,
Spoiler, click me
inb4 Swiftpaw :P
Marcsello 29 Dec, 2019
Looking at those statistics is very interesting.
Altrough I'm pretty sure it's not only interesting at the end of the year :P
We should set up realtime statistics se we can see how everything is going at a given time... maybe we could analyze how some relates events or news influences the numbers ^^
If there is an easy way to request those numbers programatically (using some sort of Steam API and ProtonDB API which I'm pretty sure they exists) then setting up a simple dashboard could be done in no time.

I may be looking into this after my exams :D


Last edited by Marcsello on 29 December 2019 at 6:09 pm UTC
sub 29 Dec, 2019
Hi Liam,

thanks for the work!

While the absolute number of Linux releases per month is certainly interesting,
I'd be even more interested in what fraction that represents with respect to the total number of games released in that very month.

Would that be possible?

The number of games released per year on Steam increases every year for the last 10 years
https://www.statista.com/statistics/552623/number-games-released-steam/
Liam Dawe 29 Dec, 2019
Quoting: subHi Liam,

thanks for the work!

While the absolute number of Linux releases per month is certainly interesting,
I'd be even more interested in what fraction that represents with respect to the total number of games released in that very month.

Would that be possible?

The number of games released per year on Steam increases every year for the last 10 years
https://www.statista.com/statistics/552623/number-games-released-steam/
To give you an idea of that, on Steam there's around 34,412 released games. Through December, for Windows around 770 released compared with the 85 for Linux. It won't be drastically different to that most months, always a big gap. The main thing though: Windows gets a LOT more junk. Honestly, 90% of it is just whatever someone could push out once they've paid to be on Steam. A lot of them just reskins of Unity, Unreal, Game Maker etc game packs and complete rip-offs of other popular games with 90% less effort put in. I honestly find with indie games, a lot of the time if they're on Linux they're the ones with some effort put into them.
Dedale 29 Dec, 2019
Thank you for the hard work liam. :)

Impressive if we take in account our small market share.

P.S. I don't see and i don't expect the great migration from WIN 7. We stay a niche.
sub 29 Dec, 2019
Quoting: Liam DaweThe main thing though: Windows gets a LOT more junk. Honestly, 90% of it is just whatever someone could push out once they've paid to be on Steam. A lot of them just reskins of Unity, Unreal, Game Maker etc game packs and complete rip-offs of other popular games with 90% less effort put in. I honestly find with indie games, a lot of the time if they're on Linux they're the ones with some effort put into them.
Fair point!
etonbears 29 Dec, 2019
Also interesting was a comment by ( I think ) Swen Vincke of Larrian Studios when asked about making Baldur's Gate 3 available on Stadia.

He said that a major reason for him liking Stadia as a developer is that they can provide the best game experience to everyone. If you know that Stadia can provide a high end experience to everyone regardless of Client OS and regardless of Client Hardware, you can push the boundaries higher in a game by simply saying that "potato" machine gamers are only supported through Stadia.

Given how many people in the Steam survey have low-mid range hardware, this could end up with the situation where ( for some games ) the majority of "Windows" gamers are actually playing their games remotely on Linux, which rather amuses me!
jarhead_h 30 Dec, 2019
In ten years I believe that Linux as a whole can overtake Apple in userbase, and it will be directly attributable to two things - 1)Steamplay, and 2)Microsoft abusing their userbase. But it's completely long term.
The_Aquabat 30 Dec, 2019
it's survey time!! just one idea... Why not include a question in the monthly survey about using or not using Linux... maybe: Do you use linux in a daily basis?? . I've seen it here on the forums and also on steam there's a lot of gamers that use windows normally but sporadically will use linux.
Or maybe is Linux your preferred gaming OS? or Which is your preferred gaming OS?

(Probably the answer will be overwhelmingly Linux but it could be a good hint if there's new windows users switching to Linux)


Last edited by The_Aquabat on 30 December 2019 at 6:30 am UTC
rustybroomhandle 30 Dec, 2019
Quoting: GuestThinks are certainly good for gaming on a linux rig. I only need Warframe to be playable (argh, Destiny 2 as well) with proton and I can quit being a filthy dual booter :D

Warframe works 100% for me. What isn't working for you? Maybe I can help troubleshoot.

EDIT: The key things to making sure Warframe works is:

1. Either have a controller plugged in (can still use m&kb), or install xboxdrv. The game exits after about a minute for some reason if you don't.

2. Set vsync to either on or off. Auto makes it unstable.

3. Depending on your audio hardware, you may need to override some DLLs.

And that's it.


Last edited by rustybroomhandle on 30 December 2019 at 10:26 am UTC
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