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Since I see a lot of confusion about where to buy Linux games from, I decided to write up some information for you on how to make sure you're counted for Linux.

I've been wanting to write about this for a while, but wasn't sure how to go about it. Thankfully our Samsai excellently covered nasty buying habits already, so my addition to his article is mostly about bundle websites.

I know people are torn on this issue, as you want to support the developer, but there are times when you see a deal that looks so good for a game you want that it's really hard to resist. I totally understand that, as money is a precious thing, but you should be aware of exactly what platforms stores and bundle websites state.

I'm going to use Bundle Stars as my main example here, as they are currently selling Shadow of Mordor with a bunch of DLC for extremely cheap. When SoM was released, this bundle was already going and many people were confused on if they could buy it there.

I would like to highlight Bundle Stars answer to me when I asked them openly about how it would count for Linux:
QuoteHi Liam, Sorry for the delay in responding over the weekend. I can confirm that we have not been sent new keys for Shadow of Mordor since the Linux release and only Windows is mentioned on the page. However, where we promote games as being available for Linux, these will all activate correctly for the platform.

For people who need it cut more clearly: It's a Windows sale. Keys work differently to direct Steam purchases, as key purchases can be for a specific paid-for platform.

Feral Interactive also confirmed this directly in another of our articles here:
QuoteIf you buy from a third party and they don't explicitly say they are selling Linux or Mac keys then you've bought a Windows key. Bundle-star for example sell Windows keys.

Doesn't matter where you play the game on third party stores the sale is based on the steam keys they have purchased. Humble Bundle for example have a set of keys tagged as Windows, Mac and Linux and hand out the correct ones based on your platform so that the correct platform sale is recorded.


For those of you who don't care about counting as a Linux sale, buy away, but for those who do want to fully support our small platform should always pay careful attention to the exact list of supported operating systems. If a store or bundle website doesn't specifically state Linux, then you shouldn’t really buy from them. Even better, you could pop them a message asking first and if Linux is actually supported properly with their keys they may update their website.

Take for example all the developers I speak to personally about their sales, some developers don’t feel it’s worth it right now to support Linux, and it certainly won’t seem like it if masses of Linux gamers flock to these low-cost bundle sites that don’t get picked up as a Linux sale.

This may all sounds pretty obvious, but after seeing people repeatedly question it, I thought it should be worth mentioning properly. If only a few extra people take this to heart in future, mission complete. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Eike 13 Oct, 2015
And "I can confirm that we have not been sent new keys for Shadow of Mordor since the Linux release and only Windows is mentioned on the page. " would translate to "Our sales are accounted for as Windows sales.", right?
hardpenguin 13 Oct, 2015
Wasn't there that other factor deciding if the game counts as a Linux purchase? The platform you will use the most to play the game for 2 weeks after the purchase? Surely BundleStars won't be able to track that, but Steam, and thus the publisher, will.
kon14 13 Oct, 2015
Quoting: hardpenguinWasn't there that other factor deciding if the game counts as a Linux purchase? The platform you will use the most to play the game for 2 weeks after the purchase? Surely BundleStars won't be able to track that, but Steam, and thus the publisher, will.

This is the case with games purchased directly from the steam store, not all-purpose steam keys.
Keys can be setup to act as a specific platform's purchase and therefore count towards this platform's purchases but windows keys (which is what some of these stores solely distribute) only count towards windows no matter the game being purchased supports steamplay and therefore can be played in all three platforms.

Quoting feral's edddeduck from /r/linux_gaming:

QuoteWith keys outside of Steam the revenue is counted at point of purchase so unless they have been specifically setup they will record as Windows. For it to record as a Mac or Linux key is needs to be part of a Mac or Linux key batch.

Steam and therefore game publishers can still consider their users' system graphs IF they care to do so.
Liam Dawe 13 Oct, 2015
Quoting: EikeAnd "I can confirm that we have not been sent new keys for Shadow of Mordor since the Linux release and only Windows is mentioned on the page. " would translate to "Our sales are accounted for as Windows sales.", right?

Yes, I've made it more clear now below the quote.
wolfyrion 13 Oct, 2015
Well developing a good game is hard these days, everyday I see like 2-5 new game additions for SteamOS Platform.
It has a lot of competition and the gamer is really overwhelmed with games.

Most of the gamers prefer to spend money for a good AAA Title and usually they buy indie games in bundles.
Exception some unique indie games.

Well some bundles are good for my wallet for example the newest humble bundle was so sexy that I couldn't resist not buying it. Also I saw many new released games or even early access games that were in recent bundles...

Having a game in a bundle I think is the developers decision. So should I care if the keys are for Linux or mac or windows?
Does Steam has a way to identify if that steam keys are for windows or Mac or Linux? or Steam cares only if you play that game at your preferred platform for a week? Does GOG has a way to Identify Linux purchases?

But why some games going into bundle?
I can give you one reason... Their games are not selling...so getting their game in bundle it gives to developers some cash to cover their costs and the gamers a chance to try their game.
Bundles have its pros and consts ...

A Gamer really cannot afford to buy every new game that is out, I for example I can afford to spend like 50$ per month for Games.

EDIT: most of my questions already answered while I Was writing this article


Last edited by wolfyrion on 13 October 2015 at 10:04 am UTC
Eike 13 Oct, 2015
Quoting: liamdawe
Quoting: EikeAnd "I can confirm that we have not been sent new keys for Shadow of Mordor since the Linux release and only Windows is mentioned on the page. " would translate to "Our sales are accounted for as Windows sales.", right?

Yes, I've made it more clear now below the quote.

Thanks. There ain't such thing as "too clear". ;)
ziabice 13 Oct, 2015
I bet what you want that Steam knows exactly every player habits, they know when you logged in, logged out, where you clicked, when you clicked, what you played and downloaded on what platform, they can analyze your forum posts, etc.
But they, with those big data about us players in hand, still produce stats based only on the platform of the purchase? And no one has fired their entire marketing departement? ;)


Last edited by ziabice on 13 October 2015 at 10:47 am UTC
Tchey 13 Oct, 2015
QuoteMost of the gamers prefer to spend money for a good AAA Title and usually they buy indie games in bundles.
Exception some unique indie games.

I mostly do the opposite. I almost never buy any AAA game full price, and i actually almost never buy AAA games. I prefer to spend 50€ into different "smaller" games that will actually enjoy me much more overall than one single "bigger" game.

It's good/weird to know however that some games i will only play on Linux are counted as Windows sale...
Cpukiller 13 Oct, 2015
Sorry but i wont just buy my games on specific sites to be counted as a Linux sale. If they want to have reliable statistics they need to change something on there sites. Its the work of the PR guys to check who (or better which platform) buys the game and not mine. This is like if you buy product A at B they will order more of product C to compensate the demand.
Linas 13 Oct, 2015
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This whole situation sucks. I have not touched Windows in the last decade, but I bet that like half of the games I own somehow count as Windows sales. Mostly because I (used to) buy a lot of bundles. Also I bought a few games on my android phone. The whole thing is extremely biased against Linux porters.
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