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Tim Sweeney, the Founder and CEO of Epic Games took to Twitter again recently to answer some questions about Linux and gaming.

Why? Well, it seems the previously incorrect reports about Easy Anti-Cheat dropping Linux support like to reappear and people end up spreading it around. Even though it has since been clarified, people still end up spreading it.

In reply to someone on Twitter asking Sweeney what his "beef" is with Linux, Sweeney replied with:

Linux is a great. UE4, Epic Online Services, and Easy Anti-Cheat support it as a native runtime platform, and we’re seeking to better support Wine as a solution for running Epic Games store window titles.

Note: I did attempt to get clarification on the Wine and Epic Games Store bit in the above quote, to see if Sweeney meant the whole store in Wine or to get the store on Linux and use Wine like Valve does with Steam Play but he hasn't replied yet.

Another interesting thing Sweeney said around this, was in reply to a user asking about Easy Anti-Cheat, to which Sweeney responded with:

EAC has native Linux binaries in beta, supporting several native games in active release. This missing link is native Linux anti-cheat integration with Wine/Proton so that games running under Wine are protected. This is in the works but is a big task.

So the situation sounds pretty clear. Easy Anti-Cheat does continue to support Linux and Wine/Steam Play support for Easy Anti-Cheat should be happening. Sweeney's comments shouldn't be too surprising if you've been following our news for a while, as he previously said "WINE is the one hope for breaking the cycle".

A long time ago I would have disagreed, but since Valve came along with Steam Play (which bundles Wine, DXVK and more together in the Steam Client) I somewhat agree with this. It has opened up Linux gaming to a wider audience already, so people don't have to worry about losing their entire back catalogue of Windows-only titles and compatibility continues to improve with new each release.

As for some other interesting things that came up recently, someone mentioned Sweeney's previous comment comparing installing Linux to moving to Canada, if you didn't like "US political trends". Sweeney also replied to clarify what he meant by this:

These statements are consistent. 99.9% of game playing is on mobile, console, and PC. A game developer who’s frustrated with other platforms can’t just retreat to Linux. They couldn’t earn a living. We have to fight for our freedoms on today’s platforms as they stand.

It's the whole chicken and egg debate again, users don't want to switch to Linux due to games and game developers don't want to support Linux due to fewer users.

I do get what he's saying, but I don't think the majority mean to only support Linux. On that point, I think he missed the mark a little. It's more about supporting Linux as an additional platform to help against lock-in, monopolies and continue to help break the cycle. Although, as mentioned above Wine/Steam Play have started to slowly even the playing field a bit there.

He goes on:

What are those rights? I think it’s the user’s right to install software of their choosing from sources of their choosing, developers’ right to release software on their own, and competition among stores.

I don't think anyone can truly disagree with that. Installing software from where you choose is quite important, as is competition. Even in the open source space, competition can be very healthy and push everyone to improve. That's true for online stores as well of course, a monopoly of any sort is a bad idea.

And finally:

Does this mean ever game developer has an obligation to release their game on every store? No, it’s their creative work, and they have a right to choose how to distribute it. That includes the right to negotiate store terms and reject stores that don’t pay them adequately.

He's not wrong there either of course, it is entirely down to a developer/publisher on where they release their games and what deals they take to do it. Be it Steam, Epic Store, Humble Store, GOG, itch.io and all the smaller stores.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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44 comments
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Dribbleondo 15 July 2019 at 9:08 am UTC
Can't wait for these quotes to either be taken out of context, or be buried. Epic Bad, even when they say good things that make actual logical sense.
Arehandoro 15 July 2019 at 9:18 am UTC
Tim SweeneyDoes this mean ever game developer has an obligation to release their game on every store? No, it’s their creative work, and they have a right to choose how to distribute it. That includes the right to negotiate store terms and reject stores that don’t pay them adequately."

I have never met a single artist, be it a developer, musician, etc, that would like their creative work to be released only on one platform potentially leaving millions without enjoying it. It's not the developers/artists that choose their work to be released in one store, but the vultures above them that agree on terms with those stores to get an specific economic deal. Ultimately, investors and upper management aren't interested in how many people enjoy their employees art but in how much influx of money there is in their arks.

So, whilst generally agreeing with Sweeney's comments, there is also a bit of bullshit in them.
Mal 15 July 2019 at 9:31 am UTC
QuoteDoes this mean ever game developer has an obligation to release their game on every store? No, it’s their creative work, and they have a right to choose how to distribute it. That includes the right to negotiate store terms and reject stores that don’t pay them adequately.

I certainly agree on this principle. But I still oppose with all my strength in my body and soul to exclusive deals. They do not bring good period. Had those publishers decided not to go on any store that offers them at least X for every copy sold I would accept with any reserve their choice. That's competition and it works.

When instead an external force takes money from other markets to bribe sellers into joining their cartel it's not competition, it brings nothing good to the market and the consumers. If I were the one running Steam I would never reduce my fees even if I could afford it simply because with epic exclusives nothing will change on my side. I could even give devs 100% of the sales, still exclusive deals would keep away publishers from my platform. And this doesn't even account all the damages to customers. If we were talking about financial products instead of videogames, having all bigger dealers joining together in a cartel would be forbidden by the law.
sj33 15 July 2019 at 9:33 am UTC
People need to take a long-term view when it comes to developments like Proton and DXVK. We shouldn't expect either of these to result in Linux becoming the primary gaming platform overnight. PC gamers in particular value performance over anything, and any hit to performance due to the extra overhead is going to be too much.

But here's the thing - there is a limit to the extent that PC gamers value perpetual backwards compatibility with games. Windows 10 has terrible support for D3D8 and prior, yet this is relatively uncontroversial among PC gamers. Only a select few play legacy titles, and those who do accept jumping through hoops to get things going as a reality of using a modern operating system. I don't share their view, but it is the prevalent one - how many people bother to dual boot older versions of Windows for legacy titles? Not many.

The takeaway from that is that Linux only really need to have high performance in titles released over the last couple of years. The rest just need to run 'well enough' and for higher specification hardware to brute force past the overhead. If we see a growth in Vulkan adoption through Stadia as well as more developers taking Linux seriously thanks to the efforts of Valve, and hopefully increased focus from Epic and GOG then we will see an increasing amount of contemporary titles running transparently on Linux to the extent that only a handful of titles are missing, then that will be the tipping point that makes Linux a viable alternative.

tl;dr thing long term.
Zelox 15 July 2019 at 9:35 am UTC
We should be able to buy on what platform we want, says Sweeny.


But epic store forces users to play on there platform do to exclusives .

So I won't buy on epic even if they supported Linux on there store.


Last edited by Zelox on 15 July 2019 at 9:36 am UTC
Faattori 15 July 2019 at 9:45 am UTC
They can say they are still working on stuff or that it's not canceled, but until it's out in the open for users to use, it means absolutely nothing and is all PR speak.

See GOG Galaxy.


Last edited by Faattori on 15 July 2019 at 9:46 am UTC
fagnerln 15 July 2019 at 9:49 am UTC
He has a good perception of freedom.

Stores can do whatever it want, even a exclusivity.

Devs can do whatever they want, so they can accept offers, they can develop for the systems that they like.

Users can use the service they want.

It's all that simple.

I like the idea of Tim talking about Linux, maybe we will receive a native port of Fortnite sometime
Termy 15 July 2019 at 9:52 am UTC
Wow, some sensible talking from Swiney? I'm impressed.

Now if only his actions stood up to his words and for example his joke of a store would not actively prevent his beloved competition...
Mal 15 July 2019 at 10:00 am UTC
fagnerlnI like the idea of Tim talking about Linux, maybe we will receive a native port of Fortnite sometime

? Read his lines again. What he means is that if the Wine guys figure out how to run Fortnite on wine, he has no issues starting to sell it on linux too (with wine)
Cestarian 15 July 2019 at 10:03 am UTC
TermyWow, some sensible talking from Swiney? I'm impressed.

Now if only his actions stood up to his words and for example his joke of a store would not actively prevent his beloved competition...

He usually talks a sensible talk, but rarely walks a sensible walk.
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