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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.

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44 comments
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Rooster 15 July 2019 at 10:09 am UTC
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QuoteThese 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.

This is simply not true. It's essentialy the same as saying a developer who is unhappy with Steam can't simply retreat to using Epic Game Store, because 90% of PC game sales are on Steam. This really depends on what the game is and how much people want to play it. Not gonna lie, before Steam Play became a thing, there were indeed games for which I wanted to install Windows. And that works both ways. If for example, Cyberpunk 2077 released exclusively on Linux, my estimate is that only about 5% people would refuse to install Linux to play it. Especially since Linux is free.

fagnerlnHe 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

Yep, but also:

Stores can dislike what an OS provider does.
Devs can dislike what a store, engine-developer, OS provider etc.. does.
Users can dislike what devs, stores, operating systems etc.. do.

Just because they have the right to do it, doesn't mean I have to be okay with it. If a developer for whatever reason decides to release exclusively in one store, or decides to not release on store of my liking, it is within my right to dislike this decision and express my dislike over it publicly. As well as it is my right to not buy said game because of this decision.


Last edited by Rooster on 15 July 2019 at 10:20 am UTC
Kiba 15 July 2019 at 10:17 am UTC
They will release Fortnite on Linux when it's not trending anymore.


Last edited by Kiba on 15 July 2019 at 10:18 am UTC
Mal 15 July 2019 at 10:47 am UTC
CestarianHe usually talks a sensible talk, but rarely walks a sensible walk.

Nah he just builds his lies by adding some dust of truth into the poisonous concoction. It's the basics of lying really. Yet it requires some innate talent to do it effectively.

In reality you do whatever it takes to reach your goal without caring about anything but your interests. Then however you can always tell a story where you do what you do for the greater good. The 2 thumb rules are ignoring certain hard to defend arguments (like exclusives not allowing actual competition, or publishers already doing record margins by extreme monetization practices at the expense of gamers and developers, or the real service quality of his launcher) and instead focusing on others that you can retell to support a story that makes you the hero (like the revenue split thing for indie developers, or the Steam supposedly being a monopoly, or competition is always good). By ignoring the arguments that are indefensible you don't legitimize them and you also reduce their visibility. Instead by focusing on the arguments that you can use in a positive narration you help those emerge as they are retweeted and cited in the press articles. As long as you drive the narration and don't allow indefensible facts to be part of it you can drive it wherever you want.

In real live interviews breaking this frame and forcing the real facts back into a story not build for them is what ballsy journalists do. And typically the interviewed either continues to ignore the facts, miserably fails to make them part of his story in a convincingly way or leaves with some excuse which is probably the smartest thing to do. But in the age of Twitter is all to easy to cultivate your story. Sweeney will never reply to tweets that he can't retell in a positive way. And by concentrating only on those we slowly lose sight of truth.


Last edited by Mal on 15 July 2019 at 10:59 am UTC
Hori 15 July 2019 at 11:30 am UTC
Arehandoro
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.

There is definetely some bullshit, or rather, propaganda and sugar coating.
But in defence of that comment, I think he meant indie decs, that don't have a publisher above them. Or at least that is what I understood from that comment.

And yes, it's pretty much always the publisher overlords that limit a game's exposure. In my eyes publishers are widely useless nowadays. Sure in many cases they are good for jncreasing the sales, but for the most part they are a relic from the past, when it was the only way.


Last edited by Hori on 15 July 2019 at 11:30 am UTC
Kohrias 15 July 2019 at 12:01 pm UTC
A lot of words to improve PR. Where is any kind of effort to support GNU/Linux on the Epic store? Are they really working on supporting EAC in wine/proton or is he just pretending? UE4 support on GNU/Linux has been getting worse and worse - again, where are the positive actions? Am I the only one not trusting this guy?
t3g 15 July 2019 at 12:08 pm UTC
Quote99.9% of game playing is on mobile, console, and PC.

For us Linux gamers, PC is a general term and it would have been more accurate if he just said “PCs running Windows”
LibertyPaulM 15 July 2019 at 12:26 pm UTC
He'll say something stupid in a week or two that will reset the scale. He often does it where one minute he says something insightful or interesting, the next he's putting his foot in it
Alm888 15 July 2019 at 1:10 pm UTC
TimmyWhat 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.
Lots of running around the bush. What Timmy did not find strength to speak aloud is his right to sell games for a Windows™ platform without Microsoft's permissions or royalties (like with Apple, Sony or Nintendo).

Microsoft is in its full rights to do what it thinks is best for the platform. If Sony is allowed to fully control all distribution channels, Apple is allowed, Nintendo is allowed… then why Microsoft must not be allowed to do so? It is in its full right to kick out parasites like Epic Games Store from its own platform and the only thing that prevents it from doing so is users' opinion.

That's why Timmy is whining on every corner about some "freedoms", trying to arouse users' sympathy to his humble company. Meanwhile, he thinks it is a good idea to squeeze out from the market the other parasite^W khmm… competitor with exclusivity deals (talk about freedom to choose the market store, yeah ).

Timmy is the worst kind of liar. A hypocrite, double-faced one, pretending to be "good" while practicing the same methods which he verbally vehemently against of.

IMO, of course.
Hal_Kado 15 July 2019 at 2:20 pm UTC
Sweeney usually makes a lot of sense in these posts. The problem is there's a disconnect between what he says and what Epic does, or at least what they are perceived to be doing. It's always some lofty goal where Epic is going to make the whole industry better for everyone, but in practice it feels like they are actively making the situation worse. I was pretty disappointed when Metro was playable day one with Steam/proton, but you couldn't even get the EGS running to download it let alone play it. Regardless, I hope he comes through on the things he's promising.
Nanobang 15 July 2019 at 2:50 pm UTC
Ah Timmy Timmy Timmy Tim Tim, what a jolly bag of moist jingoistic ass wind you are.

Tiny TimInstalling Linux is sort of the equivalent of moving to Canada when one doesn’t like US political trends.
How in---what does that even mean? What, like for better health care? Or like to avoid slavery or conscription? Sounds like a move for more freedom in either case to me.

Tiny Tim from TinseltownWe have to fight for freedoms we have today ...
What freedoms, Tim? What freedoms are you insisting we fight for? Your freedom to bluster like a blowhard senator up for re-election? We run Linux, we know more than you'll ever know about fighting for freedom.

Two-faced TimThese statements are consistent

Yes they are. They're both consistently vague and loaded with emotionally charged buzzwords without the slimmest gossamer hope of even seeing a connection to reality. They're also both entirely consistent with the froth and spittle usually ejaculating from your sphincter-like face-hole.

Belching,
Timpolean"We have to fight for our freedoms on today’s platforms as they stand,"
still doesn't clarify what the hell freedoms you're squeaking about.

Teensy weensy wiener SweenyWhat are those rights?
What!? Who said anything about rights? Not you, surely. Freedom is a Right, but those words aren't synonymous---skip it, whatever. Ok, fine. I'll bite. Say Timmy ol' pal ol' friend ol' chum, what are these Rights about which you squawk?

Tim the DisenchanterI think it’s the user’s right to install software of their choosing from sources of their choosing.
Cool, because I'd like to install Borderlands 3 from Steam---Oh wait!

Tim McSwindle[A] developers’ right to release software on their own,
Like whether or not they've signed an exclusive contract, they can ignore that contract because they still have the right to release that software on their own as well? Or do you not mean that?

Dim McSweeney[And] competition among stores.
But Tiny Tim, you're paying people money just so you can AVOID competition. You pay devs to give you exclusive rights to sell their games because you know that your store is crap compared to your competitors. Steam, GoG, even little Itch.io is superior to the ironically named Epic Store. It's the least epic of all the stores out there.

More like Epic fail you mealy-mouthed squirrelly little man.


Last edited by Nanobang on 15 July 2019 at 2:52 pm UTC
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