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Here's something interesting, Tim Sweeney, the founder and CEO of Epic Games has been chatting on Twitter again and what he said is quite interesting.

In reply to a user on Twitter who said about users not liking change, Sweeney said this:

Actually I think WINE is the one hope for breaking the cycle. If most PC games were automatically compatible with Linux, it would greatly increase the viability of Linux as a consumer platform.

This is as a result of this article on Wccftech, which highlights a number of other interesting statements made by Sweeney recently. The funny this is, Valve themselves are helping to improve Wine (which Sweeney touches on below) with Steam Play (which is all open source remember) and a lot of the changes make it back into vanilla Wine.

Another very interesting statement for Linux gamers, was a mention of Easy Anti-Cheat:

No, that was a misleading article. The Easy Anti Cheat team is continuing to work on Linux support. Native support is in a beta state and works for some games, however we’re quite a ways from the ideal of a WINE/Proton solution for emulated games.

Note: Not sure what article he is referring to, as he didn't link to any.

Easy Anti-Cheat support in Wine really would be quite something, it would overnight make a huge amount more games work on Linux so fingers crossed something actually comes out of it. What I get from all this, is that Sweeney does seem to be keeping a close eye on Steam Play/Proton and Wine, to the point of even replying on Twitter about the Ubuntu situation:

The problem isn’t Steam 64-bit support - Valve is working prodigiously to advance Linux and Proton - the problem is that Ubuntu dropping 32-bit support breaks all 32-bit Linux and Wine/win32 games, which comprise a huge fraction of the legacy game library.

There's a lot of other things Sweeney talked about recently too, naturally exclusive games being a hot topic and something Sweeney certainly doesn't shy away from. Here's one such statement that actually did genuinely make me stop and think for brief moment:

I’d like to challenge critics to state what moral principle you feel is at stake. If it’s okay for one company to avoid the 30% Valve tax by selling exclusively through their own store, why is it wrong for multiple companies to work together to achieve the same goals?

Let's take Feral Interactive as an example of this, I've seen a lot of comments from people saying they buy directly through the Feral store, so Feral gets the full cut and that's just one of many such examples. However, the difference of course is the majority of the time the games are available across multiple stores, you still have the choice.

I'm personally torn on it all. I don't particularly like exclusives, as I don't like any kind of lock-in but I don't blame developers for doing it. Good games take a lot of time and money to produce and support after release. Offering developers the chance to earn more money from a smaller store cut, plus limited-time exclusive funds to help them finish their game and improve it, developers are obviously going to take it.

It's just a huge shame for Linux users, since the Epic Store is not available on Linux and it sounds like they still have no plans to change that any time soon. There's been a few times a game was announced with Linux support, to then later became an Epic Store exclusive which means they won't even be doing a Linux version until the exclusive time is over. For us, that really sucks and it's part of the reason I don't like it.

I do hope all of that changes eventually but I am glad that Sweeney seems to be quite positive about things like Wine and possible EAC support in future.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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45 comments
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eldaking 24 June 2019 at 12:00 pm UTC
QuoteActually I think WINE is the one hope for breaking the cycle. If most PC games were automatically compatible with Linux, it would greatly increase the viability of Linux as a consumer platform.

He is just full of shit. What he is actually saying is "I think Linux is not viable. I want my games to work automatically without putting any effort. There is no way you are going to make me support Linux except by doing all the work for me."

For us, Wine is great because it is the only alternative. Without access to the source code or funds to pay for a port, we need Wine to run software. For someone that has complete control over the development, is establishing an entire new platform and pouring money egregiously into that, even putting effort/money towards Wine isn't good enough. At least make the damn store client (that I heard uses electron, even) run natively so that people can use Wine. They have an engine (literally own the engine) that supposedly abstracts away the OS, so port your flagship game to Linux (there is even a mobile version already) - especially because it won't work with Wine due to anti-cheat. Steam started putting money into Wine after they exhausted their options to support Linux themselves (with the client, their own games, they even made their own distro).

QuoteI’d like to challenge critics to state what moral principle you feel is at stake. If it’s okay for one company to avoid the 30% Valve tax by selling exclusively through their own store, why is it wrong for multiple companies to work together to achieve the same goals?

Before we start on moral principles, I'd like to point people are against it in great part by practical reasons. Neither the lower cut, the guaranteed sales (or direct payments) are for the benefit of customers - they are only good for the publishers and developers. For a customer, there is no added value in buying at the Epic Store, only disadvantages. And before someone says that developers will lower prices or invest more in their games, I'd like to point out we already know it does not. Games were already being pre-ordered on Steam or crowdfunded, did their prices decrease? No. Those games were already at the end of development, all fully funded before, no significant changes. For Phoenix Point, we know that when they got the money they just gave the shareholders a bonus, and the infamous quote that they didn't care if backers refunded the game because they would still be in the blue. So, no advantages for players. On the other hand, many people directly benefit from Steam features. So with exclusives publishers/developers are acting against customer's interests and Epic is actively pushing that agenda - it is only rational people get mad. Sure, it might be rational to take the money or to offer the money to gain market share, but it is also rational for players to boycott and campaign against it.

As for the moral principle: anti-competitive practices. Trying to corner competitors out of the market is wrong. They are actively using their money to harm a competitor, which is wrong.

"But Steam is too big, we can't compete unless we use dirty tactics." Well, then either your product is simply not good enough and Valve deserves its position or the free market does not work for digital game stores and we need regulation to guarantee competition. Or a mix of both; pick your economic theory. There are certainly positive externalities that Steam is not paying for (network benefits) and it might count as a natural monopoly. But what we can't have is rich people doing wrong things for some supposed greater good, especially when those things harm smaller competitors.
sub 24 June 2019 at 12:12 pm UTC
Please don't use EGS!

It'd be pearls before Sweeney
pb 24 June 2019 at 12:37 pm UTC
Ehvis
pbDoes Epic allow devs/pubs to sell Epic Store keys elsewhere? If not, why?

There are Epic codes on Humble. Whether they can be generated free of change remains to be seen though.

That's good to know. However I checked for The Walking Dead and it's not there. I completed TWD 1&2, I'd like to play 3&4 but they are currently Epic exclusive and Epic Store refuses to sell them to me, because payment methods readily accepted by steam, humble, fanatical and lots of others are not good enough for Epic. Which is probably for the better, because I tried to install epic launcher with wine and it didn't, well, launch...
kuhpunkt 24 June 2019 at 12:47 pm UTC
Sweeney literally just compared First Party titles to Third Party titles and said that people don't complain about CS:GO/Dota 2 being Steam exclusives and therefore shouldn't complain about the deals he makes.

He's a bloody idiot.
devland 24 June 2019 at 12:53 pm UTC
QuoteActually I think WINE is the one hope for breaking the cycle. If most PC games were automatically compatible with Linux, it would greatly increase the viability of Linux as a consumer platform.

Developers will have no incentive to make a Linux native port for a game that already works in wine. Especially developers like this one.

image


Last edited by devland at 24 June 2019 at 1:00 pm UTC
roothorick 24 June 2019 at 1:00 pm UTC
Actions, not words, Timmy! I haven't seen any contributions from Epic to the Wine project, no visible workarounds for Wine issues anywhere, no answers for whether potential new Linux players of Rocket League will be able to buy the game at all...

I don't think you or your company actually care about Linux at all in the first place. I still think your real opinions haven't changed at all since your infamous "moving to Canada" tweet.
uraeus 24 June 2019 at 1:33 pm UTC
Not sure I have a deep 'moral' conviction about their exclusive games strategy, but I don't really have any reason to be positive and supportive of a company who in practice now are paying devs to not support Linux with their games.

Especially when the company they are trying to take on is funneling the part of their profits into trying to make Linux a more competitive gaming platform. So I am basically left with a choice between a company who somewhat inadvertently is actively harming Linux gaming (Epic) vs one that is actively trying to enable it (Valve).


Last edited by uraeus at 24 June 2019 at 1:35 pm UTC
tonR 24 June 2019 at 1:50 pm UTC
I wish nothing but all the best to Epic Games for their future and what they're believe for.
Sadly, would not joining them indefinitely. This tux user are going on his way, which he believe is the best.
Ardje 24 June 2019 at 2:19 pm UTC
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The reason I am happy to pay a 30% Valve tax and not a 10% Epic tax, is that I know that a large part of that 30% is used for development of the ultimate (linux based) gaming platform. And that includes research into VR, it means developing better kernel infra structure to optimise for gaming in a way that can be used for other things, optimisation of Vulkan drivers , optimising/improving the vulkan standard.
For me it's mostly linux what interests me, but a large part of what Valve does is a generic improvement of the gaming platform independent of the OS.
So I happily pay the 30%.
Ardje 24 June 2019 at 2:23 pm UTC
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I fixed it for you:
uraeusEspecially when the company they are trying to take on is funneling the part of their profits into trying to make the pc a better gaming platform, independent of the OS, which in turn makes it a better platform for the Epic Store
But yeah, for me it's the linux improvements they provide.
As long as Epic has no plans to improve the gaming platform for everybody, I only buy from Epic through the steam store.
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