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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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Ardje 24 June 2019 at 2:26 pm UTC
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eldakingHe 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."
*Valve doing all the work. Also Valve doing all the work on improving it on Windows.
Mal 24 June 2019 at 2:34 pm UTC
finaldestThe biggest issue with any PC exclusive is that the game in question is locked to a specific launcher. If I could use any launcher or no launcher at all to download and play the game then the affect would be minimal. With EPIC for example, All Linux users are locked out before even entering the gates.

Careful here. Claiming that Steam, EGS, Origin and such are "just launchers" is part of Sweeney narrative. If you consider them just libraries of link to .exe for games that run on windows it's easy to agree with Sweeney that gamers are just being lazy and they just have get used to have more launchers as publishers do their dirty stuff at their back.

But Steam it's not just a launcher. It's indeed a platform that comes with several features many of which Steam itself brought into gaming first (like cloud saves and controller profiles). And as any platform it strives to hide the implementation details. That what steam play is all about: it should be transparent to you if you're gaming on windows, or mac or linux. While stuff like proton and vulkan try to bring this on developer side.

When you play a game on Steam, like it or not, you have a different experience. That makes a ton of difference in this matter. When Tim is left free to establish his narrative (basically always) he never admits that EGS and Steam are platforms or services. On the contrary he claims they are just launchers and that Windows is the platform and so 30% tax is not justifiable from Steam and that for gamers it changes nothing so they should just stay quiet and get raped. He's establishing a frame where where he's right and we're not. Then ofc even in his frame the man is plenty of inconsistencies. Like when he's ok with Apple having 30% tax on iStore because they made the platform so they deserve it, but then on Android he works to bring EGS to break the unfair toll. Ofc the only actual difference between the two ecosystems is that one is closed and doesn't allow competition while the other is open. But today his target is only Steam.

Also if you accept Sweeney narrative that Steam and EGS are just storefronts then it means that there is no platform nor a service to invest on. If your vision for your enterprise in this world is just to sell stuff by undercutting your competition, why should you invest on making better the ecosystem? There is no ecosystem int he first place! It would just add your costs without giving you and your millionaire publisher friends any additional monetary benefit. Especially when you can just grab users by pursuing lucrative exclusives. Which only come with the minor side effect of forcing a player to look for their .exes under a different launcher. But in exchange grants them the highly educational experience of paying more due to the payment method they use in their country.
Dunc 24 June 2019 at 3:11 pm UTC
eldakingHe 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."
Exactly. If he really thinks Wine is “the one hope”, then why isn't he putting money and effort into things like DXVK and integrating it into his online store? Frankly, I simply don't believe he means it. As Liam points out, he's clearly au fait with what's going on with Wine, SteamPlay, and Ubuntu, so he can't claim ignorance.

Show us a Linux version of the EGS. Show us EpicPlay. Otherwise, it really doesn't look as if you're terribly interested in “breaking the cycle” at all.
Swiftpaw 24 June 2019 at 3:36 pm UTC
The one hope of breaking the cycle is getting more games with Linux support, not less, so where are they? How many more games with Linux support have we been getting because of Wine/Proton, or have we been getting less?

No Tux No Bux, we will not pay for something that doesn't come with support for our platform, nor should any gamer.
Shmerl 24 June 2019 at 4:16 pm UTC
QuoteLet'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.

Feral are the counter example, no? Even games bought in their own store require Steam. So they essentially are equal to Steam exclusives? Feral staunchly refuse to release their games on GOG and other Linux stores.

QuoteI'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.

Exclusivity is the wrong way to do it. Not only it's anti-competitive which is bad, it's anti-user, since it limits users' choice. So to answer Tim - no, exclusives can not be justified with agenda of lowering "Steam tax".


Last edited by Shmerl at 24 June 2019 at 4:17 pm UTC
Termy 24 June 2019 at 4:23 pm UTC
Its pretty simple what morale is at stake with BOUGHT exclusives:
Competition!

If bought exclusives somehow became accepted, all the shops would start to just buy exclusives instead of enhancing the experience for the customer - thus in the long term, everything would get worse for the user...no thank you!
eldaking 24 June 2019 at 4:46 pm UTC
Mal
finaldestThe biggest issue with any PC exclusive is that the game in question is locked to a specific launcher. If I could use any launcher or no launcher at all to download and play the game then the affect would be minimal. With EPIC for example, All Linux users are locked out before even entering the gates.

Careful here. Claiming that Steam, EGS, Origin and such are "just launchers" is part of Sweeney narrative. If you consider them just libraries of link to .exe for games that run on windows it's easy to agree with Sweeney that gamers are just being lazy and they just have get used to have more launchers as publishers do their dirty stuff at their back.

But Steam it's not just a launcher. It's indeed a platform that comes with several features many of which Steam itself brought into gaming first (like cloud saves and controller profiles). And as any platform it strives to hide the implementation details. That what steam play is all about: it should be transparent to you if you're gaming on windows, or mac or linux. While stuff like proton and vulkan try to bring this on developer side.

When you play a game on Steam, like it or not, you have a different experience. That makes a ton of difference in this matter. When Tim is left free to establish his narrative (basically always) he never admits that EGS and Steam are platforms or services. On the contrary he claims they are just launchers and that Windows is the platform and so 30% tax is not justifiable from Steam and that for gamers it changes nothing so they should just stay quiet and get raped. He's establishing a frame where where he's right and we're not. Then ofc even in his frame the man is plenty of inconsistencies. Like when he's ok with Apple having 30% tax on iStore because they made the platform so they deserve it, but then on Android he works to bring EGS to break the unfair toll. Ofc the only actual difference between the two ecosystems is that one is closed and doesn't allow competition while the other is open. But today his target is only Steam.

Also if you accept Sweeney narrative that Steam and EGS are just storefronts then it means that there is no platform nor a service to invest on. If your vision for your enterprise in this world is just to sell stuff by undercutting your competition, why should you invest on making better the ecosystem? There is no ecosystem int he first place! It would just add your costs without giving you and your millionaire publisher friends any additional monetary benefit. Especially when you can just grab users by pursuing lucrative exclusives. Which only come with the minor side effect of forcing a player to look for their .exes under a different launcher. But in exchange grants them the highly educational experience of paying more due to the payment method they use in their country.

Agreed. People keep defending Epic with "just using another launcher isn't a big deal", but ignore all the differences between platforms - including features of the client or the store, but also policies regarding all sorts of things.
NeptNutz 24 June 2019 at 5:02 pm UTC
Epic Games Store got totally borked on my Windows 8.1 machine, so I uninstalled it. (Support links are a TOTAL joke, btw.)

Then I had to go looking for that Fortnite game and manually delete that, too. Interestingly, it was one of those very rare birds found in the 64-bit Program Files.

Adios, EGS!
Perkeleen_Vittupää 24 June 2019 at 5:28 pm UTC
Been using and supporting itch.io along with Steam lately. Itch really deserves more boost!
Termy 24 June 2019 at 6:55 pm UTC
Perkeleen_VittupääItch really deserves more boost!

true, i always look if i can buy there - but i prefer getting a steam key with it, as steam still provides a "more complete" plattform
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