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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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46 comments
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mylka 24 June 2019 at 7:11 pm UTC
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?

besides linux support?
cloud save? forum? reviews? epic didnt even have a stupid shopping cart and banned users because they bought 5 games

if your client sucks and has absolutely no features, of course you can lower your cut
its like buying a car without any extras...... of course its cheaper

sometimes i wonder how sweeney became a millionaire.
chancho_zombie 25 June 2019 at 2:56 am UTC
ArdjeThe 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%.

yeah Tim is fundamentally wrong, we pay the valve fee not the developers nor the publishers I'll happily pay a higher price if that means that will fund development for advancing linux as a gaming platform.
I don't see any problem with current market prices, maybe AAA games are sometimes overpriced at launch, but mostly for me prices have been decreasing with the continuous promotions and sales that valve constantly has.


Last edited by chancho_zombie at 25 June 2019 at 2:56 am UTC
elmapul 25 June 2019 at 8:01 am UTC
"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?"
nailed it


"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"
i hate to break that for you but, there is no such a thing as an world without exclusives.
there is either:
a)what we have on consoles, where sony got a few exclusives, microsoft has a few exclusive, nintendo has a few exclusives and everything else is multiplatform.
or
b)almost everything is windows exclusive and we suffer to reverse enginering it to make stuff run on wine in many case years after its relased we may run it, that is, if we ever gonna run it.

in a world without exclusives, whetever have the biggest marketshare will have some exclusives simply because the developers didnt have the funds to port to everything so they chose the most promissing platform or the games are multiplatform but optimized for the market leader and as an result in the end we end up with an irreversible monopoly like the one we have on desktop as the snowball grow bigger, the snowball effect of having an better support for games and softwares lead to having even more games and softwares until you have an monopoly.

wine is an cat an mouse game, microsoft is aways pushing windows foward with new features, they made speach recognition for windows and now that became an PLATFORM for thirdy party apps to be voice based or have some voice commands (like alexa or the first party cortana )
they made direct X and now many games are locked to it, they were the leaders on shaders and now their language is the standard that every one else is based upon, they make the life of the developers easier by making libraries for things like software based ray tracing (instead of raytracing being exclusive to nvidia now it run on any videocard) and by the time that the competiton catch up with their features, the entire ecosystem already coded for their apis and arent willing to rewrite everything just to support other OSes with lower marketshare (not to mention that windows has added more features in the mean time).

even if companies like adobe do it, they would waste more money than make and lose market to competition, valve is investing on linux and the competition is using this wasted money oportunity to take marketshare from steam.
valve WILL need those 30% of the cut to improve proton, but now thanks to epic, they cant take the 30% cut anymore.

honestly i think google is the only who have enough money to take some serious marketshare from microsoft, but he already gave up on being the good guy who dont make exclusives, stadia probably will have exclusive games, apis, libraries etc.
tony1ab 25 June 2019 at 10:13 am UTC
Excuse me but I don't trust this man.
Couple years ago he writes an article on a media saying that MS store is harmful.
Then he releases his flagship game for every system on Earth but Linux.

Lets count which platforms is Fornite available for: Xbox, Playstation, Switch, Windows, MacOs, Iphone, Android. Do you miss any? Don't?

And now he says 'If most PC games were automatically compatible with Linux, it would greatly increase the viability of Linux as a consumer platform'

No one sees irony here?

Or maybe it must be that writing words must be much easier than writing code.
Nektaar 25 June 2019 at 11:45 am UTC
This is all nice, that Lord Sweeney deemed Wine a good avenue to make Linux a viable consumer gaming platform. But let's not forget that he is still exploiting the devs at Epic Games, with horrible crunch times and stealing the fruits of their labor. This is capitalism at it's finest.
If not for capitalism, there would be no need for exclusive deals and closed source software. Everything would be open source! Games would be made by the people and for the people.
Mal 25 June 2019 at 2:00 pm UTC
elmapul"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"
i hate to break that for you but, there is no such a thing as an world without exclusives.
there is either:
a)what we have on consoles, where sony got a few exclusives, microsoft has a few exclusive, nintendo has a few exclusives and everything else is multiplatform.
or
b)almost everything is windows exclusive and we suffer to reverse enginering it to make stuff run on wine in many case years after its relased we may run it, that is, if we ever gonna run it.

You are making a fundamental mistake here by confusing exclusives with strategic decisions to concentrate on a single platform.

Exclusives are artificial limitations whose sole purpose is to manipulate "market" allowing a less efficient party to impose itself thanks to resources that are external to the market itself.
Strategic decisions instead are the obvious decisions every executive has to make where he weights costs associated with an action compared to the promised returns (while weighting the risks in the process).

You don't see games releasing on Windows only because there is an artificial ban on linux. The ugly truth is that linux is that in the eye of developers the costs and risks associated to releasing for our platform are not worth the potential returns. It's not that Windows is bad, it's that Linux is not good enough. Same deal whenever a game releases on "Steam only" (whatever that means given that keys can be sold everywhere with no fee). There is no conspiracy behind. Just cost benefits analysis that lead certain devs to not re implement in house what Steam platform gives them for free. Sad? Maybe. But one can't blame Windows or Steam for being better or more convenient. In the end like any other job also developments is about doing more, better with less. On linux this worked the right way so eventually stuff like Vulkan was made and porting companies like Feral emerged which allowed to lower the risks and the costs that comes with releasing on our OSs and infact now we have many more games. Proton will further reduce costs and risks. If instead Gaben used his money to buy games and make linux only releases we wouldn't have any of that. There would be AAA linux games, but they would be lesser games that what they are now.

Exclusives are the opposite of this. It's about someone distorting a market with resources obtained from outside that market to give an unfair advantage to an inferior and less competitive service/product. On consoles people so pay more for getting worse games. And in our case Fortnite money allows an inferior service EGS, to starve the better ones and impose itself to the detriment of consumers. Those who thinks that overtime EGS will catch Steam in terms of features are delusional fools. That's not how Sweeney is selling his launcher to the other Publishers CEOs. The idea is to maximize margins at expense of users. And saving the money needed to implement and maintain any "platform feature" PC has is part of it. In a grim future where Steam and GOG are dead and EGS is a monopoly we people being forced to buy premium EGS passes to play EGS games in multiplayer or get cloud save games like as it happens on consoles. That should also be clear: for the guys at the head of Ubisoft, Epic or 2K PC it's just another platform among the many they support. If PC dies they won't shed a tear. Less platforms to support, less costs to sustain. They don't have the interests of PC gamers at their heart. If their actions lead to PC being less competitive than consoles (or streaming services) in the future they don't care.
Dunc 25 June 2019 at 2:39 pm UTC
elmapulwhetever have the biggest marketshare will have some exclusives simply because the developers didnt have the funds to port to everything so they chose the most promissing platform...
Strictly speaking, that's not an exclusive; it's just a single-platform game. And, although people don't generally think of it in these (correct) terms, I think that's the problem most of us have with what Epic's doing: they're signing exclusive contracts; i.e., obliging publishers not to release on other platforms regardless of whether they're financially or technically able to, purely in order to drive customers towards the EGS.

Few of us really mind if a developer doesn't have the resources to port to Linux. It sucks, but we understand: you need to make the most of what you have, and that means targetting the biggest market. What grates about Epic is the way they've forced publishers and developers who have supported Linux in the past - Gearbox/2K come to mind - not to, even if only temporarily. And then, to rub salt into the wound, Sweeney comes along saying he wants to “break the cycle”.


Last edited by Dunc at 25 June 2019 at 2:40 pm UTC
elmapul 25 June 2019 at 3:54 pm UTC
[quote=Mal]
elmapul"I'm personally ...
i will not quote your entire comment in the quote section because it would be to ugly to waste space and i need to quote parts of it again, so...

"Exclusives are artificial limitations whose sole purpose is to manipulate "market" allowing a less efficient party to impose itself thanks to resources that are external to the market itself."

WRONG, exclusives were born in an era without standards for development (such as openGL) back in the days it was an matter of tecnology, its much harder to support mips, x86, powerpc and everything than to only support one architecture, consoles had an different hardware back then that created an cost to port games from then to other platforms.
you may argue that exclusivity deals like the epic store are an artificial limitation, but you cant say the same about every exclusive.

"It's not that Windows is bad, it's that Linux is not good enough. "
again, its not about the quality of the system, its about the marketshare.
gamecube was better than PS2 in terms of hardware, but playstation had more games wich lead to more consoles being sold wich leads to more marketshare for sony and less for nintendo, an trend that nintendo couldnt reverse.
its not about the system being good, its about the ecosystem.

"If instead Gaben used his money to buy games and make linux only releases we wouldn't have any of that. There would be AAA linux games, but they would be lesser games that what they are now."
nope, because it would expand the market, take a look at the console market, it starts with almost no game and end the generation with 3.000 games and dozens of millions of units sold.
playstation went from nothing to 100 millions of unitys sold in a single generation, ps2 started from 0 and reached more than 150 millions of unity solds.
linux has the same 1% of the market for over 25 years, if its markershare grow we would have more games nor less then projects like wine would skyrocket anyway.
valve tried to launch an console without exclusives and it floped, helping wine was the last solution remaining.
yes, they should do it anyway but playing the 'cat and mouse game' will never solve the issue, linux will always have only an subset of the games that windows have.
just look at it from an gamer point of view.
this A platform has every <multi plat> game from the current gen, some of the old generations plus halo
this B platform has every <multi plat> game from the current gen, some of the old generations plus god of war
this C platform has every <multi plat> game from the current gen, some of the old generations plus mario
this D platform has every <multi plat> game from the current gen, all of the old generations plus league of legends
this E platform only a few games from the current gen, only a few games from the old generations, what would i do?

of course, buy the platform A and C, dont buy playstation because i dont care about god of war and play lol on my old pc since it can run even on a toaster pc. about the D? i will ignore it, there is no reason to care about it.

how the hell we will reverse this marketshare with an situation like that? we cant.


"Exclusives are the opposite of this. It's about someone distorting a market with resources obtained from outside that market to give an unfair advantage to an inferior and less competitive service/product. "

it dont matter if its an distortion, what matter is: ITS FREAKING WORKS!
and the value of the product is on the ecosystem not on the system.
elmapul 25 June 2019 at 4:15 pm UTC
DuncStrictly speaking, that's not an exclusive; it's just a single-platform game.

for all intents and purposes the effect is the same.
the reason why most companies didnt ported their old nes/snes games to windows, was not due to an exclusivity deal with nintendo that lasted forever, it was because there was an cost involved and they didnt think they could have return of investment, in some cases an game has an timed excluvity deal with sony, nintendo or microsoft, the contract expired but they didnt ported because they didnt think the game had any value anymore.
so how can you call it not an exclusive? the effect is the same.

Duncobliging publishers not to release on other platforms regardless of whether they're financially or technically able to, purely in order to drive customers towards the EGS.

no one is forcing then to sign those contracts, they are accepting because it is finnacially good for then.
just because i signed an paper that says that the company will hire me for a few months to do an service and i will do the service, dont mean that i'm an slave, if the company dont pay me, i sue then, if i want to leave before the contract ends and i have to pay to break the contract, i could have simply avoided by not sign the contract to begin with.

DuncFew of us really mind if a developer doesn't have the resources to port to Linux. It sucks, but we understand: you need to make the most of what you have, and that means targetting the biggest market. What grates about Epic is the way they've forced publishers and developers who have supported Linux in the past - Gearbox/2K come to mind - not to, even if only temporarily. And then, to rub salt into the wound, Sweeney comes along saying he wants to “break the cycle”.

gearbox and 2k didnt stoped supporting us due to epic, they stoped supporting us because it didnt worth it, they stoped BEFORE epic even launched their store.
Mal 25 June 2019 at 4:33 pm UTC
[quote=elmapul]
Mal
elmapul"I'm personally ...
i will not quote your entire comment in the quote section because it would be to ugly to waste space and i need to quote parts of it again, so...

"Exclusives are artificial limitations whose sole purpose is to manipulate "market" allowing a less efficient party to impose itself thanks to resources that are external to the market itself."

WRONG, exclusives were born in an era without standards for development (such as openGL) back in the days it was an matter of tecnology, its much harder to support mips, x86, powerpc and everything than to only support one architecture, consoles had an different hardware back then that created an cost to port games from then to other platforms.
you may argue that exclusivity deals like the epic store are an artificial limitation, but you cant say the same about every exclusive.

"It's not that Windows is bad, it's that Linux is not good enough. "
again, its not about the quality of the system, its about the marketshare.
gamecube was better than PS2 in terms of hardware, but playstation had more games wich lead to more consoles being sold wich leads to more marketshare for sony and less for nintendo, an trend that nintendo couldnt reverse.
its not about the system being good, its about the ecosystem.

"If instead Gaben used his money to buy games and make linux only releases we wouldn't have any of that. There would be AAA linux games, but they would be lesser games that what they are now."
nope, because it would expand the market, take a look at the console market, it starts with almost no game and end the generation with 3.000 games and dozens of millions of units sold.
playstation went from nothing to 100 millions of unitys sold in a single generation, ps2 started from 0 and reached more than 150 millions of unity solds.
linux has the same 1% of the market for over 25 years, if its markershare grow we would have more games nor less then projects like wine would skyrocket anyway.
valve tried to launch an console without exclusives and it floped, helping wine was the last solution remaining.
yes, they should do it anyway but playing the 'cat and mouse game' will never solve the issue, linux will always have only an subset of the games that windows have.
just look at it from an gamer point of view.
this A platform has every <multi plat> game from the current gen, some of the old generations plus halo
this B platform has every <multi plat> game from the current gen, some of the old generations plus god of war
this C platform has every <multi plat> game from the current gen, some of the old generations plus mario
this D platform has every <multi plat> game from the current gen, all of the old generations plus league of legends
this E platform only a few games from the current gen, only a few games from the old generations, what would i do?

of course, buy the platform A and C, dont buy playstation because i dont care about god of war and play lol on my old pc since it can run even on a toaster pc. about the D? i will ignore it, there is no reason to care about it.

how the hell we will reverse this marketshare with an situation like that? we cant.


"Exclusives are the opposite of this. It's about someone distorting a market with resources obtained from outside that market to give an unfair advantage to an inferior and less competitive service/product. "

it dont matter if its an distortion, what matter is: ITS FREAKING WORKS!
and the value of the product is on the ecosystem not on the system.

I never argued that exclusives don't work. They are small monopolies carved in the market and they do work. What I've argued is that they produce worse products and worse services and higher consumer prices which is the exact opposite of the reason why the vast majority of the world (supposedly) set to use free markets to run its economy.

If the lawmakers were less corrupt exclusivity deals would not be a thing for any digital good.


Last edited by Mal at 26 June 2019 at 8:06 am UTC
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