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.