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Just A Friendly Reminder: Don't Buy A Game Until It Is Officially On Linux

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An editorial on this subject was requested by arnej who reminded me on GamingOnLinux's IRC channel that there is now another, perhaps even more important reason not to buy games in advance of their actual release on Linux.

arnejThe contracts of Feral and Aspyr will only get paid for purchases after a port happened. We now have another reason to only buy games when they are available for Linux: To support the porters.

Makes sense. With Feral and Aspyr having crossed over into the frontiers of Linux gaming with XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Civilization 5 respectively, plus all their downloadable content and both massive titles in terms of gameplay, brand, budget, and so on, it stands to reason that such endeavours should be rewarded, especially when both titles aren't brand new and thus pose more of a risk for the both of them.

Here's what Aspyr_Blair said on the matter:

Aspyr_BlairAspyr gets paid on new or future purchases of the Linux and Mac versions of Civ V. If you purchases the game on Windows say...5 months ago...then the PC publisher/developer was paid for that transaction (as they should be). Essentially, Steam knows what platform you are on through the client and processes payment to the developer accordingly.

Lots of fans are worried that if they purchase through a browser or a PC at work for example, that we wont get compensated. As long as you play the game on your Linux or Mac in the first week or so and stay on that platform for your play, the payment will then shift over to us as the Linux publisher/developer.


Aspyr_BlairDLC's are treated as separate transactions, so if you purchase BNW today on your Linux client, we will get the credit.


Aspyr_BlairWe are paid only for Mac/Linux purchases.

The key is the target system should be played on in the first week or two, otherwise the sale defaults to the primary platform (in this case, PC). Still...Valve has some metrics on handling weird cases like that and we do get compensated. Example: mobile browser purchased but not launched on Linux until 5 weeks later...etc.

If you want to be SURE, launch the game on the target system relatively quickly, even if you dont play it much, that launch should help the metric.


Aspyr_BlairAs long as you purchased the gift version through your Linux Steam client, we should be golden. Just also make sure that whomever you gift it to is playing on Linux or Mac ;)


Aspyr_BlairIf you purchase on the Linux client, Aspyr would get credit for the sale immediately BUT Steam is smart, so once your buddy plays on Windows the system knows that user is really a PC customer and gives the credit back over to the fine folks at 2K. Sometimes there is a grey area where we split the revenue up but that is pretty rare. Its really a pretty smart system.


icculus spoke about this subject as well in his usual, concise manner!

icculusInstall and play it on Linux for the first week after you buy it and they consider it a Linux sale.


Buying a game that does not yet have a Linux client doesn't make sense anyway since you cannot play the game. Apart from that, it is always wise to wait and see how good of a port it actually is. Don't spend your money blindly! Article taken from
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wolfyrion 24 June 2014 at 1:05 pm UTC
I couldn't resist on Contagion while was on 75% discount

Xpander 24 June 2014 at 1:08 pm UTC
i couldnt resist contagion, insurgency and starforge..and in fact those are going to be inhouse ports i think so its not really a problem with where the money goes i think.
wolfyrion 24 June 2014 at 1:11 pm UTC
and Mound and Blade :Warband ....
Qydfac 24 June 2014 at 1:14 pm UTC
I kickstarted carmageddon, I feel such a fool.

My prediction is a
Windows summer 2015 release.
Linux 2016 poo port, or an apology "we are idiots, we can't do it"
YoggyBeer 24 June 2014 at 1:17 pm UTC
I bought XCOM last year with Linux client.
I installed it (and play it) for the first time last week.
Don't know where the money is going

Question: for game like Metro last light redux, if you prepurchase (50% off) with Linux client but the game is released months after Windows version, who earn the money ?
Linas 24 June 2014 at 1:26 pm UTC
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I really feel that Linux porters are at an unfair disadvantage. They only get paid if and when very specific conditions are met. Like what if I buy a game on one of the many resellers (physical or online shops) and activate it on Steam? I am pretty sure they do not see a single penny of that.
FutureSuture 24 June 2014 at 1:29 pm UTC
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Xpanderi couldnt resist contagion, insurgency and starforge..and in fact those are going to be inhouse ports i think so its not really a problem with where the money goes i think.
As long as the folks there know you purchased the game to play on Linux and not on Windows or Mac OS, it should be fine. Even if it is not a question of money, it is still a question of market share.
Ilya 24 June 2014 at 1:46 pm UTC
I usually buy games in a sale as gifts and only activate them once the Linux port comes out (so that if they decide not to do one I can just give the game to someone else).
I'm curious as to what happens in such a case.
IF the game comes out on Linux, it is only played on Linux and was bought through the Linux client, but before the release of the port.
The great thing is that I have a sister for whom I can buy a second copy after release, so they're definitely getting some of my money!
xuwang 24 June 2014 at 1:47 pm UTC
This might explain why some third-party developers are hesitant to announce they're working on a Linux port. If they announce it a month in advance, then users might buy it under Windows a month before and the developer might not get credit.
Orkultus 24 June 2014 at 1:54 pm UTC
They should just have a check box that you should be able to select during purchase, saying either (Linux, Mac OS, or Windows).
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