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Valve have put out their usual monthly Steam Hardware Survey, which shows a bigger decline than usual for the Linux marketshare.

Last month, Linux was sat at 0.60%, but as of October it has dropped to 0.35% which is a sharper drop than usual. It's worth noting, that Mac had an even bigger drop.

It's easy to see why though, China is now the biggest market on Steam according to their survey. Simplified Chinese has increased by +26.83% making their share of Steam's market at 56.37%. That's a huge influx of users from that region, which can easily account for the reason Linux has been dropping recently.

When you look at it even further, Windows specifically has 57.45% (an increase of +26.99%) using Simplified Chinese as their language. Compare that with Linux, and only 0.53% (a drop of -0.11%) use Simplified Chinese. Linux just isn't popular in that region, so again, the drop does make sense and can be accounted for.

A large portion of that increase has likely been fuelled by PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS, which is not available on Linux and is the most played game on Steam right now. There's also rumours of it being banned in China, which has likely caused another surge in people taking a look at it.

I should remind you, that a drop in the marketshare doesn't mean less users. It likely means that Windows growth here due to the two above points has just dwarfed any possible increase in Linux gamers on Steam.

I don't see this as any reason to panic, at all. Once the hype around PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS starts to vanish, the numbers will likely start to even out again.

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Linas 2 November 2017 at 11:04 am UTC
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Still more than VR users.
Eike 2 November 2017 at 11:12 am UTC
Some people claimed it might have been CS:GO, but PUBG seems more likely:

http://steamcharts.com/app/730#3m
http://steamcharts.com/app/578080#3m
Ehvis 2 November 2017 at 11:19 am UTC
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PUBG definitely has had a huge impact on the Steam numbers. Besides the high numbers of daily players, the thing I noticed most is how the peak time for users moved by several hours since PUBG launched. That more or less confirms that a lot of PUBG players are actually in China.

However, the 0,35% is such a big difference that it is probably a statistical anomaly. Steam didn't grow *that* much in one month.


Last edited by Ehvis at 2 November 2017 at 11:20 am UTC
Mal 2 November 2017 at 11:22 am UTC
Let's hope somebody makes a spyware linux distribution so that the chinese can use it for gaming whilst the government safely spies on them.
Corben 2 November 2017 at 11:22 am UTC
Oh dear, this will play into the hands of developers who look at this statistics and will not port their games to Linux because the fraction of 0.35% isn't worth the effort.
Too bad neither PUBG is available to Linux nor Linux is China's mainly used operating system...

One good thing maybe is, they mainly use Windows 7, so this might boost Vulkan as graphics API, which on the other could be good for Linux gaming.


Last edited by Corben at 2 November 2017 at 11:26 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
Eike 2 November 2017 at 11:24 am UTC
The numbers look beautiful for Windows 10, though.

Windows 10 64 bit
28.23%
-17.14%

Windows 10
0.37%
-0.24%
soulsource 2 November 2017 at 11:32 am UTC
MalLet's hope somebody makes a spyware linux distribution so that the chinese can use it for gaming whilst the government safely spies on them.
Ubuntu Kylin?
Red Star OS?
Brisse 2 November 2017 at 11:37 am UTC
These numbers will all go back to normal soon, becouse Chinese government wants to ban PUBG.

http://www.pcgamer.com/pubg-faces-china-ban-for-deviating-from-socialist-core-values/
KayKay91 2 November 2017 at 11:39 am UTC
soulsource
MalLet's hope somebody makes a spyware linux distribution so that the chinese can use it for gaming whilst the government safely spies on them.
Red Star OS?
I'd replace it with Deepin.

Red Star OS is a North Korean Linux distro which spies on you.
ageres 2 November 2017 at 11:39 am UTC
Imagine what marketshare would Linux have if everyone in China used Linux.
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