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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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skinnyraf 2 November 2017 at 11:39 am UTC
EikeSome 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

We need PUBG on Linux, period.

Also, just check PUBG discussions on Steam, most of it is in Chinese.
Brisse 2 November 2017 at 11:43 am UTC
SkinnyrafWe need PUBG on Linux, period.

I don't see that happening. M$ is all over it trying to take it to Xbox and making it M$ exclusive.


Last edited by Brisse at 2 November 2017 at 11:43 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
sr_ls_boy 2 November 2017 at 11:43 am UTC
View PC info
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Who here will volunteer to compile a piece of GPL-software that spies on you and sends your personal data to the NSA?
g000h 2 November 2017 at 11:45 am UTC
I think what annoys me about this news is the fact that most of the copies of Windows being used in China are pirated. Previous news stories estimate 90% of Windows in China is pirated. A few years ago, Steve Ballmer stated it being the case. It is clear that Chinese do not want to pay for software, probably because typical earnings are not great and probably because they can get away with it without fear of repercussions.

The thing is... They could be using Linux instead, and for FREE. And no WannaCry or other malware that has gone through Windows installs over there. Imagine the boost to Linux if all those Chinese had not been pirating...


Last edited by g000h at 2 November 2017 at 11:46 am UTC
Brisse 2 November 2017 at 11:50 am UTC
g000hI think what annoys me about this news is the fact that most of the copies of Windows being used in China are pirated. Previous news stories estimate 90% of Windows in China is pirated. A few years ago, Steve Ballmer stated it being the case. It is clear that Chinese do not want to pay for software, probably because typical earnings are not great and probably because they can get away with it without fear of repercussions.

The thing is... They could be using Linux instead, and for FREE. And no WannaCry or other malware that has gone through Windows installs over there. Imagine the boost to Linux if all those Chinese had not been pirating...

This is also why Windows 10 plummeted and Windows 7 made huge gains. Pirates just seem to prefer the latter.
TheSHEEEP 2 November 2017 at 12:14 pm UTC
I was planning to learn Chinese anyway.
Motivation++
FredO 2 November 2017 at 12:22 pm UTC
While the number of Chinese users is exploding on Steam, Gabe Newell has quietly moved into the top 100 rich list in the U.S
Tchey 2 November 2017 at 12:32 pm UTC
Amazing numbers.

And in 10 years in could be the African boom, and it will be huge.
peterp771 2 November 2017 at 12:33 pm UTC
This article makes a lot of sense and confirms what many of us suspected for a long time.

I never did believe the arguments that Linux Steam market share is low because of driver issues or not enough games or performance issues etc as others often say. Linux started off at 2% and drivers today are much better than they were in 2013 and we have lots more games including several AAA titles. Linux gaming has made huge strives since then and to go backwards in marketshare makes no sense, unless you count all the new Chinese users coming online.

If the Steam survey didn't count the hordes of Windows users in China, I reckon the Linux share could well be around 4% by now.
0aTT 2 November 2017 at 12:46 pm UTC
peterp771I never did believe the arguments that Linux Steam market share is low because of driver issues or not enough games or performance issues etc as others often say. Linux started off at 2% and drivers today are much better than they were in 2013 and we have lots more games including several AAA titles. Linux gaming has made huge strives since then and to go backwards in marketshare makes no sense, unless you count all the new Chinese users coming online.

It makes sense. While Microsoft has aggressive marketing and Linux nearly none.

People will only change when the benefits of Linux become overwhelming.

This is exactly what happened on the server market. Anyone who only uses Windows in the server area goes broke. In the desktop area this is by no means the case so far.
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