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I’ve been wondering recently about what happened to Minecraft: Story Mode for Linux. A developer at Telltale Games even publicly spoke about his support for it and offered out a Beta to multiple people willing to test.

I was accepted to test, the game ran smoothly, everything looked good and then...nothing happened. No one spoke of it again, Telltale themselves went silent on it and it looked as good as dead. It was odd, because the Linux version seemed ready.

Turns out, it was ready.

I caught up with David Brady, the developer who worked on it, who has since left Telltale Games to work for another big developer. In his own words he said “it was my opinion that Minecraft was ready for release”. He seemed very certain of this too when we had a chat. That was the main bit I'm able to share, but he was very clear on it.

I should note those are the thoughts of that developer, not of Telltale Games as it stands right now.

I reached out to Telltale Games through the usual channels, but sadly I received no reply. We may never know what really happened. I doubt Microsoft would have suddenly requested the plug be pulled on it (they now own Mojang), since this was all happening after Microsoft’s purchase of the original Minecraft developer.

We can speculate, of course, as to what actually happened. It could have been the usual low market share issue that the “higher ups” didn’t like the idea of, which would have been strange since the work was already done and obviously approved of in some way.

It could have been a case of having no one left to maintain it and support it going forward, which seems quite believable. All extra platforms come with a support cost, but since Telltale don’t speak about it, we just don’t know.

If you ever read this Telltale Games, get in touch, let’s have a chat.

A shame, it would have been really nice to see a Telltale title on Linux. I’ve always been itching to try their titles.

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Comments
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lucifertdark 4 September 2017 at 1:47 pm UTC
Darkdisorder78
razing32
lucifertdarkTelltale were more than likely ordered to kill all Linux development or lose their spot in the Windows App Store. Microsoft have always been shady b'stards.

Given M$ attitude to open source I would not be surprised at all.
Oh come on. How does this even make sense?
Why wouldn't it make sense? It's not the first time they've stuck the knife into a rival. Never Trust Microsoft.
Corben 4 September 2017 at 1:50 pm UTC
jkaartMinecraft Story Mode Season 2 don't launch in wine.
Maybe Season 1 works well today, I don't test it yet in wine.
Ah okay, didn't test Minecraft Storymode, but e.g. The Walking Dead works perfectly with wine (platinum rating).
M@GOid 4 September 2017 at 2:03 pm UTC
lucifertdark
Darkdisorder78
razing32
lucifertdarkTelltale were more than likely ordered to kill all Linux development or lose their spot in the Windows App Store. Microsoft have always been shady b'stards.

Given M$ attitude to open source I would not be surprised at all.
Oh come on. How does this even make sense?
Why wouldn't it make sense? It's not the first time they've stuck the knife into a rival. Never Trust Microsoft.

On a rival? They are known to stuck a knife on their own clients. Ask Windows 7 users what they think about MS actions about Windows 10 down the throat upgrades.


Last edited by M@GOid at 4 September 2017 at 2:03 pm UTC
Dunc 4 September 2017 at 3:14 pm UTC
lucifertdarkNever Trust Microsoft.
Words to live by. Liam makes a reasonable point about the timing, but I wouldn't be surprised either.

Then again, perhaps they didn't feel able to provide aftermarket support. But if that's the case, why clam up?
RafiLinux 4 September 2017 at 4:17 pm UTC
Another developer/publisher to add to my list of "Not getting my money!"
Darkdisorder78 4 September 2017 at 4:37 pm UTC
Corben
jkaartMinecraft Story Mode Season 2 don't launch in wine.
Maybe Season 1 works well today, I don't test it yet in wine.
Ah okay, didn't test Minecraft Storymode, but e.g. The Walking Dead works perfectly with wine (platinum rating).
ok? Maybe releasing on Windows made more sense financially.
melkemind 4 September 2017 at 4:58 pm UTC
lucifertdark
Darkdisorder78
razing32
lucifertdarkTelltale were more than likely ordered to kill all Linux development or lose their spot in the Windows App Store. Microsoft have always been shady b'stards.

Given M$ attitude to open source I would not be surprised at all.
Oh come on. How does this even make sense?
Why wouldn't it make sense? It's not the first time they've stuck the knife into a rival. Never Trust Microsoft.

If Microsoft were really that concerned about Linux gaming, why would they continue to support Minecraft itself on Linux? Why are there games pulbished by Microsoft Studios on Linux?

This is more likely a case of the higher ups telling the one or two developers who were working on the Linux port to stop "wasting time" and get back to "real work." It was almost certainly a financial decision, not a personal vendetta because game companies are businesses and business is about money.
kf 4 September 2017 at 5:13 pm UTC
melkemindIf Microsoft were really that concerned about Linux gaming, why would they continue to support Minecraft itself on Linux? Why are there games pulbished by Microsoft Studios on Linux?
If I remember correctly, one of the agreements between Notch and Microsoft was that Microsoft had to give total freedom to Mojang and let them continue doing their own thing. So it's not that they are supporting it as much as it is that they can't kill it.


Last edited by kf at 4 September 2017 at 5:39 pm UTC
sulix 4 September 2017 at 5:14 pm UTC
This actually happens way more often than you'd expect. There are a quite a lot of games with Linux ports which are done, but haven't been released. Sometimes they do eventually end up being released (I've seen games with finished Linux ports which only get released years later), sometimes they never do.

In this case, I'd doubt it's Microsoft: they've definitely approved Linux ports of things before. Of course, that doesn't make it impossible: these things are usually decided on a case-by-case basis, and it would not be unlikely for different people to be involved.

The main reasons I've seen is, as mentioned, the "support costs" involved with Linux. Developers and publishers are certainly wary of the time it takes to train up support staff on Linux troubleshooting, make sure that they're able to maintain it for the supported life of the game, work out how it's going to be sold (getting a Linux version put on GOG, for instance, can be quite slow and unpredictable; do retail versions now need to have Linux builds), etc.

Finally, whilst releasing a Linux version is often worth it, companies will often want to wait for a good promotional opportunity to release the port (notably if it wasn't ported in time for the original release). This often will be an anniversary, or a sale (or bundle), or the announcement/release of a sequel. Sometimes this is a short delay, sometimes it's a long one, and sometimes no-one ever finds such a "promotional opportunity".

That having been said, it'd be great if Telltale would give the Linux releases another push. It's been quite a while, and avoiding spoilers is hard.
Asu 4 September 2017 at 9:18 pm UTC
sulixThis actually happens way more often than you'd expect. There are a quite a lot of games with Linux ports which are done, but haven't been released.

yep and looking at your avatar id/bethesda is quite big troublemaker in this regard. id has no game on linux which is a really big shame.
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