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Steam Reaches Over 1,500 Linux Games, It's Not Enough

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Note: This is an editorial, all of this is my personal opinion, it seems some people in the comments forget what editorials are for.

It's always fun when I see lots of websites talking about how many games Linux now has on Steam, as the number itself doesn't really mean all that much. So, I have decided to do my take on it.

It's true that it's a milestone (1505 right now), but the truth of the matter is that it's just a number. It may sound like a lot, but the vast majority of the games are very niche, mobile ports and not all that many high quality AAA titles that will actually push Linux and SteamOS adoption properly.

Put any fanboy tendencies you have aside for a moment (as hard as it may be for some people, myself included), and think about what other people see. We're already massive Linux gaming fans, but not everyone is because of the lack of AAA games.

Looking at it, Windows has 6478 games right now, so while it looks like we are gaining ground, plenty of games still release without a Linux version. I don't see this gap being filled any time soon, but hopefully with the release of Steam Machines it might pick up a bit.

It has gotten better thanks to Aspyr, Feral, VP and a few others, but it simply isn't enough right now. I am eagerly awaiting the many ports still to come, as we do still have some decent games to come.

On a very positive note - what I do like to see though, is that 7 out of 10 of the highest rated games on Steam are available for Linux, now that's something that pleases me more than the overall number of games that we have available.

Long live Linux. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Editorial
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lvlark 22 Sep, 2015
Indeed, 1500 out of how many? And things like Anno Online, games that don't really run reliably, don't count. Not to mention the fact that most 'big' games only work properly on nVidia graphics. There's some way to go yet...

Still, even if they're mostly niche mobile ports or small indie games, it means that it's probably worth it to port those over.. And what's more, how long ago did we reach a 1000? This has been going fast. It is, in the end, a milestone worth mentioning.
Pecisk 22 Sep, 2015
Can we at least change a tone? Seriously, I understand skepticism, I really do, but this is getting very tiresome. Gaming on OS X sucks...yet people play games on that platform and don't complain much.

Can at least celebrate this achievement a bit?
Pecisk 22 Sep, 2015
How about organizing good and serious discussions about what's lacking in Linux gaming? How to make developers aware of help they can get from community? There are so many ways to look at this positively.
Liam Dawe 22 Sep, 2015
Quoting: PeciskCan we at least change a tone? Seriously, I understand skepticism, I really do, but this is getting very tiresome. Gaming on OS X sucks...yet people play games on that platform and don't complain much.

Can at least celebrate this achievement a bit?

I would rather not click-bait a random milestone like other websites do, this is meant as a more serious point that it really isn't enough right now. There's no need for me to fanboy every single random milestone we hit, and we need to keep pushing for more ports, and not be complacent with what little we still have right now.
Eike 22 Sep, 2015
Quoting: lvlarkAnd what's more, how long ago did we reach a 1000? This has been going fast. It is, in the end, a milestone worth mentioning.

It's been half a year.
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articles/firstperson-puzzler-parallax-game-no-1000-on-steam-for-linux.5098

I thought about writing about game number 1500 as well, but to be honest, Broadside doesn't catch my interest:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/401560
pb 22 Sep, 2015
Quoting: liamdaweI would rather not click-bait a random milestone like other websites do, this is meant as a more serious point that it really isn't enough right now. There's no need for me to fanboy every single random milestone we hit, and we need to keep pushing for more ports, and not be complacent with what little we still have right now.

Then why write about it at all?
Teodosio 22 Sep, 2015
Looking at the bare numbers is bound to be hugely misleading. Dota2 runs on GNU while "Zombie Bowl-o-Rama" is Windows only. They both count as "one game" as far as bare numbers go but of course you don't need me to tell what the difference is.

You correctly noted that "What I do like to see though, is that 7 out of 10 of the highest rated games on Steam are available for Linux".
Now try to go a step further and weight games by actual players. You are going to find a big surprise.
Hori 22 Sep, 2015
Steam Machines need high-quality games. Most of those 1500 are cheap low-quality games, and most of them are indy games. People who currently use PS or Xbox won't give a damn about those games, they will almost only look for high-quality games which, unfortunately, are very rare.

We will be able to say that Linux is relevant in gaming only when big popular titles will support it. As you said, 1500 is just a number, and a pretty irelevant one.

Note: I am not saying that Indy games are all cheap and low-quality (some of my favourite games are indy), but most of them certainly are. Steam is bloated with countless completely useless games that nobody enjoys, and most of those are indy.
Eike 22 Sep, 2015
Quoting: HoriSteam Machines need high-quality games. Most of those 1500 are cheap low-quality games, and most of them are indy games. People who currently use PS or Xbox won't give a damn about those games, they will almost only look for high-quality games which, unfortunately, are very rare.

Sony and Microsoft seem to have a different view on (high quality) indie games, as they are both embracing indie...
(Of course, there's a lot of trash out there.)


Last edited by Eike on 22 September 2015 at 10:12 am UTC
mirv 22 Sep, 2015
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Numbers showing a GNU/Linux version are nice, but don't have a good representation of the quality of those games, both in terms of actual gameplay and the software itself. I think the majority are still ports - they're developed as an afterthought, or at best only after the primary platform is complete. Rarely is a game developed from the start with a GNU/Linux version in mind.

Steam also isn't the only way to get games. GOG is there, humble bundles, and also a whole group of other places (even if they're mostly indie). Valve hold far too much sway in the minds of the gaming masses, and while they do a good job, I don't think it's healthy for gaming.

Just my opinion on the matter.
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