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Steam's top releases of May show why Steam Play is needed for Linux

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Valve have put out a news post to highlight some of the top games put onto Steam in May and it's another reminder of why Steam Play is needed.

In this blog post they start by listing 20 games that had the top revenue earned in the first two weeks following their release. Without looking, take a guess at the number of games in that list that actually support Linux.

Did you take a guess? The answer is a rather sobering two: Rise of Industry and Total War: THREE KINGDOMS. What happens to that number if we include those that can be run with Steam Play, with a "Platinum" rating from user reports on ProtonDB? That brings it right up to nine, which is far more impressive. It would be even higher, if Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye worked with Steam Play and since both said they're working on it (Sources: EAC - BattlEye), things can only get better.

They also went over the top five free games, measured by peak player count within the first two weeks following release: Conqueror's Blade, Splitgate: Arena Warfare, Minion Masters, Eden Rising and Never Split the Party. Of those, only one supports Linux which is Never Split the Party. If we take "Platinum" Steam Play games again, that only rises to two.

Note: The top free games list has two entries that also appear in the top revenue list.

Without popular games, Linux gaming won't grow to a point where it will be noticeable. Once again, this is a big reason why Steam Play is going to help in the long run. First we get games, then we get players, then we hopefully get developers wanting control with their own supported Linux builds.

What's interesting though, is this only takes into account the first two weeks in both cases. Taking a look myself a bit closer, out of the top 20 games most played on Steam right now (players online) only one of those games Valve listed in the blog post actually make it at all, which is Total War: THREE KINGDOMS and that does support Linux. Going even further, out of the top 100 games on Steam for player count, from Valve's list, only currently Total War: THREE KINGDOMS shows up.

As a quick additional and interesting measure for June: Looking at the top 20 by player count right now, how many in total support Linux? A much healthier 10, so half which isn't so bad. Stretching it out even more, from the top 100 by player count, 43 of them support Linux.

So while we don't get the "latest and greatest" games, keep in mind that we do have a lot of games that stay popular supported on Linux, so there's at least a silver lining of sorts there.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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214 comments
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LibertyPaulM 28 June 2019 at 4:18 pm UTC
jens
LibertyPaulM
Swiftpaw
LibertyPaulMI've said it before and I will say it again, "no tux no bucks" does more harm than good and this shows why

No Tux No Bux is exactly what we need more of so that we get more Linux support. We want to be Linux gamers and help the Linux support ecosystem, not Windows gamers helping the Windows support ecosystem.

The cold hard truth is that devs will not support linux until the market grows. You think they support Windows because they like Windows? Nope, they support it because that is where the users are. Devs won't develop for linux because there are not enough users, users will not move to linux because that is not where the games they want to play are. Emulation and compatibility layers were always the best hope for linux gaming

To be fair, with Steam Play Linux gets visibility because a Steam Play purchase counts as Linux. This is not the case with other ways of playing non-Linux games on Linux.
Knowing that developers and publishers know that I spend my money for Linux is quite important for me.

The fact that Steam Play sales do count as linux sales is why I count Steam Play under the overall banner of "linux gaming" or, since it is where we are, "gaming on linux"
Salvatos 28 June 2019 at 4:19 pm UTC
Sir_DiealotOr there are fewer games for Linux released now that SteamPlay is around. Who can say with certainty? Historical data and statistics probably can. Who is going to dig in?
Still seems too early for statistics to draw meaningful conclusions for something so vague and far-reaching. Game development takes years and most/many devs will need to see the effects of Proton before they start changing their behaviour based on it. In my opinion.
Swiftpaw 28 June 2019 at 4:22 pm UTC
LibertyPaulM
Swiftpaw
LibertyPaulMI've said it before and I will say it again, "no tux no bucks" does more harm than good and this shows why

No Tux No Bux is exactly what we need more of so that we get more Linux support. We want to be Linux gamers and help the Linux support ecosystem, not Windows gamers helping the Windows support ecosystem.

The cold hard truth is that devs will not support linux until the market grows. You think they support Windows because they like Windows? Nope, they support it because that is where the users are. Devs won't develop for linux because there are not enough users, users will not move to linux because that is not where the games they want to play are. Emulation and compatibility layers were always the best hope for linux gaming

No, the cold hard truth is supply and demand, which means Linux support depends on gamers demanding it, and if Proton hurts gamers demanding it rather than encouraging more of that demand due to more gamers switching to Linux and then demanding it, then Proton is hurting more than helping.

If the demand for Linux support overall decreases, then there will be fewer and fewer games with Linux support, and Microsoft wins. We don't want Microsoft's APIs being used more, we want them being used less, and we want developers providing us with more support not less.
mylka 28 June 2019 at 4:23 pm UTC
just take platinum is wrong
rage 2 had a lot of borked at the beginning, but after a few hours valve fixed it and now it would be platinum

layers of fear 2 has silver, but the only thing you need to do is "-onethread" in launch options and videos dont work
Swiftpaw 28 June 2019 at 4:27 pm UTC
LibertyPaulM
jens
LibertyPaulM
Swiftpaw
LibertyPaulMI've said it before and I will say it again, "no tux no bucks" does more harm than good and this shows why

No Tux No Bux is exactly what we need more of so that we get more Linux support. We want to be Linux gamers and help the Linux support ecosystem, not Windows gamers helping the Windows support ecosystem.

The cold hard truth is that devs will not support linux until the market grows. You think they support Windows because they like Windows? Nope, they support it because that is where the users are. Devs won't develop for linux because there are not enough users, users will not move to linux because that is not where the games they want to play are. Emulation and compatibility layers were always the best hope for linux gaming

To be fair, with Steam Play Linux gets visibility because a Steam Play purchase counts as Linux. This is not the case with other ways of playing non-Linux games on Linux.
Knowing that developers and publishers know that I spend my money for Linux is quite important for me.

The fact that Steam Play sales do count as linux sales is why I count Steam Play under the overall banner of "linux gaming" or, since it is where we are, "gaming on linux"

"Counts" in the sense that the developer sees you buying or playing a Windows game while you're on Linux. If you're just playing on Linux but didn't buy the game on Linux, that could be a good thing. However, if you buy a Windows game on Linux, that's a very bad thing as that directly tells the developer you're willing to pay them money even though they aren't providing you with Linux support. It's encouraging Windows entrenchment and encouraging developers to not support Linux, the more Linux gamers that willingly become supportless gamers like that.

Instead, the correct message to send is we will not send you money until you support us like every other gamer gets to enjoy. We demand Linux support. That's how you get more Linux support.
LibertyPaulM 28 June 2019 at 4:28 pm UTC
Swiftpaw
LibertyPaulM
Swiftpaw
LibertyPaulMI've said it before and I will say it again, "no tux no bucks" does more harm than good and this shows why

No Tux No Bux is exactly what we need more of so that we get more Linux support. We want to be Linux gamers and help the Linux support ecosystem, not Windows gamers helping the Windows support ecosystem.

The cold hard truth is that devs will not support linux until the market grows. You think they support Windows because they like Windows? Nope, they support it because that is where the users are. Devs won't develop for linux because there are not enough users, users will not move to linux because that is not where the games they want to play are. Emulation and compatibility layers were always the best hope for linux gaming

No, the cold hard truth is supply and demand, which means Linux support depends on gamers demanding it, and if Proton hurts gamers demanding it rather than encouraging more of that demand due to more gamers switching to Linux and then demanding it, then Proton is hurting more than helping.

If the demand for Linux support overall decreases, then there will be fewer and fewer games with Linux support, and Microsoft wins. We don't want Microsoft's APIs being used more, we want them being used less, and we want developers providing us with more support not less.

Thats not how economics works. Why would any business create a product for a market that does not exist or is irrelevant in terms of the size of that market? Businesses always look at the size of the market and how much they could possibly get in sales vs the cost of servicing that market. The truth is for many game devs, the outgoings vs projected revenue isn't worth it. We have to show them that the market exists. The only metrics that really matter are sales metrics


Last edited by LibertyPaulM on 28 June 2019 at 4:30 pm UTC
jens 28 June 2019 at 4:29 pm UTC
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SwiftpawNo, the cold hard truth is supply and demand, which means Linux support depends on gamers demanding it...

Your are correct that demand and supply are the rules, but please realize that there is nearly no demand for Linux games due to nearly nobody uses Linux on the Desktop compared to other Desktop OS's. You need the users first to built up demand.


Last edited by jens on 28 June 2019 at 4:30 pm UTC
jens 28 June 2019 at 4:31 pm UTC
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LibertyPaulM
jens
LibertyPaulM
Swiftpaw
LibertyPaulMI've said it before and I will say it again, "no tux no bucks" does more harm than good and this shows why

No Tux No Bux is exactly what we need more of so that we get more Linux support. We want to be Linux gamers and help the Linux support ecosystem, not Windows gamers helping the Windows support ecosystem.

The cold hard truth is that devs will not support linux until the market grows. You think they support Windows because they like Windows? Nope, they support it because that is where the users are. Devs won't develop for linux because there are not enough users, users will not move to linux because that is not where the games they want to play are. Emulation and compatibility layers were always the best hope for linux gaming

To be fair, with Steam Play Linux gets visibility because a Steam Play purchase counts as Linux. This is not the case with other ways of playing non-Linux games on Linux.
Knowing that developers and publishers know that I spend my money for Linux is quite important for me.

The fact that Steam Play sales do count as linux sales is why I count Steam Play under the overall banner of "linux gaming" or, since it is where we are, "gaming on linux"

Yes, same thoughts here.
Liam Dawe 28 June 2019 at 4:38 pm UTC
mylkajust take platinum is wrong
rage 2 had a lot of borked at the beginning, but after a few hours valve fixed it and now it would be platinum

layers of fear 2 has silver, but the only thing you need to do is "-onethread" in launch options and videos dont work
"Wrong" being simply your opinion, I chose to use Platinum as the safest possible bet for statistical purposes only.

Oh, "and videos dont work" - yeah, that's not exactly the experience people are after is it. If something doesn't work, it's another nail in the coffin for people sticking around. Think it through a little.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 28 June 2019 at 6:02 pm UTC
TheSHEEEP 28 June 2019 at 4:44 pm UTC
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SwiftpawInstead, the correct message to send is we will not send you money until you support us like every other gamer gets to enjoy. We demand Linux support. That's how you get more Linux support.
Hate to break it to you so directly, but that is wishful thinking without any base in reality.
Uhhh, about 1% of gamers demand Linux support. Yes, that will sure convince developers. As a 1% group demanding anything has always been very successful, I'm sure.
Seriously, it convinces barely anyone even here and we're all linux gamers ;)

No, Linux gamers will be ignored by most developers without a personal interest in the platform itself - until there are enough linux gamers to actually listen to them, to make the effort viable.
And that number can only be increased by growing game support. Which - since a larger percentage of native ports won't happen without a larger target audience first - can only be provided by Wine/etc.

Though, of course, the increased support of Linux by engines naturally also helps here, as it lowers the perceived barrier of having to maintain another platform.

Obviously, preferably buying games with Linux support has a positive influence, as has (nicely!) asking for future Linux support of game X. But beyond that, buying a Windows-only game on Linux and playing it there will show a developer that there's an audience here which has the one thing any developer desires most: $$$.
Which might convince a developer to give the platform a try with a proper release. Or not.
But at least it is a chance, in contrast to a handful of people screeching "No tux no bux!" in their ear, which only leads to the "ignore those Linux freaks"-reaction you can regularly see wherever the topic comes up.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 28 June 2019 at 4:49 pm UTC
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