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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.

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Shmerl 10 July 2019 at 3:57 am UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoI just experienced the bad side of SteamPlay:
Earthfall was working Out of The box, ready for to be whitelisted, but after the last game update, it doesn't work anymore due to some UE4 fatal error.. The game just crash.

That's a common pattern for Wine gaming and it's been like that forever. Game updates break stuff completely. Wine catches up after a while, then things repeat. That's why it's a lot easier to play games in Wine that don't get any updates anymore. Rapidly updated games are a lot more fragile, when developers don't care to test them in Wine themselves.

Last edited by Shmerl on 10 July 2019 at 5:09 am UTC
Sir_Diealot 12 July 2019 at 9:28 am UTC
Even so, what kind of support does Valve provide, what kind of support do the proton devs provide and what kind of support do the devs provide?

Considering that support cost is usually cited as the main reason against a Linux build those are important, and as far as I know, unanswered questions.
Comandante Ñoñardo 20 July 2019 at 5:09 am UTC
I'm glad to notify that Earthfall WORKS AGAIN with this workaround.

QuoteGo to your Steam Library
Right Click on Earthfall
Click "Properties"
Select "Betas" tab
Choose from the drop down menu: "classic - last UE 4.16 build"
"Close" and wait for the game to install
samurro 25 July 2019 at 12:32 pm UTC
Just wanted to say this was an interesting topic to read, made it through 18 pages reading the arguments going back and forward on this difficult topic.
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