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The number of Linux gamers on Steam continues to grow, according to Valve

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Recently, Engadget wrote an article about Linux gaming and apart from a bit of a silly title and information regular GOL readers will be aware of, they did have some interesting info from Valve.

I don't put too much thought into the title they decided to give it, "Linux gaming is on a life-support system called Steam", since when you think about it that's actually quite close to the truth. Valve are the biggest pushers of Linux gaming and one of the only major forces doing so.

While I've long said that the amount of Linux gamers using Steam will be increasing all the time, the actual market share of Linux on Steam hasn't really gone anywhere. At times, it has certainly looked like the amount of Linux gamers has decreased if you take the percentage at face value.

The key thing to remember, is that Windows and Mac obviously grow too (which I've previously mentioned multiple times) and if they grow more it would bring down the Linux market share percentage. The Engadget article touched on this, with a quote from Valve directly to make it clear:

"The overall percentage still has a lot of ground to make up, but the number of Linux gamers on Steam continues to grow at a similar rate as those playing on Windows," Steam developer Pierre-Loup Griffais told Engadget. "It looks like there might actually be an increase trend in Linux gamers starting from October when we released the new Steam Play [Proton] beta, but it's too early to tell if it's had a real lasting impact."

Nice to hear that direct from Valve, who also said they do plan to continue their Linux investments and they believe open gaming platforms will result in a better experience for us all. Heck, Valve even have a job opening for a SteamOS Software Engineer.

The wider media tend to ignore Linux (for obvious reasons right now), so I think it's actually quite nice that Engadget put some real thought into this and got some good info there.

Article taken from
Tags: Steam, Valve
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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Naib 20 Feb, 2019
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its always growing, just at a comparable rate to windows growth :) this is why the relative difference (0.8%) doesn't appear to change
Eike 20 Feb, 2019
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Something nice to cite in discussions. :)
Mohandevir 20 Feb, 2019
From the SteamOS job posting:

"Working with OEMs throughout the hardware product cycle from design through production and maintenance"

Probably nothing or not what I think it may be, but it raises my hopes for a new wave of Steam Machines...

"Regularly shipping updates to SteamOS"

Yeah... Badly required.

Last edited by Mohandevir on 20 February 2019 at 4:42 pm UTC
dpanter 20 Feb, 2019
We still don't know exactly how Valve comes up with these numbers, or even what the damn numbers actually are. These near-useless percentages are almost insulting. :(
AzP 20 Feb, 2019
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I would be so happy if that damn number would just increase to 5%. I think that above that, it would really make a difference.
Beamboom 20 Feb, 2019
... And written by a female tech journalist, who's also a Sci-fi author and pretty cute too. Oh hello there, every geek's dream! <3

Last edited by Beamboom on 20 February 2019 at 7:52 pm UTC
Whitewolfe80 20 Feb, 2019
I am glad more people are trying out linux we need more titles to sustain that growth but for right now Linux has either the native games i play or have near or good enough windows performance. If valve stay true to that and continue to fund dxvk and proton/wine develoment and the news that valve are talking to battleye people to get a work around for steam play good times ahead.
Maath 20 Feb, 2019
It is unfortunate the level of ignorance and animosity exhibited by the general public regarding Linux gaming.
Purple Library Guy 20 Feb, 2019
Quoting: MaathIt is unfortunate the level of ignorance and animosity exhibited by the general public regarding Linux gaming.
Regarding Linux in general, it would seem. I went to the article, read the comments (with difficulty--that site handles comments a bit weird) and there was a lot of hostility based on really old ideas, from people strongly resistant to the notion of changing them.
But I'll disagree on one point: Those comments aren't from "the general public". The general public has either never heard of Linux or doesn't know, doesn't even think they know, enough about it to have much of an opinion. Most such people didn't bother to read the article, much less comment, because it wasn't about something they were interested in. The hostile people are the opinionated Windows power-users who are invested in Windows and their knowledge of it--computer-oriented people for whom Windows is their "team", who know enough to know there are other, enemy, "teams" out there. Those are the people who would see an article about Linux and consider it important to read it, or at least a bit of it, and go put in their few cents' worth to smack down the enemy.
bingus 20 Feb, 2019
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Quoting: Purple Library Guywho know enough to know there are other, enemy, "teams" out there.

Hats off to you Purple Library Guy, that whole post is bang on. Although Linux users have been known to be just as tribal. Same as Win vs Mac vs Linux...iPhone vs Android... PS4 vs Xbox. Its all pretty stupid when you think about it. Just like what you want to like.

Reminds me a little of this clip (NSFW language)

Last edited by bingus on 20 February 2019 at 11:18 pm UTC
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