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

Posted by , | Views: 12,357

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.

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24 comments
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Naib 20 February 2019 at 3:49 pm UTC
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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 February 2019 at 3:50 pm UTC
Something nice to cite in discussions.
Swiftpaw 20 February 2019 at 4:30 pm UTC
Why many get it wrong:

Percentage among other operating systems ≠ number of Linux gamers

Linux gamer numbers continue to grow. Sometimes we grow faster and cut into the percentage of other operating systems, while other times they grow faster, but we're still growing! :3


Last edited by Swiftpaw at 20 February 2019 at 4:31 pm UTC
Mohandevir 20 February 2019 at 4:40 pm UTC
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 at 20 February 2019 at 4:42 pm UTC
dpanter 20 February 2019 at 5:26 pm UTC
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 February 2019 at 7:31 pm UTC
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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 February 2019 at 7:51 pm UTC
... 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!


Last edited by Beamboom at 20 February 2019 at 7:52 pm UTC
Whitewolfe80 20 February 2019 at 9:12 pm UTC
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 February 2019 at 9:31 pm UTC
It is unfortunate the level of ignorance and animosity exhibited by the general public regarding Linux gaming.
Purple Library Guy 20 February 2019 at 10:17 pm UTC
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.
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