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The original The Banner Saga is no longer officially supported on Linux

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We already knew that the second and third parts of The Banner Saga wouldn't be coming to Linux, but now the original The Banner Saga is no longer supported on Linux.

Speaking about it on the Steam forum, one of their moderators said this:

Linux and SteamOS are no longer officially supported. You can probably still play the game with in an outdated/obsolete BETAS branch, but most players have problems ("game won't start").

No plans to update/support Linux at this time, sorry

As it turns out, one of the developers actually posted about it on Reddit last year (the same moderator as quoted above pointed this out in a later post) where they explained it a bit more thoroughly:

The problem is, the external developer that did our linux porting went out of business right after it launched, and before we could fix all its issue, tidy it up, and update its supporting technology. There's no way to get a refund or a financial remedy because, well, they ran out of cash. To extend the linux build to GOG, we'd have to be able to make a new build (Steam builds won't run on GOG), and we don't have the developer or budget available to do that.

Financially speaking, the total amount of income we've made from our Linux port on Steam after 2 years on the market is about 1/4 the cost of porting it.

Why is it so expensive and difficult? Because of the underlying technology we chose as a framework. The game rests on Adobe AIR, which provides platform level abstractions like low level graphics, file IO, networking, etc... At the time we started development, Adobe was strongly supporting Linux. Adobe then abandoned Linux and left both the developers and the players flapping in the breeze. Our linux port takes essentially the same approach as our console ports, removing Adobe AIR completely from the equation.

Hope that sheds some light on it.

It's always a shame when this happens. I know a number of developers who were stung by Adobe AIR dropping Linux support back in 2011. Most of them have moved onto using different tools by now, thankfully.

This is a sad case of multiple issues coming together. Luckily, it's not something that happens all that often.

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38 comments
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Akien 14 August 2018 at 12:49 pm UTC
I played this game on Linux and loved it, but indeed there were quite a few issues. You had to use a beta branch to get things to work kinda, and the performance was quite bad, with strong memory leaks that would bring my laptop to a crawl after an hour or two.

It's a shame that they couldn't continue working on that port, and I'm sad that I can't play the follow-up games, but I understand their reasons. Adobe is definitely not Linux's friend.
km3k 14 August 2018 at 12:52 pm UTC
It unfortunate, but it makes sense. The game Anodyne had the same problem with Adobe AIR and has since dropped official Linux support (but as of a few years ago Anodyne was still playable if you configure some things manually).

QuoteAt the time we started development, Adobe was strongly supporting Linux

I don't really buy this. When I bought Anodyne in 2013, it was a struggle getting it working on Linux even with the developer and other Linux users being very helpful in the Steam forums. This wasn't a new situation in 2013, so when they launched their kickstarter in 2012, Adobe's support for AIR on Linux was definitely not "strong".

I get that they thought they'd be able to make it work on Linux with AIR, but let's not put all the blame on Adobe. There has never been good Linux support from Adobe.


Last edited by km3k at 14 August 2018 at 12:53 pm UTC
Doc Angelo 14 August 2018 at 12:55 pm UTC
Another developer being bitten in the ass by using proprietary software that randomly drops features without them being able to do anything about it. That right there is one big reason why one shouldn't rely on closed source products.
TheSHEEEP 14 August 2018 at 1:00 pm UTC
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Doc AngeloThat right there is one big reason why one shouldn't rely on closed source products.
More like a reason not to use Adobe AIR (or other Adobe products for that matter).
Even when Flash was still a thing, AIR was just downright terrible, with bugs galore, cross-platform support shoddy (including Mac and Android), memory leaks, performance problems and so on and so forth.

When they claim Adobe was strongly supporting linux, that's just nonsense. That has never been the case as long as I can remember - and I had the "honor" of working with it and Flash back then.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 14 August 2018 at 1:02 pm UTC
Doc Angelo 14 August 2018 at 1:02 pm UTC
TheSHEEEPMore like a reason not to use Adobe AIR (or other Adobe products for that matter).

Na, I really extend it to all closed source projects. Better be safe than sorry.
officernice 14 August 2018 at 1:06 pm UTC
Kinda old news. I asked them back in spring where the Linux version was at: https://steamcommunity.com/app/237990/discussions/0/2860219962097703888/

For those interested there is Ash of Gods: Redemption which looks a lot like Banner Saga.
TheSHEEEP 14 August 2018 at 1:07 pm UTC
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Doc Angelo
TheSHEEEPMore like a reason not to use Adobe AIR (or other Adobe products for that matter).

Na, I really extend it to all closed source projects. Better be safe than sorry.
What safety?

If the maintainers of some project decide to drop linux, there's nothing you can do about that, either. The chances of someone picking up the pieces and continuing the support in their free time are slim at best - nothing a developer using the software can rely on. And even if that happens, do you truly want to place your products in the hand of some hobbyist who might just drop the whole thing again due to lack of interest or free time?
Sure, the developer could maintain the linux part themselves, maybe backporting changes from the main branch, but that would be costly which is exactly the problem the devs here faced when they hired someone to do a port.

Open source or not has absolutely nothing to do with the problem.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP at 14 August 2018 at 1:11 pm UTC. Edited 2 times.
madpinger 14 August 2018 at 1:08 pm UTC
Adobe air, ffs ppl... Put more effort into picking your tools/engines...
vipor29 14 August 2018 at 1:14 pm UTC
but yet support the mac lol like i said before one game leaves then you have a dozen in its place.i have banner saga 2,only reason i have it is because it was part of a bundle.if people want to play it bad enough just use wine and fire it up.hopefully this does not become a domino effect and developers start leaving by the droves.
zimplex1 14 August 2018 at 1:16 pm UTC
This just tells me that developers aren't spending enough time in the planning/R&D phase. Also they really should have known better than to use anything associated with/by Adobe.
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