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The Witcher 3 is something Linux users have been practically begging to have, but the problem is that it seems it will likely never come to Linux. An ex-Virtual Programming developer has taken to reddit explaining why this may have happened.

I should stress, for our own record here that this is not the official word from Virtual Programming or CD Projekt RED. This is the personal opinion of an ex-VP developer.

Here's the issue: The Linux version of The Witcher 2 was released in a poor state, it had poor performance and just didn't really work well at all. It was later fixed-up and last time I tried it, the performance was absolutely fine for me. The real problem, is the amount of hate that was sent towards the porters Virtual Programming and directly to CD Projekt RED as well. Even I personally saw some of the hate that was sent their way and it was downright idiotic and absolutely uncalled for.

I will absolutely hold my hands up as well, I made mistakes around it since I simply didn't know enough at the time, and to be honest three years ago I was still learning a lot about everything. I later corrected what I said, as I always aim to.

Writing on reddit, this developer said (source):
QuoteI agree, things were not right on release... but the vocality of people went way beyond that. It was an all out hate campaign against VP, against CDPR for "lying about the port being native". I attempted to help people out in my own time and got absolutely roasted and abused for it.

The community needs to realise it simply cannot justify this sort of behaviour if they want to convince devs and publishers to support them. There is no excuse.


It seems we may have also seen a port of The Witcher 1 as well, as the developer also said (source):
QuoteThe vitriol was unbelievable. Yes we messed up the performance on release but we put it right. However a huge hate campaign ensued. Both VP and CDPR got lots of vengeful hate mail sent to them. I cannot help but feel this damaged CDPR's view of the Linux platform irrevocably.

They certainly didnt blame us, because they had us work on a Mac port of Witcher 1 to replace the non-functioning Wineskin version. The same port would have ran on Linux too with very little extra work, but they were not interested in releasing it.


There's also this post from another user, who said at the time The Witcher 2 released for Linux, CDProjekt apparently lost a fair amount on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Apparently due to such a big backlash from the community about the initial release quality. I haven't verified that myself, but if true it would certainly make CDProjekt rather against doing another Linux port with anyone.

This is sad, really sad. I hope this makes a few people reconsider their attitude when talking to developer about the performance of ports. Performance can be worked on and fixed, burnt bridges are harder (and sometimes impossible) to fix.

This reminds me of the time the Blizzard President responded to a small petition asking for Linux ports of their games. The response to the petition was really nice to see from such a big company and truthfully the response I fully expected, but the original statement in reply to it from the petition author (now deleted by the author, but captured in my article) was downright childish and idiotic.

Yes problems are annoying, but throwing insults around helps no one and yes it does make us look bad. I get where people are coming from, to an extent, since some games do end up getting left in a terribly broken state for a long time and sometimes forever. However, in this case VP did good and continued working and now, as stated previously, The Witcher 2 seems fine. Their others ports are generally pretty decent too.

I just hope in future that this developer who got a massive amount of hate and CD Projekt RED can look past it somehow, for all the fans of their franchise on Linux.

Note: I personally spoke to this developer about publishing this with their approval, in the hopes that it might get a few people to re-think their initial attitude towards problems in games.
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liamphmurphy 3 July 2017 at 9:28 pm UTC
Not surprised sadly. A huge reason why people say to use Linux is because of the community. So when such a community has a major backlash in a almost religious flame war fashion, it leaves a bad taste in many people's mouths, non-Linux and Linux users alike.


Last edited by liamphmurphy at 3 July 2017 at 9:29 pm UTC
KimmoKM 3 July 2017 at 9:29 pm UTC
And what's the point of having a "port" in the first place if it works worse than it does on Wine? Now, some commenters without doubt went overboard, but while Virtual Programming ultimately improved the Linux version, the backlash at the time was 100% justified. There's a good chance Linux gaming would be in a worse spot than it is now if we didn't react to terrible ports with outrage (beating Wine performance and functionality should be a barrier every single port should cross), even if we did get an official release of TW3 one way or another.


Last edited by KimmoKM at 3 July 2017 at 9:33 pm UTC
liamdawe 3 July 2017 at 9:32 pm UTC
KimmoKMAnd what's the point of having a "port" in the first place if it works worse than it does on Wine? Now, some commenters without doubt went overboard, but while Virtual Programming ultimately improved the Linux version, the backlash at the time was 100% justified. There's a good chance Linux gaming would be in a worse spot than it is now if we didn't react to outrageously bad ports (beating Wine performance and functionality should be a barrier every single port should cross), even if we did get an official release of TW3 one way or another.
Sorry, but no. The backlash in the form of threats, constant name calling and *insert vile words here* was really not justified, a lot of it personally aimed at people within VP. It was downright terrible and when I saw it, I felt ashamed of the community.
chancho_zombie 3 July 2017 at 9:35 pm UTC
I 'am currently playing the game and didn't noticed any performance problems. For what is worth I complained, over the forums, about the mechanics and the controls not being so fluid like other adventure games. But after getting my hands dirty I changed my mind and I think it's a great game. Sometimes you have a prejudgement about how is supposed to be a game and mechanics must work, but then you change your mind 180 degrees, it happens.
CSharp 3 July 2017 at 9:36 pm UTC
I personally would like to differ from your opinion here. I know that some Linux users are little brats who run around making silly demands - but I think that most developers would recognize that we're the better bunch overall. Most of the Linux users know how to properly report bugs and seem the most keen on helping when compared to a Windows user base.

The amount of backlash games get when they release a poor Windows port is awfully hard, and most Linux users are happy and joyful when the damn thing boots and makes it past the menu title. If we look at the amount of hate and flack Ubisoft gets for their half baked Assassins Creed releases, the PC port of Arkham City, or take a look at the reception of No man's sky you will see how harsh a Windows / Mac / Console crowd can be.

I don't wanna excuse a negative attitude towards a developer, because it doesn't help any party involved. But saying that it's excusable to claim "they were mean" and stop supporting it is rather silly IMO. After all, every angry email they got was from a customer who had paid for the full experience and wasn't getting it.
Mountain Man 3 July 2017 at 9:38 pm UTC
If that's the reason they've abandoned Linux then that seems rather petty.
liamdawe 3 July 2017 at 9:39 pm UTC
CSharpbut I think that most developers would recognize that we're the better bunch overall.
I will disagree here. I don't think we're better than any community. Just like all other gaming communities, we have a bunch of trolls, bile spewers and so on. Part of the problem is that we're smaller, all of our communities are smaller and so the hate ends up cutting through and gets seen more than it would in a larger community.

We aren't better than others, that's just not looking outside the circle there.

Still, that's my opinion, as your post is yours and opinions are welcome here
Kimyrielle 3 July 2017 at 9:40 pm UTC
liamdawe
KimmoKMAnd what's the point of having a "port" in the first place if it works worse than it does on Wine? Now, some commenters without doubt went overboard, but while Virtual Programming ultimately improved the Linux version, the backlash at the time was 100% justified. There's a good chance Linux gaming would be in a worse spot than it is now if we didn't react to outrageously bad ports (beating Wine performance and functionality should be a barrier every single port should cross), even if we did get an official release of TW3 one way or another.
Sorry, but no. The backlash in the form of threats, constant name calling and *insert vile words here* was really not justified, a lot of it personally aimed at people within VP. It was downright terrible and when I saw it, I felt ashamed of the community.

^ This.

If people think that this sort of stuff is an appropriate way to voice displeasure, they need to go back to their parents and ask them to finally teach them manners. Not only is this sort of behavior completely unacceptable to EVER do, now we even have proof that it hurts the community at large. And while we might never be able to convince the ruder part of the Linux community to suddenly become decent human beings, the large rest of us needs to start standing up to these people and not letting them talk on behalf of all of us, which they do NOT.
Leopard 3 July 2017 at 9:43 pm UTC
Problem is ; when a port or a game is bad people will start to roast it. That is very normal in our era , for the recent example ; take a look at Mass Effect: Andromeda. People went hard on Andromeda , so what Bioware did? They didn't get hard feelings for gamers.

People are buying products and according to that they want it to perform good. Testing the product before releasing is very important and i think that was the missing part on Witcher 2.

I saw the recent improvements ( on GoL) and how it runs on Linux and grabbed it via Steam.

Gamers are like that ; we love roasting because simply we want them to perform good because we're expecting a good product. We're buying games for playing , not for refunding.

Here is a recent example.

Feral's Vulkan port of Mad Max. People discovered the OpenGL regression and we called it like "marketing went wrong"

Even they're the top Linux port company right now , we did that. Also same will go for Windows or OsX users.

So if VP and CDPR taking this hate messages personal ; sorry but that is a bit unprofessional.
Spyker 3 July 2017 at 9:44 pm UTC
Well, hopefully this will serve as a lesson for both customers and developers.
As customers we should not overreact to a bad product/port, especially if we can have a refund.
Now developers must also learn that shipping a broken product is terrible for their reputation (no matter the platform, or the later patch). Imagine if CDPR had shipped the Windows version in the same state the Linux one was in the beginning, they would have received a shit load of backslash.
I don't think the problem was with the Linux community, it's (unfortunately) a common behavior among gamers in general to overreact.
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