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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. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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345 comments
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Luke_Nukem 3 July 2017 at 9:46 pm UTC
Mountain ManIf that's the reason they've abandoned Linux then that seems rather petty.

Not even close to the level of pettiness shown by that vocal chunk that spewed forth a wall of toxicity towards those who were trying to help us out.
wvstolzing 3 July 2017 at 9:48 pm UTC
If CD Projekt thought there was a viable (given what THEY think of as viable) market for their product on Linux, they would have initiated the project, regardless whether the Linux community is made up of saints or demons sworn to eat the developers' babies.

Where there's money to be made, civilized behavior becomes a trivial side issue. Also, the stock exchange speculation looks a bit fanciful.

If user impoliteness were an issue for ANY software company, we would have none left.
Gonza565 3 July 2017 at 9:50 pm UTC
That's it. I'm joining a different cult.
Kiba 3 July 2017 at 9:54 pm UTC
Nice excuse.
Corben 3 July 2017 at 9:55 pm UTC
Difficult topic. On the one hand, I understand that people are disappointed about the quality, if the game is ported poorly. And we know how vocal the Linux community can be. Linux gamers are known to be passionate.
On the other hand, for the initial release of a game, where the state is known to have issues, why didn't they release it as a (closed, passworded, etc...) beta? This is a sign to the people who buy it that it's still being worked on, that there are issues... with this the community would probably have reacted differently.

Sure, hate is a bad thing, but humans feel hate, and if they feel betrayed they search for a valve to let their anger out. So who to blame if not the publisher/porter in that case? No one likes to get all that hate, that's for sure too.

Nevertheless I think, this topic is through. We know what good quality Virtual Programming can deliver, and what great games CD Projekt RED can create. Lesson learnt, let's move on and do it better next time. Live and let live.

So whoever wrote hate letters to them, write another letter... and send them love ;)

It's very sad that there won't be a Witcher 3 on Linux... especially as I got their word on Gamescom 2013, when the game was shown there. I remember their answer, when asking about a Linux version of the Witcher 3, as part 2 has also been ported: "Linux? I don't know. But it will come to SteamOS."
And we had signs about a Linux version of the Witcher 3 already on the Steam store... too bad :-/

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Dunc 3 July 2017 at 9:58 pm UTC
Long-time reader, had to register to comment on this.

CDPR/VP had the best post-purchase support I've ever experienced for The Witcher 2, bar none. Yes, there were issues with the port, but I posted a couple of tickets on Github, one of the devs actually emailed me personally at one point, and the issues were fixed within days. I've never seen that level of support for any other closed-source game.

So if this is true, it's a real shame. Nobody really deserves abuse for porting games to Linux, but there are plenty of developers who are better deserving of criticism.
Shmerl 3 July 2017 at 10:02 pm UTC
If true, it's a really weird story. But I wouldn't be surprised if CDPR investors forced developers to abandon Linux. CDPR had several stock market problems in the past.

That said, I'm not convinced it's the main reason. Remember what happened in the past, when CDPR got a huge backlash from angry mobs for the so called "downgrade" issue. That didn't cause them to stop releasing fixes and updates. If CDPR would confirm, that investors and stock market woes caused them to back from Linux plans, then so be it.

I personally didn't encounter that vitriol, since I paid more attention to actual reported bugs, and VP were very helpful in picking up the initially community run TW2 bug tracker, and turning it into official one. I submitted quite a few bugs there, and VP developers were active and helpful. They gradually fixed major issues, and communicated with the community. Only recently their bug tracker was shut down, since as I've heard their lead TW2 developer (Peter Mulholland) left the company.

Regardless of CDPR's reasons, let this be a lesson to those who made those attacks on developers. Don't be jerks. And as the saying goes if you don't submit bugs - don't complain.

I hope CDPR will still reconsider this, and won't view Linux community in light of some loud infantile members who don't know what damage they are causing.

Meanwhile, show your interest and vote here:

* Witcher 3 for Linux GOG wishlist entry.
* Cyberpunk 2077 for Linux GOG wishlist entry.


Last edited by Shmerl on 3 July 2017 at 10:12 pm UTC
CSharp 3 July 2017 at 10:02 pm UTC
liamdawe[...]We aren't better than others, that's just not looking outside the circle there.

I need to once more disagree.

Let's just assume that the average Linux user is not more likely to have some coding / IT background and therefore be more likely to find their own solution, get help from a user within the community or even providing a patch to the devs instead of taking it to the forums to rant about it.

Assuming this, you said we still do have a bunch of trolls and haters in the community. I would fail to see how having Ubuntu installed on your system directly correlates to customer entitlement.

My personal experience with Linux users, and judging from this video from Bryan Lunduke (around minute 23 he talks about Steam) I'm not alone with this impression, we're thankful for every release and tend to be more grateful for every game we get than any other community.

View video on youtube.com

Yes, we're just the .87% on Steam and therefore devs are way less likely to put up with harsh criticism / complaints / bug reports from us than they're willing to take from a Windows crowd. And I understand that if you get three issues with your windows port and 2 with your Linux port that it seems like a bad investment for the publisher... But in the end, the Linux user pays $60 just as the Windows person does and therefore deserves to expect the same product.

Again, this is a nuanced discussion. There's no black or white - but the picture the devs paint is often oversimplified too.
lunix 3 July 2017 at 10:03 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.

Can you please drop some links to such threads here? You know, astroturfing is pretty strong...
Shmerl 3 July 2017 at 10:08 pm UTC
wvstolzingIf CD Projekt thought there was a viable (given what THEY think of as viable) market for their product on Linux, they would have initiated the project, regardless whether the Linux community is made up of saints or demons sworn to eat the developers' babies.

Yes, that's why I don't buy this argument of "attacks from community cancelled the effort". They got many more times attacks from Windows users, and that clearly didn't stop their Windows release.
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