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It seems The Witness may one day see a Linux release, although the developer expects to make a loss on it, it may come to Linux "for fun or for ideological purposes".

Writing on the official Steam forum, the developer reiterated previous statements.

I think the developer is still basing the majority of their thoughts on some pretty outdated information, like Ubuntu Software Centre sales statistics for Braid (I don't know anyone who purchased anything using the USC):
QuoteOn Linux we would be in for a much worse mess, and then on top of that, many fewer people would buy the game. (We know approximately how many because we released Braid on Linux, it was even directly in the Ubuntu Software Centre for a while). In terms of work invested versus money earned, it would be a substantial loss financially, and it would reduce our quality of life since we would be kind of miserable.


They did ended it on a lighter note which was great to see:
QuoteThis is not to say we won't try a Linux port sometime; we might do it for fun or for ideological purposes, but we would not try to support it seriously and we would expect to lose money on it.


While it's still true it wouldn't make a lot of money, as we all know our market share isn't amazing, it's still nice to see it's not totally ruled out.

Hopefully one day it will happen, and we can test it out.

About the game
The Witness is a single-player game in an open world with dozens of locations to explore and over 500 puzzles. This game respects you as an intelligent player and it treats your time as precious. There's no filler; each of those puzzles brings its own new idea into the mix. So, this is a game full of ideas.

Thanks for the link, FutureSuture. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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31 comments
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Larian 4 Apr, 2016
Don't do us any favors, Jon. And get yourself a PR man; you kill sales every time you open your mouth.
slaapliedje 4 Apr, 2016
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Ha, you don't know if you should like this or not. "Didn't make enough money, but we may do it anyhow! But then we won't bother supporting it..." Unfortunately the style reminds of Firewatch and that game only managed to depress me, and I don't play video games to be depressed.
Keyrock 4 Apr, 2016
I guess I'll pass on buying it if and when it comes to Linux for fun or ideological reasons.
BlackBloodRum 4 Apr, 2016
Haha this guy..

Oh man. Is he trying to encourage sales or lose them?

Here let me help the developer, here's what he said:

QuoteOn Linux we would be in for a much worse mess, and then on top of that, many fewer people would buy the game. (We know approximately how many because we released Braid on Linux, it was even directly in the Ubuntu Software Centre for a while). In terms of work invested versus money earned, it would be a substantial loss financially, and it would reduce our quality of life since we would be kind of miserable.

QuoteThis is not to say we won't try a Linux port sometime; we might do it for fun or for ideological purposes, but we would not try to support it seriously and we would expect to lose money on it.

Now let's throw that through a PR translator:

QuoteWe would love to support Linux! However we have tried previously with one of our games called Braid, this game didn't sell as well as we had hoped, even though we put it on the Ubuntu Software Centre. So right now for us it is a difficult decision based on past sales.

QuoteThis is not to say we will never release a Linux port sometime; we would love to do it because it would be fun and exciting for us to do so! But we would have to find a way to increase our sales first to ensure we could support the game properly on Linux! This way we would be able to provide a fair and even playing experience across the board.

Ah, that's better.
Swiftpaw 4 Apr, 2016
Whatevs. I supported Braid via Humble Bundle, and if they took a loss on Braid for their Linux support then that means they had to do a lot of work to implement an OpenGL renderer backend in their engine, right? Right?? Because if it was cross-platform from the beginning, it wouldn't have required much work.

How about plan for cross-platform from the getgo? How about Vulkan and SDL2? I guess it's too late for this game, though, but what I want to know is what were they thinking by not planning out cross-platform support from the beginning? Of course it's going to be harder now.


Last edited by Swiftpaw on 4 April 2016 at 10:35 pm UTC
Nyamiou 4 Apr, 2016
Braid is a bad example, back then it was probably a lot more expensive to port a game to Linux, now there is a lot of developers out there with that skill so it's probably cheaper. Also most (almost all) Linux gamers bought Braid while it was on the Humble Indie Bundle 2 and if you already had the first bundle this was the main reason to get this one. This bundle made $365,000 from Linux sales and so maybe they didn't get all that money in the end, because they had to share it with charities and other developers but it's show that Linux gamers put a lot of money towards this game.


Last edited by Nyamiou on 4 April 2016 at 10:40 pm UTC
Apopas 4 Apr, 2016
QuoteWhile it's still true it wouldn't make a lot of money, as we all know our market share isn't amazing, it's still nice to see it's not totally ruled out.
No thanks. if they are not going to port and support it seriously, I'm not going to spent a single cent for it.
Luke_Nukem 5 Apr, 2016
Who the fuck buys shit on the "Ubuntu Software Centre"..? Is that even still a thing?

J-Blow really, really, needs to sit down, shut up, and have a good think about Linux. Maybe do some discovery and fact finding of his own. Braid was also a niche game, it may not have sold much on either platform due to that.
adolson 5 Apr, 2016
Huh. So, Braid did poorly on Linux. I wonder why? I mean, it released so close to the Windows and OSX versions - only a year and a half later! True, it was almost two and half years after the 360 version, but it was only one year behind the PS3 version. The Linux port should have been raking in the cash!!!
STiAT 5 Apr, 2016
Well, even if based on sales of Ubuntu Software Center (which seriously I think nobody ever used), and I think that Steam has a lot of more to offer, Steam has it's own issue: A huge load of smaller/indie games, which makes it hard to stand out for the developers so they actually get people to buy their game. New releases get pushed down pretty fast, so the effect of releasing a game being a few days on-top of new releases is pretty limited.

I've noticed this myself, looking over the lists once a week, I sometimes found some funny games which I completely missed out in the first place. And I guess I'm one of the few really doing that.
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