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Unknown Worlds are dumping the Linux version of Natural Selection 2

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Some sad news to share this Friday evening, as Unknown Worlds Entertainment have announced they're calling it a day for the Linux version of Natural Selection 2. They will, however, continue their Linux server.

Posted in an official announcement on the NS2 website, they claim they're doing this as a result of it apparently being "more difficult to support and develop for the platform natively" including issues like not finding enough users with QA experience to help.

Unlike what happened with Rust, they're not offering refunds to previous buyers. They say to claim a refund from Valve if you purchased it in the last "30" days which isn't even right, it's two weeks and under two hours on Valve's refund option. Update: They adjusted the announcement to mention this is being allowed "from Valve outside the normal Steam refund policy".

Something they noted, is that they've "verified" Natural Selection 2 works in Steam Play saying it "can offer the same or in some cases even better performance on Linux than user experienced before". Sadly ProtonDB has nothing to back that up. They didn't say they would support it, just that it currently works.

The particularly stinging end to the post thanks Linux client users who "helped and gave support from over the years".

Looks like they have already purged Linux from the Steam store page too.

I'm not too happy considering NS2 was a personal purchase. I also upgraded my own copy to their deluxe edition and gifted quite a few copies of it to friends over the years to try to get more people into it.

To be blunt though, this simply sounds like a cost-cutting measure for a game that is way past its prime. For an online shooter, it has an incredibly low player-base and it regularly struggles to even hit 400 players and going by the charts on SteamDB it continues to trend downwards.

This does bring to light an issue here. While yes, we do have Steam Play, again the issue of support that I've raised before comes up. Anyone who purchased it to support them because they had a Linux version are now force to either run it unsupported or not at all. It doesn't sit right with me that games can just be taken away like that.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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42 comments
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ThreeEightySix 13 September 2019 at 6:57 pm UTC
Oh, no! I wonder how many of the 150 total worldwide monthly players they'll retain...
rkfg 13 September 2019 at 7:09 pm UTC
Okay, so I knew this for a couple of weeks already (was told by a developer who asked me to test the game on Proton) but since it's now official then here's some more info.

Regarding SteamPlay, yes, it works pretty good on Proton but it requires a newer Wine version, 4.14. The current Proton supplies 4.11 that has a non-fixed bug that prevents the game from working properly. There are custom newer Proton builds at https://github.com/GloriousEggroll/proton-ge-custom/releases which I personally tested. There were some bugs with the game itself. For example, when it's run in low resolution 1280x720 (my native is 2560x1440) the mouse clicks weren't going through. I had a cursor and keyboard working but I couldn't click anything in the menu. Changing the resolution via the game's config file worked around this. There also was a silent crash after applying mods. No crashes in the actual game though. The FPS is good but it doesn't feel as snappy as in the native version. Maybe it's just my perception and/or a placebo effect.

On the bright side the Steam Overlay finally works again since it's been disabled on the game's side long ago. And this game doesn't use EAC so we're good in the long run. I don't think they would use anything aside VAC as the game has server hit detection (hence so many players complaining about bad reg).

As a side note, I was not able to refund Rust. Tried to do that twice and both times they refused telling me about 14 days and so on. I provided a link to the dev's blog but it was to no avail. Probably because I haven't run it for more than year. The refund money was insignificant anyway (about $6 in roubles) so I decided to stop bothering.
niarbeht 13 September 2019 at 7:17 pm UTC
QuoteFor example, when it's run in low resolution 1280x720 (my native is 2560x1440) the mouse clicks weren't going through.

From what I remember, this can actually be a fairly common issue. Imagine, if you will, that the game is actually in a 1280x720 box in the top-left of your screen, and not actually full-screen. All the buttons are actually up over there, not down where you think they are. If you understand it like that, you can click on things. It's some kind of coordinate-translation issue or something.
rkfg 13 September 2019 at 7:24 pm UTC
Yeah, it might be coordinate scaling of sorts. Though it's probably the other way, my whole visible screen is translated to that small 1280x720 box and the buttons then should be right below it so I physically can't reach them. Because I tried to move the mouse everywhere and if that were true the menu items were highlighted at least once. But you can do your own experiments. I hope it will be fixed eventually as they still have at least one Linux developer (but my information might be outdated).
Dedale 13 September 2019 at 7:33 pm UTC
You buy a game then *poof* no game.

A mild argument in favor of buying GoG games but even there your binary may just stop working.

I have bought game because i thought they were cool and i would play them later. I realize that behaviour was absurd and i will simply buy less games.
rkfg 13 September 2019 at 7:41 pm UTC
I have a feeling that as SteamPlay becomes more and more reliable this situation will become common. I wonder what Valve would do if anything at all.
Liam Dawe 13 September 2019 at 7:46 pm UTC
rkfgI have a feeling that as SteamPlay becomes more and more reliable this situation will become common. I wonder what Valve would do if anything at all.
If it does and Valve do nothing it's going to seriously erode some trust.
Sir_Diealot 13 September 2019 at 7:48 pm UTC
"including issues like not finding enough users with QA experience to help."
If that's their sorry excuse then I have to say: "How about you test your bloody game yourself?"

I'm a dev and gladly help other devs test their game, but this excuse just stinks to hell and back.
F.Ultra 13 September 2019 at 7:49 pm UTC
rkfgI have a feeling that as SteamPlay becomes more and more reliable this situation will become common. I wonder what Valve would do if anything at all.

I hardly think that they pulled the native Linux build due to SteamPlay when you need a custom build of Proton to make it work.
Sir_Diealot 13 September 2019 at 7:51 pm UTC
F.Ultra
rkfgI have a feeling that as SteamPlay becomes more and more reliable this situation will become common. I wonder what Valve would do if anything at all.

I hardly think that they pulled the native Linux build due to SteamPlay when you need a custom build of Proton to make it work.

Eh, it *will* work through SteamPlay. Good enough for the Linux folks.
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