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Blizzard Reportedly Planning A Linux Game For 2013 353

Posted by samzenpus
from the play-more-games dept.
It looks like the recent success of Linux gaming has caught Blizzard's eye. According to "a reliable source at the company" 2013 will be the year that "at least one of their very popular titles will see a release for Ubuntu Linux." From the article: "It's been a poorly-kept secret that Blizzard has a native Linux client of World of Warcraft. As recently as 2011, the World of Warcraft Linux client was still being maintained internally. The client has been around for years and done by their own developers as a form of testing for the popular MMORPG currently offered on Windows and Mac OS X. As for why they haven't released the client, it's come down to "targeting a specific version of the platform" with Linux being "unstandardized" due to the many different distributions. There's still some fundamental problems with gaming on Linux. With World of Warcraft working generally fine under Wine as well, the company is further unmotivated to officially support a Linux build of the game."
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Blizzard Reportedly Planning A Linux Game For 2013

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  • by redmid17 (1217076) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @03:32PM (#42497453)
    FTA: " As for why they haven't released the client, it's come down to "targeting a specific version of the platform" with Linux being "unstandardized" due to the many different distributions." Just do what valve does. I mean I'm not going to be playing WoW, but millions do.
  • Incompetence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @03:49PM (#42497579) Journal

    It's only "unstandardised" if you want to link against every last library.

    If you treat it like OSX or Windows and ship all necessary dylibs/DLLs which aren't provided by default then it works fine.

    Somehow companies like Mathworks have been managing this happily for well over a decade without making up weird claims about standardisation. Oh and hey, I've done it too. It's easy.

  • by decora (1710862) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @03:54PM (#42497621) Journal

    I used to be like you, complaining that it was 'no big deal' to release a linux game. What could possibly be so hard about it? OpenGL, write once, run anywhere! Then ... I met GLX. And the documentation on And Gallium / LLVM. and Mesa. and ... well. i just try not to think about it too much. The doctors say I should be OK... eventually...

  • Support (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @04:04PM (#42497715)

    Guys, you're missing the point being made here. It's not that the application can't run under different flavors -- it's about supporting them. Every distribution has its own quirks, its own packaging manager, its own set of libraries that are included (and some that aren't). It's a support nightmare. Rather than writing installation instructions once, you have to write it a dozen times. Versions change constantly. Everybody here has experienced the joys of googling for someone's hack script to get something working... a patch here, a tweak there... yes, it's possible.

    But from a support perspective, it's difficulty level = nightmare trying to help these people. And they'll expect your help. You just gave them a major application and said it works with Linux... so you better know every flavor, every variation, every configuration possible. And that, right there, is why Blizzard hasn't jumped on the Linux bandwagon -- too many support variables.

  • Re:No future (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nerdfest (867930) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @04:04PM (#42497719)

    It will most likely work fine with Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc, as well as Mint and Debian. Linux dependency management is very mature, and there will likely be minimal problems getting it working on other distributions.

  • by WrecklessSandwich (1000139) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @04:24PM (#42497885)

    with Linux being "unstandardized" due to the many different distributions."

    Of course, Windows has a similar number of different major "distributions" -- XP, 2003, 2008, 7, 8, Vista, etc.

    You're comparing apples to oranges. Supporting multiple versions of one OS does not equate to supporting different Linux distributions. Supporting Windows back to XP is more like supporting Ubuntu going back many versions (pre-4.10 if you want to do it by year, but if you want to normalize for number of OS versions you could go by what Canonical supports and start with 10.04 LTS).

  • by Beetjebrak (545819) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @04:39PM (#42498003) Homepage
    Just release it for the most popular distro(-family), which is undeniably Ubuntu (covering Debian and Mint as well). The geeks will get it to work on everything else, no support needed or they wouldn't be using non-Ubuntu or non-Mint Linux anyway. As long as Blizzard provides builds for Ubuntu LTS x86 and amd64, the rest will be done for them.
  • by Beetjebrak (545819) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @04:45PM (#42498055) Homepage
    6 isn't that far-fetched. You have Debian and its many derivatives which are extremely similar under the hood, RedHat and its seven dwarfs which will manage with the same RPM, OpenSUSE and a few oddballs like Arch, Gentoo and Slackware. If Blizzard supports these, the rest of the world will support itself right up to FreeBSD and back as long as Blizzard provides both x86 and amd64 builds and lets us know what libs they link against.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @04:47PM (#42498063) Journal

    It's called hedging your bet. With the future of Windows as a major consumer OS up in there, and with the likelihood of a Linux-based gaming platform on the horizon, it seems an awfully good idea to get your developers, particularly your platform developers, thinking in terms of portability. That way, whoever the ultimate winners in the consumer market are, you didn't fuck up your own success by backing the horse that didn't even show.

    It isn't 2005 anymore, and Redmond isn't the only game in town.

  • Re:No it isn't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @06:22PM (#42498695)

    You sir, get it. Everyone else is busy banging pots and pans saying "We can do it ourselves!" but that's not really the point. Anytime you release an application onto a platform, you're going to get people who say everything else works just fine, so it must be your application. Enter technical support. Think about taking a phone call where the problem is that their video driver needs to be reinstalled. Under windows, this is merely painful and requires a couple reboots -- 15 minute call. Under Linux, it could require a kernel recompilation, editing files in /etc, and downloading and installing dozens of dependent packages ahead of that. That's two hours of work.

    So one linux call costs the equivalent manpower of eight windows callers. For a support manager, that's a scary proposition, and they do not give a damn how many people know what they're doing -- those aren't the people they're going to be supporting! It's going to be the guy who just downloaded Debian because he heard "It supports world of warcraft" on the web forums, and by god, he's going to make it work now. And he doesn't have a clue.

    Blizzard's target market is not slashdot readers who can list out all the arguments for the 'ls' command and can do sed and awk scripts in their sleep. Blizzard is looking at the guy who "heard about it on the internet"... and that guy's going to make some poor bastard in tech support utterly miserable.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @06:54PM (#42498911)

    At this point, the nVidia binary driver is the only driver out there that provides what you get on Windows, which is to say all the latest features, good speed, and stability. Anything else makes compromises of varying amounts. Now for a simple game, this might be ok. Some games stick with 2D, use SDL, and call it a day. They'll work with the SVGA X server if it comes to that, perhaps just with some tearing/slow graphics. However for a modern 3D game that makes use of some fancy features, that doesn't cut it.

    Well that situation is a problem. For one it is a problem simply because not everyone has an nVidia card but then of course there's the whole religious crusade some people have against closed source, particularly with regards to drivers.

    With pro applications, you can just say "Quadro or GTFO" and require the binary driver. People will deal with it. With this? All it would do is get them all kinds of hate mail.

    Also, funny enough, when you talk OpenGL, nVidia is the only one who really does it well in Windows too. Not long ago at work we had a system that was running HFSS. That does not require OpenGL, but will use it if available to accelerate graphics. The system had an ass slow graphics card (it was a server repurposed to be a workstation basically) and so a new video card was wanted. We picked up a cheap AMD 7000 series card... and ran in to a strange problem: In remote desktop, HFSS worked fine. On the system itself, no dice.

    After going around and around a sneaking suspicion creeped up on me. I pulled the AMD card and stuck in an nVidia card. Everything started working.

    nVidia produces top flight OpenGL drivers, which on Windows are as fast as their Driect3D drivers (which are really fast). Everyone else... much more hit or miss.

  • Re:The F Word (Score:4, Insightful)

    by celle (906675) on Monday January 07, 2013 @01:38AM (#42501377)

    "systemd can go die in a fire along with it's retarded friend d-bus."

        And don't forget the tentacled friend pulse-audio.

Work is the crab grass in the lawn of life. -- Schulz