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John Carmack: Kudos To Valve, But Linux Is Still Not a Viable Gaming Market 635

dartttt writes "John Carmack recently presented a keynote at QuakeCon. He said Linux is still not a commercially viable gaming platform, and the two forays they have made into the Linux commercial market have not been successful. Valve's announcement about Steam for Linux changes things a bit, but it remains a tough sell."
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John Carmack: Kudos To Valve, But Linux Is Still Not a Viable Gaming Market

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  • Re:Its Carmack! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThePhilips ( 752041 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @02:18PM (#40878857) Homepage Journal

    Or: after departure of John Romero [wikipedia.org].

    The guys together were a great combo. Separately, they are just mediocre.

  • Re:After Rage (Score:4, Informative)

    by dingen ( 958134 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @02:40PM (#40879041)

    Because of the integration of Microsoft Marketplace in Windows 8 of course.

    Games on Steam are non-exclusive. Nobody is preventing publishers who are already selling through Steam from adding their products to Microsoft Marketplace. In time this may mean people will look for games on Microsoft Marketplace (which is already on their system) and not even bother to download & install Steam.

  • by Narishma ( 822073 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:02PM (#40879225)

    I don't know about the older games, but Quake 3, Doom 3, Quake 4 and ETQW were all available for Linux either at launch or a couple of weeks later. I know because I bought all of them.

  • Re:chicken or egg (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:20PM (#40879323)

    The Value survey has been checking for wine for a long time now.


  • Grow Up Already (Score:5, Informative)

    by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @03:55PM (#40879565) Homepage Journal

    Enough with the personal attacks on Carmack. He's not the issue, the marketplace is. 15 years after it first appeared, desktop Linux has shown no sign of grabbing more than a tiny fraction [netmarketshare.com] of the market. Catering to that tiny fraction is not a sound business model, for game companies or anybody else.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2012 @04:28PM (#40879857)

    He spoke about Quake Live as well. Which is essentially Q3A in the browser, except it only works in old browsers and it isn't popular on ANY system.

    In essence, he always provided worse support to Linux than any other company - separate installers you have to download and mess around with? Calling that forays into the market is...

  • Re:Its Carmack! (Score:5, Informative)

    by MacGyver2210 ( 1053110 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @05:19PM (#40880341)

    As a whole games are mostly pirated

    I like to pirate stuff as much as the next guy, but that's simply not true. Yes, many people pirate software on the PC, but the fact remains that a HUGE part of the gaming market is not on a PC at all, and pirating games for console systems has become exceedingly complicated.

    Even on the PC, sales still outweigh pirated copies by quite a bit. The media and industry really want you to believe that piracy is this HUGE issue driving them out of business, but it isn't at all. My personal experience is when working for Sony, our sales team estimated the total loss to piracy to be right around 1.2% of our total sales. Some months would be as high as 2.5% or so, but usually much less.

    My only idea for why software developers might be struggling is a lack of original material. Is Killzone 8 or CoD:12 really going to sell as much as Killzone or CoD: 2/3? Of course not, people get bored with that identical rehashing of control, plot, graphics, etc. Also, the technology used for games has nearly stagnated. Yes, you have all the new DirectX 10/11 geometry shaders and cool features like that, but due to the cost of hardware to properly run them most people remain at a DX9.0c level of gaming. With new computers shipping with DX10/11 compatible hardware now, they can use the newer games but just because that feature is supported doesn't mean it will run at full, or even one step above the lowest settings. Even simple games like Minecraft (which prides itself in being low-res) require more in the way of graphics and hardware than a stock one-year-old i3 laptop can provide.

  • Re:Its Carmack! (Score:5, Informative)

    by lordofthechia ( 598872 ) on Saturday August 04, 2012 @07:45PM (#40881421)

    So besides that what else has changed for Linux since RedHat gave up on the desktop and Loki fell?

    Valve is now porting the source engine to Linux [slashdot.org] (Left4dead 2 first, but other titles are sure to follow).

    Many indie games on steam have been offered via humble bundles [humblebundle.com](which require they provide a Linux version).

    And here I compiled a list of Kickstarter games (Thanks to the Phoronix and reddit/r/Linux community) that got funded and are releasing with a Linux version. [reddit.com]

    And of course, with all the work they're doing porting steam and the source engine to Linux, it would make sense that Linux would be a strong contender for their 'Steam Box' [arstechnica.com].

Happiness is twin floppies.