Why Valve Wants to Port 2500 Games on Linux?

Gabe Newell is the co-founder and managing director of the video game development and online distribution company called Valve Corporation. He want to port 2500 game titles on Linux. But, why? First, Gabe hates Windows 8 and he thinks Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in PC space. He recently made a rare appearance last night at Casual Connect, an annual videogame conference in Seattle. From the allthingsd:

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The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don’t realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior. We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It’s a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we’ll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that’s true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.

It appears that Mr. Gabe is really worried about Microsoft as Windows 8 app store is going to take way business from steam. However, this is a win-win situation for Linux users as it will brings good game titles on the Linux system that haven’t been there. I only use windows so that I can run games and when steam for Linux arrived I will get rid of windows install once in for all.

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46 comments… add one
  • Peter Aug 24, 2012 @ 2:06

    Ok let me just say. For starters, MS products are expensive. If you’re poor like I am you cannot afford to buy them. I’m a fan of open source because I can afford them. The fact that they are often free doesn’t stop me supporting them with donations, the point is I pay what I can afford. That’s why the open source world is more attractive to me than the MS world. I can get good programs like DigiKam for free, and while it’s not ADOBE Photoshop, which is way overpriced, it does what I need. Now I realise you can get Open Source for windows – that’s not my point. I don’t want to support a vast megalomaniacal corporation like MS, despite the philanthropy of Gates these days. LibreOffice is pretty damn good software, and even if MS Office is better in some ways, it doesn’t behoove me to want to pay hundreds of dollars when all the everyday things I do can be done just as well in an open source product.

    Anyway, expense aside…I am happy with Ubuntu 12.04, it’s the dummies build of linux, but I am no developer or even a programmer…I use the internet to surf the net, chat, and do some online shopping, so all I need is Firefox. Internet Explorer has always been a dog by comparison.

    I am happy that Valve is porting games to Linux, it will make it so much more attractive to consumers, and given that the Ubuntu build is so simple to install and use, and it doesn’t take someone too computer savvy to use, I think we will start to see a golden age of linux come about, so to speak. if it goes ahead.

  • lepusfelix Sep 5, 2012 @ 1:26

    You guys talking about Gabe wanting to make more money and avoiding paying Microsoft…. Technically, the user share aspect isn’t something Gabe would be paying 20% for. People use Windows because of the software on it, not ‘because it’s Windows’, therefore if developers do not develop for Windows (and thus don’t have to pay to do so), the software available on Windows will deteriorate and the users will move. People who want to use Steam will use Steam, no matter what OSs it’s available on.

    If Valve cut Steam for Windows altogether, Mac sales to Steam users would go up. As things are, Linux users use wine a lot to use Steam. People follow the products, not the OS. We don’t usually complain when our favourite apps are ported, as long as we can use them ourselves, who really cares if others can use them too?

    Steam coming to Linux sounds to me like a godsend, even though I’m not a big gamer). So far, Linux hasn’t been taken seriously as a fully-functional desktop platform, with the big developers porting late and grudgingly, because for one they (usually) don’t make much money from it and also having to learn new standards and struggle with providing support. Steam is likely to generate a rapid development in hardware support because of working with the hardware vendors, maybe (though not really substantial) a few more people taking on Linux, plus allowing us to stop having to launch wine all the time.

    In my opinion, although wine works fairly well for most stuff, it should only be used as a back up measure. When you absolutely have to run Windows-only software, it’s a lifesaver. But I don’t feel it helps much that the general attitude towards Linux users who would like to use that software is ‘oh, just use wine’. Wine isn’t perfect, and it is also not an adequate replacement for native ports. It’s perfect for the occasional last resort, but in my opinion it should never be accepted as the norm, because that encourages people to not ask for a native port. Native apps are more stable, run more smoothly and are designed to work with what you have, which should be the very basic fundamental requirement of any discerning software user.

    • Apurv Jyotirmay Nov 12, 2015 @ 7:35

      People are using windows because:
      1. It is windows, other than that, everything is pretty much useless. Most people have no idea what OS they are using.
      2. OEM shipped it with windows, and they seriously have no idea about what OS they are using other than the version number of Windows.
      3. They need to play games. And by games I mean serious AAA titles.
      4. They are afraid of terminal and commands. They are used to the “click next, next , accept, next, finish” idea. That’s easier for them.
      5. And Linux has always been labeled as a Geek only zone that you enter at your own risk.

  • Meh Sep 9, 2012 @ 19:51

    If they want to port over games they should provide the source code otherwise fuck off that includes the inclusion of DRM in Linux :)

  • mark Nov 18, 2012 @ 22:41

    As much as i like Linux and Ubuntu I have installed w7 on this laptop again. I have followed Linux for years back when i was young and loved using it when w95 was out. I don’t see Linux taking off because of these you might have a few more users do to not having to boot up in windows to play their games but other than that i don’t see it going anywhere. There best bet is to use Google Chrome OS. I know its Linux based but it also plays netflix a Google would love to help move Microsoft from being at the top.

  • geoff Nov 27, 2012 @ 20:50

    I walked away from Windows to Linux Mint years ago. Windows is the most prolific OS, but not the best. Viruses and malware have become more than a nuisance, but not for Linux. Ever more powerful PCs required to get adequate performance with each new Windows release, another Linux plus. With up to date games coming to Linux will, I believe, bring it into the main stream and make it OS to be reckoned with at long last.

    Lastly, buy a Windows phone, you really must be joking.

  • Carlos Silva Oct 12, 2013 @ 18:31

    That’s bad news for MS… Wonderful for users, as we don’t need another middleman between us and our games.

  • Tony Rosa Jul 20, 2014 @ 22:30

    I have no problem dumping Microsoft it I can , Play my games, watch video on Netflix Hulu Crunchyroll you tube, use Photoshop CS6 and Zbrush use my Ramdisk and general web surfing. Hulu and You tube are ciovered, along with internet. Games are a big problem. We need a UNIVERSAL emulator. Not being a programmer/ developer I dont know what goes into it. Perhaps I need to learn.

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