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Old 09-26-2009, 04:28 AM   #1
icecubeflower
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incentive for linux games


Is it really true that developers don't make games run natively on Linux because there aren't enough Linux users to make the extra work a worthwhile investment?

Over the past 10 years I've only bought 3 games. And one of them, Doom3, I actually bought and played specifically because I could run it natively on Linux. I realize people like me are not a majority but are there really so few of us that it's a waste of time and money for developers to write a Linux version?

I mean I'm an extra $60 in ID's coffers because of the Linux executable and I can't be the only one.
 
Old 09-26-2009, 06:23 AM   #2
neonsignal
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Ballpark figures: if a game has sales of a 100 thousand, perhaps you might get 3 thousand sales of a Linux version. Assuming the company makes about $15 a game (allowing for shop markup and the cost of goods), that would equate to around $45k for the Linux version. That would barely cover the cost of just one developer year; not enough to port the game (especially since many games are DirectX based). So I can see why it is often hard to make a business case for supporting Linux.

However, there are a number of factors that can change this. Popular games (eg Doom) mean higher takings even for minority platforms. Open graphics interfaces (such as OpenGL) make it easier to support multiple platforms. Increasing Linux use makes for higher sales. And the similarities between OS X and Linux are a useful leverage. So things may improve.
 
Old 09-26-2009, 06:24 AM   #3
TITiAN
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I think it's a marketing-thingy. Linux is not for sale, thus the gaming industry isn't so used to it. Microsoft's software is being sold and so it is known and taken seriously by any company that doesn't have management staff which knows everything about software and the different options a company could take (like, port their to other OSes than Windows and Mac in order to increase the spectrum of customers [which may imply some game development requisites - e.g. you should only use OpenGL and not DirectX if a game should be portable]).

So my point is that there are enough Linux users, but Linux just doesn't sell itself well enough as of today (not because of its quality - Linux is superior to other OSes in some ways [like stability and availability of extra software] and inferior in others [like gaming], but in this example we can see that marketing seems to be more deciding than quality).
 
Old 10-25-2009, 04:01 PM   #4
farna
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I agree with Titan. Most Linux users I've talked to are against any kind of closed source software or share-ware on Linux. I don't see why. Sure, I'm glad there are a lot of people developing stuff for free use, but EVERYTHING doesn't need to be! I'm not against a programmer making a living. I'd like to see more Linux packages on the store shelves. That gets mass consumer attention! If they can't go buy it easily, they don't want it! Linux has finally matured to the point that there are a few ready to run out of the box distros. I'm using Mint, looked at FreeSpire and another package meant for newbies. I think FreeSpire did try to get on store shelves a few years ago, but it didn't work out well. I don't know how to do it with the GNU licenses, but if there were a few more distros on store shelves right next to Windows it would help! A disk in a magazine or book doesn't really cut it. I'd think the GNU/GPL license wouldn't be broken if a company packaged a distro and charged a reasonable fee to cover packaging, handling, and some promotion. I haven't read it in a long time though... so I could be very wrong!
 
Old 10-25-2009, 04:04 PM   #5
smeezekitty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farna View Post
I agree with Titan. Most Linux users I've talked to are against any kind of closed source software or share-ware on Linux. I don't see why. Sure, I'm glad there are a lot of people developing stuff for free use, but EVERYTHING doesn't need to be! I'm not against a programmer making a living. I'd like to see more Linux packages on the store shelves. That gets mass consumer attention! If they can't go buy it easily, they don't want it! Linux has finally matured to the point that there are a few ready to run out of the box distros. I'm using Mint, looked at FreeSpire and another package meant for newbies. I think FreeSpire did try to get on store shelves a few years ago, but it didn't work out well. I don't know how to do it with the GNU licenses, but if there were a few more distros on store shelves right next to Windows it would help! A disk in a magazine or book doesn't really cut it. I'd think the GNU/GPL license wouldn't be broken if a company packaged a distro and charged a reasonable fee to cover packaging, handling, and some promotion. I haven't read it in a long time though... so I could be very wrong!
I woudlnt buy it.

even one windows i still like free software and rarly pay for it, hey i dont even care if you have to buy the OS i just dont like buying the software.
 
Old 10-27-2009, 09:16 AM   #6
farna
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That's why deveolpers won't waste their time on Linux applications. Too many simply won't buy software. I don't mind buying reasonably priced software -- like $99 or $150 for PageStream DTP software (basic or "pro" edition with additional features/software). Fully featured, mature, and fully supported. $699 for Adobe Indesign isn't reasonable, nor is $799 for Quark. Heck, I don't think ANY software -- with the possible exception of custom programming -- is worth that much! Plus vendors have to compete with free software that may be as good or better than what they offer. So there are few sales, and no incentive to spend development time/dollars.

I still think that is Linux were on regular store shelves along with reasonably priced software ($10-$50 range, depending on application, with a few specialty packages like PageStream DTP for more) would bring in more mainstream users. My wife isn't much of a computer person. We had a slight problem with her new computer (Athlon XP 1200+, 1GB, 258MB Nvidia video card, Asus A7V400-MX motherboard, Mint Gloria) and I showed her how to look for a driver using the Package Manager. Her comment after looking at a few descriptions was that Linux appeared to be more for a programmer than user. That image has to change for Linux to catch on mainstream. Most Linux users now like belonging to a "small town" and don't want the "town" to grow. I've lived in towns like that -- they eventually grow or stagnate. Linux doesn't appear to be stagnating, but growth is being limited. If I had about $1 million to invest I'd hire a few programmers and put some packages on store shelves! Would need a contract with a major retailer though... and that might be a problem as they don't want to waste shelf space on a slow seller.

Oh, the "problem" I was having wasn't a driver, it was builder error! Mint wouldn't recognize the internal card reader I installed. After a few minutes research I discovered it should have recognized it right away, so I tried an external USB card reader, which worked fine. I thought that maybe the internal reader was bad, but I discovered that I didn't plug the card reader into the motherboard header. DUH!!!
 
  


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