Valve and Linux Troubles

June 8th, 2011 by Crusader

It’s been a while since Valve Software has said anything official about their games and Linux, at least as far as clients are concerned. Recently, Podcast 17 conducted an interview with Gabe Newell, in which he addressed the difficulties of supporting our platform:

GABE @ 02:13: I don’t think that our motivation is to delay the next Half-Life game. I think one of the things that’s useful for people to, at least understand is: Whenever you are trying to figure out what we are doing, it’s useful to know we have way too many things to do than people to do them. So we’re always sorta measuring things in terms of trade-offs; so we look at how much time something will take versus how many of our customers it’ll benefit. So for example on Linux, we obviously would like to have a Linux client and we’d like to have our games running on Linux, a lot of our— I mean our servers run on Linux, so we’ve been supporting Linux since ‘98 in terms of having server support, but whenever we look at that we have to compare that with “Okay, well we can spend that time making the Mac version better, or the Windows version better, or the 360″. Recently we started supporting the PS3, and for us that decision was mainly motivated by Sony’s willingness to be more open than the console companies have traditionally been around being an internet client. And to us that seemed like something we should really get behind, that sorta tipped us over in terms of doing a PS3 version. But that’s the thing that we’re always faced with. It’s not “What would we like to do?” it’s “What five things would we give up in order to do the one thing we are able to do?”. And that is the constant frustration we have is, there are only so many hours in the day, and we’d love to be doing all those things simultaneously.

There’s been a lot of noise over the years about Valve potentially supporting Linux, and while Newell doesn’t rule a port out, I think until something concrete appears the community’s energy is best spent elsewhere.

28 Responses to “Valve and Linux Troubles”

  1. motorsep Says:

    or, other games can do what Steel Storm does – supply native Linux client with Steam installation. Then ppl on Linux can use Steam under WINE to purchase the game, download it, but they will run the game natively via cmd line or via .desktop launcher.

  2. paines Says:

    Humble Bundle numbers are quite good in terms of linux willingness to pay for games.

  3. piga Says:

    My response to this is that their Mac guys must be absolutely incompetent, considering icculus can take a code base, flip it upside down, releases builds for Mac, Linux, your toaster, your car, and your dog, and have a bug fix release out in about three to five months. What is wrong with the guys they have working for them if they feel so overstretched when one guy can kick their asses?

  4. nod51 Says:

    I understand his reasons and hopefully he understands why I have not bought a Valve game since Half-Life. Portable code is good in theory, but with NVIDIA/ATI/Intel drivers being all a little different on Win/Mac/Lin it is rarely a ‘recompile and gg’ unless you do the most basic of OGL and SDL calls.

    On the day they release a supported Linux client they will get my money, till then they don’t, simple.

  5. motorsep Says:

    The only reason Linux ppl were buying bundles is due to the good marketing. Our sales numbers for Linux are bad, even though the game was initially targeting Linux market and Linux gamers were excited.

  6. Fooka Says:


    so what you’re saying is, Valve should hire Icculus?


  7. rameth Says:

    I dont get this “want” for steam if i want drm crap i simply boot into windows
    at least i can play “offline” free from the net on the windows platform flush bloody
    steam the drm parasite, i ripped it out of the orange box and a couple of other games i
    bought with steam infestation by mistake and they work fine now without the
    bloody valve DRM shackles .

  8. Protektor Says:

    Well you might want to think about about the fact that not everyone is buying “Steel Storm: Burning Retribution” directly from you. There are a number of people I know who bought the steam version because the Linux version was in there and it was easier to do it that way given it keeps track of the purchase and allows re-download. Not to mention people trust their credit card information to Valve more than some new indie developer. I suspect that Desura is also going to cause a spike in sales for Linux stuff once they release their Linux client. The question is how well they will track Linux sales versus shoving them all under Windows. I have bought tons of games for Linux over the years but I had to buy the Windows version then download the engine to run under Linux. I know I get counted as a Windows sale rather than a Linux sale but there is nothing I can do to stand up and say “Hey I’m a Linux sale, not a Windows sale.” I have bought all the Humble Bundles and made sure that I check the Linux user box. I have even gone back and bought Windows games once someone in the Linux community released a clone engine. Once again it gets marked as a Windows sale, rather than the Linux sale that it really is. I bought everything that came out for Neverwinter Night. I even went so far as to buy new copies when the Diamond, etc. versions came out…yet I seriously doubt I got counted as a Linux sale even though I am on the Bioware site as a Linux user.

    The problem isn’t with Linux sales. The problem is one of marketing, Linux users have to know that the game even exists and is for sale and not a complete pain to purchase. The other problem is properly counting each platform rather than marking it as a Windows sale by default. How many of the Steam copies are you marking as a Linux sale rather than Windows? If your not separating them then you actually have no idea how many Linux copies your actually selling.

    Humble Bundles face a similar problem. They don’t know who their Linux users are, and they have to assume that every Linux copy sold is a Linux user for them. They can’t give anyone support because they have no idea who actually bought it. There even might be the issue that a Linux user bought the bundle for 1-2 games and won’t bother to play the other Linux games in the bundle, but there is no way to know for sure. The only thing for sure is that Linux users are willing to spend more for the Humble Bundles than any other platform. I don’t even know if they tie the indicated platform to the email address. It could just be a counter that is increased at the time of purchase/checkout.

    I have bought every Linux game that I know of and yet I would bet that I am not listed as a Linux user/customer/purchaser anywhere other than maybe with Bioware because I put that in my user profile with them. I am listed with Red Hat, OpenSUSE as a Linux user because I bought their products and registered them.

    I have run every Linux game server out there known to man, and even a few under NDA/contract. I know in those cases that marketing wasn’t told about it and they didn’t move my purchase from Windows to Linux. There are an estimated 5 million to 20 million Linux desktop users (depends on who you ask). I find it very hard to believe that given those numbers that a Linux version of a game if it is well known would not turn a profit, for at a bear minimum of an existing being ported to Linux. I find it hard to believe that a game can’t get even 1% of the Linux desktop users in sales, which would be at least 50,000 users or even go less and say 5,000 users. If that is not possible it would clearly seem to be an issue of marketing and no one being aware that it is even available. I have bought Linux games that I bet most people here have never even heard of, once again a marketing issue.

  9. buggerall Says:

    I’m afraid that i saw the videos, thought “oooooh, purty”, and “hey it’s based on the darkplaces engine, cool”, downloaded the demo, found it extremely dull and stopped playing before the end, i guess i should thank you for putting out a demo at all, though, so many indie devs simply don’t bother or tie them to steam thesedays, which results in instapiracy. As for humble, I bought all three of the bundles because i actually wanted to play the games involved.

    I have no interest in steam, and frankly find the strong desire among linux users for its drm infested pointlessness a little disturbing.

    As long as valve continues to not support linux, linux users should continue to not support valve, just pirate their content if you must play something, for christ’s sake don’t pay for their stuff through steam.

    Valve clearly don’t give a shit about linux(which is entirely their choice), they’d have hired icculus by now if they had any interest…

  10. Protektor Says:

    I don’t have an interest in Steam any more. I have been burned too many times over the last 30+ years of gaming by companies going under. Games that validate themselves over the Internet, end up being worthless because the company is gone. It doesn’t take into account the number of times I have been burned by DRM, forcing me to reinstall the OS or failure to install/run because of DRM. I have had serial numbers for Steam, EA, Blizzard and others bought in sealed boxes fail online authentication in the past. I want actual physical media and I want it without any DRM. I get all my games in Linux flavor now and no WINE is not an acceptable way to support Linux. That is just rewarding bad behaviour. Any company can support whatever platforms they want, I just won’t support them with my dollars.

    I call BS on any company who says that adding a Linux version is a losing proposition. If your a triple A title or even a moderately popular A title, you should be able to sell at least 5,000 Linux copies if your actually counting Linux sales and doing it properly. If you can’t turn a profit on a port for 5,000 sales then your doing something seriously wrong. If your that bad then rather than doing it house, hire one of the ex-Loki guys to do the port. It won’t cost you the amount you make on 5,000 sales. I don’t believe John Carmack for a second when he says they loose money on offering a Linux client. That is pure marketing BS designed to create splash for the company by being controversial. They are making and selling a cross platform engine to developers. If they can’t cover the cost of a Linux port by selling at least 5,000 copies to Linux users then iD Software should close their doors right now and call it a day due to serious mismanagement. If they think they don’t sell 5,000 copies to Linux users then they need to replace their accounting and marketing departments.

    The cold hard numbers don’t lie. In the last Humble Bundle Linux users gave over $225,000 (over 25%) in sales to Frozenbyte. If your loosing money on Linux then you have one of several possible issues. Your not tracking your OS sales properly to know exactly which system a sale is bought for. Your not marketing your product well enough that people know it even exists. Your game has a very narrow market for appeal and all of your sales are going to be low because of this. Lastly your programmers are incompetent and spending far too long on the Linux port, driving costs up. Making money on a Linux version of a game can make a profit if handled correctly. The issues for marketing to Linux are the same issues for marketing to Mac. The other question is how many Windows titles are run under WINE that would have more than paid for them to be ported to Linux.

    Company want to actually make money on software. They need to stop telling me I didn’t buy anything other than the right to run it until they decide to change the license that I have no choice but to accept the changes or not be able to use the program any more. They need to stop trying to tell me where I am and am not allowed to run my single copy. They need to stop the crap of throwing in a take it or don’t use the software license after the sale/purchase at the store and there are no refunds. Companies need to stop telling me what I am allowed to do with my purchase after it is sold to me, and stop telling me I can’t resell it used to someone else. The software industry as a whole across the board needs to quit saying they are not responsible if the software eats all your data, physically blows up your computer, costs your business real actual loss of money and/or it may not even run or do anything at all. Nothing consumers pay for without a contract at purchase/sale is allowed to say it might not work, you don’t own it, you can’t sue us, you must agree to a contract after the sale which can be changed at any time, you can’t return it for a refund and you can’t change it any way shape or form, or make it work with a competitors product. You don’t buy cars, books, paintings, appliances, TVs, washer/dryer or anything else with those kinds of insane conditions. Software is not special or weird that it should be treated completely different from everything else on the market that the average consumer buys. Can you imagine buying milk and the container saying you have to agree to a contract, that it might not even be milk and it might make you sick but you can’t sue them.

  11. phantomlord Says:

    I killed my dualboot partitions when Loki games started hitting the market. I’m not going to say I’ve bought every game with a Linux client, but I’ve bought quite a few.

    Loki’s problems were two-fold, overpaying for the right to port and publish AAA games and assuming people that bought the Windows version would also buy the Linux version at full price. Lots of games got pirated and Loki never got the cash flow they expected when they agreed to license expensive games.

    Enter LGP. I’ve bought some of their games (and beta tested) as well. IMO, they over-corrected for Loki’s first problem (paying too much for premium titles) and instead ran with B games… OLD B games at that. People have the choice of buying said B game for $2 or $5 for Windows or paying $30 for the Linux client. Again, most people that just want to play the game are going to go for the easier/cheaper option or else resort to piracy due to the perceived value of the game. They also have the issue of what seems like countless endless outages with floods, ports that were promised and never materialized and all of that. In short, they don’t look professional.

    There is a market out there for Linux games… but neither Loki or LGP did it right. I think companies hiring people like icculus (outsourced) or TTimo (paid staff) to do ports in combination with free binaries provided for the game (download from a website, available from steam, whatever). We hear lots of excuses about support costs, but most of us are savvy enough to figure things out for ourselves and/or form a help community. The main cost would be the porting, bug fixing and keeping things up to date, which generally isn’t too bad as long as a developer isn’t deliberately locking themselves into platform restrictive technologies (and even in the case of DX, it isn’t too bad to “fix” things for Linux). The reward would be good will, word of mouth, more encouragement for people to run their own servers, more tech savvy people in the game’s community to help others, in addition to whatever extra sales they make.

    All that said, I’ve reached a peace with things. I used to be a very hardcore PC gamer, but after more than a decade away from chasing the latest releases and what seems like complete stagnation in the game market out of a fear of doing something different than everyone else, not to mention the utter disregard for customers by not putting out a complete, finished product, I just don’t have much desire to throw my money at game studios anymore.

    A transaction requires a seller and a buyer… and I’m more than willing to wait for the seller to offer me something that meets my terms. Want me to buy a game? Make it good and make a Linux client available. If not, you’re simply irrelevant to me. If I’m not in the target demographic of your game, that’s fine. That goes for Steam, HL2 (I loved HL but I don’t feel like my life is incomplete by not playing HL2), or any other game out there. Sure, I’d love some more quality games to play, but if my money isn’t enough for you to meet me on my terms, don’t expect me to bend over and compromise my terms in “appreciation” for the mere fact that you put out some game.

    In summary for the TLDR crowd, either meet me on my terms or your game, platform, etc is irrelevant to me. I’ll worry about Valve when they actually release stuff for Linux rather than merely let rumors float about it. In the meantime, I just continue to assume they don’t want my money.

  12. Protektor Says:

    To take it back to the article and Valve saying it’s all about resource allocation. There many ways to overcome that issue if they are serious about being multi-platform. The more multi-platform they are the more 3rd party developer contracts and at a higher price they can get for their engine. It is in the best interest of Valve to actually have a Linux port since it re-enforces the cross-platform goals and requirements of their engine. They want to launch on PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, Windows, Mac, iPad/iPhone, Android, etc. They already have to deal with Linux for servers. No Linux game servers and you can kiss your long term (post 1-3 months) sales good bye. We have seen this with several titles with only Windows servers. Adding Linux to the mix for the engine just re-enforces that cross-platform design for the engine/servers and makes it more attractive to other developers. So adding Linux would add to two of their revenue streams.

    One possible idea is, agree to flat rate paid after X period of time, so games sales pay for it, or some kind of commission based on sales and users enter their CD key or whatever to register which platform they are on. I could see saying to an outside Linux porter, under NDA, we will give you $3 for every single Linux sale or code registered or whatever. The Linux porter gets 5,000 people to buy it and he walks away with $15,000. Not an awesome deal, but not a terrible deal either. Not to mention he now has a nice perk on his CV/resume of the port of a major game title. If there are more sales then obviously he makes more. There are ways around the issue of allocation of resources, if they were serious about being multi-platform and being willing for Linux to be one of the platforms. They just aren’t that serious yet. It is ok, that is their right as a company to do what they want. I just won’t be throwing my dollars their way.

  13. Lightkey Says:

    I am astonished nobody brought up Valve’s reasoning from the past and letting Gabe Newell get away with this. IIRC icculus already offered to port Half-Life to Linux way back when *for free* but got turned down – and rather impolitely at that. And he was not the only one. If (totally unrealistic) 50000 units sold for Linux were garanteed, only then they would consider porting it, is what they said.
    But that was probably only a way to get rid of naggers, just remember what happened to the almost finished Mac OS port, which was stopped not because they thought it was not worthwhile but because releasing so many updates after the release would mean a port would always lag behind. Giving support after the release has been the main reason against ports for big companies. GoldSrc was already ported to Linux with a Counter-Strike spin-off, so that was not the problem.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    ALLRIGHT VALVE! Thanks dudes!

    Thanks for the Server, at the bare minimum as long as there is a Service that can be hosted from Linux and the BSD’s then you are A-OK on the merit sides of programming.

    If Valve can’t meet with the minds of Linux Game Publishing for a direct client, then perhaps LGP or some WINE developers could patronize a cross-compilation to WINE libraries. Sounds heretical to look at WINE, but corporations are look at raw numbers for the client and better something dynamic-linked than nothing at all.

  15. Protektor Says:

    I will not thank Valve for at least providing a Linux server. They know they *MUST* provide a Linux server or their sales are completely screwed long term and there will be no community around their game. Name to me one major or semi-major game title that didn’t ship with a Linux game server that lasted more than 6 months and had/has a strong community around it. The marketplace just doesn’t allow for Windows servers to be a driving factor in any way. The game companies know this and so they make Linux game servers. Alliance from Microsoft is about the only Windows only server I know of and it didn’t last long at all. You want to see a game die on the vine quickly, just release it with only a Windows game server.

    The point is that until a triple A title is released at the same time as the windows release or very close to it, and OS sales are closely track no one has a clue how big the Linux game market is truely. For any company to claim that the Linux sales are not there is complete and total utter crap. If you wait 3-4 years to port to Linux then charge $40 for the Linux version when the Windows version is sitting in the bargain bin and with Value Soft for $10, you can not be surprised the Linux users are not snapping up right away. They don’t see the additional cost adding value 3 years later to justify the exorbitant cost over Windows. The reality is game companies want to whine and then demand 2-3 times the cost for Linux version over Windows versions and do it 2-3 years later and then wonder why it never works out. Perfect example of simultaneous release is Unreal Tournament 2004, but I bet Epic has no idea how many of them were used as Linux clients versus Mac versus Windows. Unreal Tournament 2004 and all it’s versions are estimated to have sold about 12 million copies, and I could claim 15,000 of them were to Linux users and they would have no way to say otherwise.

    I would bet you $500 that Ryan is not the only Linux porter out there that would sign an NDA and do the port for a triple A title for free. It would be a serious line item on a resume to say you ported say…”Left 4 Dead 2″ or “Portal 2″ to Linux for Valve. The issue of costs and update costs is complete crap. So are they complaining that they have to do patches for XBox 360, PS3, Windows and all the other platforms they do? Do they complain that the developers who license their engine expect patches to the engine? After all those products are sold and they aren’t getting any more revenue for them. No they don’t complain it’s the cost of doing business and they know it. They are just too lazy or too freaked out or whatever to do a Linux port or allow a Linux port to be done. Until companies quit whining and actually track their sales correctly and accurately when they say they sold a low number or there is a low number of Linux users, they are simply lying because they are too lazy to actually break down their sales properly.

    I would bet you $1,000 that iD Software can not tell you how many people are running Doom 3 under Linux. I know they have no freaking clue for a fact because the binaries for the client are spread all over the place like File Planet, GameSpot, Brothersoft, Softpedia, Gamershell, Filefront and at least a dozen more sites. Epic Games is the same way with their Unreal series. I will have to say I was highly impressed and snatched up a copy of Unreal Tournament 2004 since it shipped with Linux support out of the box. It supported Windows (32-bit), Mac, Linux (32-Bit), and Linux (64-Bit) in the retail box. That is exactly how developers should do it. I own all the Unreal games that had Linux clients and got 2004 the day it came out. None of these companies have a clue how many Linux users are playing their games under WINE simply because there is no Linux binary. When they say there is no market, or it’s too small for Linux, that is crap and they have no idea how many Linux users they may or may not have. It’s more like “We haven’t really researched it, and besides it’s hard to figure out how many Linux users are out there, and we’re lazy, so we are just going to make stuff up and say Linux users don’t pay for games, and the Linux market is smaller than Mac.” The Humble Bundles have shown that all of those statements are complete crap. The Humble Bundles are the closest we have currently for a fairly accurate break down of the OS percentages of users of a given game. Based on those number doing a Mac port is a loosing proposition compared to a Linux port. I have no idea how those numbers would reflect across the entire gaming industry, but I think I have made my point.

  16. jebblue Says:

    Valve and Epic are anti-Linux yet they don’t mind benefiting from freebie use of Linux
    as a server platform for their games and by their gaming communities.

    I still have UT3 boxed new when I bought it because Epic said they would release a Linux client.

    I’ve grown weary of trying to figure out which games will run in Steam on Wine on Linux.

  17. buggerall Says:

    If Valve can’t meet with the minds of Linux Game Publishing

    LGP is a joke, remember the server fiasco, no company in their right mind would consider handing a big title to them at this point, even if their ports are solid enough, their infrastructure is disastrous.

  18. SlickMcRunfast Says:

    At the very least we know Valve knows Desktop Linux exists.

  19. Anonymous Says:

    buggerall, LGP is not a joke. They do all-right and well to get ports moving along.

    You win some and lose some. Adapting another groups Coding is not just a language, but a unique style, no different than entering a country with multiple active ideological principals and parallel subdivisions. I’m not going to insult you if that’s what you are trying to induce with your comment. Sure you might be pointing out that LGP is the eqivalent of a spannish-speaking dayworker picking fruit on someone’s farm, but they speak better spannish with fellow co-workers than Farmer Carmack or Farmer Michael.

    It’s ok if there is only a Linux server on the ship Nebuchadnezzar, as long as the clients could voice their opinions of wanting a Linux client in 1 combine voice by returning a client status poll of “Linux client plz” in the products version scheme to perhaps interrupt Valve Steam maintenance service with a flood of non-upgradable products in an unknown version branch that exists name-only on win32. That would be funny.

  20. Protektor Says:

    I’m sorry to say LGP is a problem unfortunately. What kind of a company let’s their e-commerce secure certificate expire (look back in Dec. 2010 for the story)? You know it only takes about 5-10 minutes to get a new one for the same server if you had one before. You can do the whole thing online with a credit card and be done in under 10 minutes. I have done this before myself, the online renewal.

    Exactly how long does it take to port a Windows title to Linux? Don’t tell me years, since many groups and people have done many ports from Windows to Linux in far less time. Hell Ryan and some of the other ex-Loki guys have cranked out beta ports of source code releases in several weeks, and that’s with code missing sometimes too. I can’t think of a single source code release that took years to port it to Linux. The exception might be Netscape but it was ported in under a year, but the code was crap so they spent over a year completely re-writing everything.

    We are still waiting for LGP to release: “Bandits: Phoenix Rising” and “Disciples 2: Dark Prophecy”

    “Bandits: Phoenix Rising” was announced at least by January 2003, maybe before that but I can’t be 100% sure but at least Jan 2003. That’s 7 years and 5 months. It is impossible for it to take that long unless your only working a few hours on the weekends on it. Near as I can tell it took a bit more than 2 years for the developer to make this game.

    “Disciples 2: Dark Prophecy” again January 2003. So once again a port of this title is again 7 years and 5 months. Near as I can tell it took a bit more than 2 years for the developer to make this game.

    That is just crazy. If I had employees that took that long I would fire them. In the amount of time the ports have been announced and been supposedly worked on you could have developed/written both games from scratch and done it back to back without having to do both at the same time. Remember these aren’t triple A titles with a development staff in 30+ range. There is absolutely no excuse for them to take that long with a port. Are they trying to compete with Duke Nukem Forever for the longest development cycle for a video game? They aren’t even developing the game, they are simply porting it. I have worked on Open Source projects that didn’t take that long to copy a game with no source code available.

    Loki Games started in November 1998 and closed basically in August 2001. So that’s 2 years and 9 months. In that time they ported 19 titles unless you include Deus Ex, which was mostly done then it is 20 titles. I have no idea how many employees they had but I got the impression it was 5 or 6 people. So it seem they were doing a port roughly every 2 months.

    At this point given LGP’s track record, I would not hand them a triple A title to port to Linux. I wouldn’t even hand them an A level title to port to Linux. I would be better off to throw a pile of cash at any of the ex-Loki guys and then sell it myself or through any of the big online game stores, or heck get it sold through Amazon just like any other self-published item that Amazon will help you sell, taking their slice obviously.

    Sorry but LGP is not a very good name in the Linux community any more.

  21. buggerall Says:

    I’m not going to insult you if that’s what you are trying to induce with your comment.

    ??? My comment wasn’t attempting to provoke personal attacks, how would it, do you work for LGP as a web developer or something?

    Sure you might be pointing out that LGP is the eqivalent of a spannish-speaking dayworker picking fruit on someone’s farm,

    Only if, while everyone else rents a decent quality ladder, your “spannish-speaking dayworker” constructs his own from pieces of part-rotten timber he finds lying around the orchard, and looks surprised when it gives out on him and he’s left without a spare and unable to do his job. Do you not remember how long LGP and happypenguin were offline for, and how pathetic the excuses given were(yeah, so, guys, we used shitty desktop grade drives, and somehow they all failed at once, and we don’t keep any backups, or have any redundancy, oh, and you wont be able to install any of our games until the servers are back because we use completely unnecessary phone-home drm in the installers)? i don’t think i’d trust them to trim their own nails unsupervised at this point…
    @Protektor i had no idea they were so bad at their core business too, ouch.

    As for

    It’s ok if there is only a Linux server on the ship Nebuchadnezzar, as long as the clients could voice their opinions of wanting a Linux client in 1 combine voice by returning a client status poll of “Linux client plz” in the products version scheme to perhaps interrupt Valve Steam maintenance service with a flood of non-upgradable products in an unknown version branch that exists name-only on win32. That would be funny.

    What is this i don’t even.

  22. Protektor Says:

    Ok I some how made a major *GIANT* mistake with the Humble Bundle numbers. Wow is my face red. I was way way off. The numbers for Linux are much *LARGER*. I don’t know how I came up with that small number but it is wrong. Linux actually did over $500,000 in sales for Frozen Humble Bundle. The numbers for the first two bundles are going to be very similar but larger dollar amounts since the total dollars in sale was higher on those but the ratios for platforms and amount spent per platform are the same.

    In case any of you think the $500,000 in Linux sales is wrong let’s do the math. Let’s pull all the numbers right off the Humble Bundle web site and see what they are publicly reporting. (

    183,219 in total users/sales
    25% of the sales were to Linux users (See pie chart, probably slightly more than 25%)
    That’s 45,805 users.
    The average Linux sale was $11.81
    So you multiple that out and get $540,957.05 in Linux sales.

    Total sales were $910,253.70. Linux sales were $540,957.05.
    So 59.4% of the money came from Linux users.

    Windows Average Purchase: $3.91
    Macintosh Average Purchase: $6.42
    Linux Average Purchase: $11.81

    Linux users spent a little over 3 times the amount Windows users did. 302% more
    Linux users spent almost 2 times the amount Machintosh users did. 184% more

    So let me get this straight. $540,957.05 is not worth messing with, and in fact 59.4% of the sales dollars tells you that you shouldn’t do a Linux port because the market is too small and it costs you too much money? Have you lost your freaking mind? If any of the Humble Bundles had removed the Linux part of the sale, they would have lost over half of their sales.

    So please explain to me now how Linux users are not worth supporting? I can think you can see now why Linux versions are a requirement for a game to be included in the Humble Bundle. Linux games make up over half the sales dollars. You can also see why Ryan is saying indie game companies who are dying to get into the Humble Bundle are begging to get people to port their stuff to Linux, and there is more work than he can do by himself.

  23. Protektor Says:

    Should I also mention that 45,000 Linux purchases is 9 times the amount I quoted in the previous messages. If you can’t get a triple A title to sell at least 45,000 copies, then you are doing something majorly wrong. It should be possible for a triple A title to sell at least 4 to 5 times that amount in Linux sales given what an indie title was able to do.

  24. Protektor Says:

    If Gab and Valve can’t get at least 50,000 copies of their games sold to Linux users they should just close their doors and get jobs somewhere else or at a bare minimum fire their entire marketing department and the marketing agency they have doing work for them, then upper management and HR should be fired for hiring such incompetent people. You will never ever convince me that Valve can’t sell at least as many Linux titles as a single Humble Bundle is able to sell in 7 days. If your company that develops AAA titles can’t do that then your company is &^%@$# and everyone needs to start looking for new jobs. If you don’t think half a million dollars at absolute minimum is worth the time of a few coders for 2-3 months then your stock holders want to have a word with you for leaving at an absolute bare minimum of half a million laying on the table and walking away from people who are screaming for you to take their money. That would be basically saying “Left4Dead2″ or “Portal 2″ or whatever can’t sell as many copies as an indie game in the Humble Bundle. If that’s true then indie games must be outselling those titles in Windows as well, right?

    Given what we have seen three times in a row with the Humble Bundle and spread out over many months. It is no fluke and no trick. There is serious money in Linux games. Given the comments recently since the Humble Bundles sales by both Gabe Newell and John Carmack, I can only think one of two things about them. One they are just too lazy and don’t want to be bothered to port games to Linux. Or two they have no clue what they are talking about and are making crap up just to sound good and avoid the issue of why they are leaving so much money on the table. I think that Gabe Newell and John Carmack comments are some of the more stupid/silly business comments I have heard lately. They may be able to make computer games but they apparently suck rocks at being business owners.

    Any company (indie or AAA) that thinks they loose money on Linux versions, or isn’t worth their time. I will take the Linux version off your hands. I’ll sign whatever NDAs are needed. I will do all the Linux marketing, all the support, all the porting, all the sales, everything and it won’t touch your company one bit. Just contact me and I will set it up and your company will never be involved or disturbed by the Linux version. Giving the Linux rights to me doesn’t change one thing with your company compared to not doing any Linux versions. I’ll take just the Linux desktop/laptop/netbook/non-Android tablet rights. You can keep the Android rights (another huge money maker). If you don’t want to bother with Android then I will take those rights off your hands as well. If you own an indie/AAA company and won’t do this, explain why not since there is no money in it supposedly.

  25. buggerall Says:

    Protektor: Your calculation is wrong.
    “25% of the sales were to Linux users (See pie chart, probably slightly more than 25%)” is just wrong.
    The pie chart says “Total Payments by Platform” – i.e. about 25% of the money received (ca. $227,550) were from Linux users.
    Your face ought to be red now :-P

    (This also means your Valve reasoning doesn’t make sense, because there were not 45,805 Linux users buying the humble bundle)

  26. buggerall Says:

    Protektor: Also, regarding your “LGP is slow” rant: AFAIK the employees not working full-time on porting. Furthermore They’re often porting Direct3D games, which is much harder than porting a game that already uses OpenGL. This is the reason why icculus can do so many ports on his own: Prey, Serious Sam, the Unreal Tournament series etc already have an OpenGL renderer.

    It was the same back in the Loki days, at least some of the games (Quake engine based and Unreal engine based like Rune, FAKK2, Deus Ex, SoF, UT, Heretic 2, Q3A) already had OpenGL renderers. I don’t know about the other games (to lazy to find out), though. Plus, the Loki employees were working full time.

  27. omer666 Says:

    Valve stands for the valve with which you break the cash flow free.

    As for Steel Strom I pretty liked the demo but it’s not top priority in my wishlist, sorry.

  28. Lemming Says:


    Your Linux sales figures would probably be better if your stand alone Linux client wasn’t hidden away on your site.

    Example: I put in steel storm in google, takes me to On that page the buy link takes me to steam app store. If I go from there to the steam boards (which is what I’d usually do to find out where the heck the Linux client is) there’s a sticky saying it’s downloaded as part of the steam version. Even if the buyer goes through the site and locates the e-store it becomes a case of “Do I want just the Linux client, or do I want the Windows client as well as the Linux client, for cheaper?” (at least in the UK)

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