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.