UT2003 Users By Operating System

January 6th, 2003 by jvm

This weekend I ran across a very interesting post on a Microsoft mailing list. It breaks down, by operating system and server/client, the unique CD keys in use for Unreal Tournament 2003 by Epic Games. (We covered the demo when it was released.) The upshot is that Linux users account for less than 1% of the keys in use as clients, with Windows accounting for almost all of the other keys. (The numbers don’t add up to 100% for clients.) On the server, 40.66% of the keys in use are on Linux machines and the remainder are on Windows. Read the actual post for the exact percentages, including a breakdown of the various Microsoft operating system releases.

While we don’t know the actual number of copies of UT2003 sold, just consider that if 1000000 (a million) copies have been sold then only 6900 of those are being used by Linux users to play the game. As usual, Linux is heavily used as a server OS.

24 Responses to “UT2003 Users By Operating System”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    6900 units sold is a huge hit for GNU/Lunix games. That’s more than just about every Loki title.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Fix the update thing in debian unstable and I will start playing it also!

  3. rafaMEX Says:

    UT 2003 Client Server

    Linux 0.69 % 40.66 %
    Windows 98/ME 19.63 % 2.74 %
    Windows NT 0.00 % 6.03 %
    Windows 2000 11.87 % 34.96 %
    Windows XP 67.78 % 15.62 %

    seems obvious to me, but still it sucks

  4. Anonymous Says:

    ut2003 runs only on a subset of machines because of its hardware requirements

  5. _blake_ Says:

    Until recently UT2003 was dependent on s3tc. It is a patented technology that can’t be included in open source video card drivers. Now that the textures can be uncompressed (with new util) for use on the open source drivers w/o s3tc, UT2003 will be used for driver testing/development. This will enable UT2003 to run on more linux systems.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    they count players using the meta gameserver ?
    hum, I dont play on the internet… too laggy, too many cheaters… I play on lan with friends… so I dont count ?
    the number of sold copies would be a better indication imho… though there is no real way to say which is a linux sale or a windows sale (not everyone buys from tuxgames :)

  7. bobcat Says:

    I just bought my copy on Saturday and have got one days play time in so far. I must say that it runs incrediably slow at 1024x768x32 on my 1.3Ghz machine with a GF3-ti200 and 256MB RAM. I mean really slow. I held off buying so I could upgrade my hardware and get through Christmas. I’m sure some other people have held off due to hardware issues as well. I’d guess it’s the single most demanding game out right now. Sales/Players will pick up as people get the hardware and as the client gets faster (hopefully). For now I’ve turned down all the settings to “Normal”. That makes it more or less playable.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    “The upshot is that Linux users account for less than 1% of the keys in use as clients, with Windows accounting for almost all of the other keys.”

    How is that the upshot? Upshot means the positive aspect of something. Did I misunderstand the significance of less than 1%?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    This stat needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
    What was the complete interval over which the percentages are taken? It doesn’t say specifically.

    What worries me is what about all the Linux users of UT2003 who aren’t playing? Maybe the numbers would be better (i hope?) if you had to buy a Linux specific box. I bought the game, played it on and off for about a week or two and then went back to playing Q3A and Q3A mods (truecombat!).

    I, personally, haven’t had a problem with UT2003 performance. I run a dual AthlonMP 1.2G box (so CPU isn’t a problem) with a GeForce2 Ultra (alittle slow). My only bitch was that the install was ~2.3G! That’s insane. If it didn’t take so long to install I’d have removed it by now.

    Like any of these little statistics, you’ve still gotta consider that some people own the game and don’t play much or at all – or maybe just don’t use the public servers. As well as the fact that the game might just suck for some people….. I don’t care for UT’s game play, and I’d much prefer to play Quake, even though I’d buy it to find out.
    Performance and avaliblity is a problem, as some people mentioned.

    Maybe when mods for UT2003 start hitting harder we might see the Linux numbers increase, but atm, I’m not too supprised.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Don’t believe it. Statistics are never true. Statistics are fabricated to make whoever uses them look good. UT2003 usage would probably be similar or greater than Q3A, in which Linux clients on servers make up a very large percentage. If the source is MS, you know you can’t believe it. How many people play the game on line anyway? I personally play it mostly against the computer and playing against human opponents looses entertainment value when you can’t find any that can even talk intelligently(Ever join a team game to find players that Team kill for NO REASON). Linux clients have to be 10% at the absolute minimum. 1%? Linux? Absolute Lie.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I’m not going to be buying UT2003 – I have been well and truely put off by complaints about its performance and incompatibility with the DRI.

  12. Gore Says:

    Not bad, considering that Linix is not mentioned on the box nor in the manual, with the installer only to be hidden on disk 3, where most people will not find it. Anyway, this is good news; maybe soon Linix sales will surpass QNX.

  13. bdove Says:

    I did not purchase this just because the game sux. I did download the demo and test it. Gameplay sux etc.

    Maybe if they compare how much have windows/linux client demo versions downloaded/played would give different results?

    I love playing with my linux but while doom3/nwn not released, im sticking with T2 and Quake.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I got this game and played it for a short bit. I honestly couldn’t tell much difference between this version and the original UT, except I had a harder time seeing stuff. Prettier graphics don’t mean much if there’s like zero innovation in the maps or the physics model. I think the quality of available mods will make or break this engine. Until then I’ll continue to play Urban Terror (quake3 mod).

  15. frayday Says:

    Great game :)

  16. Anonymous Says:

    How do they figure out what OS is being used anyway? And how many of these were sold through outfits like Tuxgames? I’m gonna bet say, 200, maybe. The numbers seem about the same as for the first UT. Linux users are notoriously cheap though so I’m going to bet that the Linux percentage will rise when the game hits the bargain bins in a few months (see, there are advantages to hybrid discs and downloadable binaries).

  17. Anonymous Says:

    Play UT2003 under Linux too.
    Game is great, only ATI drivers have to improve there performance.
    I’m sure that more people play UT2003 under Linux.
    It is posible that only 6900 play Online, but think that is a normal Number of Users.
    Delta Force have only ca 1000 players online.

    I’ve buyed the game at an normal computer shop, next to me!

    This number says nothing!!!

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Microsoft mailing lists take statistics out of context and they did not cross-examine the statistics. In the past, Microsoft intently slanders linux-based operating systems by using false testimony. In regards to Microsoft’s hell-bent crusade to outspeak linux-bannered software, I do not automatically receive Microsoft statments as being fact and same to everything in that matter. The sky is Microsoft’s limit to their false testimony and releasing statments in the form of statistics in attempt to show pride of only their software is not what I consider a technical report. What is their founding of this statistic? Do they have anything to say, other than “looky here, and here, oh take this into consideration too, haha look here, etc.” I’m not saying i disagree with their statistics. I WANT A SECOND OPINION, YOU PROFILING FUCKTARDS! I WANT TO SEE IBM RELEASE A STUDY ON LINUX USAGE, THEN NVIDIA, THEN ATI, THEN PLANETQUAKE.COM! But instead we get a redundant Microsoft mailing list touted as “important” when it thinks it should publish “our findings on this subject matter.” If I wanted statisticts, I would expect an organization with AUTHORITY to post such; for example,, or; Microsoft is biased for pushing its products. A gaming website or forum biased towards UT2003 gamplay would surly provide higher-quality statistics, yet even those get tainted by Microsoft bias reaching outwards with “priviliges” and funding.

    And what realy pisses me off is they take out of consideration the thousands of Alpha-platform servers that comosed cough*many*cough of those UT2003/Linux statistics. That proves they are lying! Have mercy on them, ESR!

    The Alpha Troll

  19. PJ_Hooker Says:

    I own the GNU/Linux version purchased from TuxGames, but I’ve never yet played it online. I’ve only played it on the LAN with friends. I feel guilty because I’m not out there being polled as a GNU/Linux player.

    I just want to apologize for lettin’ down the team. haha.. :o

  20. Anonymous Says:

    I also bought the game from tuxgames and have only done lan play. Maybe one day I will be counted, but I’m having fun just killing my friends for now. -2 karma for me. Oh well.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    The 1% figure seems to agree with Google Zeitgeist. Its only really been in the last year with Mdk9.0 and Rh8.0 that the Linux desktop has become comfortable to use, mostly cos of Mozilla 1.0.

    I also understand some folks were put off the Linux install by the way it didnt work well with supermount.

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