ExtremeTech on Linux Gaming

October 31st, 2006 by Crusader

ExtremeTech has posted a scathing indictment entitled “Why Gaming Sucks On Linux“, which takes a critical look at entertainment options on the open source OS. Oddly, it mainly examines Loki Software’s old library and the various WINE-related efforts, as opposed to open source projects or more recent commercial native ports.

19 Responses to “ExtremeTech on Linux Gaming”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t agree with an article, gaming on Linux is poor that’s the fact cause we haven’t got too much games but doesn’t suck for sure :P
    Why this guy didn’t wrote about Tux Games and LGP and many open source game project some with great quality and developers which are making linux versions of they games Like ID Software.

  2. directhex Says:

    I wrote a somewhat more in-depth article about 18 months ago for a competing site – it’s at for the curious.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    [q]Oddly, it mainly examines Loki Software’s old library and the various WINE-related efforts, as opposed to open source projects or more recent commercial native ports.[/q]

    Why is it odd that they would examine commercial games and systems that allow commercial games to be played. Granted they could have done a little more research, but heres the fact: Gaming on Linux [i]does[/i] suck if what you are interested in is boxed commercial games (and thats what most people want to play). You can’t knock an article that states a basic truth: gaming on Linux is pretty much where it was 5 years ago, minus Loki. And that frankly is crap! Open source games are cool but by and large they are short burst games. I am grateful for developers like Id, Introversion and Epic for supporting the platform but all 3 pretty much always have, there aren’t any major new converts to the cause. We’ve even lost a few (NWN 2 will ship with no Linux support and unlike the original I doubt that you’ll see a port of it, ever).
    Sorry to say it but I have lost the faith when it comes to Linux games. I used to think that eventually the developer folks would see the light and do the ports. Sadly there was a flaw in my thinking: its not the developers that make the decisions about ports, it’s the publishers, and publishers have zero interest in Linux. And that hasn’t changed in how many years now? Even Windows Gaming is starting to dry up. If you can’t convince a publisher to make a Windows game you’ll never get them to agree to a Linux port. Sad but true all around.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    How come VMWare 5.5 wasn’t included in the discussion? It now supports Direct X emulation and it works as well as Cedega.

  5. directhex Says:

    Workstation 5.5 supports experimental 3D acceleration in guest machines running Windows 2000 or XP – that acceleration does not include features that have been standard on hardware since voodoo cards in the mid 1990s, such as T&L support. Considering Cedega has reasonable pixel shader support, let alone T&L, the two are still far from comparable.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    why these guys didnt write about, how much gaming already sucks with windows?

    ever tried to install a new graphics driver on a notebook with nvidia or ati for example?

    ever tried such nice games as oblivion or the new gothic 3? (with windows i mean, not with linux)

    they need to fiddle more to install and run one game than i need to install my complete system …

    thanks, i still hope that the ps3 might make a nice linux workstation, so i can boot into any game i like and use the os i prefer than rather trying to run windows games on x86 linux

    anyway mostly i play smaller games atm cause of time restrictions and there are quite a lot of those for linux ^^

  7. Starbuck Zero Says:

    Gaming on Linux is hard to come by now, the only games we do have is FPS games and if you want anything else you’ll have to use some form of WINE. I did my best to support Loki and I haven’t really played anything else on Linux pretty much after they when under.

    I only installed Quake 4 however just to play some DM every now and then. I’m sure I’ll use WINE to play HL2 sooner or later. Any other game I’ll just have to boot into Windows and install. I mainly use my PC for surfing the web and e-mailing people. I don’t take home much work but if I did I would have to boot into Windows anyways because most of the stuff I develop is in Flash ActionScript. I know we got the Flash 9 plug-in but we’ll need the Flash 8 IDE or Flex IDE under Linux for me to be able to take home work.

    Besides for gaming I mostly play consoles and I enjoy sitting in front of my 54′ HDTV and not 17′ inch screen. I also like the fact my friends can join me in the fun. That there is a Mic that comes with the system so I can talk to one of my friends will I’m playing a game. Gaming on the PC isn’t what it was like in the past. Most games that come out on the PC might end up on the Xbox 360 or PS3 anyways. So I say get one of those systems. I got a Xbox 360 and I can’t wait to play Gears of War.

    For the record yes I have a Microsoft Xbox 360 but I also have a PS2, GameCube, Xbox and Nintendo DS. I do it for the games and now really the company. If a company games a good game or console I’m going to get it, that even goes for Microsoft.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    > I know we got the Flash 9 plug-in but we’ll need
    > the Flash 8 IDE or Flex IDE under Linux for me to > be able to take home work.

    I hope Flash will die.

  9. Starbuck Zero Says:

    I work for a company that develop online training courses for the government. It’s easier for me to develop something in lets say Flash. Then HTML and CSS for the simple fact the client wants Multimedia base software. Now I seen some companies develop trying software using HTML/VBScript/ActiveX controls or HTML/JavaScript/Windows MediaPlayer and I feel that’s not the way to go.

    Do keep in mind that our in house tools are developed in Java and our Content Management System will be develop using AJAX,PHP and mySQL. It’s just the front-end will be in Flash. So no I don’t develop dumb flash games or flash ads. I develop software to help train people to protect the US. Don’t worry everything I develop will support Windows, MacOS, and Linux. I give you my word.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    To help dispel the myth of linux games being competely dead here’s my top 10 list of new non-Loki commercial games:

    1) Unreal Tournament 2004
    2) Quake 4
    3) Doom 3
    4) Savage: The Battle for Newerth (now freeware)
    5) Enemy Territory (now freeware)
    6) Majesty Gold
    7) Serious Sam 2 (still in beta)
    8) Northland
    9) Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates
    10) A Tale in the Desert

    There are of course many more games:
    Everyone has their own tastes, maybe could do some kind of poll to get a consensus on the top 10.

  11. dorpsgek Says:

    Extremetech, what’s that :D

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Yeah, Warcraft 3 will run okay on a high end Linux PC-2 Ghz non-Core 2 Duo or better of course, so VMWare is certainly an option if you want to play semi-modern games, but not cutting edge stuff. Direct X8 is playable for most titles, but Direct X9 and newer are out of the question at the moment.

  13. Thunor Says:

    It looks like it’s been written by a Windows gamer who’s tried Linux and then attempted to play Windows games on it and become pissed off. It’s also rather juvenile.

    It’s not even about Linux games, it’s about him attempting to get [u]his[/u] Windows games running on Linux and that’s why there’s no mention of, LGP or FOSS projects.

    I agree with him when he states people should buy Windows and dual-boot to play Windows games. I mean you don’t buy a PS2 to play Xbox games do you?

    The article is simply a juvenile rant. It should really be titled “Why Windows Gaming Sucks On Linux” and quite frankly I don’t care if it does.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I’d get a PS3 and run it through the TV card on my linux box long before I’d put Windows on my box. That being said, there are plenty of games to use on linux, you just have to be smart enough to look for them.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    a point I didn’t see was how many of the games Linux runs have great replay value due to the mod teams that more then not support a Linux client… for me, it’s quality not quantity, an that goes for the community too!

  16. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve messed around with gearhead recently. It’s a roguelike where you play a mecha pilot…

    And the GPL re-implementation of Total Annihilation is coming along nicely. It’s called Spring, formerly TA Spring, but there are non-TA based mods… Anyway, apparently it’s able to play multiplayer Linux vs. Linux now. The simulation running on each computer has to stay in sync, and they don’t have Linux and Windows synced yet :( I’ve just played a few games against the AI on my computer with slow vid hardware… It looks _awesome_, and plays just like like TA, with some even better features.

    Peter Cordes

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