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John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support

A comment on reddit by id Software co-founder John Carmack (thanks Develop) follows the theme of a recent post by former id programmer Timothee Besset indicating that id's once-strong support for Linux gaming has waned. The post basically confirms and explains that premise, discussing how he sees a plausible path for Linux gaming via emulation on Steam, if "properly evangalized," but expressing skepticism about commercial native Linux ports:

However, I don’t think that a good business case can be made for officially supporting Linux for mainstream games today, and Zenimax doesn’t have any policy of “unofficial binaries” like Id used to have. I have argued for their value (mostly in the context of experimental Windows features, but Linux would also benefit), but my forceful internal pushes have been for the continuation of Id Software’s open source code releases, which I feel have broader benefits than unsupported Linux binaries.

I can’t speak for the executives at Zenimax, but they don’t even publish Mac titles (they partner with Aspyr), so I would be stunned if they showed an interest in officially publishing and supporting a Linux title. A port could be up and running in a week or two, but there is so much work to do beyond that for official support. The conventional wisdom is that native Linux games are not a good market. Id Software tested the conventional wisdom twice, with Quake Arena and Quake Live. The conventional wisdom proved correct. Arguments can be made that neither one was an optimal test case, but they were honest tries.

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48. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 17:34 Krizzen
 
Well, I believe porting Quake to Linux is as honest a try as you can get. Sure it wasn't marketed hardcore or anything like that, but that's likely because there just isn't a huge market there to justify it business wise. So there it is, the granddaddy of first person shooters on Linux. One company can only do so much. So how about some Skyrim for Linux? League of Legends? DOTA 2? Call of Doody?

I get the feeling Zenimax is strangling id software. It's evident from the consolization of Rage. Consequently, they asked Carmack to craft Rage to be cross platform for PC and console leaving the door wide open for more platform support, i.e. Linux. Well, we got no Linux support, though they said it was coming. Also, the id Studio Editor that was hyped to be released immediately with Rage never saw the light of day. It was touted for being easy to use.

Since Quake has always been about openness and moddability, what happened? Zenimax.
 
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