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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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39. Re: John Carmack On Linux Gaming Support Feb 6, 2013, 12:52 TheEmissary
Optional nickname wrote on Feb 6, 2013, 12:41:
I'm going to say something that will silence the sharks reading my post:

John, you reading this?

you need to , damn I wish I could patent this idea..

but, you need to make arcades make a comeback to the scene.

What I'm saying is this: Asia seems to have unlimited supply of raw materials because they are DUMPING electronic shit onto the masses, risking selling only 20% of their production, while the other 80% gets into a landfill, so clearly that is not an issue to get hardware out to us.

What we need is dedicated ROM to dedicated games. Let the wave recommence. It;s time to bring out the next gen Arcades, where one game, a great game! a John Carmack game! is to be written to his own custom made hardware,

Fuck Sony, Fuck Nintendo, and Fuck Microsoft, get your own hardware OS!

You have trillions of dollars of cash pouring in, whereas kickstarter is merely a gratuity (tip) to this available money that the gaming industry now has.


Arcades time came and went. They are quite frankly not convenient to any one but the publisher/distributor. Gaming is too diverse at this point that you can't crowd all those types a game in a gaming center like you used to do in the 80's and mid 90's. People want to play games on their terms.

Now for specialty and novelty games (motion control/3d/etc) or experience "ride" units those will always have a niche market in malls and movie theaters.

This comment was edited on Feb 6, 2013, 13:03.
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