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DICE: Linux Needs "One Killer App or Game"

There's an interview on Polygon talking with DICE's Lars Gustavsson, who expresses the opinion that Linux only needs one "killer" game or app to "motivate" adoption of the operating system, something they are counting on someone else to do, as there are no indications they plan on dropping Windows or console support from the Battlefield series. In fact, most of the article focuses on efforts at making Battlefield 4 more accessible as he explains "everyday we need to stop ourselves from going too hardcore, we really have to hold ourselves back." He still expresses optimism for the future of Linux in this quote that reads like he considers DICE and indie, which is probably not the intent: "So, to me, I think that the possibilities are many and I think indies can build for Linux even though we don't have enormous audience."

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43. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 15, 2013, 09:31 Verno
 
If SteamOS can achieve a reasonable compatibility rate I would have no problem moving to it in the future. I don't really use Windows itself for much at home other than playing games and I spend most of my time outside of games in web browsers.  
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42. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 14, 2013, 19:27 ChaosEngine
 
TheEmissary wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 13:35:
Most people use Windows because they are more or less stuck on that platform and unable to move easily to something else. If software or games people are able to enjoy was available on Linux or any other OS for that matter most people would switch to something other than Windows. I know I would. There is very little outside of a few core applications and games that keep me using Windows.

Who are these "most people"?

If you mean the average joe on the street, they don't even know what Linux is (hell, most of them don't know what an OS is) and aren't "stuck on windows". In fact, they already moved... to android or ios, which is more than enough for their computing requirements.

If you mean the business world, again no, they have exactly zero interest in moving to linux. Again, outside of IT, most of them don't even know Linux exists, and if they do, it's "some techy thing". A lot of them are stuck on windows, but they seem to be moving more towards the web (and even this group is hugely fractured).

PC Gamers? Well, this group is probably the most technically literate, and windows 8 has certainly failed to impress them. So there's a small chance that a significant percentage will move to linux (or more specifically SteamOS).

Because here's the thing that the Linux advocates consistently fail to understand. Linux doesn't have to be "as good as windows but free". We all already have a windows licence... money is not the issue.

Linux has to be better than Windows, and by a considerable margin. And not just better in a philosophical manner, or even better engineered. It must give the end user a much better computing experience. If you're going to convince most people to install a new OS, you had better make it worth the time and effort to do so (start by making the time and effort required as small as possible).

So yeah, everything (networking, graphics, printers, etc) has to work perfectly out of the box, even if the hardware wasn't built with linux in mind. Is it fair? Not really, but it is the reality.
 
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41. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 14, 2013, 13:41 Mr. Tact
 
Slashman wrote on Oct 14, 2013, 10:24:
Most people who have problems with Windows 7 systems, are responsible for their own issues. Bad surfing habits. Installing every program without ever looking at install options(hey...let everything run at startup even if you'll never use it! Totally makes your system speedier!)

I've been using my current Win7 installation for years. It's just as fast as ever and I've moved it across at least 3 generations of hardware. I do minimal maintenance apart from a weekly deep malware scan(which never finds anything because I don't install crap) registry clean and general system cleanup.
I agree that 90%+ of the problems are bad user actions. But even experienced users get weird issues sometimes. Just this weekend I had a dll issue pop up relating to using an older version of Office. Now I'm sure something I did caused the problem, but I'm not installing stuff off random websites. In fact, other than Windows updates it's been a while since I installed anything. A Google search shows me it's not an uncommon problem, although in my case the simple solution didn't resolve the problem (doing a System File Check "sfc" scan of the system/registry). I'm not looking forward to my second pass at attempting a fix.
 
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40. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 14, 2013, 10:24 Slashman
 
DanteUK wrote on Oct 14, 2013, 07:47:
I've played a number of games, mostly from id Software as they did native Linux ports but recently I've been playing games using 'wine'. It's tricky to make it work and it's not perfect but then last time I played a game on Windows 7 I got a few random crashes and a hung machine ( Skyrim, I'm looking at you ).

Skyrim has never crashed on my Win 7 system apart from me badly installing some mods and as a sign that my motherboard was finally giving up the ghost. Considering that I run no less than 28 mods, I'd say that it's very unlikely that Skyrim was the issue.

I hear my wife and kids and colleagues at work all complaining about Windows 8 and Windows 7 crashes / hangs / slowness / general issues, this hasn't changed in forever. I like saying "I don't have that problem, I don't run Windows!" - That doesn't mean I don't have problems, Linux is software, therefore it's not perfect, but it's harder to complain about something that's free ( and don't make that point that time is not free so time solving problems = cost - I spend no more time with problems on my Linux machines than an average Windows user! ).

Most people who have problems with Windows 7 systems, are responsible for their own issues. Bad surfing habits. Installing every program without ever looking at install options(hey...let everything run at startup even if you'll never use it! Totally makes your system speedier!)

I've been using my current Win7 installation for years. It's just as fast as ever and I've moved it across at least 3 generations of hardware. I do minimal maintenance apart from a weekly deep malware scan(which never finds anything because I don't install crap), registry clean and general system cleanup.

Linux is just not suited for your average user. I don't think it ever really will be unless it is a very controlled experience. And then you are back to a console kind of setup.

So my final comment is simple, if you guys like paying M$ for their OS and like paying for lots of Commercial Software then keep ignoring Open Source. Linux and Open Source software is everywhere and doing very nicely thank you.

The problem is that the experience is different on each OS. And for most people, not comparable or comfortable enough to be worth the switch.

For me, as a gamer, it certainly isn't worth it. As a tech, I can run either one but I really don't feel the urge to try to wrangle a Linux box into a workable gaming box. The payoff just isn't worth the effort.
 
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39. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 14, 2013, 10:01 Burrito of Peace
 
I'm fairly happy with Mint as a day to day use OS. However, what most people point out here is correct;

Linux doesn't have the application base (including games!) to attract the mainstream base away from Microsoft's OS du jour on the PC. Maybe Valve can change that, maybe they can't.

However, Linux is dominating in the space where most users are now residing and that is the mobile/tablet market. Now, if someone can create a seamless user experience between their tablet to a larger work environment then maybe there is a chance for Linux. The only impediment to that transition will be enterprise class business applications such as Office.

 
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38. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 14, 2013, 09:23 Mr. Tact
 
I've made a living working on computers since around 1988 and I have long had a dislike of MS Windows. That said, I have used it as my main OS since the day Quake came out and required it.

I'd be willing to switch to a linux desktop if I could get the same amount of functionality for the same amount of effort. Each time I have investigated the possibilities it didn't seem linux was up to that standard.
 
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37. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 14, 2013, 08:58 wtf_man
 
DanteUK wrote on Oct 14, 2013, 07:47:

Wrong, just wrong.

The whole point of Linux is it's "Open" the masses of people that work on and with Linux don't really want lots of 'Commercial' closed source software on their machine.

Your open source beliefs are irrelevant to the masses.

Yes, hardcore linux users care about open source, and Richard Stallman's open "vision".

Your average joe doesn't give 2 shits about it.

And that's the point of why Linux has never made any serious market penetration on the desktop. The people that care about "open source only" are a niche group and pretty much always will be.
 
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36. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 14, 2013, 07:47 DanteUK
 
wtf_man wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 18:57:
Linux needs a large quantity of Commercial Software support in order to be viable on the desktop (Not just games).
...

While open source has some great stuff out there... some of it will just never replace commercial software on the professional level (Like GIMP VS. Photoshop).

The only way Linux could ever become viable on the desktop is if there was a sudden WAVE of popular commercial software available for the platform. NOT just one "Killer App".

Wrong, just wrong.

The whole point of Linux is it's "Open" the masses of people that work on and with Linux don't really want lots of 'Commercial' closed source software on their machine.
Most hardcore Linux and open source fans don't even like NVidia despite the fact that NVidia supports Linux by supplying very good quality stable video drivers that give great performance. why? because they are closed source. They would rather use the open source driver that is buggy and slower.

I've been using Linux on my laptops and desktops ( and servers for work ) for years now ( with proper Nvidia drivers so I get the performance! ) I've played a number of games, mostly from id Software as they did native Linux ports but recently I've been playing games using 'wine'. It's tricky to make it work and it's not perfect but then last time I played a game on Windows 7 I got a few random crashes and a hung machine ( Skyrim, I'm looking at you ).

In terms of software the majority of software I use on my Linux machine is also available for free on Windows. why, because it's open source and a lot of open source code is written to be open for as many people as possible so it's written using open APIs ( like OpenGL, OpenAL, QT etc ) then it's pretty simple to port to Windows, Linux, Mac etc.

Companies that write code that can only be compiled on Windows are short-sited and lazy, it doesn't take a lot of work to write application that are cross platform, just some up front planning.

I hear my wife and kids and colleagues at work all complaining about Windows 8 and Windows 7 crashes / hangs / slowness / general issues, this hasn't changed in forever. I like saying "I don't have that problem, I don't run Windows!" - That doesn't mean I don't have problems, Linux is software, therefore it's not perfect, but it's harder to complain about something that's free ( and don't make that point that time is not free so time solving problems = cost - I spend no more time with problems on my Linux machines than an average Windows user! ).

So my final comment is simple, if you guys like paying M$ for their OS and like paying for lots of Commercial Software then keep ignoring Open Source. Linux and Open Source software is everywhere and doing very nicely thank you.
 
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35. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 14, 2013, 00:00 Ant
 
DICE's BF5. Valve's HL3, Portal 3, and TF3. Do it!  
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34. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 23:36 Beelzebud
 
It's odd to see so much knee jerk hatred for an OS made by hackers for hackers, at a website devoted to playing games on a PC.

I didn't realize all you guys wanted was a glorified console. Do you use an appliance, or do you like to use computers? I actually like computers. I like Windows and Linux, and I use both. You don't have to become a zealot. That goes for Windows fans too...
 
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33. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 23:13 mag
 
JeffD wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 15:00:
Linux needs a killer linux! If Linux distros ran as good, looked as good, and was as easy to use as MacOS, we would see alot more users on it. We need to stop the 10 million graphical front end and just center on one. We don't NEED all these choices.. what we need is something we can install that is as easy to use and looks as good as the current 2 consumer operating systems.

You are under no obligation to deviate from the default KDE or GNOME desktop that is included on most Linux distributions. Or whatever Ubuntu's using these days. They all look fine and are easy to use. If you don't want to make a choice, don't make one. Install Ubuntu, install Steam. Done.

Personally I think MacOS is a UI nightmare, though.
 
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32. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 23:11 ViRGE
 
MattyC wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 21:45:
Dev wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 19:21:
Wallshadows wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 14:47:
I am sure all five of those who use Linux as a gaming platform would be willing to hand over the money require to make a AAA title be Linux-compatible right out of the gate.

I kid. I kid.
You may think you kid but you are actually correct.
You ever look at the humble bundle numbers? Linux users average a higher donation the mac or windows users, though they do have a vastly smaller number of purchases.

Is this a new development? In the past I thought OS X had the highest?
It depends on the game. But in general with Mac OS X getting so many ports these days, it's the Linux guys putting up the biggest individual contributions. Which is the right move on their part, but they're still fighting against much larger user bases.

High individual contributions only last so long as the platform is in the evangelist phase, which Mac OS X is past.
 
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31. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 21:45 MattyC
 
Dev wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 19:21:
Wallshadows wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 14:47:
I am sure all five of those who use Linux as a gaming platform would be willing to hand over the money require to make a AAA title be Linux-compatible right out of the gate.

I kid. I kid.
You may think you kid but you are actually correct.
You ever look at the humble bundle numbers? Linux users average a higher donation the mac or windows users, though they do have a vastly smaller number of purchases.

Is this a new development? In the past I thought OS X had the highest?
 
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30. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 21:13 Slashman
 
Dev wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 19:21:
Wallshadows wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 14:47:
I am sure all five of those who use Linux as a gaming platform would be willing to hand over the money require to make a AAA title be Linux-compatible right out of the gate.

I kid. I kid.
You may think you kid but you are actually correct.
You ever look at the humble bundle numbers? Linux users average a higher donation the mac or windows users, though they do have a vastly smaller number of purchases.

That IS always the case. Thought I was the only one noticing that...
 
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29. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 19:21 Dev
 
Wallshadows wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 14:47:
I am sure all five of those who use Linux as a gaming platform would be willing to hand over the money require to make a AAA title be Linux-compatible right out of the gate.

I kid. I kid.
You may think you kid but you are actually correct.
You ever look at the humble bundle numbers? Linux users average a higher donation the mac or windows users, though they do have a vastly smaller number of purchases.
 
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28. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 18:57 wtf_man
 
For Linux on the Desktop, it has always been the "chicken or the egg" thing, and it still is.

Linux needs a large quantity of Commercial Software support in order to be viable on the desktop (Not just games).

Commercial software needs a large quantity of linux adoption in order for it to be worth creating a linux version.

The Desktop itself, and "software installation" is as easy as windows nowadays... no opening terminal and configuring a bunch of text files, anymore. So, the user-unfriendlyness is mostly gone.

While open source has some great stuff out there... some of it will just never replace commercial software on the professional level (Like GIMP VS. Photoshop).

The only way Linux could ever become viable on the desktop is if there was a sudden WAVE of popular commercial software available for the platform. NOT just one "Killer App".

The problem is... that will most likely never happen. Why would someone port their product, when the first thing that will happen is a ton of folks will point people to free open source equivalents in their support forums.

That said... a non-cloud centric version Android on the Desktop (Aka Anti-Chrome) OR a Distro that is Android App Compatible has a chance. This is mainly because of the App base that is available for Android. That really is about the only way I can see Linux getting a huge market share on the desktop.
 
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27. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 18:17 TheEmissary
 
Its not exactly pie in the sky. If you told some one in 2005/2006 that apple would be a dominate OS developer for mobile and tablets people would have thought you were crazy. Tablets and Smartphones existed prior to apple doing one and yet they managed to do it better. Android and Chrome OS are both Linux Distributions that fill a niche for some people. The point is that people are more than willing to switch to platforms that fit their needs better.

If core AAA game series were ported over consistently I would switch. The killer app in this case is would be parity. Getting AAA multiplatform games that aren't massively delayed would be be huge enough on its own.

An exclusive killer app will probably require canonical (Ubuntu) or another major distribution maintainers decide to fund one themselves.
 
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26. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 17:15 HorrorScope
 
RaZ0r! wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 16:14:
Steam IS the killer app.

If there will be one, I think you are correct, it will be Steam OS.
 
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25. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 17:13 HorrorScope
 
NewMaxx wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 15:54:
A killer app doesn't have to be a AAA game, or even a game at all. I mean, if something like Minecraft or DayZ had been Linux exclusive,

Minecraft yes, Daisy no.

But that is my point, why would an app like that limit itself to the smallest base? People are looking at this realistically. Cripes Minecraft like Birds is on everything, let alone an exclusive to the smallest base possible.
 
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24. Re: DICE: Linux Needs Oct 13, 2013, 17:09 HorrorScope
 
TheEmissary wrote on Oct 13, 2013, 13:35:
If software or games people are able to enjoy was available on Linux or any other OS for that matter most people would switch to something other than Windows. I know I would. There is very little outside of a few core applications and games that keep me using Windows.

Dice is right Linux keeps One killer App. If Linux gets the same software the mindshare among laypeople will grow. All Linux really needs is professional quality software that runs better and easier under to Linux.

Killer Apps have compelled people to upgrade or switch platforms in the past.


1. There are now many games on Linux and Apple OS. Please change.

2. Windows 7 is a windows that makes me not hate MS as much. Meaning it works, so now I have less need of something else... at this time.

3. You mention one killer app and the immediately follow it with a more broader stroke that to me reads of much more than one killer app.

4. Why would someone develop this killer app and not port it to all the other platforms that are much larger than Linux? That is asking for a miracle, not a killer app. No what will happen is a killer app will happen elsewhere and if Linux is lucky it will get it. Why? Because companies are in it for money.

5. Runs easier? Is someone out there have a hard time starting software?

This is all about pie in the sky and illogical rationale.
 
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