Fast-forward nearly six years. Steam Machines puttered out as an idea, though Valve hasn’t dropped its support for Linux. It maintains a Linux Steam client with 5,800 native games, and just last August, Valve unveiled Proton, a compatibility layer designed to make every Steam title run open-source-style. With Proton currently in beta, the number of Steam titles playable on Linux has jumped to 9,500. There are an estimated 30,000 games on Steam overall, so that’s roughly one-in-three, and Valve is just getting started.
However, the percentage of PC players that actually use Linux has remained roughly the same since 2013, and it’s a tiny fraction of the gaming market — just about 2 percent. Linux is no closer to claiming the gaming world’s crown than it was six years ago, when Newell predicted the open-source, user-generated-content revolution.
While that is undeniably true, it’s now at least definitely more viable to play games on Linux, even if it’s generally nowhere near the kinds of performance levels possible on Windows – assuming the titles run on Linux at all, of course.