Liam Dawe at GamingOnLinux looks back at the release of Valve’s Proton, five years ago today.
Proton just makes a lot of sense. It didn’t take long for Valve to expand Proton to go initially from a few select Valve-approved titles, to being able to run anything we choose to try with it. From there, Linux gaming just seemingly exploded. And then eventually we saw why Valve made Proton with the Steam Deck announcement coming less than three years later in July 2021.
Proton is one of the biggest things to happen to desktop Linux and PC gaming in general. It cannot be overstated just what it has done to the gaming market – people expect new games to just work on Linux now, and developers have to answer questions about it and promise support sooner rather than later. From big, defining titles like Elden Ring and Baldur’s Gate 3, down to the countless small indie titles – Proton and thus Linux support for games has been normalised.
PC gaming is no longer a Windows-only thing, and that benefits all of us.