Home > Games > Is LGP Going The Way Of Loki Software? Is LGP Going The Way Of Loki Software? Submitted by Michael 2010-06-24 Games 18 Comments Born out of the demise of Loki Software in 2001 was Linux Game Publishing, but now a decade later the fate of LGP is not looking good for the company that has ported about two dozen game titles to Linux. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 18 Comments 2010-06-24 4:55 pm theTSF Linux is a server OS. At best it can be a workstation OS. Can Linux play games… Sure it can do it good enough… But should it. Probably not. 1. Hardware Lag. games like you to have the newest and greatest. Hardware manufactures like to keep their secret sauce quite for as long as it can so it could take about a year for a good driver to come out. 2. Market Share. You are not going to spend millions in development to try to get a fraction of a 3% market share. 3. Open Source Zealot territory. A lot of the desktop linux users are into the Open Source Zealotry, meaning they are going to pay for a closed source game. 4. No other games. Sure there is the niche market segment. However you are so Niche that there isn’t any demand. People switch to Linux with full knowledge that there arn’t many games. so they are not looking for it. 5. Duel Boot, Virtualization, Wine: You buy a PC you get a windows license for the most part. That means even if it isn’t your primary OS you can still use it. There isn’t. 6. May not want your games. Now after everything is done… A lot of them just will not want to play the game. Games for linux is just a dead idea. 2010-06-24 5:32 pm ssokolow I don’t even know where to start. Just about every point you made has been proven false already. Hardware lag generally isn’t a significant issue for hardware other than video cards and if you’re using an nVidia video card with the binary driver, not for them either. There’s plenty of evidence that the return on investment for Linux (and Mac) porting is quite high. (Unless your developers are idiots who wouldn’t know proper game engine architecture if it bit them on the knows) Even with those point, Linux users do pay for good games and, when we do, as the Humble Indie Bundle showed, we tend to pay more than our windows-using counterparts. As for “no other games”, that really depends on how you define games. Little arcade things? Plenty of open-source ones, some pretty good. Big 3D shooters? Oh look, Valve is porting Steam and the Source engine and ID Software has been releasing Linux ports of their shooters for ages. Classics? There are plenty of re-implemented engines waiting for the resources on your legally purchased game disc. As for dual boot, virtualization, and Wine, have you actually used them? There are plenty of people like my brother who would happily buy Linux versions if it meant they didn’t have to dual-boot or nag me to figure out how to make Wine play them without screwing up. (Not to mention people like me who specifically buy hardware WITHOUT an OEM license either to save money or because we don’t want to line Microsoft’s pockets) The problem with games for Linux is that it’s not really economical yet (chicken-and-egg problem) to have the porting studio be a separate company with all the overhead that implies. 2010-06-25 5:16 am deathshadow Hardware lag generally isn’t a significant issue for hardware other than video cards and if you’re using an nVidia video card with the binary driver, not for them either. Is that why my Audigy 2 ZS on one machine and my Asus Xonar on another might as well be SB16’s so far as linsux is concerned? I have yet to even be able to get 5.1 working out of ANY card I own with Linux… much less things like audio acceleration… Hell, most of the time linux can’t even figure out how to kill the speaker output when you plug in the front panel — GREAT on laptops when you plug in headphones and they either don’t work, or if they do the internal speakers are still on. QUALITY. … and as to video, I didn’t buy a pair of 260GTX in SLI to have it perform like a Ge2MX… Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point. With piss poor support for running resolutions other than what X is set to, no concept of a primary display, etc, etc… Video on linux is a total joke – I can’t understand how people can even use that steaming pile of manure as a deskop OS, but less consider it for gaming. Driver support for both sound and audio are a joke — much less the total lack of a consistent way for a developer to deploy software without either telling people to compile it themselves (guaranteed way for joe sixpack to tell you to go *** yourself) or releasing specific versions for each and every blasted package method (apt, rpm, etc) and even having to compensate for that one kernel release that BOOM, everythings broken needing a rewrite — and it’s no wonder that the only people who support gaming on linux are the companies that either cookie cutter out using the same framework (UDK for example) or release one game every two years (like Id) Just the level of support you’d have to provide to let users install the software alone is enough to make it not financially viable unless you charge $100 a copy, much less that the low numbers of target users pushes the expense at all levels. Frankly, I’m amazed they held on this long. Edited 2010-06-25 05:18 UTC 2010-06-25 8:23 am nt_jerkface The problem with games for Linux is that it’s not really economical yet (chicken-and-egg problem) to have the porting studio be a separate company with all the overhead that implies. It’s more than a chicken and egg problem. Linux would have better video card drivers if Linus & Co stabilized the abi and the economics would be better if Linux was a single OS with a standard api and had a software distribution system that wasn’t built with the assumption that all user software is open source. Too bad the ideologists still dominate Linux development. It’s pretty obvious that closed source is not going anywhere so maybe it is time to re-think the revolutionary outlook. 2010-06-24 5:54 pm Narishma A bunch of speculation and outdated myths is all you have here. Let’s see: 1) The vast majority of games released nowadays on Windows are either indie games or ports of console games. The first category will usually work on anything you run it on, including netbooks and the like. The second category don’t require much more power than what an Xbox 360 or PS3 can provide, so a couple of generations old graphics cards are sufficient, and those are well supported under Linux with proprietary drivers. 2) I’ll let an actual game developer speak about that: http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/The-state-of-Mac-and-Linux-gaming 3) Another myth: http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/05/Linux-users-contribute-twice-as-muc… 4) That’s really far fetched. It’s just speculation of your part. If you have some data please provide it. 5) Those are only stop-gap measures which don’t always work (Wine and virtualization), are too slow (virtualization) or are a hassle (rebooting when you just want to play a quick match of your favorite multiplayer game). I there were more games on Linux people wound’t resort to these things. 6) You could say that about any platform. Not everybody will buy every game. Really the only reason most games sell poorly on Linux (and Mac) is that they are released too late when everybody has forgotten about them, and cost too much compared to their Windows counterpart. 2010-06-25 3:08 am Soulbender Aside from what’s alrady been said, you also confuse “desktop os” with “gaming platform”. 2010-06-24 7:59 pm mat69 That news post is rubbish. Phoronix never bothered to acutally do a real inquiry prior to publishing this POC. Imo they do that to get as much clicks as possible. And now yesterday they realised that LGP is still alive.  They could have done that easier if they just did their job. http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Phoronix/~3/zdvI7DKKDlc/vr.php 2010-06-24 8:34 pm Zifre That news post is rubbish. Phoronix never bothered to acutally do a real inquiry prior to publishing this POC. Imo they do that to get as much clicks as possible. Yes, Phronix likes to make things up in order to get more views (such as that Steam is definitely coming to Linux). Unfortunately, it is the only source of Linux graphics news. Otherwise, I wouldn’t read it. The writer seems to be a good businessman (lots of ads!), but the site is terrible. The ads are overly intrusive (Phoronix is the only site that I visit regularly for which I use adblock), and the articles are inaccurate. Most of the articles could be condensed to roughly five sentences (maybe with a few graphs) and nothing would be lost. Thankfully, OSNews is much higher quality. 🙂 Edit: somehow most of the post disappeared? Edited 2010-06-24 20:47 UTC 2010-06-24 9:22 pm yoko-t Unfortunately, it is the only source of Linux graphics news. Otherwise, I wouldn’t read it. The writer seems to be a good businessman (lots of ads!), but the site is terrible. The ads are overly intrusive (Phoronix is the only site that I visit regularly for which I use adblock), and the articles are inaccurate. Most of the articles could be condensed to roughly five sentences (maybe with a few graphs) and nothing would be lost. Thankfully, OSNews is much higher quality. 🙂 Bullshit. Check the Xorg WWW site,and distro you are using,WWW sites,Newsgroups and email forums for the infomation your are looking for. Where the hell do you think garbage sites like Phoronix are getting the information from? Linux developers? Ha! 2010-06-25 12:29 pm Zifre Yes, it is definitely possible to get the news from other places, but Phoronix is a convenient aggregator of all the important Linux graphics news. I don’t want to spend my day sifting through mailing lists. 2010-06-24 9:25 pm Delgarde Thankfully, OSNews is much higher quality. 🙂 Clearly not, since in this case, they’re just linking to the dreadful piece of reporting that was the original Phoronix article – and doing so at least a day after Phoronix published what amounted to a retraction after LGP’s reaction. This is late reporting of a complete non-story… 2010-06-25 2:40 pm JMcCarthy AFAIK they’ve moved beyond speculation and have actually provided proof for Steam+Linux. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODIzMA http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODIyOQ 2010-06-25 3:01 pm Zifre AFAIK they’ve moved beyond speculation and have actually provided proof for Steam+Linux. http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODIzMA http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODIyOQ Those do show Steam running on Linux. However, that doesn’t mean that Steam will ever support Linux. It could have been an internal test that accidentally ended up on Valves’s servers. Personally, I do think that Steam will come to Linux. However, I think it will take awhile, and Valve will wait until it is usable to officially announce support. So, Phoronix may be right, but they can’t say the Steam is “definitely” coming to Linux (as in Valve has announced it). 2010-06-25 2:38 am Soulbender which were actually ported by IGIOS and then just published by LGP. Uhmm…yes? That’s what a publisher do, they publish titles developed by others. That’s why they’re called publishers and not developers. 2010-06-25 3:08 am kaiwai Well this is the first time I have heard of LGP and after having a look at the games they offer, none of them am I remotely interested in. My interest is mainly in games such as Civilisation and Simcity and neither of them are present in the software line up. I am sure there are many others out there who would love to play games on Linux but the games being offered by LGP are of no interest to them either. It is all very nice port games and saying, “hey, we’ve got some games here that we’ve ported” but if they aren’t the games people want then it is a wasted effort. They also need to start branching out beyond games as well to balance out their product range; yes games are important but what about applications as well? have they approached mainstream software companies like Adobe, Corel, Quicken and so forth and inquired whether they’re able to bring such products to Linux? If LGP is going the way of Loki Software it is because they repeated step by step the same mistakes that Loki Software made when they ran their business. 2010-06-25 8:45 am nt_jerkface Street Fighter IV on pc was pirated to hell and back so I wasn’t surprised to see the sequel only announced for consoles. Companies like Capcom don’t like to see their work taken by so many without compensation which is why they focus on consoles. PC gamers whine and complain but know damn well that their platform is rife with piracy. If you run Linux and want to game then buy a console and plug it into your monitor. 2010-06-25 12:27 pm leech Piracy is caused by several things; 1) Economic, person can’t afford the game/app. 2) The need/want to demo a product before purchasing, when no demo is available. 3) The thrill of saying “I got something for free!” 4) Collecting software and wanting to share it with others. Now if you break it down like that, it means that the only one that a company loses money on is the 4th one, but like the others, more than likely if they couldn’t have pirated said software, they wouldn’t have bought it anyhow. The Second on the list will purchase the product if they find it meets their needs. So in that regard, software piracy is a good thing. Besides, I’m pretty sure all the consoles have been hacked to play pirated games on with the exception of the PS3, and that’s probably because of the huge amount of bandwidth that a PS3 game would take to push through. In most cases, it’s cheaper to buy the game than it is to pirate in that case. The reason why so many games come out for the Consoles and not the PC anymore is because of game companies wanting to push the PC to the limits all the time, so new games require hardware upgrades every one or two years. Console systems usually have a life of 5+ years. It’s also much easier / faster to develop on systems where you know the hardware won’t change. 2010-06-25 3:22 pm merkoth Uninteresting games at ridiculous prices don’t sell well. Truly shocking, yeah.