Jan 5, 2009

Proof - Gamers want GNU/Linux ports


After the buzz about gaming being a new avenue for GNU/Linux platform adoption(even Mark Shuttleworth is talking about it), I decided to run a little experiment to see whether it seemed like a good idea.

I came up with this experiment simply because I wanted to see whether there are others out there(like me) that want more native games for GNU/Linux. I was delighted by my findings.

The Experiment:
The method I used is simple. Using google.com search, I performed a keyword search of a list of individual game provider websites(see the list below).

Here's an example of the search term to use on google.com (replace valvesoftware.com with the gaming site of your choice):

"linux site:valvesoftware.com"

The above example searches the whole website(and sub-domains of) "valvesoftware.com" for the keyword "linux".

Here are the sites that I ran my experiment on (This is just a short list, there are more. Please try it yourself on any gaming website you can think of):

Note: Click on the hyperlink to see the google.com search result for the respective domain.

huxleygame.com
ea.com
ubi.com
lucasarts.com
steampowered.com
blizzard.com
cyanworlds.com
2kgames.com
valvesoftware.com
sierra.com
take2games.com
unity3d.com
e-games.com.ph
americasarmy.com
station.sony.com
wolfire.com
www.gamesradar.com
gameplayer.com.au
cabalonline.com
darkfallonline.com
runesofmagic.com
co.91.com
netgame.com
bioware.com
ign.com
ndoorsgames.com
perfectworld.com
dungeonrunners.com
playrf.com
nexon.net
roseonlinegame.com
playrohan.com
play-earthrise.com
mortalonline.com
quakelive.com
thesims2.ea.com
subagames.com
bethsoft.com
netflix.com



My findings:
What I found was that for EVERY site listed above, there is always someone asking "Where is the Linux version" or something to a similar tune. Also, there seem to be some jobs out there for GNU/Linux people because "Employment Opportunities" show up as well in the results.

Conclusion:
Could it be one person going to every site and posting "where's the Linux support"? Who knows. But given the fact that the trend is consistent across so many sites, it seems to me like there is a niche market out there that is ripe and juicy for the picking, and that market is gaming for GNU/Linux.

Furthermore, the idea of using the GNU/Linux Universal Operating System as a base platform for gaming just makes sense because GNU/Linux can be ported into so many different hardware devices.

Do I think games should all be open source? Not necessarily. But I do think that the platform for PC gaming should be open and available to any other Operating Systems than just the single one that has the greatest market share. It's a framework thing. I say make the framework parts standard, so then all competitors can come in and make the best content, and the content will be able to be used on MANY platforms / Operating Systems.

Who wins?
Everyone (it's a win-win). The end users win because they will get more games on more platforms. The game makers will win because they won't be reinventing the wheel every time they make a new game, and thus will be able to make more games quicker. Also, games won't die off with the platform they were originally made for. When something is made to be compatible with GNU/Linux, it tends to live forever. Finally, companies that port to GNU/Linux gain a new level of industry "prestigiousness" for being FAIR and providing for Multiple Operating Systems.

So what do you think? Are you ready for the GNU / Linux Universal Operating System as the standard platform for gaming? Are you ready to have your favorite games on any and every platform available through the power of GNU/Linux?

Leave your 2 cents (or more) below in the comments if you like.

Go GNU/Linux!!
Congratulations on your Freedom