Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Thousands Play Starcraft 2 on Linux
I play Starcraft 2 on Linux and apparently I'm not the only one. At the end of last month I wrote a brief guide for getting Starcraft 2 working under Linux using Wine. In the last ten days that guide has gotten nearly nine thousand views and currently has ninety comments.
Now I've talked before about why I think there is a market for creating games for Linux and I think my above statistics only reinforce this idea. Don't believe me? Think about it this way - lets assume half of the people (4,500) who have checked out my guide have purchased the game and would prefer to play it on Linux. The game currently retails for 60$ USD.
4,500*60$ = 270,000$
That would be over a quarter of a million dollars from Linux gamers (in just over a week of the game's release). Are you telling me it would cost more than a quarter of a million dollars to bring a game, that can already run 100% using OpenGL, to the Linux operating system?
I doubt it.
I know more than a few Windows users who would drop the OS in a heart beat if they could play their Blizzard games under Linux and I know there are plenty of Linux users who would start buying Blizzard games if and only if they started creating native Linux installers.
So what do you say Blizzard? Comon - give us a native version of Starcraft 2 on Linux! It is 2010, people are using more than just Windows and OSX on their personal computers!
Labels: gaming, linux, opengl, operating systems, starcraft2, wine
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I dropped windows from my netbook. Yeah.ReplyDelete
I have a whole computer _only_ for playing games. I spend the rest of my time and do everything else on a separate computer.... which is a Linux box.ReplyDelete
Hell! It's about TimeReplyDelete
"Think about it this way - lets assume half of the people (4,500) who have checked out my guide have purchased the game and would prefer to play it on Linux."ReplyDelete
You said it by yourself. They ALREADY have purchased the game. So why should Blizzard make a linux port for them? The real question is: How many MORE would by this game. And i think that are not that much.
Actually; I'm not sure it *would* cost less than $250,000. Just because it uses OpenGL doesn't mean there aren't other aspects to the development process. I just know development is way, way more expensive than most people consider.ReplyDelete
Not to say I don't think Blizzard should port SC2 to Linux, though.
See, after OpenGL the biggest hurdle to porting a game to Linux is audio. Even if you are paying someone 100$ a hour (that a high guess right?) that still means with a quarter of a million dollars you have 25,000 man hours to devote to making the port...ReplyDelete
Hmmm 250000 / 100 equals 2500? But anyways, look at what open source people do in their free time, I think Blizzard should have more Linux devs on their payroll, and port to every market share.ReplyDelete
I think Jeff is right,... Even if audio needs to be written from scratch, the rest of the code does not, and should be fairly portable.ReplyDelete
Many ports are done by static linking to open source libraries (like Wine and Wine derivitives like Cedega). So. most often, little code changes need to be done. The only exceptions to that are when special tricks are used to promote performance that are OS specific. But doing that means they probably wouldn't work in later versions of the same OS without breaking (as we have seen before).
On top of it,... They could Sub-contract an outfit like LGP to do an exclusive release native port (complete with NDAs),... So next to $0 out-of-pocket.
My only question,... are the 9K hits unique IPs or are they just raw hits (same IP addresses over and over)??? Not to burst anyone's bubble (and I for one would buy a copy of a native StarCraft2 so that my stepson could play on our multimedia network),... That could mean a difference.
I'd buy the game for Linux if it were available as a native version. Currently, I won't. :)ReplyDelete
Ahh yes - my typo. 2,500 is still a lot of hours though :)ReplyDelete
Yes, they are 9k unique IPs
5 years ago : http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=462409&postcount=63ReplyDelete
f**k Blizzard !
Quarter of a million would pay a team of 4 people at the most, for a year, factoring in overhead costs. Not worth the time or the money. Blizzard makes more money NOT porting to GNU/Linux. Takes too much time. It only works when you consider a GNU/Linux port from the beginning, Id Software does with everyone of their games.ReplyDelete
I'm really not convinced by petitions to companies like Blizzard these days. I'd rather see those who are doing Linux versions of their games get more airtime and support. I don't think companies that in 2010 who still wont give Linux users the time of day deserve anything at all.ReplyDelete
I agree, I would buy SC 2 at full price for native, but will wait a few months for price to drop then buy for Linux. Other than that, I haven't bought a windows pc game in over 5 years. I've bought in the last two years x-plane v9.0, penumbra, overture, preordered amnesia, and have purchased an RPG - Echalaon book II. I would buy more but can only find free games of non-commercial quality.ReplyDelete
I stopped playing games when I made the decision to change my OS to Linux!ReplyDelete
Everything changed, however, when a couple of weeks ago I saw (to my surprise) on a post that Frozen Throne runs perfectly under wine. Although I was a bit skeptical, I gave it a shot and it worked perfectly without me having to do anything command-line-ish tricks (as I suspected)!
I now have my Warcraft III "installed" and play a DoTA game once in a while! I will certainly give Starcraft a go under wine although I, as many others, would prefer if all of these games could natively run on Linux; I have some minor problems with sound under wine and of course no videos...
Anyway, I'm glad to see there are lot of people out there playing (War|Star)craft on Linux, like me!
I believe porting to linux would cost alot. People use different distros. It's not like windows or os x, everybody does things differently. Support costs alone would probably be extremely high. But I think there would be alot more than 9000 who would buy it though. Lot's of people probably won't even bother trying to set it up on a linux distro if it is not supported.ReplyDelete
I would love to go sudo apt-get starcraft2 though :)
I would pay for any game if is available for Linux. For the "only for Windows" games, I download any pirate version on the web.ReplyDelete
The question isn't really if Blizzard could break even or even make a modest profit by doing a Linux port.ReplyDelete
The question is if it would be a MORE profitable use of their time than developing Starcraft 2 expansions, Diablo 3 or new WoW content. I really doubt it.
Last week I gave up Windows. I am not Opensuse 11.3, with XP in a VM. YEA!ReplyDelete
Now, any chance we can get you to do a comprehensive guide for installing Activision Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare? Maybe COD2?
Personally, I don't think the problem is in the cost of porting the game to linux, but more in supporting the game on linux and testing the game on different linux distros. Over the years I noticed that Blizzard really cares a lot about support. They bring out patches for games that were released many years ago. They keep their game servers running for many years after the initial release of the game. They care about quality.ReplyDelete
Now, porting the game and getting it to run on Ubuntu 32-bit/64-bit is one thing. Getting it to run on all possible distros and hardware configurations is another thing. Supporting the game on all those distros is an even bigger challenge.
For example, I can imagine that people complain that the game does not run because they installed the "nv"/"nouveau" driver instead of the official driver from nvidia. These kind of complaints can be expected.... and people will expect that Blizzard provides support for these issues. My guess is that Blizzard does not support linux because of this. They probably realise that they will not be able to provide the same level of support and quality on the linux platform, as they provide on the other platforms.
Also... 9000 users may seem a lot... but face it... that is peanuts... In the first 48 hours after release, 1.5 million copies of the game were sold. If they want to provide the same level of quality and support to the linux users as to the Windows and OSX users, it would probably cost them disproportionally more. I think that is the reason they don't support linux.
I never said it was *alot* of users comparably. I was more so pointing out the fact they wouldn't loose money on a port.ReplyDelete
As for everyone always throwing in the "it costs to much to support Linux". Codeweavers seems to be doing just fine for themselves - and they aren't exactly a huge company.
Starcraft 2 cost 100 Million to make, so 250k to port sure is possible.ReplyDelete
at my predicamentReplyDelete
if i get my hands on a linux version
then i would be playing rite now
hell, most of windows users just torrent it. why port it on linux, they would just pirate it with their obnoxious "GNU mentality.ReplyDelete
@Anoymous, August 13, 2010 3:26 PMReplyDelete
Actually I guess that the people who would be linux-gamers buying this game would be prepared to suffer from some lack of support (if reasonable)
Blizzard would definitely get away with saying that people themselves are responsible for having correct lib versions and working OpenGL
I would accept it and gain a deep respect for blizzard to do this. Also a lot of linux geeks (even when allready owning a windows copy) would just pick up a copy of this game JUST because it runs natively on linux
@Anonymous, August 16, 2010 2:33 AMReplyDelete
Personally, I use linux all the time. Both at home and at work. I would definitely be happy if Blizzard releases a linux version, even without the same level of support as the windows and osx version. I also would respect Blizzard a lot for that.
But... that is you and me. Is everyone like that? Maybe there's a chance that there's a very vocal minority who will complain about that? And maybe Blizzard is not willing to risk that chance.
Also, about your last comment, people that would pick up a linux copy of the game after they already own the windows version... I sometimes read big statements that people are going to do that, but I really have my doubts about how many people actually do that. Sadly, there seems to be a lot of people that think that anything that is released on the linux platform should be for free. (While claiming it's all about contributing and blabla; even though they are just in it for getting stuff for free and do not contribute any way themselves.) Aside from that, if I look at linux games, then for those games that are ported by a third-party company, the port is most often released more than a year after the original game, and the port costs as much as the original game at release time, which means it looks overpriced next to the by-that-time bargain price of the windows version.
(from @Anoymous, August 13, 2010 3:26 PM)
YO QUIERO JUEGOS NATIVOS EN LINUX, EN ESPECIAL STARCRAFTReplyDelete
I really want to play StarCraft II on linux... Blizzard give us a native version of Starcraft 2 on Linux!ReplyDelete
Yo quiero jugar juegos nativos en linux, en especial starcraft y casi cualquiera de blizzard que son tan geniales!!. From Mexico!ReplyDelete
I wanna play Starcraft II Wings of Liberty in a native way on Linux. (Mexican Gamer)ReplyDelete
I vowed never to buy another game until a Linux version comes out.ReplyDelete
This is the fourth time I broke the vow and went ahead and bought StarCraft II even though I don't have Windows.
I spent $260 for Linux by buying Windows version, and I haven't even started playing half of them.
I would buy SC2 for Linux in a heartbeat. I'm not buying it for windows as I have really come to despise the new blizzard, as well as hate microsoft.ReplyDelete
While porting would be cool, but it is unlikely, because it is pretty hard to create a closed-source binary that will run great on all kinds of Linux distros.ReplyDelete
What I would rather see is Blizzard coming out and saying that Starcraft 2 is supported under wine in Linux. Give recommended settings and fix/work around all the glaring bugs either by fixing up wine or by using a slightly different approach in the Starcraft 2 code.
That would be the optimal compromise solution for everyone.
@Aigarius.com That is a farse and a cop out. It is more than easy enough with all the different automated installers out there to make binaries that install across most all Linux distros without much issue.ReplyDelete
I completely agree! the only reason Windows Even Exists on my computer in a dual boot is Purely do to my games like Startcraft 2 and all my steam games.. (but in steams defence they aperently Are Makeing the move to linux but still) x.x the day i can play CS: source without wine will be awsomeReplyDelete
Hmm.. maybe we should all just pitch in and work on wine more >_> as of now.. it works pretty alright.. and with more and more work there will be no need for them to spend money on a linux port : DReplyDelete
When I set up my linux box, I included crossover games. I thought of it as as a part of the purchase price of the computer. It runs SC2 perfectly, and I know that I'll be able to pick up other titles if and when I want them.ReplyDelete
For me, it was an easy solution, and as a PC gamer, I'm used to the idea that now and then you have to drop more money on your setup if you want to play the latest games.
Agree wholeheartedly. I'm using SC2 in Wine currently and am a little disappointed in performance (no one said WINE is perfect but oh well) and I only briefly used it in Windows (only until I found out it's compatible enough to be playable in Linux!). Linux gamers need to start seeing the love, Blizzard!ReplyDelete
Totally agree. Starcraft 2 on Linux now!! xDDReplyDelete
I wanna delete my dual boot as soon as posible on my computer.
"That would be over a quarter of a million dollars from Linux gamers (in just over a week of the game's release). Are you telling me it would cost more than a quarter of a million dollars to bring a game, that can already run 100% using OpenGL, to the Linux operating system?"ReplyDelete
It doesn't, but that's a very smart market compare to the billions that PC, and Console market brings in :D
Now I'm not against the idea of bring games to Linux users, and it probably will eventually just not right now.
I don't know exactly what this means, but recently with the Indie Humble Bundle 3 available for Linux -- a package of games where YOU choose the price -- total spent by Linux gamers was the same or more than Mac gamers. http://imgur.com/DKwS3ReplyDelete
Blizzard should really consider this... profits would be HUGE!ReplyDelete
Arguments about supporting multiple distros are completely invalid, this was settled over 10 years ago when Loki started releasing games.ReplyDelete
Starcraft 2 would take mere weeks to port IMHO, just look at the game's formats, they're all open source formats. stuff like .ogg video/audio files, png images, etc. Not to mention the codebase already has an OpenGL port. The lead developer at Blizzard used to work for Loki Software porting games to Linux and he was the main developer behind SDL.
i have read some where about steam for linux and their testing of one game that they had for MAC OS since it runs on OPEN GL it didnt take so much time to port it over ubuntu... now say that if Starcraft 2 its on MAC OS = UNIX base it should be no problem to port it ... we still waiting !!! we want to play on linux and get rid of the windows platform...ReplyDelete