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Thread: How to get the Linux version of my games?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by spykes View Post
    Is it possible, for a company like LGP, to make a deal with Blizzard in order to develop native Linux client of their games ?
    It is. Unfortunately, you have to show enough sales volume in that space to get into that position- something we've yet to really manage because of general attitudes in amongst the game buying population in the Linux community.

    Maybe, they would have to discuss with Vivendi Universal who should hold the rights for Blizzard's games.
    Heh... That's a non-starter on several levels- the lack of demonstrable sales volume is enough alone on that front.

    As their publisher doesn't want to support Linux because of the market size, they may be OK if another company proposes to do it instead. Because it's not only a development effort, but also a support one.
    Actually no... The concern is one of THEM making money. If they can't see them making money or them losing it over something (even if it's that perceived, funny-money deal they do in the record business over "lost sales" (Remember that the bulk of the games industry is now owned or published by the selfsame people that screwed up the music and now the movie businesses...)) then they're not at all interested.

    This is one of the reasons why they ask for a royalty up-front. Everyone keeps making the mistake of presuming that "more sales" equates to "more money". To them, support issues, development issues, possible piracy (a 5:1 to a 20:1 ratio on Linux game titles currently available does NOT help there...) end up negating sales unless you're talking 10k units sold. To them, we're this big bottomless money pit.

    Blizzard's games like Diablo 3 or Starcraft 2 are really strong IPs for PC gamers. Having those games running natively on Linux, would certainly help our favorite platform to gain popularity among gamers.
    It would help us, but unfortunately with things the way they are, it's unlikely that you're going to see that happening without someone having to pay for it up-front like I describe and that's for the current foreseeable future.

    Want it to change? That's going to take showing them that we're not a money pit, either by having a demonstrable sales number (10k units sold is something that they start taking notice with...) or a definitive userbase size that indicates that we're nearly half of the worldwide potential sales base for their product at which point they'll take a risk on us.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kano View Post
    I guess only hardcore Linux users really buy those games. Gamers usually have got another partition to play current games and for the rest they can use Linux. Of course it does not feel so good to reboot every time Somebody might feel a bit stupid to pay full price for an old Linux game when the Win version is already low-budget. It would be different when the Linux port would be out at least at the same time or a very short delay, but not over 1 year later.
    Heh... The main reason this is would be the aforementioned thinking you state.

    There's not enough sales volume to rate getting a shot at most of these at the same time.

    The Mac community proved itself because you couldn't do the dual boot game and had to either buy another whole computer running Windows or buy the MacOS titles at full price. Guess which one they did?

  3. #33
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    I would have expected a different model here. Getting paid for just porting, not publishing. That is, the publisher of the game takes care of providing the Linux version, be it on the same DVD, like "Windows/Mac/Linux (there many titles out there that come in "Windows/Mac" discs) or on their website.

    The way it works right now, I can't imagine it succeeding anytime soon :P

    Question: *Are* you actually making money out of this right now? :P

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    (a 5:1 to a 20:1 ratio on Linux game titles currently available does NOT help there...)
    I dare to object there. If I look around on gloomy sites for illegal material what shows up? Cracked Linux binaries ( or just binaries if they use a with-held system ) or cracked Windows binaries? Pretty much only cracked Windows binaries. Chances are you've got some figures in your hand there but from my experience so far the piracy momentum swings greatly into the Windows zone ( with consoles maybe even more as this is easier to to crack ).

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    It is. Unfortunately, you have to show enough sales volume in that space to get into that position- something we've yet to really manage because of general attitudes in amongst the game buying population in the Linux community.
    I don't understand this statement. If you are the only actor who is taking the financial risk (you are paying a license, you are doing the dev and maybe the support), they have nothing to loose.
    Why do they ask for enough sales volume ? Even if it's low, it's 100% bonus for them.
    Making conversions of "outdated" windows games, won't change the linux gamer's behaviors. According to me, if you want a significant boost in sales volume despite the piracy, you first have to choose a license that really matter for people (Blizzard's games are multi-million sellers). And you also have to deal a partnership with the rights holders and the original game studio, in order to start the dev at an early stage, before the windows version comes out. So the Linux version can be released not to much time after the original version of the game (and maybe at the same time).
    It's maybe an utopic dream, but I can't see any future change in the Linux gaming era, without a real support from a significant actor.
    Actually gamers are waiting for their games, and publishers are waiting for the gamers to show significant sales volume.
    If everybody is waiting for the other to move, nothing will happen.
    Last edited by spykes; 12-31-2008 at 03:21 PM.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlord View Post
    I dare to object there. If I look around on gloomy sites for illegal material what shows up? Cracked Linux binaries ( or just binaries if they use a with-held system ) or cracked Windows binaries? Pretty much only cracked Windows binaries. Chances are you've got some figures in your hand there but from my experience so far the piracy momentum swings greatly into the Windows zone ( with consoles maybe even more as this is easier to to crack ).
    It's actually both. The volume is the same for both, it's just that there's less purchasing in the case of the Linux binaries.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by spykes View Post
    I don't understand this statement. If you are the only actor who is taking the financial risk (you are paying a license, you are doing the dev and maybe the support), they have nothing to loose.
    Reputation for their Windows version could suffer for a bad port on the Linux side, amongst other things. Moreover, if one could "rip off" the Linux version easily and people won't buy, you'll end up with "lost sales"- since most of the players are from the media industries, they don't like loss of control or "lost sales".

    Why do they ask for enough sales volume ? Even if it's low, it's 100% bonus for them.
    Think record company exec...you'll make more sense of this if you think of this in terms of being akin to a cover song done by another performer.

    It's maybe an utopic dream, but I can't see any future change in the Linux gaming era, without a real support from a significant actor.
    Actually gamers are waiting for their games, and publishers are waiting for the gamers to show significant sales volume.
    If everybody is waiting for the other to move, nothing will happen.
    Heh... You're waiting for them to move. The actors that have the content WILL NOT CHANGE THEIR POSITION. Who can, then?

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    I would have expected a different model here. Getting paid for just porting, not publishing. That is, the publisher of the game takes care of providing the Linux version, be it on the same DVD, like "Windows/Mac/Linux (there many titles out there that come in "Windows/Mac" discs) or on their website.
    The only ones who're getting paid for porting is Ryan Gordon and Timothee Bestet (Though it sounds like TTimo may not be doing Linux versions on contract for iD these days...)- which is the reason you see those titles readily available from those studios. Everyone else has to scrape and scrounge because it's more akin to the music business (If you've never observed that thing from a distance or up real close, you're in for a shock as to how twisted things can end up being... ).

    The way it works right now, I can't imagine it succeeding anytime soon :P
    It seems to work just fine for the console, PC, and Mac markets- we're the only bunch that is more than willing to boot into Windows or run stuff via WINE instead of buying what we DO have so we can grow things.

    Question: *Are* you actually making money out of this right now? :P
    LGP seems to be able to at least break even on operating costs. Things could be better (i.e. more sales to help get closer to that ideal you all keep talking to...) but I suppose things are well enough.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    It seems to work just fine for the console, PC, and Mac markets- we're the only bunch that is more than willing to boot into Windows or run stuff via WINE instead of buying what we DO have so we can grow things..
    Not really, before the intel macs came around many Mac owners bought complete systems just for gaming. When the intels came around, the main reason for installing bootcamp was gaming as well. Too the same extent windows owners often buy consoles for gaming because of the game selection and the fact that they don't have to worry about if their console will be able to run the next greatest game. Saying that linux users are the only ones satisified with swiching solutions for gaming is far from the truth.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Reputation for their Windows version could suffer for a bad port on the Linux side
    Companies like LGP have to convince them, that it won't be the case.
    LGP has done a good job in porting games so far, so you should have the right arguments.

    ...Moreover, if one could "rip off" the Linux version easily and people won't buy, you'll end up with "lost sales"- since most of the players are from the media industries, they don't like loss of control or "lost sales".
    It's hard for me, to understand how the Linux gamers community can be too small to be considered as a market, and significant enough in "lost sales" at the same time.
    They can't use the same argument to defend two opposite positions... Even in the worst scenario, if 90% of the Linux copies are pirated, it's always more sales that not releasing the game under Linux at all.
    By not releasing the game under Linux, they perform the only true "lost in sales" themselves.
    I agree that it may not be enough if they make the port themselves. But if a company like LGP, proposes to bear the extra financial cost, they have truly no valid argument to refuse.
    It's a business model that works well for console makers and game publishers, it should also works for us.
    I suppose that it will end up like with DRMs... One day they will start to understand that Linux is another opportunity to make money (even if it's small at the beginning).

    Think record company exec...you'll make more sense of this if you think of this in terms of being akin to a cover song done by another performer.
    I think you are right, it's mainly a political issue... They are afraid "to loose" the control in the sale of their IP, but they shouldn't.

    Heh... You're waiting for them to move. The actors that have the content WILL NOT CHANGE THEIR POSITION. Who can, then?
    But what can I do if they don't release the game I would like to play ?
    I won't buy and install windows just to play games.
    And wine is not a reliable enough solution to make me spend my money for a windows version. Moreover, I don't like the idea of buying windows version in order to play under Linux, it doesn't help us.
    So we are in a deadlock.

    EDIT : Anyway, I wish you an Happy new year 2009 from France !! (we are just January the 1st here ).
    Last edited by spykes; 12-31-2008 at 07:18 PM.

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