Also, isn't it said they have internal linux clients or some such? The client still has some references in it:
strings Wow.exe | grep -i Linux
Also, WoW players as an example, already bought the game and already play (through wine) the game. It works, but performance is something else. plenty of issues often. Now a native client would make many Linux users very happy. But they won't gain many sales. So hardly any incentive for them to release their client without support, or anything really. Sad, but true.
Very excellent point. How does blizzard knows their is demand? Ask your 'store' clerk? Right, that'll get right to blizzards stats. Well, let me click the linux download button in the blizzard store. Oh right. NO go. But if we out our cries on the blizzard forums, with petitions and such! Oh .. blizzard ignored that too. So then really, how do we 'demand' such a feature? We can't can we?
That said, even if the linux group is 1% of all 6 mil wow players. Would that be enough to care? Even if they take into account the amount of mac players maybe? Or take into account that by fact, there's only a small subgroup of technical people who would be interested in one? And finally, if they would look at the amount of wine users, as potential Linux gamers, what about windows gamers who just don't know about wine or know how well it works (or lack thereof).
It uses OpenGL, so that shouldn't require any porting (or hardly any). OS X has it's own sound system. So it would have to be ported to OpenAL/SDL. Granted those technoligies work on all 3 platforms so should have been the default choice anyway Then there's input, but that can't really be that much porting.
Now with in/output sorted, what's left? Their game engine probably needs to read/write files, but I'm guessing that they are using the standard POSIX stuff for that? So that's sorted. Threading? shouldn't be an issue with POSIX either. Wow doesn't use cocoa or other strange libraries I don't think. So easy. itunes and movie capturing can be disabled build time (the windows client doesn't have it).
So how much time would it take them (ignoring the fact that wow once worked on linux during beta and could still be used deeply internally)? Well ttimo ported ET:QW by himself. So ... not that much I don't think.
Why in the world not release a client for the <1%? Cause management doesn't care.
I have to old Linux Client of the Vanilla Beta on my pc (ver 0.9.12) i done the same that you done on the release Windows Client i found that they had the following extra files for Linux:
I also found they used SDL as render: CGxDeviceOpenGL/SDL/CGxOglDeviceSDL.cpp