Gaming on Linux

I’ve always been the guy my friends and family turn to with computer questions. I’ve also always been the guy my computer literate friends turn to with Linux questions.

“Why do you use Linux?”

“What’s wrong with Windows?”

“Should I use Linux?”

Though the answers to these questions can seem mundane and overused, I always find myself answering the “Should I use Linux?” question with one simple answer: “Not if you want to play games. Stick with Windows.”

Sure, there are plenty of Linux games out there, as well as some decent emulators that allow you to run Windows Direct-X style games on the Linux desktop. But the true fact of the matter is that Microsoft dominates the PC desktop gaming market. When the majority of PC game developers decide on making a game, my guess is that Linux is far down the list of worries, if not completely non-existent.


One obvious answer is money. C.R.E.A.M. Cash Rules Everything Around Me. Dolla dolla bills y’all. However you put it – Money makes the world go round big time commercial developers listen. The simple fact is that there’s just not a big enough market in the Linux industry for commercial game developers to spend time, money, and resources on developing on a OS platform that they don’t see dollar signs in. The majority of Linux users advocate the use and distribution of free software, so what Linux user would pay thirty dollars for a game?

So what do we have to do in order to have our cake Linux and eat it play our best-selling games too?

When will I be able to answer “Yes you should use Linux” without hesitation?

6 thoughts on “Gaming on Linux

  1. I believe that you’re wrong about Linux users not wanting to pay for games. I’m not opposed to dropping a fair price for a game for my Linux pc(s). The problem I see is, many of the commercially developed games for Linux don’t appeal to me. Were EA to turn around and release Linux versions of the Command and Conquer series of games, even going back to the first ones, I’d be the third one in line to buy the whole pack. I would likely also buy Civ IV, AOE 1-3… the list goes on. Heck, I’d even be willing to pay for Linux versions of games I already own for Windows… with some sort of special upgrade pricing, of course. I run Linux for more than just the fact that it’s free. In essence, I’m fighting piracy, and that’s something the game devs should sit up and take notice of.

  2. Hi.

    I use linux as my home desktop and I always plays games.

    Nearly all are internet only, they have the best mods, levels and are all FREE. O.k there isn’t as many as windows but there are many fine games and the list is growing all the time.

    - tremulous
    - Nexuiz
    - paintball2 (most fun ever)
    - enemy territory
    - alien arena
    - many more..

  3. There are lots of games for Linux. In fact, I saw a list of 30-something commercially-supported Linux games, just from 2007. That doesn’t even include the thousands of public domain and open source games that come pre-configured with most distros. And everyone is still waiting for ID’s big ET: Quake Wars to release, due out soon.

    This is kind of a cliche article. Most people incorrectly think that there are no games for Linux, so why would you make this article saying that again. I think if you researched it a little, then you would have found evidence to the contrary. Strange.

  4. Strangely enough, the gaming on linux problem was solved for me by none other than Microsoft.

    The XBOX ( and subsequently, the 360 ) fixed my gaming woes. On top of all of the great reasons to play on LIVE vs pc games… (pure opinion, feel free to disagree), I now have no need to game in windows.

    There is one exception, Live for Speed. A racing sim, only supported for windows now, and though I can get it to run somewhat decent in linux, its buggy and even at that, my wheel (logitech G25) wont work right in linux, period.

    Honestly though, there are at least 10-15 games I play regularly on my 360…so not being able to play on the pc isn’t a big deal…then, when i need to race in LFS, i just boot to vista… then when I’m done, i just go back…simple as that.

  5. I’ve been using Linux as my primary os for at least 6 months now, but one of the main things that kept me from fully moving over was UT99… there is a Linux version, but it runs very slow compared to the windows one. Wine was able to solve the problem for me, I have the windows version running in Linux better than the Linux version does…

    But most windows games out there just won’t run under Linux; hopefully more game development companies will realize the consumer’s desire for cross-platform games.

  6. Pingback: Top Unix News » Gaming on Linux

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