There Are Now Over 1500 Native Linux Games on Steam

/ 3 years ago


Prior to the release of Windows 8, gaming on Linux predominately revolved around emulating core libraries through WINE and rarely featured stable games without configuration problems. Valve’s CEO, Gabe Newell was so incensed by Windows 8, and its lack of freedom, that he decided to launch Steam for Linux and create SteamOS, a gaming-optimized Linux distribution. Whether or not you agree with Gabe Newell’s analysis, it’s impossible to deny that Linux could become a viable gaming platform. Currently, there are over 1500 native games on Linux compared to 6464 on Windows while OS X users can choose between a library of 2323.

So what does this mean? Linux gaming is still on the rise, but it’s so small in comparison to Windows. Additionally, the majority of games are indie titles without any major graphical demands. There are exceptions such as Counterstrike: Global Offensive, Shadow Warrior and Metro Redux but the library is still far too limiting. Perhaps, things will change as Valve’s Steam Machines hit the market. Ideally, Valve should announce a number of Linux versions to coincide with their hardware launches.

Windows 10 has been a monumental success and this could impact on Valve’s Linux project. However, with concerns about privacy and a rumoured subscription model in the future, it seems like Linux will have a niche audience. Originally, Valve argued that Linux provided much better performance in their testing but this was done with DirectX 11 comparisons. Frankly, DirectX 11 is a horribly optimized API, and DirectX 12 should bring major improvements across the board. This raises the question, is there still a need for SteamOS anymore?

It’s certainly an interesting discussion and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Would you ditch Windows for Linux if all the games were playable?

Image courtesy of The New Boston.

Thank you Phoronix for providing us with this information.

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3 Responses to “There Are Now Over 1500 Native Linux Games on Steam”
  1. ET3D says:

    It’s nice to see Linux gaining in this area. I’m not a big PC gamer these days, so this doesn’t influence my desire to go to Linux. Frankly every time I tried Linux it was a hassle. Linux always struck me as not a good OS for power users. It’s fine for those who need very little, it’s fine for those who love command lines, but for those who just want to do a lot with their PC without resorting to hacking, or who want specific programs, Linux is just not a good choice.

    So sure, if Linux ran all games and played blu-rays and hooked to all my hardware and ran all the development environments and 3DS MAX and whatever other software packages I’d want, and did all this easily, then I might try to use it as a main OS. It’s such a big ‘if’ I’m not going to seriously consider it.

    As for performance, I remember Valve comparing Linux performance to old DX9 code, not DX11 (and not even DX9 code optimised for modern PC’s). I don’t remember there being any comparison to DX11, so if there was I’d love a reference.

  2. Thomas Wootten says:

    As a Linux user for a decade who’s got back into PC gaming in the last year or so, if your game has a Linux version I’m more likely to buy it, simple as.

  3. Thomas Wootten says:

    As a Linux user for a decade who’s got back into PC gaming in the last year or so, if your game has a Linux version I’m more likely to buy it, simple as.

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