John Carmack: Kudos to Valve, but Not Many Linux Users are Willing to Pay for Games

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Marthian

From what I've read, it's mostly blind fanboyism.

Yes, Linux is free. Yes, it's probably faster (and is as mentioned), but here's the kicker. The VAST majority of PC Users/Gamers use Windows, and considering many of said gamers are most likely not tech literate. Why else do we have Cyberpower, Ibuypower, and all those other companies around still? I still don't know which distro would be the correct one to use, and updates are rather confusing. Our family used it for awhile, and except my brother (who installed it), we were all completely lost.

I'm all for Valve supporting Linux, but I seriously doubt a huge majority are going to switch over to make a big difference. And yes, Windows 8 will probably without a doubt be a failure (Microsoft seems to do a pattern of this.), but there's always going to be Windows 7, which is still good (unless they discontinue it extremely early.)

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DoctorX

My retired parents have been using LInux mint since version 5 or 6. It just works. We use windows because noone builds or sells games in linux... DUH.

Those companies are around for custom builds... NOt a single one of them promote windows and you can just buy the hardware sans OS. try again.

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Engelsstaub

Could you please describe in detail that "pattern of Microsoft failure" for those of us here still unfamiliar with it? Thx ;)

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jaygregz

Nope. Linux isn't there yet. Terminal Commands, Bad GUI, the incompatibility with windows software, and driver issues are just a few of the reason why Linux isn't ready for the masses.

I've tried several distros and I just can't seem to make the switch to a full time linuxer. I love the idea of open source and free but at the same time it always seem like something is missing or that I am getting a second rate product. I've tried Mint, Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Fadora, Peppermint.. just can't find a true love.

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DoctorX

What termincal commands? You dont have to type a single command in terminal.. I do it because it is faster at times, but dont have too... what decade did you try?

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RaptorJohnson

You are absolutely right. As soon as we get a distro that will never need the user to enter in a command line (like windows) and will easily integrate in my home sharing network of win 7 machines I will gladly switch.

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DoctorX

i actually have to type more commands in windows 7 and 8 than i ever had to in linux... especially the current Ubuntu variant. I use Xubuntu on my work laptop and it just works. My parents have been running Linux Mint since version 5. They are retired... and definately not linux gurus.

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RaptorJohnson

You are absolutely right. As soon as we get a distro that will never need the user to enter in a command line (like windows) and will easily integrate in my home sharing network of win 7 machines I will gladly switch.

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vgrig

And Wii is? Remember - most consoles don't run windows. And "masses" are already using Linux - Android.
Now - you maybe right in general, but in my opinion - any games who had to deal with buggy Mobo, GPU, Sound drivers (some would reinstall GPU drivers one a week, going between version, trying to squeeze max FPS) - can easily handle Linux install after 30 min of reading howtos. And saving $100 on your newly put together rig to apply it towards better GPU - i think a lot of gamers will take that trade.

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Peanut Fox

Yes. The Wii is. It's a stand alone purpose built machine that once you set it up you don't have to do anything else to it. You throw in any game from the Wii and Game Cube catalog and you're playing it (Assuming you have an older backwards compatible model).

Saving a hundred dollars is great. But for a new user coming from Windows or OSX you're gaining a $100 dollars for time spent learning a new OS and dealing with issues that otherwise you'd never have to face. For a lot of people their free time is worth a lot more than the $100 or even $200 you'll gain.

Moving at least part time to a Linux distro is on my list of things "to do", but right now I'm not ready for Linux, and Linux isn't ready for me. I think there are a lot of folks how are in this space.

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bigrigross

Not me. I have linux for some of my school projects but windows just works. I install windows, then drivers, then steam, and then restore the backup. With linux, even unpacking the drivers can be a night mare. 100 dollars for Windows isnt bad. I shouldnt have to keep reinstalling drivers to keep the best performance nor will most games even work on linux. Linux is for professional work, not for play time.

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don2041

I agree I have tried Linux but found driver support and software lacking, however if this changes I will switch in an instant

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DoctorX

sorry... i dont believe you... every box i have put linux onto the last 3 years needed nothing more than the graphics updated if you are using nvidia or ati(amd). Even with that, there is a damn wizard that walks you through it. It pops up a notice that you have a driver available, you click a little button, wait 5 mins, reboot. WTF is hard about that? Windows is f*cking way harder than that... and usually the damn wizards mess up. Software? There are tons (gigs) worth that is free and as easy to install as clicking a button.

I give up... so much FUD and untruth on here.

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bpstone

He is simply skeptical about the short-term probability. Nothing that should be blown out of proportion people. Support them by purchasing their games on Ubuntu so we can see it become a reality faster. I would love to join the effort. Having the option in the future to play good games on a Linux distro would be fabulous. :)

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someuid

I know this guy is smart, but after that last fiasco with Rage, his arguements don't enough water for me.

His comments about "not enough people would" remind me of the first cars being built, the first computers being built, and the first free open source operating system being built.

John, someone has to go first and say to hell with the numbers and profits and whatnot. Your fiasco with Rage, putting all your efforts into a console game, shows us you aren't very interested in cutting edge tech or shaking up markets. You're about easy $60/copy profits from consolers. You said it yourself - you didn't look at the PC enough while developing Rage, and you spent years on it. That tells me you haven't been thinking very PC specific for quite a while now. You're behind the curve.

As for me, I'm happily moving over to Linux, even if there are a whopping three or four steam linux games. You have to start somewhere.

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vgrig

"Not Many Linux Users are Willing to Pay for Games" and "not nearly as many people that are interested in paying for a game on the [Linux] platform " - you don't see difference between two?

First implies that that of Linux users are less likely to pay for games; second implies that number of users interested in Linux games are not high enough.

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DoctorX

again... check out the humble bundle stats... nuff said

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chronium

The same thing could have been said about Windows when Steam was first launched.

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USraging

I'm more than happy to open my wallet. lets see how easy they make the installation process on linux, or what dependencies there are.

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zepontiff

Carmack. Remember when he was a young hotshot and people listened? Now he's old and spouting about virtual reality glasses and this. I will now refer to him as Mr Burns.

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zepontiff

well not exactly old. oldER.

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EKRboi

Im a linux user with A LOT of games on steam, I have windows installed for one reason! To play video games! When I am done its back to linux I go. I cannot wait for the day that I no longer need windows for gaming. I just hope that when they release it with their games that A LOT of people jump on the bandwagon and the other game studios start recompiling their stuff for linux as well!

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sundropdrinker3

So Carmack is full of crap because a handful of people will buy games for Linux? Just because the several of you do or would does not mean a lot of people do or will. It just means that the several of you buy games to play on Linux.

I think that someone that IS the industry would have more knowledge of the situation than people that just play games or maybe fix comps.

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igoka

I'm sure Left4Dead 3 in development and I can't wait for it to play. Now if they ( Valve ) can tweak game to run it faster on Linux than on Windows there will be great incentive .

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winmaster

Valve can't count to three.

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wolfing

maybe Windows 8 will change this, as if for whatever reason people start looking into Linux as an alternative , then it could become an important platform for games.
But in any case I don't see it happening any time soon, as the alternative for Windows 8 is Windows 7. Maybe 5 years down the road.

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Ashton2091

I was thinking the same thing. I keep hearing that Win8 will drive users to Linux. There may be a VERY small percentage (compared to the Windows base) that will move to Linux. Even some of those users will dual boot with Windows. Anywho, to your point...yes...just like XP was the alternative for Vista, Win7 will be the alternative to Win8.

Don't get me wrong...it would be nice to see some real competition. I personally enjoy using Linux. Though I can honestly say...I won't be moving to it full time anytime soon.

With more support from developers, hardware vendors, and a LOT of time...it could happen.

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Shadow Death

What he forgets to mention is yes, he released a few games on linux. but a few games won't persuade fans to migrate to linux. I think that having Steam for Linux will however.

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Peanut Fox

He wasn't comparing the number of Linux users, but rather the number of sales on the platform. In his experience it wasn't profitable for ID to release titles with native Linux support.

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jnite

Yeah there is a big difference between a few games, and a library of games.

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John Pombrio

Whoa. In no way did Valve say that there would be a "library of games". The ONLY thing that is running on Linux is the Steam CLIENT, y'know, that thing that looks suspiciously like a web page with the categories, Store, Library, etc.
The ONLY GAME that Valve has talked about porting to Linux is Left for Dead 2 and that is not even done yet and that is ONLY for Unbuntu 10.4.
ONE GAME.

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jnite

What Silencer said. That one game is the testing grounds to start things off. They have to start somewhere. From what I have read they want to bring everything they can over eventually.

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DoctorX

that is pure BS... I have bought all the id games on the pc. I have installed all but rage on linux and they played beautifully. Carmack is smokeing carcrack.

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Mobius

Maybe Linux users arent willing to pay for games, because there is nothing worth paying for on the Linux platform. I dual boot my system just so I can play L4D and Portal, for which I paid for both. Now, if I can transfer those titles to the Linux platform, then I will be happy about that. But to say Linux users are not willing to pay for them, that is wrong by far.

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weengo

I agree with Mobius.

Its worth noting the statistics from the Humble Bundles as well.
http://www.humblebundle.com/
The average payment for every single bundle has always been highest on the Linux platform with the lowest belonging to Windows.

Maybe there is a difference between generosity and will to pay for games... but to me this signals Carmack not have all the info.

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Peanut Fox

That could be possible.

I wondered if it could be because a lot of people already own those games on a Windows platform. A large majority have been available for Windows users for well over a year. I don't know when the Linux versions of those games were released.

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stradric

I suppose that's probably true to some extent. But I also think there are a lot of Windows users that would prefer Linux, but stick to windows because of the games. I think Valve would like to help those users ditch Windows. It's going to take some time, and older games are likely never going to see Linux support.

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Shadow Death

I use windows for 2 reasons, games support and college. My degree field requires I know Linux like the back of my hand but the remedial classes require that I use windows. I considered running things in a VM but it's way too much of a hassle.

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Hey.That_Dude

This guy isn't using his brain is he?
Gamers who are already paying for their games in Steam will gladly switch to a free OS that supports them all. People already running linux only machines aren't playing L4D2 and other games of that nature... unless their rocking WINE in which case they already payed for it and the point is still mute.

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stradric

Mute eh? Reminds me of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLwYpSCrlHU&t=00m20s

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Hey.That_Dude

You are missing a comma and that colon usage is questionable. Try again next time.

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Happy

His point was that the phrase is "moot point", not "mute point". But it's an honest mistake. No worries. Very few of us are perfect.

Best wishes :)

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praetor_alpha

I guess he hasn't seen the numbers that the Humble Bundles are pulling in.

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silverblack

I was thinking the same thing

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theabsinthehare

Not only do the linux users pay the most, but they pay the most by insane margins. The average windows payment is ~4.00 and the average for linux users is ~20.00

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DoctorX

This

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QuadraQ

That was my thought as well. The linux side ALWAYS pays the most per bundle, and is still a significant part of the pie. I think things may be changing for gaming on Linux, which I would gladly welcome.

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praetor_alpha

(double post, sry)

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