Linux Gaming is on the rise and it is time another giant in the Games Development Industry joined in.
Valve, the company behind Steam, decided to dip their big powerful feet into Linux. They have recently released Steam on Linux and have almost ported their entire library (Valve made titles, not Steam titles) to Linux. Steam for Linux was released as a non-beta product in February of 2013 and its user base is around 1.5% of the 54 million Steam accounts (figure as of December 2012). If you do the maths that makes the Linux base over 800,000 people. That is, potentially, 800000 copies of a game Rockstar can sell at the very least. Some people may already own the games or might not want them but in a best case scenario Rockstar sell 800000+ copies of any game that are ported.
Another example of why there is a market in Linux Gaming are the Humble Bundles. The Linux average is higher than both Windows and Mac OS X even though less people buy them. It shows that we are willing to pay more money for games.
But what does this mean to Rockstar Games? Well, it is fairly simple, Rockstar produce high quality gaming titles that people all around the well love and enjoy. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was the bestselling game on the PlayStation 2 with Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City also in the top 10. Rockstar Games has previously releases game on Mac OS X which as of now has the same size user base as Linux does. If Rockstar decided to port games they would be entering an emerging and rapidly expanding market that is going to catch up with its main rival, Windows, at an ever increasing rate.
But why port to Linux? There are many reasons why you would port to Linux. Firstly, the operating system is free unlike Windows or Mac OS X. Secondly, there are many different flavours of Linux, don’t like this desktop environment then you just find a distribution with the desktop environment you like. And despite this wide choice of Linux distributions, the majority of them operate in the same way and use similar audio servers and graphics servers to make sure that a game that runs on Ubuntu (the distribution Valve support) will run on that distribution as well.
Now is the time for another gaming giant to move into the world of Linux and show the rest of the games industry why they should move into Linux as well.