Steam for Linux Reaches 1,000 Games

Steam for Linux at 1,002 Games

For years the reality for PC users was that you had to use Microsoft Windows to play games. If you were an OS X or Linux user you were relegated to 2nd and 3rd class citizenship, respectively. There were of course some games available, but they were generally small community efforts, not top tier titles from major development studios. That reality began to change when Gabe Newell announced in the spring of 2012 that Valve would be focusing on Linux as their target platform.

In February of 2013 Steam for Linux officially launched and games started to trickle slowly and steadily to the platform. At the outset a large number of the games available for Linux were from Independent studios, but larger studios started to release their games for all 3 Steam platforms. By June of 2014 there were 500 games available for Linux via Steam. Fast forward 9 months and there are now over a thousand games available on the Steam for Linux platform. The fact that Valve has put its weight behind its own Linux-based operating system has caused major development studios to pay attention to Linux as a viable platform.

Linux has become a viable gaming platform

[bctt tweet=”Steam on Linux has AAA titles such as Dying Light, Civilization V, and The Talos Principal.”] All signs currently point to the library for Steam for Linux continuing to expand and eventually reaching (or nearly reaching) title release parity with Windows before too long.

The closed source abomination

There is a subset of the Linux community that decries the fact that Steam is closed source, sells closed source games with DRM, and often relies on closed source video drivers. I can sympathize with those people, but at the same time I think it’s a bit silly to say all closed source software is bad. As I’ve spoken a bit about previously I am a little bit of an unusual case in that I read the EULA and Privacy policies of all pretty much all closed source software I use for personal purposes; and in reviewing Steam’s policies I have no problem with their use of my information.

Largely I believe that Steam’s relatively benign privacy policy is due to the fact that Valve is in the business of selling software and not advertising. Contrast this with Facebook who makes billions of dollars quarterly on selling advertising and uses as much of your information and habits to target you with advertising most likely to cause sales for their customers. Valve is selling a product to you, whereas to Facebook you are the product.

A Linux based gaming PC?

I have been using Steam on my Ubuntu and Mint systems for quite some time, but have as yet held off on replacing Windows on my primary gaming machine. I make judicious use of the Steam In Home Streaming feature which allows me to play games on my ultrabook that doesn’t have discrete graphics. My desktop PC is connected to a gigabit switch and using my 802.11n connection I get full screen HD with very low response times. I wouldn’t want to try doing competitive gaming via In Home Streaming, but it’s perfectly acceptable, even for FPS games like Borderlands 2.

The other day I looked at the games in my Steam library and the majority that I actually play are already available for Linux, so I’m looking more seriously at going to a Debian-based distro for my gaming PC now.

Any way you slice it, the future is bright for Linux as a gaming platform. There has never been a better time to be a Linux gamer!

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