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Yes, it can take time for GOG, but they should be ready to do it. And you can expect the developers are willing to sell the game on as many platforms as possible (to increase their revenue), so getting such rights should not be a problem in most cases.
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shmerl: And you can expect the developers are willing to sell the game on as many platforms as possible (to increase their revenue)
Yes, you can also expect they would be willing to sell the games in as many regions as possible. Actually, there are a lot of obvious ways to increase revenue that a lot of them ignore for whatever reason.
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silviucc: The only reason one would have to compile a program is to enable some options that they require (which usually are corner cases) or if they need driver support for some custom piece of hardware. Even then, the manufacturers may already cover it with prebuilt stuff for RHEL or Ubuntu or SLED/SLES.
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Even putting Wine in the same boat as Dosbox or ScummVm shows that you do not know what you are talking about.
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You go and talk about licensing issues. What the?! There are no issues.
1:
I've found compiling my own packages to be preferential to using premade versions every time. While I do use hardware in imaginative ways (Putting a wifi on passive listen only for instance), most of the time they're just not efficient enough for my tastes. Maybe I'm using the wrong version of Linux for this argument, maybe I need to have been a pure Ubuntu user for the last ten years to know your perspective. But hardware being hardware, it's usually easier to compile. Windows works because it supports absolutely every piece of hardware on the planet regardless of how ridiculous the driver is. Linux works because you can hack drivers for absolutely every piece of hardware on the planet, but it's better to get proprietary drivers for performance, and it's better to self compile for performance. You might not care, good for you.

2:
Yeah, yeah, Wine Is Not An Emulator because instead of a VM it has a substitution layer/library which implements the Windows API in order to run basic Windows tasks. It was originally Windows Emulator but got changed because calling it an emulator would have lawyers all over it. While DosBox/ScummVM are instead both virtual machines running in user space which makes them pure emulators. I know that, but it's running Windows applications on a *nix Kernel so for all intents and purposes it's an emulator. The only difference is in how it works. Running software in WINE still doesn't make it native though.

3: Maighstir nailed it. Don't think of intellectual property rights as all encompassing negotiations. If I license touch sensitive IP from Apple (Who weren't the first to implement it but were the first to bring large amounts of lawyers and money to the courts), then I can use a touch sensitive screen. That doesn't allow me to make an iPhone. Unless GOG thought to get full rights to all iterations and platforms for a game (which would be expensive and useless when it was Windows only), then they've likely only got Windows rights. So they need to go back for Mac OSX rights, and back again for Linux-Ubuntu rights, etc. Even then, rights to a Linux compatible game doesn't mean rights for all Linux compatible games. It would likely be like Ubisoft when they release a smattering of titles and see how it goes before committing a library. Just because something makes sense, release all old games on all platforms on GOG in order to greatly increase income with marginal effort, doesn't mean companies will do it.
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Maighstir: Not that kind of licensing problems. GOG needs not only the right to sell a specific game, they need the right to sell it for a specific operating system (depending on how the agreement is written). If the license holder originally agreed to selling the game for Windows (say, back before GOG added OS X support), GOG would not only have to get it running on OS X (or GNU/Linux in the future), but also negotiate the rights to sell the game for those platforms, regardless of whether or not it is the same (Windows) version running through Wine (or DOS version through DOSBox).
Ok, some right holders can be petty and selfish, but I never thought them to be total idiots.

If GOG manages to support their games on another OS, of course the rights holders would want them to: more sales, more money.

However, there are manpower costs for GOGs to get this done.

From an idealistic perspective, it is indeed strange that a website that claims to support DRM-free gaming would not support at least 1 free (as in free speech, but the free beer is nice too) OS.

In that respect, going to Mac OS before Linux is a bit of a slap in the face to some users as Mac OS is pretty much the anti-thesis of what free-er software is all about (Windows wants you to ask for permission before peeing, Mac OS wants that and also wants to go in the washroom with you to make sure you do it their way).

From a practical perspective however, what they did makes sense. Mac OS is approaching 10% of the home OS slice while Linux has like 1.5%.

Now, GOG probably has more than it's fair share of Linux users (the concerns about having DRM-free games and a free OS are similar after all), but I'd still be surprised if more than 10% of it's user base used Linux.

That being said, I think the distro concern is, to some extent, bogus.

Of course, nobody who is remotely sensible would expect them to support every 2 bit distro that is out there.

We are mostly interested in, maybe, the 5 main ones, so let's look at them: http://distrowatch.com/

Now, out of the 5, you can take out Fedora, because it's a bleeding edge testing ground for Red Hat and nobody except it's maintainers should be expected to support anything on that distro.

Out of the 4 that remains, Mint is based on Ubuntu and Ubuntu is based on Debian. They have the same core packaging tools.

Supporting all of those 3 seems rather achievable.
Post edited April 26, 2013 by Magnitus
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Magnitus: From a practical perspective however, what they did makes sense. Mac OS is approaching 10% of the home OS slice while Linux has like 1.5%.
Very questionable, since it's not the amount of Mac OSX users that's important, but amount of gamers there. Steam numbers show that amount of Linux customers there is already approaching the amount of Mac OSX customers. I.e. overall there aren't that much more gamers who are using Mac OSX than gamers who are using Linux.
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silviucc: Say what again? Are you under the impression that Linux and Unix users these days compile stuff on their machine if there are packages already built? If you are under that impression then you clearly are not using one of the above and frankly it shows that you are quite clueless. Just dicking around with some distro or another in a VM does not make you an experienced user, it makes you a newbie user. You lack experience, and it shows.
I feel your pain but you are wasting time with this guy. He already knows everything and has come to inform you, you see. This is someone who revels in running Gentoo on his home PC just because he can, not because he actually has any need for it. Not that there is anything wrong with geeky fun I suppose although I can think of many more fun things to do than watch software build personally.

I mean, this is someone who calls Linux, "*nix" constantly which should be a clue right there about who we're dealing with. This is someone who knows all about running "running Windows applications on a *nix Kernel" after all. This is someone who will tell you ridiculous things like, "Linux works because you can hack drivers" with a straight face and also about how, "hardware being hardware, it's usually easier to compile."

As a Mac user, I appreciated this helpful and informed comment in particular, "You could get a Macintosh PC too, but only worth it for a select few professions." I can't recall when I have seen somebody refer to a Macintosh as a Macintosh PC and I am glad about that. This is someone who clearly knows zero about Macintosh computers but won't hesitate to tell you about them and why you don't need or want one I guess.

He also isn't sure if GOG has the means internally to produce a Wine alternative. I think probably both you and I are pretty sure about that, as in no, they don't. I won't even get started on the reinventing the wheel issue. LOL!

This stuff is pure comedy gold once you give up trying to take it seriously.

Back to the topic at hand:

I hope Linux support comes to GOG soon for you guys desiring it. I have a feeling it is already in the works just like Mac support was in the works for a year but we didn't know if anything was being done at all until one fine day when they announced it and made 50 titles available to us for Mac. I hope you guys have this same happy day coming up soon. I think the comment above about it being inevitable is right. I just hope they've already been working on it so the day comes sooner than later.
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Magnitus: From a practical perspective however, what they did makes sense. Mac OS is approaching 10% of the home OS slice while Linux has like 1.5%.
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shmerl: Very questionable, since it's not the amount of Mac OSX users that's important, but amount of gamers there. Steam numbers show that amount of Linux customers there is already approaching the amount of Mac OSX customers. I.e. overall there aren't that much more gamers who are using Mac OSX than gamers who are using Linux.
Can we get a link to that data about Linux and Mac users on Steam? I'm not disputing what you say but genuinely curious about what the numbers are.
Post edited April 26, 2013 by dirtyharry50
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shmerl: Very questionable, since it's not the amount of Mac OSX users that's important, but amount of gamers there. Steam numbers show that amount of Linux customers there is already approaching the amount of Mac OSX customers. I.e. overall there aren't that much more gamers who are using Mac OSX than gamers who are using Linux.
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dirtyharry50: Can we get a link to that data about Linux and Mac users on Steam? I'm not disputing what you say but genuinely curious about what the numbers are.
Data from Steam's latests Hardware and Software Survey:

http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/?platform=combined

Expand the OS version bit, and you see all OS's participating in the survey.
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dirtyharry50: Can we get a link to that data about Linux and Mac users on Steam? I'm not disputing what you say but genuinely curious about what the numbers are.
http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/?platform=combined

I didn't figure out how to read that easily. You need to click on "OS version" and sum up the numbers yourself. Rather dumb interface.

See the review here:

http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/03/04/steams-latest-hardware-survey-shows-linux-more-than-double-since-december/
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Magnitus: From a practical perspective however, what they did makes sense. Mac OS is approaching 10% of the home OS slice while Linux has like 1.5%.
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shmerl: Very questionable, since it's not the amount of Mac OSX users that's important, but amount of gamers there. Steam numbers show that amount of Linux customers there is already approaching the amount of Mac OSX customers. I.e. overall there aren't that much more gamers who are using Mac OSX than gamers who are using Linux.
I'm not sure how accurate you can consider the Steam hardware survey. While it does show you a number of gamers for each OS, it is really only showing you the number of gamers who are willing to use Steam. There are a large percentage of Linux gamers who are not very happy with Steam and steadfastly refuse to use it, so the number Steam gives for Linux is really very wrong. I don't know if the same holds true for Mac, I don't really follow anything iRelated at all. Pretty much the only thing you can accurately infer from the hardware survey is that Windows is definitely still the king of PC gaming, Nvidia is still the most popular video card brand among gamers, and nobody likes Windows 8.
Post edited April 26, 2013 by cogadh
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dirtyharry50: Can we get a link to that data about Linux and Mac users on Steam? I'm not disputing what you say but genuinely curious about what the numbers are.
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shmerl: http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey/?platform=combined

I didn't figure out how to read that easily. You need to click on "OS version" and sum up the numbers yourself. Rather dumb interface.

See the review here:

http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/03/04/steams-latest-hardware-survey-shows-linux-more-than-double-since-december/
That was interesting to look at. Thanks. I took a few minutes and dumped all that into a spreadsheet and summed all Windows, Mac and Linux versions up from the table and came up with the following:

Windows 94.62%
Mac OS X 3.63%
Linux 1.70%
Total 99.95%

These numbers are interesting but like all statistics need to be considered carefully for what they really say and don't say. Here on Steam, you can see there are a little more than twice as many Mac customers currently as Linux customers. You can't however infer from this data what percent of Mac users play games on their systems versus Linux users or Windows users for that matter. This simply shows the distribution of users according to operating system on the Steam store. There are gamers who do not use steam at all for example. Many people who buy from GOG do not like Steam or any Store with a client or DRM and avoid them, preferring to buy here and elsewhere. This data does not take any of those users into account at all.

A lot of really great games for Mac aren't even on Steam. Yesterday, Feral released XCOM Enemy Unknown Elite Edition (includes DLC) on the Mac App Store and elsewhere but not on Steam. I personally see Steam as a good thing for Mac gamers and have a lot of games there but I can also see how given the variety available elsewhere and without needing a client, etc. a Mac gamer could get along just fine without Steam. I imagine the same holds true for Linux users who might refuse clients, DRM, etc.
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cogadh: I'm not sure how accurate you can consider the Steam hardware survey. While it does show you a number of gamers for each OS, it is really only showing you the number of gamers who are willing to use Steam. There are a large percentage of Linux gamers who are not very happy with Steam and steadfastly refuse to use it, so the number Steam gives for Linux is really very wrong. I don't know if the same holds true for Mac, I don't really follow anything iRelated at all. Pretty much the only thing you can accurately infer from the hardware survey is that Windows is definitely still the king of PC gaming, Nvidia is still the most popular video card brand among gamers, and nobody likes Windows 8.
I agree with that and I'm one of those users - I don't use Steam at all. So you can even assume that overall there can be more Linux gamers than Mac OSX gamers. It's probably not possible to measure it correctly globally. It would be interesting to see GOG starting selling Linux titles and publishing statistics by OS.
Post edited April 26, 2013 by shmerl
There is an interesting article about Linux/Windows/Mac sales of Defender's Quest on Steam: Our Steam Linux Sale Results
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cogadh: I'm not sure how accurate you can consider the Steam hardware survey. While it does show you a number of gamers for each OS, it is really only showing you the number of gamers who are willing to use Steam. There are a large percentage of Linux gamers who are not very happy with Steam and steadfastly refuse to use it, so the number Steam gives for Linux is really very wrong. I don't know if the same holds true for Mac, I don't really follow anything iRelated at all. Pretty much the only thing you can accurately infer from the hardware survey is that Windows is definitely still the king of PC gaming, Nvidia is still the most popular video card brand among gamers, and nobody likes Windows 8.
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shmerl: I agree with that and I'm one of those users - I don't use Steam at all. So you can even assume that overall there can be more Linux gamers than Mac OSX gamers. It's probably not possible to measure it correctly globally. It would be interesting to see GOG starting selling Linux titles and publishing statistics by OS.
You are not taking into account that just as there are more Linux users overall, it is just as likely there are more Mac users overall. So I don't see where you get more Linux gamers than Mac gamers. Really though, why is this important? What matters is that there are enough of us on both sides to merit the attention of game developers and retailers on a growing basis and that is good news for us all. I don't think a lot of good comes from getting into who is bigger or who deserves more consideration, etc. Ideally, everybody gets their toys.

Considering that other retailers seem to be finding it profitable now to serve Linux users and more and more games are coming out for Linux, I'd be very surprised not to see them here too. I'd also be surprised if they were not already quietly working on this at GOG.
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Mivas: There is an interesting article about Linux/Windows/Mac sales of Defender's Quest on Steam: Our Steam Linux Sale Results
That's interesting as far as comparing their Steam vs direct sales but it doesn't take into account total sales which would have been interesting to see. Also, their game would likely do quite well on the Mac App Store if they were able to or chose to get it on there. I wonder why it isn't but maybe that will change at some point.

I own Defender's Quest on GOG but I'd have bought it on the App Store if it launched there as well. I prefer it because it keeps my games up to date conveniently but on the other hand never runs or launches anything when I use my apps or play my games. For Mac people, the App Store is a major player that would need to be considered or counted when possible when doing comparisons. Feral Interactive who is a major player in bringing some of the best titles to Mac has stated the Mac store is where it's at for them. They don't even do Steam but they are now on Origin.

Within 24 hours, Feral's release of XCOM on the Mac App Store had climbed into the top 10 grossing apps which I think says something about Mac people's interest in gaming as a group.
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dirtyharry50: I'd also be surprised if they were not already quietly working on this at GOG.
This is very likely the case. We've been bugging GOG about Linux for years now and they have never once ruled it out as a possibility. What they have said basically boiled down to "not yet", which is exactly the stance they took on Mac games right up until the day they announced the first Mac titles. GOG is not stupid, so they aren't going to simply give up on a possible revenue stream like Linux and they have repeatedly shown through their actions, not just words, that they will listen to their customers. As I have said before (possibly in this very thread), Linux support on GOG is a virtual inevitability at this point, we just have to be patient and let GOG do their thing.