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cogadh: 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.
If they are working on it, it won't hurt them to let us know that. What is the reason in being silent until the last second?

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dirtyharry50: 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.
I wasn't trying to say they shouldn't pay attention to Mac OSX users. I was only saying that their focus on Mac OSX first wasn't driven by knowing that Mac OSX gamers user base is larger. Since there is no clear way to know. So they as well could start with Linux, but they didn't. I.e. it was kind of a random choice.
Post edited April 26, 2013 by shmerl
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cogadh: 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.
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shmerl: If they are working on it, it won't hurt them to let us know that. What is the reason in being silent until the last second?
Very early in the site's history, they used to tell us all kinds of things that they were working on or were upcoming, but then some of those things started to not happen, like a game didn't materialize when promised due to licensing or compatibility issues or site features that were hyped, but ended up not working and were never implemented. This did piss off the community and even though most of the time none of it was GOG's fault, it was bad press. They learned from this and now no longer reveal anything until they are good and ready, with 100% confidence, that they have something concrete to share with us. If they are working on Linux at all, it is easily something that could backfire on them if they announce it too soon and something goes wrong, considering the very vocal interest already seen here.
For those saying that "oh, there are too few Linux users" here's some nice insights from Steve Jobs at WWDC 1997. Yeah, that long ago when he was trying to convince developers to make software for the Mac , specifically the new (at that time) Mac OS X:

Question from last guest: That sounded really great, and as you were talking I was getting sort of caught up in it. And then it occurred to me: That’s a really great vision for Apple. But then, I asked about holes for developers.

What are you waiting for? There was a company called Lighthouse, that was actually bought by Sun about 6 months ago. They were the best next step developer. They had 18 developers, ok? They had by far and away the best presentation application I’ve seen in my life called Concurrent. I still use it today. They had a suite of 5 different apps. And each one was best of breed. The best spreadsheet I’ve ever used in my life, called Quantrix. How many of you use Improv here? Ok, Improv is the best spreadsheet on the planet, because it incorporates a whole new way of thinking about spreadsheets for people like me that want to model things. It’s phenomenally powerful. And Lotus couldn’t compete with themselves with 1.2.3 so they gave it up and Lighthouse copied it. 18 developers. 5 apps. Because of the power of this development environment.
This talking about their SDK and programming environment, but the next part is the most important:

And some people say, “Well, it will only run on a Macintosh, or it will only run on Rhapsody selling on Intel maybe and selling on a Macintosh. Jesus, it’s only a single digit percentage of the market.” Well, Jesus, it’s only 3+ million copies a year. I wouldn’t mind selling into that market. It’s huge, especially if you’re a 3 person, 10 person, 18 person software development company. Lighthouse was making a good living selling to the next step market. Give me a break!
There is all the FUD about linux and its users that "hey, these hippies don't want to pay for software. they are freetards" and not only is this rhetoric retarded but the amazing and sad part is that companies just buy it and ignore us.

Then they say "oh, there are so many distros out there, which one do we support?!". Two things
1) there are ways to pack the required libs with your executables so that everytime your software runs, it looks for the stuff you packed in and does not look at the systems libs. Put them in a tar.gz. Bam! Done.
2) define support. Looking at the community using Linux now, there is way, way less need to pamper us. I'm an advocate for a software developer that makes software for Mac and Linux. There are way, way less tickets issued by Linux folk compared to Mac users. Not because Mac users are dumb or anything, it's just because it's a demographic that includes a lot of people that are no tech savvy. The Linux guys usually solve issues by themselves and post the fixes/ workarounds. So chances are that by the time that there will be newbies using GoG's services and Linux, most problems would already be documented, ironed out and, why not, fixed.

Asking a company to do a leap of faith in today's economic situation is probably regarded as pure folly, but if one looks at the arguments, they're logic and I dare say, compeling

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Source of the above quotes:

http://onstartups.com/tabid/3339/bid/58082/16-Brilliant-Insights-From-Steve-Jobs-Keynote-Circa-1997.aspx
I would do anything to have native GOG support on Linux. I am a big gamer but I die a little inside every time I have to boot into Windows to play a game. I like GOG because I hate DRM, and Windows is pretty much the ultimate form of DRM.
I'm kinda confused as to why GOG doesn't just release the Linux files. The only explanation is that they're hiding something sinister.
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famicommander: I would do anything to have native GOG support on Linux. I am a big gamer but I die a little inside every time I have to boot into Windows to play a game. I like GOG because I hate DRM, and Windows is pretty much the ultimate form of DRM.
I never boot Windows for any GOG games. I simply use Wine (if it's a native Windows game) :) Sure, some games don't work there because of this (for example unfortunately the new Bard's Tale doesn't), but I'm OK with that.
Post edited April 26, 2013 by shmerl
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Adzeth: I'm kinda confused as to why GOG doesn't just release the Linux files. The only explanation is that they're hiding something sinister.
The most probable explanation is that they simply don't have the license to do that, unless that's what you mean by "sinister".
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Adzeth: I'm kinda confused as to why GOG doesn't just release the Linux files. The only explanation is that they're hiding something sinister.
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cogadh: The most probable explanation is that they simply don't have the license to do that, unless that's what you mean by "sinister".
I doubt that's the problem. Getting such license from developers if those are already selling Linux versions should be trivial (example - Trine). The main reason was already voiced by GOG before - they weren't comfortable without providing high level of support, and for that they weren't ready to commit their resources.
Post edited April 26, 2013 by shmerl
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cogadh: The most probable explanation is that they simply don't have the license to do that, unless that's what you mean by "sinister".
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shmerl: I doubt that's the problem. Getting such license from developers if those are already selling Linux versions should be trivial (example - Trine). The main reason was already voiced by GOG before - they weren't comfortable without providing high level of support, and for that they weren't ready to commit their resources.
You are correct, getting it should be trivial (maybe, lawyers have a way of making the trivial things into complicated things), but you're assuming that GOG has even tried to get it at this point. Why would they even bother with licensing for Linux sales if they weren't planning on selling Linux products at the time? One of the few times GOG directly addressed the Linux question, they admitted they weren't even certain they can sell Linux versions of any of the games in the library, because they never specifically addressed that in their negotiations. Even if they already had the means to support these games, they would, most likely, still need to re-negotiate whatever agreements they already have, just to get the rights to sell the games.

The really annoying part is, when it comes to those native games like Trine, there really isn't anything GOG needs to do. Most (if not all) of those indie devs already provide install packages in the most common formats as well as tech support. All GOG really needs is the license to sell and the server space to host the files. But, that's not the way GOG does things. They believe in providing a full-service experience, not a "drive through" one, and there is nothing wrong with that. It just seems that if GOG could bend a little on their principles, just this one time, it would make a ton of people very happy. Personally, I'm glad they aren't bending. It's an unfortunate fact that Linux software has a severe lack of professional, commercial level support outside of enterprise-class applications. It would be really nice to have a kind of professional support for Linux gaming, even if it isn't available on weekends... or after 5PM Poland time.
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cogadh: Personally, I'm glad they aren't bending. It's an unfortunate fact that Linux software has a severe lack of professional, commercial level support outside of enterprise-class applications. It would be really nice to have a kind of professional support for Linux gaming, even if it isn't available on weekends... or after 5PM Poland time.
What I meant above is that getting the license from developers isn't really the barrier which stops GOG from offering Linux games. They didn't do it before, but they can easily start getting such licenses.

Support however is the barrier that makes them hesitate. On the other hand in the recent survey GOG even considered selling beta versions of various games, so I don't see this being radically different from selling packages provided by developers (they can have explicit beta status if GOG so wishes).

GOG can easily start such survey:

Are you comfortable with us selling Linux games not in a uniform fashion (aka Humble Bundle style), or you prefer us first to come up with uniform method (aka GOG installer for Linux)?

Also, there is no real need for all or nothing approach. They can as well roll it out in phases. I.e. phase 1: packages from developers. Beta support status. Phase 2: GOG installer, full support. And while they work on phase 2, games can be already sold on phase 1.
Post edited April 26, 2013 by shmerl
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shmerl: Also, there is no real need for all or nothing approach. They can as well roll it out in phases. I.e. phase 1: packages from developers. Beta support status. Phase 2: GOG installer, full support. And while they work on phase 2, games can be already sold on phase 1.
That kind of idea has been proposed before, and GOG's answer has always been "that's not how we do things". Their stance is that if they cannot provide at least the same level of service they already provide for the platforms they do support, then they aren't ready to do it. Maybe that is changing, given the question about beta access, but in the past, even though they don't have to do an "all or none" approach, they choose to anyway.
I don't think there's really any comparisons to be made here regarding alpha or beta access to brand new releases, not even finished versus the majority of the catalog that are released games - more often than not, old ones still.

In other words, GOG can still do things the GOG-way if you will in terms of the installer, etc. for any early access games. However, I don't think you are going to see GOG providing technical support for alpha and beta game software. How could they? They are not developing it nor privy to its source code, etc. I expect they will as always provide installation support but that is probably it for a game in that condition. They cannot support it otherwise - they didn't make it.

What they have really been supporting all along is not the game's themselves but rather for the most part their work to bring them to modern operating systems with DOSBox and now on Mac, DOSBox and Wine. Since they are the ones to have implemented these solutions it makes sense for them to support them and the game being sold running successfully with them. I don't think it makes any sense to expect GOG to support say, Baldur's Gate 2 beyond it installing successfully and perhaps not crashing since they would have tested for that on an old game. GOG may from time to time employ some little tricks in settings or config files or whatnot to get an old game running and again, I can see them supporting those changes but they cannot support the title at the source code level - the game to begin with is what it is. It can either be cajoled into running by relatively simple high level means if need be or not. That's it. GOG is not a software development company. They are a retailer more than anything else. Nobody can expect them to fully support software they did not develop. It is not even possible. They are not able to fix bugs and build new releases, etc. They can only fix whatever they might have done with DOSBox, Wine, the installer or take responsibility if they were to have failed to adequately test a game that turned out to have a show stopping issue they could not fix because they do not have the source code nor software engineers to work on it.

Although I doubt this because of the expense, I guess I could see rare cases where the source is available and they hire somebody to make some changes to it and rebuild it but I kind of doubt this for games being sold at 6 and 10 bucks, keeping in mind GOG only gets a cut of that, not all of it. I also doubt it would be a common thing if it happens at all. There are too many other classics to cherry pick which do not require this expense and are therefore much simpler and more profitable to sell instead.

I would also agree with cogadh btw in saying that GOG is going to do this in their own way on their own timeline, all wishing and hoping aside.

On a bright note, I think that will translate into a nice user experience for Linux users who deserve that just as much as the Windows and Mac folks do. Why should the Linux users get anything less? I think that is probably how GOG looks at it. They don't want to do it half-assed even though Linux users as a group are capable of fending for themselves, etc. It doesn't mean they should have to when forking over the same cash as everybody else. There's something to be said for having some standards.
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.
I don't have an exact figure, but let's say that over 10% of the population that has computers at this point buy PC games.

Assuming, unrealistically so, that all of Linux's 1.5% share is actually a subset of that 10%+, then it means that at most 15% of PC gamers are Linux users.

Realistically, I think it would be optimistic to claim that half of Linux users are also PC gamers (or potential ones).

A businessman who looks at nothing other than potential profits would probably have some compelling reasons not to want to support Linux.

That being said, I think it would be good for GOG's image (as a company that cares about DRM-free software) to do so.

It is a paradox that they are touting DRM-free games, but are only supporting them on heavily DRM-ed platforms, even when the games themselves were released to be more platform neutral.
Post edited April 27, 2013 by Magnitus
I'd argue that Linux has larger market share than 1.5%. But that's another topic.
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shmerl: I'd argue that Linux has larger market share than 1.5%. But that's another topic.
I think it's been proved time and time again that, at least as far as videogames go, it does hold a significant market share.