Steam OS has everyone thinking about Linux again. Well, it has gamers pondering its potential anyway. But what does it need to be taken seriously as an alternative to Windows? Maybe it's the right game at the right time, at least according to DICE's Lars Gustavsson.
In an interview with Polygon's Jenna Pitcher, the creative director feels that, much like a console depends on its games to make it a success, a killer app could be what Linux needs to propel it from the doldrums — right now, only a little over one per cent of Steam users run a flavour of Linux, according to the latest Steam survey.
Here are Gustavsson's exact words:
"We strongly want to get into Linux for a reason," Gustavsson said. "It took Halo for the first Xbox to kick off and go crazy — usually, it takes one killer app or game and then people are more than willing [to adopt it] — it is not hard to get your hands on Linux, for example, it only takes one game that motivates you to go there."
"I think, even then, customers are getting more and more convenient, so you really need to convince them how can they marry it into their daily lives and make an integral part of their lives," he explained, sharing that the studio has used Linux servers because it was a "superior operating system to do so".
It's an interesting perspective to be sure and maybe there's some potential there... but it'd take a brave developer to release their game as a Linux-exclusive. Unlike Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, who can throw money at a studio to stay beholden, there's no equivalent body that represents Linux.
One could even argue that the concept goes against what open source is about, though I doubt many gamers would lose sleep over this particular quandary.