Last week the co-founder and lead developer of the game studio id Software talked about Linux games during the keynote at the QuakeCon conference. While id Software supported Linux in the past, today John Carmack judges the Linux game market not profitable enough and simply does not see any potential in it for his company.
He justified his statement with the fact that id Software was supporting Linux for years without a substantial financial success and there is not much to report about it, except a good image in the Linux community.
Id Software used to be a pioneer in the market for Linux games. Thus the game studio published the Linux versions of the games like Quake, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Doom, the last non-browser game with a Linux native client – Enemy Territory: Quake Wars – was released in 2007. While the former id Software employee and game porter Timothee Besset has stated in his blog about porting of the last company’s title Rage to Linux: “I’ll be damned if we do not find the time to get Linux builds done”, a release of Rage is not intended, according to John Carmack.
It must be mentioned that the most Linux releases from id Software were only available for download as text-based installers in addition to the acquired Windows versions merely after the official game releases. This way of game distribution was surely not comfortable and simply not suitable for Linux newcomers.
What do you think? Is John Carmack right with his assessment?