The Evolution of Steam Play

See now what Steam Play. How it came about, and what benefits it brought to all of us.

Just like any other service, Steam certainly has its shortcomings. However, it is not now that Steam owner Valve has been developing services aimed at improving the experience of its users. And sometimes, even allowing us to save money.


Nowadays we can open our Steam client on Linux, Windows or MacOS. Search among the promos, buy our games, and then install them on any compatible operating system. Many of you may be thinking: Normal. If I paid for the game, I can play it on the system that I find best. At the ?

Well, yes! But it was not always so.

In the early years of Steam, if you bought a game on Windows, you could only play it on Windows. If you wanted to play it on MacOS too, you would have to buy the same game again in its MacOS version. And that was normal. Just like in the world of consoles, if you buy a PlayStation game, you can't play it on an Xbox.

Until 2010, about two years before the release of the first stable release of the Steam client for Linux, Valve announces the first version of Steam Play. The initial purpose of Steam Play was to ensure that players could play their games on any supported platform, and not necessarily only on which the game was purchased.

Eight years after its launch, Steam Play takes a giant step that would change the reality of gaming on Linux. On August 21, 2018, Valve announces a partnership with CodeWeavers in the development of Proton. A fork of Wine, with the addition of some patches and some other projects, such as DXVK.

From that moment on, overnight, thousands of native Windows games started running on Linux. And all you had to do was click Install, and then Play.

Today, more than a year after the launch of Proton, we can say that things are evolving and are evolving quite rapidly. By the time Proton was released, about 2000 games started running on Linux. Today, according to ProtonDBAlready more than six thousand functional games on Linux.

The website ProtonDB It is a database that gathers information about games tested on Linux in order to keep users informed about which games work, and how well they work. Which ones don't work. And which ones need some adjustments.

THE ProtonDB get their data from the users themselves. Tens of thousands of users have reported the operation of thousands of games. In these reports users say: whether the game worked or not, how it worked, how long the game was tested, if any adjustments were required for the game to work, and what adjustments. They also tell you what your hardware and operating system are.

Today, the day I am writing this article, 58,558 reports have been made from 9,473 different games, of which 6,307 are functional.

MacOS has about 2,500 native games on Steam. The number of native Linux games is about half. But if you consider all Windows games that run on Linux without the need for tweaking through Steam Play, it is safe to say that many more games run on Linux than on MacOS.

The advantages for us, Linux gamers, go far beyond just games that didn't work and started to work. So many games working so well on one platform will make many people use that platform to play. Consequently making more developers to produce more native games for the system.

Not only more games, but also better games. Of course, something is better or worse subjective. But if we consider AAA games as the best, as they are actually the best for most people, then with each passing day the Linux platform is having more of the best games natively. How much is due to Valve, CodeWeavers, and Steam Play.

Of course I'm not saying that Valve and CodeWeavers started this project with the aim of charity for Linux users, solely for the goodness of their hearts. While Steam will depend on proprietary systems like Windows and MacOS to sell its games and maintain its business. It soon means that Valve, to some extent, relies on Microsoft and Apple to survive.

Increasing the market share of open source operating systems in the gaming world also increases the percentage of Steam customers who do not rely on a closed system to run their games. And slowly Valve is freeing itself from dependence on software owned by other companies.

Of course, this is no guarantee that Valve will be able to completely free itself from these other companies. But even so, every Windows or MacOS user who uses Steam on Linux makes it increasingly worthwhile for Valve to work on Proton.

Paraphrasing Pirates of the Caribbean: Just a good deal.

But the benefits don't stop there. The beneficiaries of all this are not just us Linux users. Stored properly, all gamers of any operating system have some benefit in this. Linux distributions are becoming increasingly viable for games that are synonymous with competition. And as the saying goes: Competition is always good.

I sure think that when it comes to games on Linux, things are and will keep getting better and better. But what about you, what do you think about the Linux gaming market today? Do you think growth really is the trend? Or all in the blaze of straw fire and bullshit?

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For today all staff! :]


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