For some years now, the Linux desktop has been a great alternative for those tired of operating systems developed by Microsoft because of Linux stability and security. Unfortunately Linux is a FREE operating system and because of this, there is, nor has been any reliable way to accurately calculate market share, a value that game companies like Blizzard tend to rely on.
Gaming companies claim that because the false information they receive shows a low single digit market share percentage, it must mean no one is using Linux and therefore no reason to release their product to Linux.
Other companies like Farsight Studios base their decision on the sales of other games but again this could be the wrong move to make.
When we look at games currently selling on the Linux platform, there are two things that the big companies like Blizzard need to keep in mind.
- The developers are smaller and thus most likely do not have the same fan following.
- The games are usually of lessor quality.
Looking at a company like Blizzard, you can see that they have a world wide following of devoted fans, even I myself love the games they make. Their games are beautifully made and enjoyable to play so for Blizzard to put themselves down on the same level as the current companies releasing games on to Linux would be an insult to the developers at Blizzard who have devoted so much time in creating what we love.
Companies like Blizzard should not fear coming to Linux because no matter what operating system to support, their fans will follow. If more AAA game developers supported Linux, it would cause the market share to grow dramatically to where Mac would be listed as the least used operating system.
This of course leaves us with the question, how do we convince the big boys like Blizzard to support Linux?
A Blizzard fan who goes by the name Shahbaz suggested something in the battle.net forum, a suggestion which I have been saying to my friends for a few years now. All gamers who want their favourite gaming developer to support Linux must come together and resist playing those games for a period of time. This will show just how many Linux gamers there are but of course this is not easy when your favourite games are addictive like those created by Blizzard. I know for I have tried to resist the last five years but every so often I find myself back playing using WINE. That is when a Blizzard update doesn’t cause problems.
Without Linux becoming a purchasable operating system, big companies will continue to believe in the false market share percentage that is being fed to them. Even Mr. Ballmer from Microsoft back in 2009 thought the market share for Linux was more than that of Mac. The numbers companies are looking at are also most likely North American numbers instead of Worldwide which would dramatically increase the Linux market share value given that Linux is extremely popular in the rest of the globe. A fact that Blizzard and other companies seem to forget or flat out ignore.
So what can we do? Will AAA companies ever be convinced that the number they are being fed is completely false? Or must we give in and use a operating system being forced upon us by the big companies?