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Re: Reasons not to fear Linux game development

----- Original Message -----
From: Rob Kaper <cap@capsi.demon.nl>
To: <linuxgames@sunsite.auc.dk>
Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 1999 6:53 PM
Subject: Reasons not to fear Linux game development

>I wrote down some stuff.. it would probably fit best in the
LGA part of the
>site. I'd like comments on grammar, spelling etc first
though. Someone else
>can probably add some points and/or rewrite these in a more
>Grtz, Rob
>Reasons not to fear Linux game development:
>(aimed at commercial developers)
>* Fast growing user install base
>Relatively recent projects such as <KDE> and <Gnome> are
bringing Linux to
>the desktop.

Forget  Gnome, KDE is the kicker.  KDE makes it easy for the
Win9x world to migrate to Linux.  Thats been the whole
problem with linux, its scary.  KDE puts a familiar face on
there.  And getting people to use linux as a replacement for
Win9x is the biggest battle, after that people will start to
explore other options such as Gnome.

>Alhough the install base of Linux cannot be measured
>because the OS is freely available, estimations vary from
anywhere between 5
>and 10 million users. A growing number, only surpassed by
Windows and MacOS

I think that that number may be more in the server area.
Typical gamers are still sticking to their Win9x gaming
machines and the casual user has no interest in changing at
this point in time.

>in size and unmatched in growth rate. A <survey (link needs
to be resolved
>at /.)> concluded that the growth of Linux in 1998 was 238%
and it is
>unlikely to stop growing with all the momentum it has been
getting lately.

After KDE starts getting recognition in the Win9x world the
linux userbase will skyrocket.

>* There IS money in Linux
>Because most programs for Linux are available for free just
like the OS
>itself, many developers conclude there is no money in the
platform. However,
>there is a huge lack of quality games for Linux. It might
be true that open
>source developed application can reach and surpass the
quality of commercial
>ones, this has not been the case for games. There are
virtually no high
>quality games for Linux at the moment and thus there is a
huge opportunity
>It is also not true that all Linux users refuse to pay for
software: many of
>them use commercial distributions. The idealism that all
software should be
>bundled with its source code and should be allowed to be
freely copied can
>never be forced upon a vendor and does not apply to the
majority of desktop
>users: they are not fanatics refusing to run any
propriairty software.

If you read comments on Slashdot.net you can definately see
there are fanatics there.   People who refuse to use
something if it isn't 100% under the GNU license.  They give
the whole community at large a bad name.

>* Developing for Linux as investement

Yes, a risky investement.  No company wants to be the first
to take the plunge.  The fact is ther just aren't any stats
or anything on how well a game would sell in the linux
community.  I think Quake 3 will be one of the first to take
the plunge, so it will interesting to see how they fare, and
their success or failure will determine the if other
companies will consider linux a game platform that they can
make money off of.

>By developing software for Linux one would make an
investement in a fast
>growing and very popular operating system. At the end of
1999 many database
>products were said to be ported to the operating system. By
doing so, the
>vendors made sure that their names were known in the Linux
community inthe
>likely case that Linux would continue to grow and establish
itself as viable
>alternative. It is very important to see a new market when
it emerges to
>stay ahead of the competors - or not to fall behind - and
to maintain a
>market share or even expand it.

I think linux may be too far ahead of the competitors and
thus out of touch with the mainstream users.  Luckily KDE
will come to the rescue.


>Rob Kaper | mail: cap@capsi.demon.nl cap@capsi.com
>          | web: http://capsi.com/ - icq: 707085
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