1. #1
    Master Onion
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    Blizzard Planning A Linux Game For 2013

    Blizzard Entertainment, the game studio behind wildly-popular games like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft, is planning for a Linux game announcement in 2013.

    This year is already looking fantastic for Linux-based gaming thanks to so many recent announcements and more being just around the cog in the future.rner. Since Valve's major Linux push with their native Steam Linux client and their continued porting of Source Engine games to Linux, many other game studios have stepped up with Linux interest, especially with the Linux-based Steam console coming in the future.

    Besides Valve, among the publishers expressing Linux gaming interest have been Egosoft, THQ, Overhaul Games, and many other developers large and small have talked about their Linux plans. To add to the ever-growing list of Linux game milestones is now Blizzard Entertainment.

    Blizzard has already been controversial with Linux gamers due to (reportedly accidental) banning of players from their games using Wine to run the Windows titles on Linux, always-online/DRM practices on Windows, and other matters, but it seems the California-based company is finally taking Linux seriously.

    It's been a poorly-kept secret that Blizzard has a native Linux client of World of Warcraft. As recently as 2011, the World of Warcraft Linux client was still being maintained internally. The client has been around for years and done by their own developers as a form of testing for the popular MMORPG currently offered on Windows and Mac OS X. As for why they haven't released the client, it's come down to "targeting a specific version of the platform" with Linux being "unstandardized" due to the many different distributions. There's still some fundamental problems with gaming on Linux. With World of Warcraft working generally fine under Wine as well, the company is further unmotivated to officially support a Linux build of the game.

    In May of last year when a Blizzard representative was asked about a Diablo III Linux port, it came down to a matter of ensuring there is a commercially-viable Linux gaming market and that the resources can be justified. "I know we actually have a lot of stuff that we... like a lot of our server stuff actually uses Linux, so I dont think that it would be outrageous, but I think that wed have to see that thered be a demand for it. And then wed have to see that that demand would be worth the time we take away from the other things that we could do."

    An Executive Vice President at Blizzard said later in 2012 that they agree with Valve's Gabe Newell that Microsoft Windows 8 is a catastrophe, as I exclusively reported on earlier in the year. Windows 8 isn't great for Blizzard.


    With the progress of Linux gaming in recent months, Blizzard now wants to tap Tux. I was out in the Los Angeles area the past few days and for those that didn't understand the hint, there's new Blizzard Linux activities taking place.

    From a reliable source at the company, I have been told at least one of their very popular titles will see a release for Ubuntu Linux this calendar year. I was told this in person and was a statement backed up by additional proof. With their first Linux port they will use it to judge the waters of Linux gaming themselves to decide their future course. This port is being done internally by their own developers, which isn't a huge surprise given their past public statements and already existing internal Linux client work.

    A public announcement should come out of Blizzard by this summer. So for the usual skeptics and those not fond of my unconventional approaches in writing thousands of articles annually, if you don't want to believe it now, you should see action in the next few months -- just as the far majority of the Phoronix exclusives over the past eight years have been from continued early information about Steam on Linux to reporting in advance that EA's initial Linux play would be garbage to all of the Linux driver/hardware exclusives and other content.
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTI2ODE

  2. #2
    Fresh Member
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    One thing has to be said about this. Phoronix announced this, Blizzard did not announce this in any official manner from what I can find.

    If, Phoronix is right I assume the game that is getting released would be the second installment of Starcraft. Only because that is the only Blizzard game that is due for a release supposedly this year. Unless of course they finally release the in house Linux Wow client.

  3. #3
    Onion Emperor
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    I could swear my 2004 boxed copy of World of Warcraft had a picture of a Linux Penguin on the back, but I must be thinking of another game in my collection as there is no Linux penguin on the box. But yeah, as this article says it's no secret World of Warcraft has worked on Linux for years.

  4. #4
    Futuremark Staff
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    They have in-house Linux client that is being kept up-to-date.

    The story is that they haven't released it because the costs of providing support for it would be too high compared to the extra revenue it would bring. Perhaps the situation for that has improved? Linux desktop (ie. Ubuntu) being more mature and trouble-free?

    Or perhaps it is more of an opening shot across Microsoft's bow in reaction to Windows 8 being generally fail to third party software developers who do not want to get locked into MS walled garden (Metro)?

  5. #5
    Emperor Apprentice
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    Quote Originally posted by Jarnis View Post
    Perhaps the situation for that has improved? Linux desktop (ie. Ubuntu) being more mature and trouble-free?

    Or perhaps it is more of an opening shot across Microsoft's bow in reaction to Windows 8 being generally fail to third party software developers who do not want to get locked into MS walled garden (Metro)?
    Or all of the above!

    I'm currently running the current Ubuntu 13.04 alpha, and it's in very good shape to be a good gaming platform this year. It already includes the recent Compiz fullscreen redirect fixes that improve OpenGL performance, the Unity desktop has matured, and the recent R310 Nvidia drivers are super quick and stable.

  6. #6
    I'm still trying to figure out why Blizzard stopped trying as hard after WOTLK and it all seemed to point to them wanting to move on to new things. Warcraft is the heart of Blizzard and it would be a shame if they let it go slowly over time to pursue new things. They could save it if they went back to doing thins the way they did in the first 2 expansions. But oh well, its not my company.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator
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    Please let it be Starcraft 2 so I can switch!

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