It’s a fun little joke to say that Mac doesn’t get any games, but we know that to be totally untrue. More and more developers are making sure their games can run on OS X ever since Apple switched to Intel processors. If anything, poor Linux users are the ones who never get any good games. Besides the few games built for Linux with the Humble Bundle, etc; there’s not much of an official distribution platform for games on Linux.
That’s where our story begins today. Michael Larabel, founder of Phoronix, claimed to have been invited out to Valve’s headquarters in Washington. The reason? To start development of Steam and the Source Engine for Linux. When the story broke on Larabel’s Twitter account last night, he promised pictures and an article detailing the news.
#valve does have Linux games coming plus other very positive Linux plans… I’ll briefly post some screenshots and such tonight.
— Michael Larabel (@michaellarabel) April 25, 2012
He didn’t get the story out last night as promised, but said it would come out sometime today. Turns out that he did keep his promise today with the story going up this morning. It details Larabel’s trip and discussions with Valve’s Gabe Newell. It’s even said that Newell is personally involved with the Linux development now which is why it’s only now that the news is coming into the spotlight.
What should be noted at this point and is to be the most exciting part of this news is that Valve isn’t taking any shortcuts with the port. Previous attempts to bring games to Linux end up using the Wine library to port Windows games to Linux. Valve is building new code from the ground up for Steam and Source.
Bringing Source to Linux is by far the most exciting part of the news. It could open up an entirely new wave of Linux game development. It’s the kind of thing that Linux fans could only dream of up until now and it seems to be really happening.
The burning question now is when will Valve release the Linux client? Larabel says that we should expect it within the next few months, but most likely in a beta form. He also makes mention of Valve time so don’t get too frustrated if it takes longer than a few months to get off the ground.
Still, this is exciting news and only shows that Valve is one of the ultimate good guys in game development. Everybody has seemingly forgotten the Linux platform so it’s good to see Valve taking up the torch.
[h/t: The Verge]
[Lead image: L4D2 running natively on Linux courtesy of Phoronix]