We brought you word a few months ago that Valve was bringing their popular digital game delivery service, Steam, to Linux. The news came from Michael Larabel, founder of Phoronix, who had been invited to Valve Headquarters to help along the development of Valve games for Linux. For their part, Valve had been quiet on the matter until now.
With the humorous title, “Steam’d Penguins,” Valve officially revealed the existence of Steam for Linux. The official Valve Linux blog promises to be a source of information on not only their efforts to port Steam to Linux, but to also discuss open source game development.
As many assumed, Gabe Newell was the one who kickstarted the idea of porting Steam and the Source engine to Linux. The company was already running Linux-based servers for their Source-based games so it was only a matter of time before they jumped into actual Linux game development. The team began in earnest in 2011 with a team 11 people who are porting Steam and Left 4 Dead to Ubuntu.
So far, the team has successfully ported Left 4 Dead 2 to Ubuntu. After that success, the team is now focused on three things:
For now, the team has Steam up and running on Ubuntu 12.04 with most major features in tact. They’ll be adding some minor features shortly and then run an internal beta to see how well it works. They also have Left 4 Dead 2 running on Ubuntu 12.04, but it needs a bit more optimization before its ready.
Once both Steam and Left 4 Dead 2 are ready, Valve will release them simultaneously on Linux. Considering that many indie games on the service already have Linux ports, the Steam store should at least have more than just Left 4 Dead 2 available. After that, the potential for more Linux ports and original Linux projects showing up on Steam is unlimited.