— Joel Solomon (@IvoriesAblaze) September 26, 2018
from Twitter https://twitter.com/IvoriesAblaze
So I know it’s been a while since I’ve made a legit article. This, however, is one of the biggest stories of the year (if not the past few years) for not only Linux gaming, but Linux as a whole!
So, we all know that Valve made a Linux port for Steam in 2012. Most people thought it was slightly ridiculous to have a steam client for a platform that didn’t have many games (I was not one of them). As of last year, there were over 3000 games that natively install on Linux.
That number is about to explode.
Tuesday, Valve confirmed rumors that had been going around for about a week or so – Windows exclusives on Linux.
Why is this such a big deal? Aside from taking away the excuse that I only have Windows to play games, it gives the Linux gaming community a voice. How so? There has been a catch-22 for a while in Linux gaming – we want more titles on Linux, but developers need proof that Linux is a worthwhile investment. How is that proven? By buying games on Linux. But there’s not that many games on Linux! Then we can’t get proof and can’t invest in developing for Linux.
This throws that argument away. Developers don’t have to worry about investing in Linux first before getting numbers proving that it is a platform in which they should pay attention. Valve has done all the work for them by forking WINE into their own OPEN SOURCE (yes, Valve confirmed that the fork is open source as well) version called Proton.
Why is Proton so important if WINE already exists?
Proton does the work of finding all the dependencies and compatibility settings that are for that specific title. It’s no longer a blanket install of WINE, waiting for that large game to download (which takes forever) and PRAYING that it works (spoiler alert: most of the time it doesn’t). As of right now there are 27 titles confirmed by Valve to be working near identical to the Windows version. You can find that list and all other information related to it here.