I’ve gone and done something I really regret – this afternoon I went and purchased a video game that doesn’t support Linux. Not on purpose mind you. And I’ve purchased games in the past that don’t have a native Linux client, but run really well under Wine.
I bought the Unreal Tournament 3 Collector Edition… which came with the Unreal Anthology, which is semi-useless to me – I already own all the games included. I knew beforehand that the client wouldn’t be on the DVD in the box, but I’d need to go and find it somewhere online.
Or so I thought … *sigh*
So I got home and went hunting for the downloadable Linux client binary for UT3 and found really, really bad news. The Linux client is delayed with no ETA.
Ryan Gordon, who’s the person ultimately responsible for the Linux client, posted the following to On October 14th: “[…]We’ll make sure there’s a downloadable Linux installer” That’s a bit out of context, but there is no Linux client at release.
So what’s the holdup? Middleware. From what I understand, one of the tools used in the games is throwing a legal hissy fit about Ryan releasing a Linux binary.
It’s hard to guess out just who exactly is responsible, since nobody is talking, and there are more than a dozen middleware companies documented on Wikipedia as being in the Unreal 3 Engine:
* Ageia’s PhysX
* OC3 Entertainment’s FaceFX
* RAD Game Tools’s Bink Video
* DivX, Inc.’s Divx
* Quazal Technologies’s Rendez-Vous and Spark
* Fonix Speech’s VoiceIn and DecTalk
* Engenuity’s AI Implant
* IDV’s SpeedTreeRT
* Digimask’s Diskmask SDK, Kynogon’s Kynapse A.I
* Geomerics’s Enlighten
* Allegorithmic’s ProFX
* PhaseSpace’s Motion Capture
* IGN’s GameSpy
* Umbra Software’s Umbra, dPVS, sPVS.
I’m going to take a wild guess and say Ageia… but that’s pure speculation. So what’s a guy supposed to do with a new game and no Linux binary to run it with? If you just thought to yourself “install Windows” – YOU’RE WRONG!
I went back out and purchased Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Not to draw any significantly unfair comparisons here, but iD software is cream of the crop when it comes to Linux support. I downloaded a single file (updated recently to version 1.2), executed it, and it installed so easily I barely had time to blink before it was copying files and done.
I didn’t have to look hard to find the file either… right on the iD software website. I hate using this word, since it’s so overused… kudos to iD software, you don’t look like the world’s biggest jackass right about now.
I’ll have to see about returning my Collector Edition of Unreal Tournament 3… or maybe just give it away on this site… that’s a good idea… a raffle. Hmmm.