With the hulking, massive cash cow that Epic Games is, it seems inevitable that they’re gaining a stronger and stronger hold on the PC gaming market. They offered Sony $200 million to make their first-party games exclusive to the Epic Games Store. Just keeping Borderlands 3 as a timed exclusive cost them $115 million. But, spending all that cash apparently doesn’t hurt them at all.
One of the big obstacles that prevents Proton from advancing Linux gaming is the inability to play any games that use Epic’s Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) service. As a number of games are using this service, the number may only increase now, thanks to Epic now allowing any developer to use EAC free of charge, regardless of the engine they use. Epic announced this in a blog post on Tuesday:
On top of that, Epic Online Services is offering the industry-leading anti-cheat solution to all developers for free. Easy Anti-Cheat is a powerful feature necessary for the smooth running of any online game with players on PC. These services empower developers to launch, operate, and scale great games like never before.Epic Online Services
Engines that have support for EAC besides Unreal include Unity, Lumberyard, and Godot. I haven’t heard any developer complain about the cost of implementing any sort of anti-cheat service with their game, so my fear and uncertainty may be unfounded.
I get it, though. Nobody wants to deal with hackers or cheaters when they just want to play a game. As evidenced by all the money Epic throws around, however, I feel they simply don’t care about adding Wine/Proton support for EAC; they could certainly hire an engineer or two to add backwards compatibility, but they haven’t done this. CodeWeavers is working hard to get EAC for Proton implemented, but who knows how much longer it’s going to take. Epic mentions in their documentation that “Mac and Linux client support are coming soon” but it seems pretty hard to believe. Native Linux anti-cheat support obviously works, but not the Windows version through Wine or Proton.
In other Epic news, we may actually see Final Fantasy 7 Remake head to PC, via, of course, your favorite game store. Note that if you want to use the Epic Games Store on Linux despite the lack of an official client, you can use Legendary or the HeroicLauncher to make your life a little easier.