Linux Games Count… 6 Months Later

Back in December 2015, I had looked at the evolution of the Steam Games Count on Linux, as we were about to close the gap to 2000 games in a matter of months. Now it’s time to look at the trend again. At that time I had expected, if the trend were to remain the same, that we would pass 2200 games by the first of June. Did we make it ? Well…


Actually, no. But we are very close, at 2185 at the time of writing. As you can see the slope gave the impression of accelerating back in December (hence causing the overestimation), and since then there was a slight inflexion but the overall trend remains valid. I was actually surprised to see that we are so close to 2200, It seemed like a challenging target at first (about 500 games more compared to the last post in December). Note that as per other recent post, we are not just gaining in counts, but also getting a wider variety of games genres overall.

So now let’s try to make predictions again, for December 2016. Using the present points and a trendline, it seems we could be reaching as much as 2800 games by the first of December 2016. This represents an increase of more than 610 games versus where we are now.

We will check again where we are half-way down the road.

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  1. I think it’s natural for this trend to slow someone for two big reasons (outside of the obvious and traditional issues surrounding marketshare).

    First of all, very few games with a demanding OpenGL 4.3+ feature set have come over, including many modern games with physically based shading and more demanding graphics pipelines. There are a few, certainly, but I get the sense a lot of developers are waiting until they have multithreaded piplelines that work well for D3D12 and Vulkan first, rather than trying to deal with the recent situation where OpenGL 4.5 was only fully accessible to NVIDIA users. These devs need to depend on the features they’ve been using in D3D11 before they can entertain the OpenGL porting process.

    That element will very likely be resolved in a couple years time, thus allowing the trend to continue unhindered (not to mention Linux-supporting engines finally getting decent OpenGL performance).

    The second issue which isn’t likely to change as easily are the developers that simply don’t perceive Linux as a viable platform. Ubisoft, id, Rockstar, and many other studios with in-house engines will need convincing, one way or the other. Ubisoft has very slightly dipped their toes in, and we’re beginning to get attention from Square Enix and even Capcom. However, I think some of these people may hold out indefinitely, which will be a crucial bottleneck on this trend.

  2. I have a few old numbers to add. I noted them back then in some of my blog entries. (Did really nobody think about taking at least a weekly snapshot of the numer? It’s a shame…)
    Dec 14 2012: 34
    Dec 30 2012: ~40
    May 11 2013: 113
    Aug 25 2013: ~153
    Dec 30 2013: 282

    • Thanks! What does the number with a tilda mean ? Are these numbers less reliable than the others?

      • Yes. I noted down “about 40 more” on Aug 25 2013, e.g.. But I don’t think we need or have exact numbers anyway. Like when the numbers differ when switching between sorting by date and sorting be relevance…

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