New Proton Versions on Demand? (Streets of Rage 4)


Not to long ago Streets of Rage 4 was released on Steam, and something caught my eye. Pierre-Loup Griffais (from Valve) mentioned specifically on Twitter than the game would be supported at launch using the latest Proton version (5.0.7). It’s pretty rare that a Proton version release coincides with the compatibility of a newly launched game:

“Thanks to the Streets of Rage 4 developers providing pre-release keys for Proton development, 5.0-7 will play the game out of the box.”Pierre-Loup Griffais

I asked my contact at LizardCube (one of the devs behind Streets of Rage 4), and they did actually send a copy of their Windows version to Valve ahead of the release to ensure that it would work with Proton at launch. So this was it. Some kind of process to have one’s Windows game working on Linux at launch?

I reached James Ramey, president of Codeweavers (the main developers behind WINE and therefore Proton), for some comments on this matter.

“This is not a service that CodeWeavers is offering to developers. However, we have always been willing to collaborate with software developers who were either interested in running their title on macOS or Linux prior to release using WINE OR wished to develop their title in the most WINE-friendly manner. […] I can state that Streets of Rage 4 was unique in that our team focused their efforts to have it ready for Proton 5.07 on its day of release. Our efforts to date had been to develop support in Proton for the backlog of existing Windows games.”

While Codeweavers is not offering such service directly, for the case of Street of Rage 4 my guess is that Valve was directly involved (for some reason) in supporting and asking Codeweavers to help with Streets of Rage 4. I don’t think we have additional clues as to why they could do such a favor, besides someone at Valve maybe being really excited about Streets of Rage in the first place?

Last but not least, I’d like to add that Codeweavers can support developers to ensure their upcoming game(s) work with Proton if you reach them directly:

“If a developer is interested and wants more information, they are welcome to go here: - At the bottom of the page, there is a contact form where they can submit information for proper follow-up. [Proton is] robust and stable with a growing library of games in each new release (and releases have been deployed on fairly regular intervals). If I were a game developer today, I would absolutely want my game to run in Proton.”

My interpretation is that doing something extra (such as releasing a new version of Proton) for a new game release is exceptional, but supporting titles in development to make sure they can run in the current versions of Proton is rather the norm.

As for Streets of Rage 4, I will be back very soon with a full review.