Proton's Push to Reduce the Number of Borked Games


We track ProtonDB extensively at Boiling Steam, because it’s a trove of data that can be used to learn more about several aspects of the Linux Gaming Market. One of things we track is the number of games with equivalent ratings of Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Borked (just like it is/used to be on WineHQ). Back in 2018, ProtonDB asked its users to rate how each game fared based on their experience, which led to inconsistencies: One’s Gold is another one’s Platinum.

To remedy to that, ProtonDB introduced a new ratings system since late 2019, asking instead specific questions about what worked/did not work with each game, and deriving a ratings based on that. While we don’t share the same ratings calculation as ProtonDB, we do follow the following kind of rules:

  • Platinum: Game working out of the box, no issues at all reported.
  • Gold: Game working well but requiring some tweaks to run properly.
  • Borked: does not run at all.
  • Bronze: runs but with major projects/functionality missing or bad performance.
  • Silver: everything in between, which is a very large set of different kind of issues.

How have things changed since the beginning of ProtonDB? And in the recent months? You’ll know everything in the following graph:

And you will now understand why we didn’t talk about such changes much in the past year or so. As you can see, since 2020 till most of 2021 there was hardly any visible change in the monthly trend in the newly reported games. Things looked stable, but not progressing much either.

Then, since October/November 2021, we have started to see a clear trend towards improvements: the ratio of platinum/gold rated games grew further, by about 10% since then. Maybe more importantly, there has been a clear reduction of the number of games not running at all, now below 20% for the first time. Such improvements coincide with the launch period of the Steam Deck. It’s possible that gearing for the launch, the team working on Proton has been tackling more and more edge cases to get to this result.

The lower amount of Borked titles coincides as well with the release of Proton 7.0. It looks like it delivered to make a lot more games playable, beyond the more well known Persona 4 Golden and Monster Hunter Rise.