Thrilling Linux Gaming Predictions for 2021

Last week we reached out to the community at large with a simple question: What do you predict will happen in the world of Linux Gaming by the end of 2021? To make things a little more fun, we asked everyone to limit their Linux Gaming predictions to 5 items, and be as specific as possible as to what they expect to occur. We also asked everyone to work on their predictions individually to avoid any potential bias.

Now, we are sharing with you all the predictions we received, from quite a few places across the world as you can see from the below map. The Linux Gaming Community knows no frontiers.

Map of the seers

And we will revisit this article by the end of 2021 to see how much everyone got right. And who knows, there may be a prize!

Guest Predictions

In no particular order, let’s get started by the predictions provided by our guests for 2021:

Klebs, based in Canada

Klebs from Les Ateliers PHV

Owner of Les Ateliers PHV, Canadian website dedicated to video games and Linux (both in French and English). His predictions:

  1. With Mac gamers now using ARM processors thus no longer being able to play games using x86 architecture, I think some will give Linux a try, thus raising Linux market share by maybe 1%.
  2. Ubuntu-based distros may still take the lion’s share of general usage but it has been on a slow but steady decline while Arch-based has been on a rise. This year will be no different and I think will be a 5% difference on both sides by the end of the year.
  3. Garuda Linux has only been released recently but since it’s an Arch-based distro catered towards #LinuxGaming, it might give Manjaro a run for its money. I don’t think the latter will lose market share but I do feel some gamers on other distros will give a Garuda a try first thus increasing its user base by 10%.
  4. This is definitely wishful thinking but I have a feeling this year, Wine and Proton will allow games using anticheat to run on #Linux.
  5. With EA games going back to Steam and one less launcher to worry about, I think we can expect a 25% increase of EA sales on Steam this year thanks to Proton.

PtitSeb, based in France

Hacker Extraordinaire, PtitSeb is the author of Box86, gl4es, and maintainer of the Linux port of Serious Sam 1, among many, many other things.

box86 by PtitSeb

He has a huge fanbase in the OpenPandora community and now is active with ARM-related projects at large. Here’s what he sees happening in 2021:

  1. We will see less and less native ports on Linux (significant decrease from one year to the next).
  2. There will be an increase of Mac/Linux players on Steam. They are currently at 4.35% Mac/Linux vs 95.65% Windows, the ratio would move to 92% Win / 8% Mac + Linux.
  3. ARM becomes an option for gaming thanks to Mac: Steam will not have an ARM-based client, but Mac games will mention that they work on the ARM Mac, and Steam will publish stats about that.
  4. ARM PCs become available from Chinese Manufacturers (as in, real alternative to x86, not under-powered).
  5. Wayland will continue its penetration and one or more (major) distro will make it a default.

Ethan Lee (aka Flibit), based in the US

Author of numerous ports to Linux and author of the cross-platform framework FNA. Needs no introduction! He is also working on some of the Proton related work such as the integration of FAudio. One of his latest ports for Linux was Street of Rage 4:

Streets of Rage 4, ported to Linux by Ethan Lee

He took the 5 predictions we asked for and turned them up to 11!

  1. Wayland use will rapidly increase on account of NVIDIA’s next major driver supporting it. I still will not have figured out how to make the maximize button go away for fixed-size windows using xdg-decoration due to gross incompetence.
  2. Pipewire use will rapidly increase on account of an audio stack finally being kind of good. I still will not have figured out GetAudioDeviceSpec regardless of backend due to gross incompetence.
  3. EAC will still not be supported, but that won’t stop people from asking about it anyway like it wouldn’t be front-page news on every site, subreddit, mobile phone alert, and repurposed stock ticker the literal attosecond that a test build becomes available.
  4. People will still file reports utterly shocked that a Bethesda game has bugs in it.
  5. People will still keep telling me to just not bother anymore, then file an FAudio report the next day.
  6. Microsoft will continue intentionally sabotaging Mono and .NET on Linux, but my patches to fix it will end up sabotaging it even more due to gross incompetence.
  7. I will learn to group similar predictions together instead of scattering them around randomly.
  8. I will learn to check my list numbers before sending replies to members of the press.
  9. Nope, still no EAC, thanks for asking though just in case everyone forgot!
  10. Oh wait did we talk about native at all, does anyone other than me even care, oh whatever I’m just putting off work aren’t I?
  11. Everyone reading this will not laugh at anything I wrote and take revenge for having their time wasted by sponsoring me, boy that would show me!

Corben Dallas, based in Germany

Corben is a Software Developer and a very active Podcaster and Streamer / Youtuber. Here’s what he sees for 2021:

Corben Dallas

The Short version:

  1. Valve will make Mixed Reality tools for VR available
  2. 70% of Windows Games will work with Gold or Platinum rating out of the box
  3. There will be new native, open source Linux launchers/projects that can download and start games from multiple stores
  4. Linux gamers will finally get more respect in the social sphere
  5. Epic will officially start to support Linux

The longer version:

  1. As Valve has already shown a real long breath with Linux gaming and VR, I expect something is about happen there. Of course I am biased, with being a big fan of VR and enjoying games like Beat Saber and Synth Riders among other VR games a lot. Nevertheless, to bring this to more attention, where I think the best way to show those games is through streaming (vods are nice, but the live interaction is more appealing) and streaming VR is done best in a mixed reality view, and Valve just recently mentioning to look into more ways to advertise Linux gaming, I guess something in this direction will happen. On Windows, many VR games have the LIV SDK integrated, and LIV can do an easy MR setup. This is missing on Linux yet, but when talking to LIV they said they plan to join the Kronos Group for working on and with OpenXR. so I’d expect Linux streamers having the possibilty to show more games in mixed reality. As this has to be done right now with a trick: another view into the game, a 3rd person cam that barely any game has integrated. Beat Saber has it as a hidden feature or via a modification. Only Synth Riders has it configurable from the game menu. Atm I’m not aware of any other game. The sooner this happens, the more Linux mixed reality VR streams will happen, raising the awareness for gamers of being able to play VR games on Linux.
  2. 70% of games work gold or Platinum out of the box: I’d also expect that more and more games will “just” work on Linux, especially at release. Probably still mostly via Proton, but devs are about to see a rise in more people playing their games on Linux, and at least have awareness that Linux is evolving to a viable gaming platform. So devs will start to support Proton, as Valve hasn’t whitelisted any games for a while now. Especially with Valve’s move to use a containerized environment since Proton 5.13, it’ll give game devs the one single environment to make things work, no hassle with different library versions on different distributions. Also as Stadia is a Linux platform, thus needing devs to target Linux, I’d also expect that more games will come to the Linux desktop eventually. Game engines will evolve, being able to target Stadia and/or Linux more easily, and this causing less trouble for game devs to port their game over. I don’t know any details, but if Google doesn’t pay publishers and game devs money for exclusivity, I’d expect to have games that are available on Stadia eventually being available on Desktop Linux. Especially if they are single player experiences and don’t need any anti-cheat mechanisms. The Linux version is there, so why not reaching more potential customers. (I don’t expect EAC to work on Linux by end of 2021 though)
  3. There will be 2 or 3 native open source Linux launchers/projects that can download and start games from stores like Origin and Ubi Connect: More a wish than a real expection would be, that big game companies would open up their stores for the open source community, and not blocking but kind of working together with them. The Linux community is up for helping out for free, as their motivations aren’t necessarily monetary based. Sure, everybody needs money in our economy, but still. I’m referring to alternative launchers like legendary, or the UI based version heroic (I’m not aware of alternative launchers for Origin or Ubisoft Connect, the formerly Uplay Launcher). With this, these stores might even consider to have Linux depots and support native Linux versions. As there often are Linux versions of their games already available (looking at all the Stadia games, e.g. Immortals Fenyx Rising), it could mean more sold copies for the studios. History has shown, that they just don’t want to pay the support costs, but here the open source community might be willing to help. Depends all on the circumstances and the tone we are all communicating. And after a while, when the share is big enough to cover the costs or even turn into profit, we get official support.
  4. As it looks quite good for Linux gaming nowadays with its awareness already rising, I’m expecting people be more tolerant. There are way too many people still making fun of Linux users, especially if something doesn’t work: “just use Windows”, “porting for the 3 people using Linux must be really worth it”, “you really must hate Microsoft”, etc pp. I mean, you don’t tell a vegetarian to eat meat, just because there is no vegetarian meal on the card, do you? People have made a decision, this should be respected as with any other decision people have made based on their experiences, their wishes and their desires. And this will change more and more, with more people using Linux. We will see less toxic comments on forums, with Linux rising and its gamers to be equally treated like any other gamer.
  5. Epic will officially start to support Linux, triggering the switch for Origin, Uplay, GOG, etc. to also actively support Linux.

Michael Labowicz, based in the US

Michael is a Product Manager of Smart Devices, IoT and Apps (@mlabowicz on Twitter). He frequently discusses Linux related topics, and he has got a good feeling about the following:

  1. ChromeOS will be the leading Linux distro on Steam.
  2. We’ll start seeing proton-enabled games advertised as supported on Linux on Steam.
  3. Linux will overtake Mac on X86 in terms of Steam marketshare.
  4. We’ll see more open source games like OpenTTD release on Steam to get exposed to a larger audience, in particular 0.A.D.
  5. VR on Linux will be almost non-existent: no new native port of VR games to Linux (Valve games do not count).

NuSuey, based in Czech Republic

NuSuey is a very active Streamer and Youtuber who features games working on Linux. After some serious thinking, he thinks the following is quite likely:

NuSuey, Podcaster/Streamer
  1. More VR headset supported in Linux
  2. EAC gets support in Proton
  3. Steam Machine/s 2.0 (now with Proton!)
  4. A massively popular game will be performing better in Linux therefore making waves of people giving Linux a try, just to get that extra fps
  5. Bunch of AAA games that were released on Stadia will get a Linux version on Steam too

HardPenguin, based in Poland

HardPenguin is an Unity indie developer, who previously worked for Linux at GOG. You can follow him at hardpenguin.itch.io.

Hard penguin

Here is a short list of his 5 predictions, with more details below for each of them.

  1. Stalemate: No new support or product will be announced by a major company
  2. One major distribution (not already using Wayland) goes Wayland by default
  3. Steam Play gains one breakthrough that expands its compatibility noticeably
  4. One more critically acclaimed and/or commercially successful game developed on Linux
  5. Cloud Gaming: Even more gaming services will be officially available on Linux by the end of the year

Now in more details:

  1. We are in a stalemate: No new support of major product will be announced by a major company

When Ekianjo approached me to ask about my Linux gaming expectations for 2021, I had to stop and think for a while. It has been a good while since Valve’s Steam for Linux debut, Steam Machines, fully cross-platform Humble Bundles, partial support from big names like CD Projekt and their GOG.com, or Paradox and their Plaza. Since all those great ports released by Feral, Aspyr, Virtual Programming, and many less known porting heroes. Vulkan being pushed as a new industry standard and with it, the dawn of new fantastic tech, such as DXVK. Many of us prophesized the end of Wine era. Era of endless tinkering with configurations and workarounds. It was safe to talk about growth of the dreaded Linux percentage share in the gaming market. And yet, just as unexpectedly as it started, it stopped. Less dedicated ports from big publishers, no fully-fledged support from SteamVR, GOG Galaxy, Epic Games Store. No interest from the biggest of fish: EA, Ubisoft, or Blizzard. Linux gaming only mentioned in context of Google products, Stadia and ChromeOS.

That is when we were pushed again into the loving arms of Valve and trusted companionship of Wine. Steam Play Proton has arrived. And with it? Support for thousands of Windows games, often right after their premieres. We could no longer count on porting studios but we could count on the company that made Linux their business over 20 years ago – CodeWeavers. And, as always, on ourselves. The community. Because it was yet again an enormous, valiant community effort that picked up Steam Play and carried it way beyond anyone’s expectations.

Look, I am not a doomsayer. But I am not an incurable optimist either. I think we all can admit that we progressed some, then regressed some. And then progressed again. It is true that the Linux gaming is right now in the best state it ever was. But Linux is still not easily available on gaming laptops worldwide. We are still less numerous than macOS users. And we are still hearing about games releasing on “PC”, and not “Windows and Linux”. And that is how I am gonna begin this list. With a stalemate. The time of spectacular breakthroughs is over. And in 2021, I expect nothing ground-breaking to happen in the Linux gaming area.

  1. Wayland gaming is a thing: a Major distro will switch to Wayland in 2021

Recently we have heard that NVIDIA is putting together final work towards supporting XWayland. The Wine project does not waste time either – Collabora has shared an update on this topic just days ago. Nearly 10% of GamingOnLinux users who participate on the website’s survey declared the use of a desktop Wayland session. Maybe you and your friends do not use it yet for gaming but I guarantee there will be someone on Reddit who does, sharing their experiences in the comments. We might be waiting for Wayland for well over 10 years to truly introduce Linux displays into modern times. But it is happening and it is only a matter of time until all popular game engines and libraries stop depending on X server in their new releases. Who knows? Perhaps 2021 will be the year for many major distributions (hi Ubuntu!) to push with new strength for that generational shift.

  1. More seamless Steam Play after it gains one major breakthrough in 2021

Just like I said, Steam Play is the hottest topic these days and for a damn good reason. Even I, the old “no tux no bucks” principle follower, spend more time in Windows games (made easily available thanks to Proton) than in Linux native games. But Steam Play capabilities have been expanded. Thanks to the commendable community work tools like Luxtorpeda, Boxtron and Roberta make it possible to use not only Proton to run Steam titles, but also ScummVM, DOSBox, OpenMW, ioquake3, Arx Libertatis and many more. After trying it out I am completely sold on the idea. And the Proton itself? From month to month its compatibility and efficiency grows. All of that makes it pretty clear that Steam Play still has a lot to offer. And in this year I want to see what else that will be. Perhaps it will not be a proper support from the nasty anti-cheat mechanisms, constantly locking out Linux gamers from multiplayer sessions in Fortnite and PUBG. But I am sure that it will be worth waiting for.

  1. Game development on Linux is becoming more viable, leading to one more critically/commercially successful game developed on Linux in 2021

Thanks the unstoppable power of open source, Linux was always a safe shelter for tech geeks, programmers, developers. People always were and always will be developing games on Linux. This list, curated by Cheeseness confirms it: list. For many years engines and frameworks such as Love2d, RenPy, Cocos2d, MonoGame, FNA, Cube, HaxeFlixel, Irrlicht, Kivy, Twine, Ogre3D, libGDX, Torque were the weapon of indie developers. But only quite recently this group was joined by the popular in the industry editors. The famous Unity Editor is pretty much THE game making tool, holding majority of the game development market by sheer game numbers. Defold and Godot also have quite a lot of Steam, Google Play and App Store titles. And there are others, like Stencyl, RPG Maker MV, GDevelop, Visual Novel Maker.

The super-seller Valheim proves one more thing: Linux is not just a platform for developing games, it is a platform for making commercially successful titles. There is more to come, I am sure.

  1. Cloud gaming on the rise, and Linux will get more and more offering:

Like it or not, the gaming market’s latest craze are cloud gaming services. Big tech names: Microsoft, Google, Amazon are investing insane money in it. The streaming technology and the internet infrastructure around the world have matured a lot in the last decade. Many services, including Stadia, GeForce NOW, Shadow, Luna, Blacknut offer first class Linux support. So why not use it? With to this technology, games otherwise unavailable even to Wine and Proton are playable right from the Linux desktop. In my case, they are, among many, Call of Duty: Warzone or Destiny 2. If you are not convinced, you can easily give the streaming a go for free, by utilizing Steam Remote Play, Parsec, or Rainway.

JugandoenLinux, based in Spain

JugandoenLinux? With such a name, it is of course the reference for Linux Gaming in the Spanish Language! They did us a favor and provided predictions in English for 2021:

  1. Valve releases cloud gaming service along with Steam OS 2.0
  2. Steam for Chrome OS boosts Linux adoption
  3. Godot increases significantly its user base and there are more comercial games using it
  4. Wayland takes off without performance problems, an so will Xwayland. Nvidia officially adopt Wayland with their new drivers
  5. SteamVR for Linux takes off with the new Monado API

Chris Were, based in the UK

If you are spending some time on the Fediverse, you probably already know Chris. He is a very active Blogger, Podcaster and you can follow his work on chriswere.uk. His educated guesses for 2021? Here they are:

Chris Were, blogger, podcaster
  1. The Stadia will survive the year, it’ll pull in a few noteworthy titles, but not to enough to (re)gain people’s confidence in the platform.
  2. However, game streaming will increase in popularity, largely with Nvidia GeForce now and platforms other than Stadia.
  3. Fewer titles will be released as Linux ports, letting Valve’s Proton and streaming services do more of the heavy lifting.
  4. More titles will begin officially supporting Proton instead of bringing out Linux ports.
  5. Itch.io will get a boost in popularity as a reaction to streaming. A segment of Linux gamers will return to simpler games with simpler ways to play them, free of DRM and online components.

James Ramey, based in the US

James is well known if you are familiar with our articles and interviews conducted with him in the past. He is the President of Codeweavers (the company behind most of the WINE/Proton efforts).

James B Ramey, President of Codeweavers

I specifically asked him not to “predict” anything WINE-related to avoid some unfair insider knowledge 🙂

  1. I predict that Linux gaming will experience its greatest growth for market share in 2021 (relative to the past 20 years). I believe that this growth will come at the direct expense of macOS. And while Linux gaming market share will not surpass macOS gaming market share in 2021, I predict that by the end of this year we will be able to extrapolate a time in the future when it likely will.
  2. I expect that more Linux distros dedicated (or centered on gaming) will come to market in 2021.
  3. I expect that a handful (5) of AAA titles will have native Linux versions upon release in 2021.
  4. I expect that it will be Linux gaming on Chromebooks (in the Linux partition) will replace Stadia in 2021.
  5. I expect that years from now people will look back at 2021 as the ‘Year of Linux Gaming’ in that much of where we will be 20 years from now can be traced back to this year.

HexDSL, based in the UK

HexDSL is probably one of the most well known faces of Linux and Linux Gaming online, with his almost daily content on his Youtube channel (and recently Gemini as well!). He decided to answer to the questions in a very different way. Expect more of a philoshophical take on where things SHOULD go:

HexDSL, thinker

Its hard for me to talk about Linux predictions, or even the future of Linux in a way that is quotable or structured really because when I think about the future of Linux, I about the changed the OS will have to undergo as its popularity rises in the most complicated ways.

I am fairly sure that over the next year or so we are going to see Microsoft’s WSL nonsense become a less optional part of the operating system, to the point where it simply replaces the windows Kernel because simply put; the windows kernel is very expensive to maintain. Microsoft may try to take technological high ground regularly but when it comes down to decisions they have to think about a few little thinks.

– It costs money to develop a Kernel.

– It costs money to maintain a kernel.

– The development team are in many ways responsible for any problems generated by issues (Bugs) in the kernel. This costs money in developer time.

– Security issues are literally never ending. This cost money in developer time.

– The legal liability for abandoning development have simply not been tested at the scale Microsoft operate at. This is a financial burden.

There are more “because money” points I could raise but, you get the idea. Windows is a black hole for Microsoft’s bank. It literally can not be cost effective for them no matter how many licenses they sell. With this in mind, there IS an out for them, I give you point 1.

Linux exists.

There you go. An out. Migrate all your crap over to a “Windows Subsystem” and then as soon as you are able make the sub system the main “bit” and the rest… WINE. It is literally more cost effective to make a Windows to Linux compatibility layer from scratch than it is for a single new build of Windows. Look how great the wine project is, now think about what a few Microsoft developers could do given that they literally have access to the source code of windows. All of it. With not licensing worries.

But this isn’t a new idea, this isn’t a fable of a futures history. This is not what was asked… I know… BUT…

The most interesting things in Linux’s future are the things that will happen to make it less “linuxy”. As Microsoft make it more mainstream while desperately hoping no one notices they will be forced due to the GPL to open their own digital doors more and more. The culture of the monolith has to change. There isn’t an option for them either legally OR financially.

This will be empowering for Linux users as our games will start to work better and better via compatibility layers because Microsoft wont just be getting out of our way, they will slowly, very slowly being to shove little nuggets our way that will help with out development issues. Little by little the monolithic tip-toe will edge to our way of thinking and working because they want all those financial gains that we bring. They want Linux to be able to replace windows for everyone in all ways except identity. It will be a glorious time to be a Linux user.

I would think eventually there will be a binary blob that “IS” windows essentially. We will copy it in to our wine folders and have zero-overhead Wine operation. The future of Linux gaming is that it simple wont be Linux gaming any more. And the really strange thing is, we will be better off that we have ever been. It’s the ultimate compromise, the only solution and the death of the conversation.

The conversation should never have been “something something Linux gaming” it should always have been “GAMING” and nothing more. We should never say “No Tux No Bux” we should always have made it a conversation of “no code no cash” because if we are using Linux for freedom and control we cant care if a game is native or wine if its not free software. The only type “Linux gaming” that has a future is Free Software gaming.

A “Native” game is in theory better than a Wine or Proton “powered” game because its SUPPORTED. Linux users often tout “support” like its a magic ticked to the chocolate factory. In recent years we have seen more and more games DROP support. This proved that “No Tux No Bux” was always a straw-man. It was never more than some Linux enthusiasts wanting to feel like they had security. Funny thing is, that all these games that HAD Linux “support” and now don’t, they probably still work in Proton.

Begging developers to port a game to Linux on forums doesn’t help. Never did. They best things we can ask game developers for is a stated and consistent effort to make sure a game works in Wine and/or Proton and not do anything known to break that.

Native/Wine/Streamed/Emulated is all a closed book. If its not Open code then the end user has no more or less control than if its running on a PlayStation.

But how can you say all this while being a Linux gamer? Its not that uncommon for Linux gamers to think that Linux gaming as a thing of its own has no future. Heck, back in 2013 the great John Carmack tweeted that improving wine was a better option than lobbying game developers. And John Carmack is literally smarter than ALLLLLLL of us.

I do not run Linux to play games. If all I want to do it play games I SHOULD be running Windows. I run Linux because I fucking LOVE the work flow, the philosophy and the endless tinkering. Its a game in its self and one I love being part of. The fact that pretty much every game I want to play works on Linux via either GeForce now or Proton is the icing on the cake for me. But the cake is my terminal. It’s funny that so many Linux users draw a line in the sand when it comes to “No Tux No Bux” but then watch Netflix and read books on their Kindle. Its an ideological game and I have a simple stance on it all…

Tools MUST be free. Entertainment doesn’t matter.

Thanks for reading my rant.

Our Predictions at Boiling Steam

Just like our guests did, we have also worked on our own predictions (in isolation, we did not discuss them until it was the time to compile them all). In ascending order of time spent on the team!

Patola, based in Poland

Patola has joined us recently, and is an avid VR user who has written about the State of VR on Linux not too long ago.

  1. I do think that the COVID-19 boost to gaming will attenuate, and some developments might be slower. PC sales growth might stall: After a small 0.6% growth in 2019 and then a massive 13.1% growth in 2020, I bet PC sales will grow by less than 5% with people getting back to normal, more mobile life.
  2. wine-eac WILL get back on track, but just slightly. It will start working for a few games with Easy Anti-Cheat only, and will break often.
  3. A few notable games using Godot 4.0 with Vulkan will appear on Steam. At least one of them, being Linux native, will sell more than a million licenses.
  4. Raytracing via DXVK will happen. First for NVIDIA users, then for AMD RX 6000 series users.
  5. A new Linux-compatible VR HMD will appear in the wild.

Podiki, based in the US

Podiki has been a Linux user and gamer for a long time. You may have seen his article on why he ditched Windows in the past.

  1. We’ll see Proton listed as a platform (or folded into Steam Play) with easy default enabling by developers, defaults to using Proton for Windows games on Linux, and developers can directly target/test on Proton (not user visible but announced by Valve). I could see a lot of this happening through allowing user reporting of success and needed tweaks in the Steam interface, just like we have controller config sharing. Proton everywhere. So my prediction is that we see Proton come into its own as an integral part of browsing, buying on, and developing for Steam.
  2. Key Linux VR bugs for the Valve Index will be addressed in 2021. Big ones are: Bluetooth power management for base stations, firmware updating for base stations, front cameras passthrough, audio mirroring, and the “direct display” bug. These all need to be fixed to really have the Index as fully supported on Linux. I think they are all quite fixable (and some are worked around by the community already). Relatedly, folding in Proton more prominently with VR games is needed as otherwise there is barely any content as listed.
  3. A single launcher/store will appear on the market. We have several great launchers and community tools, but I think there is an opening for a larger group or company to enter the scene. They could unify the buying and launching experience across the many stores and tools, like a combo Lutris/Steam/GOG/etc.
  4. A successful big Kickstarter for a Linux based “console” or Steam machine-like device.
  5. New Steam Controller, with swappable controls (as per patent that have been reported) and keeping at least some touchpads, and gyro controls.

Cow Killer, based in the US

Cow_Killer has been very active recently with Linux hardware reviews, such as the Polaris, the Darter Pro and the Serval WS. He has also reviewed a Zelda-like RPG recently, Ocean’s Heart. In his spare time, he came up with the following for 2021:

  1. Dirt 5 will be playable on Proton.
  2. Proton will be the future of Linux gaming, as native ports will continue to decrease compared to 2019.
  3. EAC will no longer be an obstacle to run games on Linux.
  4. Epic won’t have as much of a stronghold on game exclusives.
  5. SteamOS 3.0 or the next-gen Steam controller will arrive.

Ekianjo, based in Japan

I started Boiling Steam back in 2014, and I have been playing games on Linux long before it was cool to do it on Steam (but I missed the Loki era, that was too early for me).

  1. EAC will be supported in 2021 for the first time through Proton and while it may not work for all use cases some games will run with it.
  2. Valve will announce a new hardware project that will make use of all the work they did on Vulkan and Proton.
  3. Linux Gaming Market Share on Steam will still remain safely around 1% in the course of 2021.
  4. Nvidia will announce their official support for Wayland as X11 turns into maintenance mode.
  5. Powerful ARM laptops will be available for the first time with Linux as a primary system to rival the x86 offering (akin to Apple M1 hardware).

Wrapping Things Up!

As mentioned we will revisit this later in December 2021 – and see if anyone was really successful at foreseeing the future or not!

What do you take away from all these Linux Gaming predictions? Which ones do you see as being the most likely? We’d love to hear from you in the comments – don’t hesitate to make your own 5 predictions as well!


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subwayfox

You guys keep talking about EAC in this article and that it might be coming in 2021….BUT I still have no idea what EAC exactly is. Can anyone help enlighten me?

leillo1975

Awesome article. Thanks again for all this predictions. Let’s see how many become reality by the end of the year.

podiki

Yes, I hope we have lots of great progress this year and can check off many of the predictions here!

JohnQ

This is a fun read, especially as it all comes from folks of some prominence in the Linux gaming community.

I’m excited to see Wayland figuring prominently in several predictions (because I’m excited by Wayland in general) and the emphasis placed on ARM-related technology in so many lists surprises me a bit; I’ll be keeping a closer eye on that in the coming year.

podiki

Wayland…unfortunately a sticking point for me is to have something like StumpWM or XMonad for Wayland and tiling. All I know of is an i3-like (sway I think?) that could be good since I do like i3, but just have a lot more fun with the more hackable tiling WMs.