Is Linux Maturing as a Gaming Platform? Humble Thinks So...
From the 'Game On' files:
One of the thing that some find lacking on the Linux desktop today is the availability of good games.
You know stuff like Star Wars: The Old Republic or Diablo III. Personally, (try to) run those via WINE, but that's not an ideal solution. The right solution is native games (or even cross-platform HTML5 goodness). Ubuntu has been making some specific strides in this area with the addition of games to its Software Center and in particular with the recent availability of the Humble Indie Bundle.
By making games available via the Software Center the idea is that it's 'easier' for user to find and install. While I've never really complained much about RPM based installs, easier is not a bad thing - especially when it comes to gaming when you just want a quick fix.
David Pitkin, Director of Consumer Applications at Canonical told me that the partnership Canonical has with Humble is a natural extension for both companies to promote games on the Ubuntu platform and give users the best experience possible.
As far as the lack of availability for 'big name' games on Linux, Pitkin agreed with me that WINE can work great for some games but that it is not a solution for everything all the time.
"I think that situation has changed if you look at our Top 10 paid applications there are many quality games there," Pitkin said. "Yes, Canonical is seeking out developers today for the Ubuntu Desktop and also don’t forget our future products like the TV and Ubuntu for Android. Ubuntu is a great platform for Apps and games as the Software Center and Humble Indie Bundle have proven."
Time will tell if Pitkin is correct, but given the move toward cross platform HTML5 based development availability of online games for Linux could well be a whole lot easier in the years ahead than it has been in years past.