Blizzard Planning A Linux Game For 2013

Archie

Second-rate Anihawk
#1
Searched, found nothing.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTI2ODE

Blizzard Entertainment, the game studio behind wildly-popular games like World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft, is planning for a Linux game announcement in 2013.

This year is already looking fantastic for Linux-based gaming thanks to so many recent announcements and more being just around the cog in the future.rner. Since Valve's major Linux push with their native Steam Linux client and their continued porting of Source Engine games to Linux, many other game studios have stepped up with Linux interest, especially with the Linux-based Steam console coming in the future.

Besides Valve, among the publishers expressing Linux gaming interest have been Egosoft, THQ, Overhaul Games, and many other developers large and small have talked about their Linux plans. To add to the ever-growing list of Linux game milestones is now Blizzard Entertainment.

Blizzard has already been controversial with Linux gamers due to (reportedly accidental) banning of players from their games using Wine to run the Windows titles on Linux, always-online/DRM practices on Windows, and other matters, but it seems the California-based company is finally taking Linux seriously.

It's been a poorly-kept secret that Blizzard has a native Linux client of World of Warcraft. As recently as 2011, the World of Warcraft Linux client was still being maintained internally. The client has been around for years and done by their own developers as a form of testing for the popular MMORPG currently offered on Windows and Mac OS X. As for why they haven't released the client, it's come down to "targeting a specific version of the platform" with Linux being "unstandardized" due to the many different distributions. There's still some fundamental problems with gaming on Linux. With World of Warcraft working generally fine under Wine as well, the company is further unmotivated to officially support a Linux build of the game.

In May of last year when a Blizzard representative was asked about a Diablo III Linux port, it came down to a matter of ensuring there is a commercially-viable Linux gaming market and that the resources can be justified. "I know we actually have a lot of stuff that we... like a lot of our server stuff actually uses Linux, so I don’t think that it would be outrageous, but I think that we’d have to see that there’d be a demand for it. And then we’d have to see that that demand would be worth the time we take away from the other things that we could do."

An Executive Vice President at Blizzard said later in 2012 that they agree with Valve's Gabe Newell that Microsoft Windows 8 is a catastrophe, as I exclusively reported on earlier in the year. Windows 8 isn't great for Blizzard.


With the progress of Linux gaming in recent months, Blizzard now wants to tap Tux. I was out in the Los Angeles area the past few days and for those that didn't understand the hint, there's new Blizzard Linux activities taking place.

From a reliable source at the company, I have been told at least one of their very popular titles will see a release for Ubuntu Linux this calendar year. I was told this in person and was a statement backed up by additional proof. With their first Linux port they will use it to judge the waters of Linux gaming themselves to decide their future course. This port is being done internally by their own developers, which isn't a huge surprise given their past public statements and already existing internal Linux client work.

A public announcement should come out of Blizzard by this summer. So for the usual skeptics and those not fond of my unconventional approaches in writing thousands of articles annually, if you don't want to believe it now, you should see action in the next few months -- just as the far majority of the Phoronix exclusives over the past eight years have been from continued early information about Steam on Linux to reporting in advance that EA's initial Linux play would be garbage to all of the Linux driver/hardware exclusives and other content.
 
#9
It would be interesting if they released the Linux WoW client and ended up making it compatible with the Steambox. The only other titles I could see it being are Starcraft and Diablo which would still be pretty interesting drops on Linux.
 
#10
...nearly posted till it was pointed out as rumour...
That article has too many links to the same site over and over again.

Its like step by step 'click this other article'.

Interesting 'if' true.
 
#12
Steambox getting all the games.
It would be interesting if they released the Linux WoW client and ended up making it compatible with the Steambox. The only other titles I could see it being are Starcraft and Diablo which would still be pretty interesting drops on Linux.
I doubt it will be put on the steam store, and have any of the rumours indicated that you can install anything other than games from the steam store on the steambox?
 
#15
I doubt it will be put on the steam store, and have any of the rumours indicated that you can install anything other than games from the steam store on the steambox?
I think I recall Gabe Newell saying that Valve hardware would run comepetitors' software when possible.
 
#20
I wont be surprised if blizz makes an exception and puts it on Linux Steam. Matter a fact it seems kinda dumb that Blizz hasnt put WOW on Steam, that could bring in a few steam only player in.
 
#22
Not surprised. Windows 8 is alienating a lot of developers. Any company with an income stream knows they risk losing it long term if things carry on that direction.
 
#24
Linux is taking over.

Right about now Microsoft should start apologizing for Windows 8.
The thing is, Microsoft's choice is basically motivated by the technical details of engineering a modern secure operating system. They need to whitelist all applications. They won't be whitelisting applications that install other applications out of band, since that circumvents the whitelist. And since all applications (read: games) need to be in the whitelist, that means all Windows games will be in the official Windows store.

There's no place for Steam in the new paradigm -- except on operating systems that are freely modifiable. Linux, BSD. The latter has very little vendor support. The former runs on everything from supercomputers to toasters.
 
#25
I wont be surprised if blizz makes an exception and puts it on Linux Steam. Matter a fact it seems kinda dumb that Blizz hasnt put WOW on Steam, that could bring in a few steam only player in.
Cause, blizzard is really struggling getting players.. I don't believe there is such a thing as a 'steam only player'
 
#27
The thing is, Microsoft's choice is basically motivated by the technical details of engineering a modern secure operating system. They need to whitelist all applications. They won't be whitelisting applications that install other applications out of band, since that circumvents the whitelist. And since all applications (read: games) need to be in the whitelist, that means all Windows games will be in the official Windows store.

There's no place for Steam in the new paradigm -- except on operating systems that are freely modifiable. Linux, BSD. The latter has very little vendor support. The former runs on everything from supercomputers to toasters.
It's naive to think this is why valve are shittalking windows 8, Windows 8 lets you install anything and you only need to pass testing if you want to be on the windows store. The windows store is exactly like the Mac App Store, Valve is bitching because they'll have competition, so they're going to a platform with no competition.
 
#28
The thing is, Microsoft's choice is basically motivated by the technical details of engineering a secure operating system. They need to whitelist all applications. They won't be whitelisting applications that install other applications out of band, since that circumvents the whitelist. And since all applications (read: games) need to be in the whitelist, that means all Windows games will be in the official Windows store.

There's no place for Steam in the new paradigm -- except on operating systems that are freely modifiable. Linux, BSD.
Whitelisting has little to do with security; it's been over a decade now that the primary exploit vector has shifted from untrusted software to software that's not only trusted, but often created by the OS vendor themselves. There are compelling arguments for driver signing, but userland apps are entirely an OS design and hardening issue.
 
#29
windows 8 is a catastrophe because battlenet, origin, and steam wont be the first thing you see, it'll be windows live, and they're scared about their bottom line and all that money they put into those services. It's hokum on their part, many develoeprs are happy with what live is doing for them.
 
#33
It's naive to think this is why valve are shittalking windows 8, Windows 8 lets you install anything and you only need to pass testing if you want to be on the windows store. The windows store is exactly like the Mac App Store, Valve is bitching because they'll have competition, so they're going to a platform with no competition.
Windows 8 does, but Windows 9 (or 10) will not. The App store is a good example of where they're going -- the iOS app store. Only a select class of users will "unlock" their future PC/Mac to install out of band software. If Valve, Blizzard, et all don't act now, they'll be (1) limiting themselves into the "jailbreak" subset or (2) becoming subservient to Apple/MS.

Whitelisting has little to do with security; it's been over a decade now that the primary exploit vector has shifted from untrusted software to software that's not only trusted, but often created by the OS vendor themselves. There are compelling arguments for driver signing, but userland apps are entirely an OS design and hardening issue.
Nonsense. You will never be able to build a bulletproof OS. There will always be bugs, and end users will always be stupid and click that link, open that pdf, whatever. The only way for an OS to be secure is to vet all code that runs on it.

Whitelisting doesn't actually accomplish that. You can, and people do, sneak malicious code into the iOS app store. But it goes about halfway, which is better than nowhere. Ergo, everyone is going to do it.

Time to get Linux and learn how to use it I suppose.
No need to rush. All of this is going to happen in super slow motion.
 
#35
Probably true. MS is really going to end up regretting the walled garden approach that they are obviously trying to force software companies into. It really does seem like this was way too aggressive a move for MS to pull on PC and it would be remarkable if this is what led to the downfall of MS.
 
#36
The sooner the gaming industry catches up with better technology, the sooner I can blow my Windows partition off my rig since the only reason I boot it is for games and even that is slowly changing. Steam runs great for me on Mint.
 
#39
It's naive to think this is why valve are shittalking windows 8, Windows 8 lets you install anything and you only need to pass testing if you want to be on the windows store. The windows store is exactly like the Mac App Store, Valve is bitching because they'll have competition, so they're going to a platform with no competition.
Eh... I haven't heard Valve bitch about other storefronts and their complaints about Metro are legit. Its also Win9+ that will be the real problem. The only naivety is not paying attention to the writing on the wall... painted in hot pink neon and highlighted with fluorescent lighting... with big arrows n shit pointing at it.
 
#42
Nonsense. You will never be able to build a bulletproof OS. There will always be bugs, and end users will always be stupid and click that link, open that pdf, whatever. The only way for an OS to be secure is to vet all code that runs on it.

Whitelisting doesn't actually accomplish that. You can, and people do, sneak malicious code into the iOS app store. But it goes about halfway, which is better than nowhere. Ergo, everyone is going to do it.
But vetted code doesn't at all solve those problems; users will always click that link and open that PDF, and it's absurd to argue that Acrobat or IE won't be signed. When was the last time you even got a cleverly-renamed .exe in your email?

If you want to argue for a security benefit to the app store model, the improved ability to push updates is a lot more plausible.
 
#43
This will lead to not much (not immediately, at least). Windows is not going anywhere.
Oh but "Windows" is going the way of the dinosaur. Its heading towards an all "app" based structure. Apps aren't "Windows". Metro will be front and center from here on out as the desktop slowly dies.

The whole single-os for multiple devices thing is a look at where they want to go. Big picture - its laughable so many people miss it.
 
#44
But vetted code doesn't at all solve those problems; users will always click that link and open that PDF, and it's absurd to argue that Acrobat or IE won't be signed. When was the last time you even got a cleverly-renamed .exe in your email?

If you want to argue for a security benefit to the app store model, the improved ability to push updates is a lot more plausible.
Most malware isn't a one shot deal, it makes modifications to the underlying system... puts in place its payload, relying on that code to run later. But wait, my botnet code isn't on the whitelist! (aside: the future for intepreted languages looks somewhat bleak in this regard. =/)

In what way does that not help "at all"? As I said, whitelisting only gets us partway there. But scuttling the missle in its second stage is better than letting it get into orbit.

And yes, improved update management is another big benefit.
 
#45
If they release anything it would probably be a WoW port first.

I wouldn't be surprised if future releases get Linux support though, especially since they've supported Mac all this time and those two are more architecturally similar than either is to Windows. It wouldn't be a huge leap.
 
#46
Finaly Linux users will be able to play Lost Vikings ! =D

Yeah .. it is impossible not to read that and not to think on Steambox
 
#47
So kinda like console Diablo 3 version? Don't expect it on steam I expect blizzards way of also getting a foothold on Linux with battle.net before steam becomes to big.
 
#49
Will just be a port but if more and more developers start releasing content then I am more willing to try Linux. Blizzard also made games for Mac when that was really rare so it is commendable they are expanding. It is just too bad that I think Blizzard has become a boring developer.