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Why Do Many Triple-A Games Target Windows OS and Not Linux?

 January 11, 2019 – 01:12 pm

Triple-A games are analogous to blockbuster movies in a film. They distinctly gross high sales, merchandise and have a cult following. It is important before going into the technological aspects to examine the business wisdom behind this self-created bias.

Too Many Linux Configurations

Game developers have to optimize and tweak their game for a specific platform. This means that have to consider the target hardware and software when writing code for all their games.

Battling with PC gaming hardware diversity is a nightmare in itself. However, since Windows OS is relatively stable and predictable compared to Linux distros, the developers are almost sure a game they test on Windows 10 will work on millions of PCs running Windows 10.

The problem with Linux is they cannot predict which of the many distros the target user will be running on their PC hence they don’t know what to optimize for. This uncertainty was proven by Phoronix whose tests prove that games targeting both operating systems will almost always run better on Windows.

The Business Behind the Bias

Gaming is big business. It, therefore, follows that to have a successful game; studios are obligated to rake high profits. Triple-A games unlike their Indie counterparts benefit from sales, merchandising and occasionally film adaptation.

It is against this backdrop that Triple-A games are hard pressed to collaborate with Windows. After all, Microsoft has the financial muscle and a large customer base. While Windows has traditionally been a platform for games, there is no doubt that there is a financial marriage in place.

The near exclusivity of games played in the Windows operating system has always been subject of concern. Linux users mostly rely on cross-platform gaming software to play these games. The steam client 2014 survey figures indicate less than 1.2% was using the Linux operating system in one way or another.

Consequently, since most Linux users don’t invest in powerful gaming rigs, they tend to be casual gamers who feel content with some of the best free Linux games.

It, therefore, defeats logic to target a small niche market for Triple-A games that have a huge following on the Windows platform. The emergence of software’s that facilitate cross-platform gaming solidifies the developing community bias. The logic here is if you are a Linux user but love games exclusively offered on Windows platform then you need to find a compromise.

Most game developing companies pride themselves in giving the ultimate user experience. The Gaming community is particularly critical and unforgiving when they feel they are getting a short end of the stick. Issues such as constant reboots, poor graphics, reward system, soundtrack amongst others often require an operating system that matches its demands.

Developers will always opt for a platform they can easily access ready market, optimum gaming experience, and institutional memory. Unfortunately, Windows fits the bill. When you consider this in addition to the gaming community use of Windows, you have no option but to oblige.

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