DICE Talks About Steam Machines, Linux Gaming

DICE creative director Lars Gustavsson told Polygon on Saturday that one single "killer" game is all the Linux platform needs to explode its way into mainstream gaming. He pointed to Halo and how it helped make the original Xbox highly competitive despite Microsoft's "rookie" status in the console market. Thus, even though Linux is easily accessible, the platform still needs its own flagship game to really motivate player interest.

"I think, even then, customers are getting more and more convenient, so you really need to convince them how can they marry it into their daily lives and make [it] an integral part of their lives," he explained. He also added that the studio has used Linux servers because it was a "superior operating system to do so."

He said that the studio "strongly" wants to get into Linux, and that Valve's SteamOS and the Steam Machines initiative will be good for the console market because these products will explore new, possibly better ways of consuming games than the current Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo method. However, he believes that eventually there will be less need for hardware and more on-demand gaming experiences.

"I think, hopefully, competition usually means a better experience for the customer. Sometimes. You know, was the VHS tape better than BetaMax? VHS won," he continued. "So it does not always go in the right direction but overall I think it is healthy with competition. It is truly welcomed, so that we can have better games in the future."

He also believes that indie game developers will help populate the Linux scene despite the platform's limited audience.

"With indie, for a long time, it seemed that it was only AAA title that will survive and then the explosion came with mobile and indie games," he said. "So I'm really happy to see that has swung back to where people say 'Well, will AAA titles survive? Are they mammoths that don't know that they are dead yet?' So, to me, I think that the possibilities are many and I think indies can build for Linux even though we don't have enormous audience," he said.

The full interview, which moves on to talk about Battlefield 4, can be read here. Honestly, it wouldn't be surprising if Valve was actually working on a "Halo" exclusive flagship shooter for SteamOS. Half-Life 3 perhaps?

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  • andystanley
    Bring me Battlefield 4 on Steam and I'm sold!
  • DanglingPointer
    Been playing on Linux all year!
    Both Wargames - Euro Escalation and Airland Battle,
    All Source Engine games
    Raven - Legacy of a Master Thief
    ARMA Tactics
    And just bought Amnesia - A Machine for Pigs - currently downloading.
    Massively looking forward to Rome II Total War's Linux port
    and Metro Last Light (due within the next couple of months I believe).
    Crytek is also now developing using the latest OpenGL and porting their DirectX 11 engine and have hired developers.
    The future is bright for Linux! Sooner or later people will realise that they are wasting their money on M$ bloatware, $$$ better spent on hardware and games.
  • undercovernerd6
    If you read between the lines, dice has a nice game engine fb3, and with steam os they could potentially release a title like bf4 per say on the steam machine to entice large amounts of gamers.
  • Polluted
    If the steam OS can also be used as a media centre or integrated seamlessly with XBMC it would help move it to the living room faster. Or as I've heard: Steam Holiday sale + Movies and Music = sore wallet.
  • Shankovich
    Just make Battlefront III as magical as possible :')
  • wshwe
    EA doesn't have to pay license fees to MS, Sony or Nintendo to support Steam Linux gaming. If it wanted to EA could stop supporting Windows at some point. Windows PC sales aren't growing any more.
  • joaompp
    I wouldn't be surprised if valve releases half life 3 simultaneously with a commercial steamOS release, and then offer the game for free with every steam machine purchased. That or make half life 3 a steamOS only title, but I don't think they'd alienate millions of windows based PC gamers.
  • Nilo BP
    Making HL3 a SteamOS exclusive would be... well... the expression "brass balls" comes to mind.
  • Marcus52
    I agree with the competition part, but I don't think that is going to happen so much as we will just have yet another gaming rig. Game devs are going to have 4 platforms to develop for instead of 3. Me, I'm not giving up my computer, and really am mystified at this point why other people just don't go ahead and migrate over. Like, everyone already has a computer, so just save that $500 you'll spend on a new console, spend it on games, spend on a better graphics card, whatever. The only thing Xbox and Playstation have going for them is their respective communities - and really, they just create divisions in the overall community in the end. Xbox players can't play with Playstation players can't play with PC/Mac players.

    A decade ago their was a good place for a console. They were less than $200, and you couldn't buy a computer anywhere near that and play top games on it. It's different today, their isn't enough of a price break, and it just makes games more expensive because devs have to deal with all those systems.

    And Valve is adding another.
  • rokit
    Valve didn't add anything, its the same good old PC + some OS improvments that are good for games but unusable for every day tasks. In terms of work developers will be doing nothing changed.
    As for consoles, we buy them because of the games that won't get on PC, its that simple, noone cares whether can or can't play with PC.
    P.S. Why do some people have PC for windows and Mac for Mac, its the same PC, they don't have PPC there for years already.