At the end of August, Valve announced a new version of Steam Play for Linux that included Proton, a WINE fork that made many Windows games, including more recent ones ,such as Witcher 3, Dark Souls 3 and Dishonored, playable on Linux. Just two months later, ProtonDB says there are over 2,600 Windows games that users can play on Linux, and the number is rapidly growing daily.
Proton Library Keeps Expanding
When Valve Software launched Steam Play with Proton, it made it easier for gamers to play Windows games that hadn’t yet been ported to Linux with the click of a button.
In only two months, the database of games that work with Proton has increased to over 2,600—more than half of the 5,000 Linux-native games that can be obtained through the Steam store.
Before long, there should be more Proton-enabled Windows games that can be played through Steam than Linux-native games that have been officially ported to Linux by the original developers.
Valve’s Planning Ahead
Valve Software has been one of the primary companies encouraging game developers to port their Windows PC games not just to macOS, but also to Linux. This objective only increased in priority after Valve saw some warning signs that Microsoft would one day force all software developers to sell their games through the Microsoft app store and not through third-party stores, such as Valve’s Steam store.
We may be a long way off until that happens, if ever. But Microsoft has taken some small steps in that direction in the past few years. Some of these steps include encouraging laptop manufacturers to sell Windows 10 S laptops that only work with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, as well as giving users the option (for now) to “secure” their machines by running only UWP apps on their full Windows 10 devices.
At the moment, all of this seems optional, but if many users end up running Windows 10 S or enough third-party developers start distributing their apps and games exclusively through the Microsoft store, the company could find reason to eventually make UWP mandatory for all but enterprise users.