|Vibishan Goblin Squad Member|
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I am a "Johnny-Come-Lately" to this thread, but wanted to throw my thoughts into the mix, especially since this thread still has a shard of life left in it. I myself am a Linux user, and I use Ubuntu on my laptop as part of the consultant business I work in. I'd *love* to see a major MMORPG generate a dedicated Linux version, and I know many others would, if for no other reason than to finally be seen as a real share of the gaming market.
I find it interesting that every major MMORPG I've seen deals with the same thread: "Will there be a Linux port?" The answers are always a flavor of a lack of compensation for time and efforts to generate and maintain it. What I find exciting about this discussion thread is that there is no aversion to a Linux version of the game** - there's just not enough of a perceived market to justify an investment into one. So, if there *was* evidence of a return on investment, then GW would generate a Linux client for the game - this is my impression of the discussion here.
It sounds like GW has estimated a dollar value to add a native Linux port to the game, and estimates that the return from the release will not pay off that investment. I assume this would include a capital budget for dedicated computers to work up the Linux client (along with estimated cost for utilities, renting space, etc), along with paying the salaries for the developers, as well as paying for the technical staff and a fraction of the cost to run the servers post-release (say ~5% of the total cost by percentage of the gaming population?).
I'd like to propose a solution to this conundrum:
Begin a dedicated Kickstarter project - PFO for Linux - and post the estimated cost (including, say, 1 year post-release support) to bring PFO to the Linux platform. Give it 30 days, and advertise this as a "Put Up or Shut Up" to the Linux community.
If we can raise the funds, then we can expect a native Linux release, free to download (but pay the same subscription fee, of course) at the official game release date. Within a year, there should be enough subscriptions to continue to fund the game's updates, technical support, and so on. The Linux community will rejoice, and all will be well in the world... :)
If the funds don't materialize, GW will have proof-positive of the very argument they've had: there's no viable market. At that point, no one can criticize GW for not catering to the Linux people. Those that *still* want to play PFO in Linux will try to run it under WINE, which is what everyone here is expecting to do anyways, but without all the griping over a lack of interest in pursuing the Linux gaming market.
I'll even throw this in: I'm willing to put $100 down if the Kickstarter Project is started. I figure this would be the cost I would pay to buy the game along with some game time if I were to buy the game at the store. If 10,000 Linux gamers, including myself, did this then that would be $1M raised - plenty to generate a stand-alone Linux version of PFO and a right to play as equals on the game servers (as well as a little profit on top).
Does this sound like an idea worth pursuing? I think putting it to the Linux community will decisively settle the issue, either way it goes.
Thanks for reading, and I hope this idea is worth considering and not too late to include Linux in time for the game's initial release.
**Edit: Well, I take that back. Selective memory made me forget this statement from the CEO:
Just doing the Mac version scares the bejeezus out of me. There's so many things that could cause us expensive, long term problems, or lead to compromises that have long term negative consequences.
Linux is a 10x worse problem than OSX, at 1/100th the market proposition.