back to article Q. Can your Linux PC run Crysis? OK, it can. But will it run natively? A. Soon, very soon

Crytek is adding native Linux support to its powerful computer game engine. The company, best known for PC thumper Crysis and Xbox One launch title Ryse, announced the development on Tuesday. Gamers will be able to see CryENGINE running natively on GNU/Linux-powered systems at the upcoming Game Developer's Conference (GDC) in …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    This year might not be the year of the Linux desktop, but it is certainly the year of the Linux gaming machine :D

    I for one welcome our penguin overlords...

    1. JDX Gold badge

      More likely next year - it takes time to get everything working. Most likely, upcoming games will add Linux support if it's now close to free to do so.

    2. bazza Silver badge

      Meanwhile, FreeBSD is already there...

    3. Professor Clifton Shallot

      "This year might not be the year of the Linux desktop, but it is certainly the year of the Linux gaming machine"

      For me that will probably amount to the same thing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >For me that will probably amount to the same thing.

        You know, you're probably right.

        We have a dual-boot XP just for games that don't work properly in Wine or don't have Linux equivalents so that probably goes for us also.

  2. MJI Silver badge

    Crysis

    Am I the only person who found the original game a bit boring?

    1. Zacherynuk

      Re: Crysis

      In what way ? the down arrow suggests somebody thinks you were wrong to say anything at all.

      I thought the first one was great - many new things. The following instalments were a little lacking....

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Crysis

        Clever game, lots to do, but just didn't grab me. Some games do, some don't.

        A lot of people found it boring. But then I liked FarCry 2 and a load of people found that boring.

    2. JackClark

      Re: Crysis

      Much like the works of Stephen King, I found the first two thirds of it brilliant and the last third tepid and dull.

    3. Oninoshiko

      Re: Crysis

      Crysis coming to Linux isn't that important, really (well, maybe a little). What makes this interesting is this means good news for the other games built on CryEngine.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Crysis

        What makes this interesting is this means good news for the other games built on CryEngine.

        Of which how many are there?

        There's still somewhere near a billion billion other games that haven't made the jump netively yet and probably won't for the forseeable future: many of them also don't play too friendly on Linux compatibility layers even with tweaking.

        1. Havin_it
          Linux

          Re: Crysis

          This might help a bit with some of the others ...

        2. Grifter

          Re: Crysis

          I'm not sure what your point is, you use rectally derived numbers to prove... what? That people shouldn't play games on Linux?

          Get off the comments and start putting some time into your billion billion games, otherwise you'll never get to play them all.

        3. Chairo

          Re: Crysis

          @AC: Here's the news: 90% of your "billion billion other games that haven't made the jump netively yet" don't run on windows neither, because they are locked down with a copy protection that only works on windows me or earlier. And newer games might require access to an activation server, that has been deactivated half a year afer you bought the game. But go ahead, spread your FUD, if it pleases you.

        4. Steven Raith

          Re: Crysis

          No fucker wants to play games through compatability layers on Linux - no one with any sense, anyway. We want native games and nothing less - especially seeing as most uses of WINE are a violation of the Windows TOS which means you can't target a game for it anyway without risking massive sueballs.

          Cryengine* is a AAA engine, getting that ported fully to native Linux is a massive step. Unreal engine runs on Linux also, as far as I am aware.

          It's never whether 'game x' runs on Linux - it's whether 'engine x' runs on Linux.

          Less than ten major engines power pretty much all AAA games on the major platforms. This is just one more little push to help build up momentum to get the rest of them on there and make Linux (in this case SteamOS, but that's linux by definition) a viable AAA gaming platform in the same way Windows is.

          After all, if porting it is just a matter of (comparatively - no more than for X1/PS4/etc) minor optimisation and a compile switch, then it's a near zero cost option compared to an after-the-fact port when looked at against the total development cost.

          Steven R

          *assuming we're talking a current version of it, and not CryEngine 1.0, natch...well, that's me tempting fate eh?

          1. E Haines

            Re: Crysis

            It's incorrect to say that WINE violates any ToS. There are (sadly) plenty of OS X games published using WINE for the "port" and nobody ever has or will ever be sued for using it. Also TransGaming's business is founded on it; Cider is a slightly tweaked WINE, as you might expect from the name.

            Having an engine run on a platform is no guarantee that any games using that engine will be ported, although I'm sure it makes it easier. So yes, it is whether 'game x' runs on Linux, and no, it's rarely if ever a matter of just flipping a compile switch. (Aside from Unity, which is something of a special case since you don't normally get source code access, and even then there's still the matter of porting native code plugins, if they are used, and sometimes shaders as well.)

            1. Bronek Kozicki

              Re: Crysis

              I agree with Steven - it's not about games, it's about engines.

              Yes you are right that availability of engine is not a guarantee that any games will get ported, but who cares about todays' games, when tomorrow ones are being created? In three years time, the games you are playing now will have little relevance, on any platform.

              Viability of Linux as a gaming platform is not about whether you can play BF4 or Crysis 3 on it. It is about AAA titles that are (or will be soon) in the pipeline, running on engines that are available now (or will be soon).

              And no, 2014 is not going to be "year of Linux gaming". Steam is playing long strategy here and it will take longer than 1 year to gain the necessary momentum. You can make it 2016 - because development cycle of AAA title is more likely 2 years rather than 6 months.

            2. Steven Raith

              Re: Crysis @ E Haines

              Yes, sorry, should have clarified that quite a few ways of getting games to run in WINE involve dropping in Windows DLLs to provide critical functionality - doing that is a violation of the Windows TOS if you don't have a valid license for that instance, which you don't, as Windows doesn't do licensing for portions of the core OS or subsections of it to the general public, if you catch my drift - you can't get a license for just a bit of Windows without doing the whole thing.

              Obviously if you aren't using Windows DLLs, it's not a problem!

              If you are having to code/target for WINE, it's the same sort of difference between coding for Mac and coding for linux, so you might as well just target it directly - at least then you are targeting a proper kernel/HAL, and not targeting for an (admittedly impressive) interpretive layer based on an entirely unrelated architecture.

              I specifically try to avoid WINE as it takes development time away from linux ports, simple as that - WINE is a sticking plaster on a bifurcation, not a solution to the problem of linux availability of common apps/unique functionality.

              Steven R

          2. Oninoshiko

            Re: Crysis

            assuming we're talking a current version of it, and not CryEngine 1.0, natch...well, that's me tempting fate eh?

            I almost made that comment my self, but reading their site, it looks like they are talking about CryEngine(4). The newest iteration of the CryEngine has been announce to not have a number (I wish Crytek hadn't done that, it's confusing). Which is why it didn't have one.

            It's not likely we are talking about old games, but new ones (maybe re-releases). New games are more important then old ones for gaming-on-Linux anyway. The Humble Bundle guys have proven that Linux users are willing to pay for games, even more then MacOS and Windows users. We now have both CryEngine, Unreal Engine, and Unity are all able to work on Linux. I'm not going to call it the year of gaming on Linux, but there is a lot of hedging going on in the industry.

            1. Steven Raith

              Re: Crysis

              Don't forget Source, and undoubtedly, it's replacement when it comes...

  3. busycoder99

    Wow

    I might actually plonk down some dough for a game again if this happens soon. Been years since I played Crisis.

    I hope Rockstar follow suite and release GTA on Linux.

  4. yossarianuk

    Native Civlisation ?

    That's all I care about - Civ5 (and Civ6..) natively on Linux.

    Civ5 btw is faster (in terms of 3d speed and time taken for the CPU to move) on Linux -> via wine than it is real Windows.

    For the 3D speed you need Nvidia at present.

    The only limitation now is lack to DX11 support.

  5. Vociferous

    'Microsoft's Windows 8, "a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space."'

    Indeed. And it is a catastrophe by design. Windows 8 is the arranged death of the PC. Microsoft is moving to mobile devices and switching to a subscription/on demand business model, and trying to drive its users and developers before it. Microsoft knew the users and developers would hate Windows 8, but they'd come around to it, and then they'd be positioned to provide users and apps for Windows Phone and RT. It was not a bad plan, really: short term pain for long term gain. It just missed the tiny fact that Microsoft already has lost the battle for pads and cellphones to Google, and that companies like Valve and Origin would not be happy about Microsofts plans to make them extinct by forcing all software sales to Microsofts walled garden.

    Windows 8 is the answer only if the question is "how can Microsoft alienate all software distributors, hardware manufacturers, corporate and home users, in one fell swoop".

    Oh well. The one remaining unique strength Windows has, is gaming. If the Steam coalition can change that (and they might) then Windows is finished.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: The one remaining unique strength Windows has, is gaming

      Being a gamer, I have Windows 7/64. It works well, better than any Windows before it.

      But ever since Valve announced the Steam OS, well let's just say that Microsoft's days are now officially numbered in my house.

      Of the four games I play the most, CS:GO, Minecraft, Diablo III and LotRO, there are now two that have official, native Linux versions, and the other two can be installed on a Linux system with a bit of help.

      When I look at my game purchasing habits, it has been years since I have bought a DVD with the crap DRM that comes with it. I no longer need plastic to play, I only buy through Steam.

      Not all titles in the Steam catalogue work on Linux, and I will no doubt need a Windows partition for a few years to come. But when the Steam OS comes out, I will be installing it and trying everything out asap and I guarantee that anything not working under Steam OS will be something I am not playing with for a while.

      So I agree, the Steam OS is a sign that Windows is finished, and this piece of news is strongly in support of that.

      And that can only make me happy.

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  7. RAMChYLD

    Great!

    Now if we can convince EA and ActiBlizz to participate. Then I can finally throw out every but of Windows I own and cancel my Office 365 subscription and go OpenOffice full time.

    Yeah, I'm guilty as charged for "buying" Starcraft II and the new SimCity.

  8. Daniel Voyce

    Great news!!

    Its nice to see gaming companies taking note of Linux - Now it Adobe can get it's suite working on linux (Wine would be fine) I can completely say goodbye to windows forever!

    1. Fibbles

      Re: Great news!!

      Adobe's software already works in WINE*. Unfortunately Adobe's software installer does not meaning you have to install to Windows and then copy the files across...

      Like yourself, I would be overjoyed at a native Linux port. AFAIK their software already uses OpenGL for hardware acceleration.

      *Warning: I've only tested the bits of CS relevant to me (Photoshop and Illustrator). WINE's use of multiple CPU cores is not as good as native Windows. Also, even though graphics tablets are very well supported on Linux, pressure sensitivity in WINE seems to be hit or miss. It's worth a dabble if you're interested but don't expect to rely on it for actual work.

  9. Vince Lewis 1

    Soon an other SteamOS game....

    That i wont be able to play because my son is playing plant vs zombies through VALVes sharing system.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/valve-corporation-allow-steam-family-sharing-users-to-access-different-games-at-the-same-time

    1. Fibbles

      Re: Soon an other SteamOS game....

      Buy him his own copy? It's on sale for the next 24 hours and all the proceeds go to cancer charities:

      https://www.humblebundle.com/weekly

  10. Sebastian Brosig

    CryTEK lingo

    they failed to translate the PR blurb properly:

    New fytures include an integryted multi-threaded physics engyne, procydural dyformation, an artifycial-intelligeyce system for game characters, and astonishingly impryssive vysuals.

  11. MJI Silver badge

    Remember their boasts about Crysis 2

    They said it would be the best looking console game ever, not a good idea to boast about that.

    Then you get compared to other games which were better looking.

    More game engines to more platforms is ALWAYS good.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is good news for stated reasons above, but the elephant in the Linux wallpapered gaming room is the Unreal Engine. Get them on board and the dream of native Linux gaming becomes reality.

    Dishonored

    Devil May Cry

    Hawken

    XCOM

    Borderlands series

    Bioshock series

    Lollipop chainsaw

    Batman series

    Mass Effect series

    and many more.

    http://www.unrealengine.com/en/showcase/

    If you look at the supported OS's on their site you see everything including Android, but not Linux. Get to work Gabe.

    1. Grifter

      X-Com is already on its way.

    2. Steven Raith

      Unreal Linux?

      "Epic’s Unreal Engine has powered over 50 titles selling a cumulative total of over 16 million copies, including Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six 3 (Ubi Soft); Deus Ex and Thief 3 (Eidos); Lineage II (NCSoft); Harry Potter and Ultima X (Electronic Arts), America’s Army (US Department of Defense), Gears of War, Infinity Blade and Bulletstorm. Unreal Engine-powered games have shipped on Xbox, PlayStation2, GameCube, DreamCast, Windows and Linux PCs, and Macs running MacOS X."

      http://www.unrealengine.com/licensing/faq/

      Though I'm struggling to think what game that is!

      Edit: FYI, according to the developers of Heavy Gear, UE3 has Linux support but not many licensees tick that box - UE4 much the same as I understand it. So it's doable, but it's down to whether publishers want to publish on Linux, and as such, whether developers are funded to create it for Linux.

      1. Oninoshiko

        Re: Unreal Linux?

        It the unreal engine does run on Linux, it would be nice if Epic actually made a little effort to make that a little more obvious though.

    3. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Don't blame Gabe for the lack of PR. Blame Epic Games. The issue is not the Engine, as the Unreal Engine has been pretty portable for years (consider that UE-powered games have been on the PS3, which uses OpenGL). It's just that few companies actually bothered to port UE-powered games to Linux. Perhaps one could put pressure on them.

      1. Steven Raith

        @charles

        Industry rumours are that Gabe has been gently poking and prodding in the background of the developer channels for a few years now to make sure that they are ready to go full steam ahead into Linux development, because that's where Valve are going with Steam - to make it a first party, AAA standard Linux gaming content platform. Certainly, what I've seen through the source titles and Serious Sam 3's ongong development on Linux, that's not a problem given the right encouragement.

        Steam is a big ecosystem; if even 10% of users go to Steam On Linux or SteamOS, that's a console-rivalling market right there.

        It's a sort of chicken and egg thing though - developers won't target for Linux while the market isn't there, and the market won't get there while developers don't target for it, etc...

        With any luck, SteamOS will offer real benefits over having a Windows machine that only plays games (IE the reason a substantial subset of linux users still dual boot) and that will help push things forward.

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