back to article EA boots Linux gamers out of multiplayer Battlefield V, Penguinistas respond by demanding crippling boycott

Linux gamers have found yet again that their ubiquitous operating system remains unwelcome in the context of mainstream entertainment. The latest insult comes from Electronic Arts, which appears to have issued a few permanent bans to online Battlefield V players attempting to play the game on Linux systems. Mind you, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's justifiable snark, and then there's being snide for no reason. This is not the former.

    1. ArrZarr Silver badge
      Windows

      Oh please, if this thread were windows-related for some technical aspect where the user base was primarily Linux, the commentariat of El Reg would be falling over themselves to mock.

      1. NotBob
        Facepalm

        EA has shown itself far more slanted toward nastiness than Microsoft ever has

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Meh

          I'm simply not interested in their games, nor with playing games online. I tried XBox online years ago, ended up being invited by someone with the user name "booster something" which should've clued me in right there [but I hadn't heard the term 'booster' before]. Results predictable. I got fed up with the thing early on and just said "this is a waste of time and effort, I'll just play solo or with someone else in the same room".

          But yeah the devs for those games are probably arrogant millennials that (back when XBox live was first starting out and they offered a free month trial subscription with every XBox) were logging in as "booster something" so they could artificially prop up their own status at the expense of noobs.

          And _now_ they're quick to assume that ANYONE using Linux is there to CHEAT. Like maybe THEY would have done???

    2. Grogan

      I didn't appreciate the flippant tone of this article either.

      I have canceled my EA subscriptions. I'll buy games from companies more friendly to my environment. I certainly don't need to buy their games.

  2. dnicholas Bronze badge

    The horror

    Being free of Windows and EA games? Oh, the humanity!

  3. Avatar of They
    Meh

    Few things jump out

    1, There is a battlefield 5?

    2, EA still peddle games. Are they even relevant anymore?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "EA still peddle games. Are they even relevant anymore?"

      I believe FIFA serie alone brings them a huge pile of money, albeit not in the US. Still I believe they publish NFL and NBA titles as well.

      And with e-sports gaining a lot of traction, they will become more relevant than ever.

      Linux fan can keep on playing at which FOSS licenses is the best....

      1. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

        Re: "EA still peddle games. Are they even relevant anymore?"

        Only because of system bundles. I got a bundle ps4 a while back, because it was the cheapest option to get a spare console that could go online, the bundle included a download of fifa that to this day I have never bothered to claim.

        Its like buying the windows machine bundle and installing linux on it day0, because it was 50 quid cheaper than buying the linux option because of subsidy & every secondhand shop you go in has multiple copies of fifa sitting unloved and unwanted.

      2. John Lilburne

        Re: "EA still peddle games. Are they even relevant anymore?"

        "Linux fan can keep on playing at which FOSS licenses is the best...."

        Haven't they still got the thrill of steering a penguin down a slope?

        1. Ogi

          Re: "EA still peddle games. Are they even relevant anymore?"

          > Haven't they still got the thrill of steering a penguin down a slope?

          Indeed, and I still find it fun from time to time :-)

          Saying that, the situation has improved since I first steered that penguin down a slope:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open-source_video_games

          Out of the above I most recently played Warzone 2100 and Wormux (just for that vintage 2D worms experience, It is still a fun blast, especially MP).

          I also had a go on properly set up FlightGear cockpit (used for basic training of new Pilots at a small aeroclub), as it is a pretty accurate simulator. That was fun in of itself.

          So perhaps not as dynamic as the console/windows world, but still not as dire as it was before. My big surprise is how Steam pushing Linux games didn't really result in a change in direction towards cross OS platform gaming. I remember hearing about how the "SteamMachine" would usher in a golden age of games working on Linux, but that never happened.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. trevorde

      Re: Few things jump out

      3. People actually use Linux for gaming?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Few things jump out

        People actually use computers for gaming?

        Outside the USA people often play Fifa world soccer for real at school

        Unfortunately in the USA children seem to do the same with DOOM

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: Few things jump out

          Yes. The computer gaming market in the UK has 50% higher revenues than the film industry, and 50% higher revenues than the market for books.

          It's not just kids either. Average age of gamers is 28 and rising - a quarter of people aged 55-75 play computer games, the numbers are far higher for younger age groups.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Few things jump out

            I thought all the cool old people played games on their phones ?

            1. Jeffrey Nonken
              Mushroom

              Re: Few things jump out

              But us uncool old people play games like Doom, Quake, Unreal, Half Life, Team Fortress, Payday, Killing Floor, Borderlands, Sanctum, Portal, Destiny, Resident Evil, Overwatch, and 7 Days to Die on our PCs.

              None of those count, of course.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Few things jump out

                But us uncool old people play games like Doom, Quake, Unreal, Half Life, Team Fortress, Payday, Killing Floor, Borderlands, Sanctum, Portal, Destiny, Resident Evil, Overwatch, and 7 Days to Die on our PCs.

                None of those count, of course.

                Of course. They need to open the windows and let the breeze in to become cool old people playing games.

                I need no coat to walk out. I'm cool without it in the cold.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Few things jump out

              @"cool old people played games on their phones", nearsight is one of the first victims of age.Using a tiny screen for any length of time is good for promoting the early need for glasses.

              I would suggest that EA are just being EA and since they have a very long history of fking their customers over then the linux gamer clearly hasn't been around long in the gaming circle.

              Doing a wrapper for directX was always going to be a target for devs tied into MS but banning for cheating leaves EA a bit open to the courts

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Few things jump out

          >Outside the USA people often play Fifa world soccer for real at school

          Outside the USA people often play Fifa world soccer football for real at school

          There fixed, no silly pandering to the yanks who call a game played with the hands, football.

      2. el_oscuro

        Re: Few things jump out

        I have a Slik-stik arcade cabinet with a Wells/Gardener CRT, HAPPS controls and a Tornado spinner. Originally, I had Windows, but all of the games were like crap. So I installed Lincade, a dedicated gaming distro with built-in drivers for the ArcadeVGA graphics card, and the difference was like night and day.

        Besides my arcade cabinet and RetroPi, I also have thousands of hours on games like Kerbal Space Program, FTL, Strike Suit Zero, and Dying Light. All on Linux. I have had to upgrade motherboards and power supplies to properly drive my NVidea 1080 - so my Linux games have a good frame rate - on Linux.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Few things jump out

          >I have a Slik-stik arcade cabinet

          I used to an arcade engineer many moons ago and you won't believe the number of chips on an asteroids board, like my local fryery on a Friday night; all done with a wee Pi now.

      3. Graham 32

        Re: Few things jump out

        Yes. And there's support for a LOT of games these days. It's really improved in recent years. I guess it's because many games are written using cross-platform engines like Unity that it's now a lot easier to make a Linux version.

        The so-called AAA games tend to lack Linux support probably because those games are competing with their bespoke graphic engines that take a lot of optimization. So if that's your thing you won't be using Linux anytime soon. I prefer strategy games and I reckon 75% of what I'd like to play has native Linux support. I don't have enough free time to play everything I'd like, so it just removes a few options.

      4. baud Bronze badge

        Re: Few things jump out

        I knew of a few people who do, mostly to avoid Microsoft's tax (or spyware, depending on the Windows version)

      5. Infi 1

        Re: Few things jump out

        Why shouldn't they?

        I've been using Linux for gaming for the last three years and, apart from being a little more effort to set up (not much), it works perfectly well. As Valve are now actively supporting Linux gaming with Proton, alongside the likes of Lutris & PlayOnLinux, there's less and less reason to stick with Microsoft.

      6. conscience

        Re: Few things jump out

        Why wouldn't people use Linux for gaming?

        Maybe at one time in the past Microsoft could hold PC gamers to ransom with Windows/DirectX compatibility being the standard for many popular PC games, but those days are long gone.

        In my Steam list of 500+ titles, I don't even always recall which are native Linux versions and which are Windows games that automatically use Steam Play's Proton (WINE+DXVK). There is no differentiation anymore, all the games are listed together and all play with the simple click of the Play button, the platform doesn't even really matter any more but at least with Linux there is no substandard Microsoft software. Linux frees users from the buggy adware OS that is Windows 10, and from Microsoft spyware. Even if Linux isn't perfect, Microsoft's blundering makes gaming on Linux the best option.

        Also, the last time gamers got banned for using WINE and/or DXVK it was Blizzard and Overwatch in 2018, but once Blizzard were contacted and understood that the unrecognised software detected by their anti-cheating system was not an attempt to cheat, then it was all considered a mistake and gamers accounts were reinstated with apologies. I'd expect a similar response this time.

  4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    This sounds about as effective a threat ...

    as the national philosophers' strike proposed by Vroomfondel and Majikthise

    I'd better be going. Doffs hat (black fedora today) to the late, great Douglas Adams. The one with the HHGTTG radio play cassette tapes in the pocket please.

  5. Jamesit

    "Due to this, we advise to refrain from playing any multiplayer games published by @EA in the future."

    FIFY

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      More to do with all the other times they bent their customers over

      That being said EA still have customers after all they have done so perhaps EA and those who give them money are well suited to each other. That is unless the customer is using linux in which case you can understand the customer's suprise. Since linux and it's devs tend not to screw the customer over as their main business strategy but with windows toxic environment it is par for the course.

  6. Blockchain commentard Silver badge
    Linux

    'course, he could have been banned for cheating by using an OS that's better than Windows !!!!!

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Do you mean MacOS or its older brother BSD?

  7. John Robson Silver badge

    Linux is already mainstream - it's just also hidden.

    1. theModge

      Even my dishwasher comes with a copy of the GNU license!

      1. jms222

        > Even my dishwasher comes with a copy of the GNU license!

        Doesn't mean it runs Linux.

        This is the problem with

        a) GPL

        b) Linux

        People don't understand them properly and as soon as you enter the neighbourhood they get associated or applied often without good reason.

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Linux

      If you accept that Android is Linux based (and I know that's contentious), then you could say that Linux bypassed the desktop and jumped straight to being the primary OS in peoples' pockets, instead.

      After all, practically no one uses desktop computers these days, but pretty much everyone has a smartphone in their pocket, and worldwide most of those are running Android.

      1. mickaroo

        Now I feel like a Luddite...

        I still use a desktop computer (coincidentally running a variant of Linux).

        And I also have an Android phone, which I mostly use as a... phone.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Now I feel like a Luddite...

          I still use a desktop, and probably a lot of people reading this do too, but we're not normal (sorry if I'm breaking this news to you for the first time), and most people don't have a desktop at home, or even a laptop.

          Those same people probably wouldn't think of their smartphone as being an actual computer either.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Now I feel like a Luddite...

            I think you will find that most people that have a home internet connection also have a device that can be classified as a "computer", be that desktop or laptop.

            1. Ropewash

              Re: Now I feel like a Luddite...

              I think you are overlooking the billions of folks in the developing world.

              Not many home internet connections, computers, or even toilets... but there's a shitload of cheap android phones.

          2. Stork Silver badge

            Re: Now I feel like a Luddite...

            Very true. We send out a newsletter (subscribers mostly professional families) and over 70 percent opened on a phone, the rest computer or tablet.

      2. hmv Silver badge

        I don't see how it's contentious; if you root an Android phone and get to the command-line, it looks like a Linux command-line and it runs the Linux kernel. It's Linux.

        Just because it doesn't look much like a 'standard' desktop Linux experience doesn't mean it's not Linux; my desktops don't look much like standard Linux desktops either - I'm running weird tiling window managers.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    EA hardly needs Linux as an excuse to ban people

    I used to have Battlefield 2042. Every time EA updated the game, I ended up needing to reinstall it completely. Back then, my Internet connection was 10Mbps at best, so you can imagine the hassle.

    Then, one fine update and a full reinstall later, I was greeted with a popup demanding my CD key. For the game that I purchased through their online portal. That had never before required a CD key. That didn't have a CD key.

    I was incensed, and said as much in a mail to support. The answer ? Banned.

    Well EA is now banned from my life. EA doesn't care ? Neither do I.

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: EA hardly needs Linux as an excuse to ban people

      You should have gone after them for whatever you paid for those games. Plus damages if possible.

      If an individual tried that, we'd call it theft and put them away. Why is EA different?

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: EA hardly needs Linux as an excuse to ban people

        Maybe because they have lawyers and a shitload of cash to fight you. Where as an individual doesnt?

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: EA hardly needs Linux as an excuse to ban people

          It's not about the lawyers. (Well, not directly.) It's the sheer amount of hassle. After a while it just wears you down.

          I had a similar experience with the company formerly known as Atari. This was back in the days when "copy protection" meant you had to keep the original DVD in the drive while playing, but when I launched their damn' game, it gave me a "Insert original disc" message, even though the damn' disc was already in there.

          So I contacted their support team. They asked me to tell them - some serial number printed in very small, barely legible print on the inner rim of the disc. I did that, and a day or so later they sent me a patch that, I later discovered, was basically a "noCD" hack. The whole transaction took at least a couple of days.

          And that was fine, until they updated the game - whereupon it broke again, and I had to go through the whole rigmarole again. At this point it must have dawned on them that now I had the magic serial number in my email, I could have flogged off the original disc and be lying to them about it, so the process to convince them of my bona-fides grew steadily more convoluted. After a few iterations, it would take several days to get the hack back. I could almost hear them scratching their heads to come up with new ways to test my honesty.

          And this game was still quite new, which meant patches were coming out about once a week.

          By the time I'd been through this cycle three or four times, I was thoroughly fed up with the process, the company and the damn' game anyway, so I contented myself by bad-mouthing the game, the publisher, and SecuROM on every relevant forum I encountered for the next 15 years. But it never even occurred to me to try to pursue any "claim" against the company. I'd just - spent enough of my life on it by then.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: EA hardly needs Linux as an excuse to ban people

          in the USA you can go to small claims court. no lawyers

      2. jason_derp Bronze badge

        Re: EA hardly needs Linux as an excuse to ban people

        "Why is EA different?"

        I'm pretty sure I called my mom once and EA kicked down my door and said they'd kill my cats if I didn't pay them the $23 reactivation fee for her. I didn't even know my mom as owned by EA!

        They can do whatever they want and have been for forever. They have been fucking with my favorite properties since before I knew what a video game publisher was, and video games are treated as being for children by politicans despite the fanbase that sinks income into them being 15-35. There is no incentive for them to be better, there is much incentive to be worse, and there have been no consequences for either choice throughout their history.

        I have consistently said the greatest moment in the history of EA was May 26, 1982, never with the intent to provoke laughter or amusement, I straight up mean it.

  9. Fading Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Being banned from EA = badge of honour?

    I have been banned from EA for supposedly breaking their terms and conditions in FIFA 2013. A game I have never owned or played. After a month's long ban with many emails to "support" they finally lifted my ban - no apology or acknowledgement that the original ban may have been in error.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Being banned from EA = badge of honour?

      More than likely someone used your email address/account name on a throwaway account they wanted to do something nefarious on. So not really a surprise that your account got banned. Doesnt say much about their system that the ban system didnt check that you even owned the game you were being banned for, and well lets face it is there a helldesk in the world that is actually you know helpful?

      The last couple of times I've had to deal with EA support, they have actually been relatively pleasant, even getting a discount voucher for one of their f%&k ups. So they have got better since 2013. Naturally YMMV.

    2. Dave K Silver badge

      Re: Being banned from EA = badge of honour?

      This is one of the reasons I don't play online games. I refuse to pay for a product knowing that the company can nullify my purchase at any time by just "banning" me based upon the flimsiest of evidence. Don't get me wrong, I do understand the threat of online cheating, but time and time again I see situations where people are banned for no reason and it can be a sod to try and fix.

  10. ratfox Silver badge

    the makers of Lutris urged gamers – of all stripes, apparently – to avoid all EA multiplayer titles

    I didn't know EA did multiplayer games... Or that anybody played them. Why not play literally anything else?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      You've never heard of the FIFA games? It turns out that football games are quitemassively popular.

      (and I hasten to add, I don't think I've ever played a FIFA game, but I have at least heard of them)

  11. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    FAIL

    Computer Games?

    Try getting a life. It's more challenging.

    1. Solarflare

      Re: Computer Games?

      Never had a hobby then, old chap?

      1. paulf Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Computer Games?

        Exactly. Some people spend their spare time playing computer games, get over it. Hobbies can take all sorts of forms. Some people choose to spend most Saturdays travelling the length and breadth of the country to see their chosen football team loose another game. I'm sure there are plenty of people who wonder, with baffled amusement, at why I get up at stupid o'clock on Sunday mornings to go and play with a big trainset (scale: 12 inches to the foot).

        Whatever hobby you do just remember your weak lemon drink!

    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Computer Games?

      Some people actually to make a very healthy live playing games, training as much as 10 hours per day. That's no longer in the realm of kid's stuff or fun, it becomes a full time job..

      Anyone that works at least 40 hours a week can easilly be considered as having a life... Especially when they make a ton of money to go with it...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Computer Games?

      ok boomer

    4. Zarno Bronze badge
      Coat

      Re: Computer Games?

      I've played more lives than any human has ever lived.

      And a good few were pencil and paper.

      I flip a dragon at you good sir.

      Mine is the one with the shiny math rocks and floppies for DOOM, KEEN, and WOLF in the pocket,,,

    5. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Computer Games?

      "Try getting a life. It's more challenging."

      He says, without apparent irony, posting on the Internet.

    6. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Computer Games?

      said the man who posted on the comment section for an El Reg article about video games

      (did anyone else see irony in that?)

      (oh I guess the post above mine said something like it - what I get for NOT being able to just 'see all' and have to only see only one 'page' at a time - makes it hard to follow threads properly)

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Computer Games?

      Try getting a life. It's more challenging.

      Easy. You just need to find a random floating block, hit it and eat the +1 life mushroom that pops out from it.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2 sides of the story

    There are 2 sides:

    - one is the game, like many others, plays on Linux, while it is not supposed to, nor advertised to. And it does that by a clever trick, which is on-the-fly translation of Direct X to Vulkan. So a bit like a bot behaviour. That gives ground to EA.

    - the second side is it is very unwelcome to ban people based on their legit OS and legit game

    So, end of the day, I'm on the edge on that. You surely can bash EA for the defective communication, but you can't bash them for trying to kill the cancer of multi-player gaming: cheats. I honestly don't think there is another technical way, for them, to combat cheats.

    Other games devs don't even try to battle against cheats, looking at you Hitman 1 & 2. The ladders are therefore full of people that completed contracts faster than the minimum time to reach out for them !

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

      I wonder if the game is legit - otr they are using an illegal copy - I can't see many Linux user paying for software, or they won't be using Linux in the first place - given all what Stallman did was to find a way to get other people's software without paying it. And I believe EA doesn't like non-paying players.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

        >I can't see many Linux user paying for software

        Then you clearly don't work in Valve's accounting department!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

          please don't feed the trolls

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

            Which troll ? I don't see any !

            You're up to date with your pills or hallucinations are still kicking in ? If you read the hacker's news post, you'll see most likely, the game was legit and only the way proton works was causing the ban.

            Alternatively, it may also not be, and in this case, the ban is OK, but I doubt someone with a cheated game would post on such forums ...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Then you clearly don't work in Valve's accounting department!"

          Sure, I think they are really happy for that ~0,5%, compared to that 95+% from Windows....

          https://www.statista.com/statistics/265033/proportion-of-operating-systems-used-on-the-online-gaming-platform-steam/

          1. Fading Silver badge
            Linux

            Re: "Then you clearly don't work in Valve's accounting department!"

            Latest stats put Linux at 0.81% of steam users. Sounds small until you realise that steam now has 1 billion accounts.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Re: "ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

        Please double check your pills!

      3. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: "ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

        It's a legal copy, purchased using real money lawfully earned.

        What it isn't is running on a supported operating system. EA are responding to their software informing them "Unable to validate that this software is not being run on a copy of Windows with no known cheats active", and it's correct, it's not.

        Had EA banned them on that basis, they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Because EA banned for "for cheating" there's a lot of fuss and silliness on the internet.

        I do think a refund would be appropriate, and also an apology for claiming that they were cheating. I don't think supporting Linux is necessary, but I also don't think the people that have been banned were doing anything wrong either.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

        "I can't see many Linux user paying for software"

        With the Humble Bundles it was Linux users paying the most on average by a considerable margin.

      5. dnicholas Bronze badge

        Re: "ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

        > I wonder if the game is legit - or they are using an illegal copy

        With Battlefield 3 onward you are really paying for a user account to get into the server browser. Doesn't really matter to EA where you got the executable and content files as long as they match and you have a paid up account

      6. baud Bronze badge

        Re: "ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

        Unless EA has changed how their MP titles work since last time I played, you can't use an "illegal" copy of the game to play MP.

      7. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: "ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

        " I can't see many Linux user paying for software, or they won't be using Linux in the first place"

        are you assuming that people using Linux are just CHEAP, and _NOT_ using it because it's more "fit for purpose" than WIN-10-NIC ???

        (I wouldn't mind paying for software that's worth paying for, and have done so on many occasions in the past. It's just that there aren't a lot of commercial things designed to run on Linux, which is sad and a part of the problem of getting Linux onto desktops...)

        I'm about to put Linux on an old laptop that a relative has. Doing this will actually SOLVE problems that slowly crept in BECAUSE of it having Windows (Vista) on it. No Win-10-nic. Linux. With Mate. Just put new hard drive on order, just today even.

    2. Snorlax Silver badge

      Re: 2 sides of the story

      "the second side is it is very unwelcome to ban people based on their legit OS and legit game"

      Having had a quick look at the Lutris site, I see Nintendo GBA titles for download. Don't try to pretend that this could possibly be legit - Nintendo are famous for enforcing their IP rights.

      1. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

        Re: 2 sides of the story

        If you looked more closer - Lutris is a launcher system(similar to steam, blizzard and all the other) - the difference is - it has a repostiory of installer scripts - some that tie to gog, some to steam others prompt you for the source of the installer.

        Looking at a random 3ds installer - it asks the user to point it to the ROM. So there is no IP issue there. It's literaly - we're gonna setup an emulator for you with the provided ROM - which you could obtain legaly from a cratridge or a system you own.

        1. Snorlax Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: 2 sides of the story

          "Looking at a random 3ds installer - it asks the user to point it to the ROM. So there is no IP issue there."

          Oh, ok, you have to do that bit of software piracy yourself...which bears out the AC's comment:

          "I wonder if the game is legit - otr they are using an illegal copy - I can't see many Linux user paying for software, or they won't be using Linux in the first place"

          I guess I don't really stand corrected?

          1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

            Re: 2 sides of the story

            Format shifting is allowed. OR would you say I'm a thief for keeping my DS and games in a cupboard, but emulating on a PC with a nice Xbox controller?

            1. Snorlax Silver badge

              Re: 2 sides of the story

              "Format shifting is allowed."

              Format shifting. I've never heard software piracy called that before.

              Allowed by whom btw?

              1. Phage

                Re: 2 sides of the story

                UK Copyright law

                https://www.copyrightuser.org/understand/exceptions/private-copying/

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: 2 sides of the story

                  Format shifting is not permitted by UK law - if you read the bold text at the top of the link you posted:

                  The private copying exception, explained below, was first introduced in the UK on 1 October 2014 by the Copyright and Rights in Performance (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations. However, following a judicial review filed against the UK government, on 17 July 2015 the High Court quashed the regulations introducing the exception. As a result, the private copying exception is no longer part of UK copyright law, and the commentary below no longer represents the current state of the law on private copying.

                  1. The_FFrey

                    Re: 2 sides of the story

                    Strictly, copying music from a CD to an iPod is illegal.

                    if copyright material gets copied to RAM it is considered format shifting or something like that... I can't remember...

                    Either way it is stupid. You no longer own the media you purchase, you license its use under very tightly controlled terms.

                2. Snorlax Silver badge

                  Re: 2 sides of the story

                  UK Copyright law

                  https://www.copyrightuser.org/understand/exceptions/private-copying/

                  WRONG.

                  UK copyright law does not allow you to dump a ROM so you can play a Nintendo 3DS game on your linux box. Try reading the link you just posted.

                  ...consumers are not allowed to break copy protection technology (in legal jargon: Technological Protection Measures, or TPMs) in order to benefit from the exception. Rightsholders often apply TPMs to prevent any use of the work that they have not authorised and TPMs are themselves legally protected as a form of quasi-copyright. This means that if the work you want to copy for private, non-commercial use is protected by a TPM, you cannot circumvent the technical protection even though your use would be a form of private copying.

                  1. whitepines Silver badge
                    Flame

                    Re: 2 sides of the story

                    And that'd be a case of the industry screwing itself over per usual. With all the restrictions on what you've "bought" (that have nothing to do with copying and everything to do with making sure you pay over and over and over for continued access to the same copyrighted work) the actual practical value to the consumer of any given copy is practically nil.

                    So I often choose not to "purchase" the copy at all, as it comes down to a simple question of "will I get my money's worth of enjoyment out of the copy before I would be forced to pay for it again". That equation very rarely works out to a "yes", so I must be denying the copyright holders a truck load of money they so rightfully deserve by simply saying "no". Hey, if they consider piracy to be a "lost sale" and "criminal", then what do they consider me for reading the terms, strongly disagreeing with them, and saying I'm absolutely not paying anything for that?

                    And no, I don't go pirate the thing. I just go do something else instead. Lots of hobbies on this planet, no need to go for the silliest possible restrictions for a bit of entertainment.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: 2 sides of the story

                    Depends if my ROMS have copy protection. If I did not break the DRM, no law broken.

                    But continue trolling.

            2. phuzz Silver badge
              Pirate

              Re: 2 sides of the story

              A thief? No. Because theft is a criminal charge in the UK.

              A pirate? Maybe, depends where you got that ROM from.

              I don't see anything wrong with what you're (hypothetically) doing, but that doesn't mean it's legal.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 2 sides of the story

                Pretty sure nothing you do is legal. Just depends how big the mob with pitchforks is and if you float like a witch or not.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We don't want the great unwashed to use Linux, keeps us off the malware radar.

    1. jason_derp Bronze badge

      Microsoft has a lot of money to f*ck with Linux. I don't want anything that causes them to notice Linux to occur.

      1. Portent

        Well judging by the Ubuntu subsystem for Windows I think they already noticed Linux is massively popular among some users.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think 'they' have figured out and finally accepted that most 'techie'/'consultant' Linux users will also run Windows, at least in a VM, because at least some design tools will only run on Windows and many clients will insists on Microsoft Office.

        They provide the 'Linux Subsystem' option for Win10 to reverse that situation, putting Linux back in the VM-box, making Widows the 'Prime-OS again :)

        I think that, in the spirit of equality, my next work-only machine will be a Hypervisor (ZEN/VMware) with Linux, Windows and FreeBSD installed as VM's.

  14. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Boycott EA?

    I'm on board

    It's no real effort anyway.

    Although, go into your local 2nd hand game shop, EA titles are usually weighing heavily on the shelves there.

    1. Mongrel

      Re: Boycott EA?

      I've not brought any new copies of EA games since they killed Westwood & Maxis *shakes fist*

      I purchased some second hand games of theirs but stopped that when they started insisting on using their Origin client\store, especially as the first iteration had a clause in the EULA that said "By installing this software you're giving us permission to rummage around every hard drive in your system and send a report back to EA" (paraphrased and removed since then)

      The store had a multitude of other problems and I've not gone back since, especially after the loot-box kerfuffle and continuing general micropayments\Day one DLC options in full price games.

      1. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: Boycott EA?

        Yeah, they lost me as a customer when they introduced and mandated Origin.

        Similarly Ubisoft stopped selling me games when they brought in Uplay, and Epic could've kept selling me Unreal Tournament variants forever if they hadn't introduced their own shitty store, let alone then paid other people not to sell their games elsewhere.

        Luckily the market is now so large that I can easily acquire far more games of excellent quality than I have the remotest chance of ever getting the time to play, so I just pick from that selection instead.

  15. Mephistro Silver badge
    Devil

    "...the makers of Lutris urged gamers – of all stripes, apparently – to avoid all EA multiplayer titles."

    Sorry, Lutris guys, but you're too late. I have been doing precisely this for years!

    8^)

  16. Snorlax Silver badge
    Windows

    2020 will be the year of linux on the desktop!

    You have to be fairly committed to the schtick to run Windows games on linux.

    I'm actually surprised that linux users play games like Battlefield V. Like Mrs Doyle in Father Ted, I thought they liked the misery of Tetris and Solitaire clones.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: 2020 will be the year of linux on the desktop!

      Many linux users like the challenge of team games as much as they like being able to control their own hardware & o/s to the level that suits them.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: 2020 will be the year of linux on the desktop!

      0ad, Freedroid RPG, Battle for Wesnoth...

      I have being playing too much SuperTuxKart - I really wanted to throw a cherry bakewell at someone this morning.

      1. Snorlax Silver badge

        Re: 2020 will be the year of linux on the desktop!

        "...SuperTuxKart"

        I suppose SuperTuxKart's graphics are ok compared to the N64 game it...ahem...pays homage to.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          Re: 2020 will be the year of linux on the desktop!

          More so. 64s racing games often used bitmaps for the characters. So it's closer to the Gamecube/Wii version.

    3. Avatar of They
      WTF?

      Re: 2020 will be the year of linux on the desktop!

      Whaaaaaa? I play borderlands 2 and Unreal tournament native in Linux. Steam has some top tier games in there natively because of Steam OS their linux distro.

      As EA are not in steam they are dead to me, but Steam and Linux live on happily.

      No solitaire for me.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: 2020 will be the year of linux on the desktop!

        @Avatar of They

        Unfortunately rainbow six siege has given up on linux. Upset me as I am trying to ditch windows due to the EOL of win7. I only use windows for gaming and would love to move that to linux.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 2020 will be the year of linux on the desktop!

        BL2, BL1, yes, also Hitman (the 2nd won't probably be ported), Stellaris, XCOM 1 & 2.

        So many games on Linux. I think most of them are played on SteamOS, which is Debian based.

  17. Dapprman
    Linux

    It's the age old problems about gaming if you go Linux

    Regardless of how good or bad you feel Linux is as an OS and whether you do or do not run it at home, the numbers who want to run games on it are just too small to make it worth while for the games producers (many of whom do not even offer MACOS versions). We've seen it in the past commercial attempts to convert Windows games to Linux and they have all failed due to financial reasons.

    Emulation may be the way round things, and for single player games I can't see many producers objecting once the install is confirmed as legit (by key, etc), however multiplayer games will always be an issue as there is no way for the anti-cheat mechanisms to avoid seeing another layer as anything but a hack (or if there is then the costs of developing the ever changing ability to work with emulators will not be commercially viable). As some one who's given up on a number of MMOs FPSs in the past due to cheaters I'd prefer the software companies to prioritise trying to combat this menace over risking opening holes to allow legit software to be run in emulators.

    Side note - are there any main stream MMO games out there which will run on the various Linux distributions? I thought Eve Online did - but just looking now it is Windows and MACOS only.

    1. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      Re: It's the age old problems about gaming if you go Linux

      For a while there you could get a linux launcher for EVE.

      Used to play Saga of Ryzom even after transitioning to linux, although it wouldnt qualify as "main stream"

      I can not vouch for the current situation, as time and circumstances have compelled me to drop out of MMOs

      1. baud Bronze badge

        Re: It's the age old problems about gaming if you go Linux

        I have a colleague who worked on Ryzom when it was in development, the fact that they released just around WoW killed any chance they had. The devs even saw the writing on the wall when the first informations on WoW were revealed.

        Interestingly, Ryzom's code is on GitHub and his name appears a few time in comments.

  18. Mystic Megabyte
    Linux

    Nope!

    I used to build my own towers but now I just buy second hand laptops and install Linux. The last Windows game that I played was Medal of Honour WWII version, 10 or more years ago. Anybody want to play Xskat online? I warn you that I'm pretty good at it :)

    http://www.xskat.de/xskat.html

  19. whitepines Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I gave up PC gaming a long time ago precisely due to this kind of behavour (never did accept the Windows Vista or higher EULA). Rented, not purchased, games that can be deleted remotely at any time, yet you pay full money for? No thanks. I've better things to do with my time than fight with my supposed entertainment and end up enraged due to wanton corporate theft.

    I do however have a PS4 that replaced my PC gaming rig. Good luck deleting my purchased games when they're on what looks to be a Blu Ray disk and the console is just checking for disk authenticity before firing the game up (yes, it works completely offline). Did I mention the game selection is better too?

    Meanwhile none of my PCs run Windows. And they never will. If the game industry takes that to mean I wouldn't have paid for a good Linux game, so be it -- they can slide into irrelevancy in the face of phones and consoles, and I couldn't care less, since I have the tools I need on my PC for real world work and no shortage of other entertainment options for my spare time.

    1. whitepines Silver badge
      Joke

      Huh. Downvotes. I must not have presented this in a form that Windows and EA renters could understand.

      Just add the following as a warning before the text and they should feel much happier and right at home:

      "By reading, responding, to, other otherwise interacting with this post you agree to the following terms and conditions. Upvotes will be taken with no remuneration and no thanks. Downvotes will result in lifetime bans from reading, responding, to, other otherwise interacting with the copyrighted statements of $POST_AUTHOR, plus a £500 per-incident copyright violation charge with no appeal permitted. Failing to upvote $POST_AUTHOR immediately after viewing the copyrighted work will result in accumulating fines on your permanent account until the issue is corrected. User agrees to $POST_AUTHOR dictated arbitration in all cases except where $POST_AUTHOR would make more money by suing user in court, in which cases $POST_AUTHOR retains all rights to sue. This post may not be saved, printed, or duplicated in any manner, and $POST_AUTHOR will not be held liable for any mistruths, half truths, errors, outright deceptions, or slanderous lies herein. Failing to accept this agreement before reading $POST_AUTHOR's work will result in automatic charges for copyright violation upon any display of the copyrighted text on the user's screen or other output device."

      > I ACCEPT <

      Look at the funny kitten play with the shiny beads! What fun!

  20. jason_derp Bronze badge

    What can be called "beer" and "milk", and videogames

    These are the three things that I've noticed that apparently make the comments of a Register article go from zero to BONKERS in negative five minutes.

  21. NATTtrash Silver badge
    Trollface

    Soccer? What's that?

    <Quiet moment of contemplation...>

    Aah, you mean proper football! I get it now, you're trying to avoid the confusion with this local folly, American Football thing, so you call it soccer? That derivative of rugby where men wear padding because they're afraid they might hurt themselves/ break a nail?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      I suspect he’s pointing out that aSOCCiation football isn’t the only sport to be called football...

      And most soccer that is widely followed isn’t sport any more either.

  22. William Higinbotham

    The only Lynix Game I Play

    Stream's DEFCON where no one wins:-)

    https://www.polygon.com/videos/2019/7/17/20694625/defcon-wargames-nuclear-war-game-chernobyl

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