The co-founder and managing director of Valve, which runs the Steam digital distribution platform, has said that “Linux and open source are the future of gaming” during his keynote presentation at LinuxCon.
Gabe Newell joked that making the statement while at the Linux-focused event was like “going to Rome and teaching Catholicism to the pope”.
Steam launched on Linux in February, and now has 198 games available on the platform. The upcoming ‘Steam Box’ is also set to run on the Linux operating system.
Newell added: “It was a signal for our development partners that we really were serious about this Linux thing we were talking about.”
Despite its growth in the gaming sector, Newell said Linux still only has a tiny market share. “The Linux desktop is painfully small for the gaming market. It’s insignificant by pretty much any metrics – players, players minutes, revenue – it’s typically less than one per cent,” he said.
Newell has previously stated that Windows 8 was a “catastrophe for everyone in the PC space”, due to closed systems that halt innovation.
“Linux continues to advance much faster than other systems due to its openness and the strength of community,” David Pitkin, director of Partnerships & Developers at Canonical, the company behind Linux-based OS Ubuntu, told PCR.
Despite declining PC sales, Newell said that gaming continues to grow, with Steam seeing a 76 per cent increase in use year-to-date.