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DICE: Linux needs one “killer” game to explode

by William Schwartz

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Linux has been gaining a lot of traction lately, especially with the announcement of Steam OS and Valve’s insistence on supporting the platform. However, Linux still has ways to go to compete with Microsoft in the PC Gaming space. According to DICE creative director, Lars Gustavsson, what Linux needs is a “killer app” for it to explode in the mainstream, in an interview with Polygon.

According to Gustavsson, “[DICE]strongly want[s] to get into Linux for a reason. t took Halo for the first Xbox to kick off and go crazy — usually, it takes one killer app or game and then people are more than willing [to adopt it] — it is not hard to get your hands on Linux, for example, it only takes one game that motivates you to go there.”

He went on to say, “I think, even then, customers are getting more and more convenient, so you really need to convince them how can they marry it into their daily lives and make an integral part of their lives,” he explained, while also revealing that DICE used Linux servers because it was a “superior system to do so.”

When asked what his opinion of Steam OS and how he thought it would affect the gaming landscape, he said, “Basically for different ways of accessing customers and giving them possibilities of play, I think it is super exciting. The only thing I know is that from five or ten years from now gaming and especially how you consume it won’t look like it does today. I do think with streaming services and new input devices and so on, it wouldn’t surprise me if there is less need of hardware and more on demand gaming experience.”

He continued. “I think, hopefully, competition usually means a better experience for the customer. Sometimes. You know, was the VHS tape better than BetaMax? VHS won. So it does not always go in the right direction but overall I think it is healthy with competition. It is truly welcomed, so that we can have better games in the future.”

Gustavsson also took note of indies, and how he felt that they would benefit Linux in the long term. “With indie, for a long time, it seemed that it was only AAA title that will survive and then the explosion came with mobile and indie games. So I’m really happy to see that has swung back to where people say ‘Well, will AAA titles survive? Are they mammoths that don’t know that they are dead yet?’

“So, to me, I think that the possibilities are many and I think indies can build for Linux even though we don’t have enormous audience,” he said.

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