As if Greenlight, Big Picture and whatever else they’ve got working underneath their pots and pans, bubbling away, wasn’t enough, Valve have gone and announced that Steam, and Left 4 Dead 2, are coming to Linux. Free hats for everyone! Ahem, that’s a different game. But still, that’s pretty great news, if only because it finally places Steam in a position where they’re now on every different kind of beige box.
The news comes from an official Linux blog that Valve have set up to talk about what they’re doing with the platform. They’re going to be focusing on Ubuntu to begin with, which I’ll admit means little to me beyond the fact that I think it’s probably the most popular, and I think I drank its tropical fruit goodness as a child, as well as listening to a terrifying theme song.
Left 4 Dead 2, the only game that Steam Linux is going to ship with (for the moment) is admittedly not running quite as well on Linux as they’d like it to on Windows, but once they’ve got it optimised as they want it to be, they’re going to start porting over the rest of the Source library. Which means that lucky Linux players are going to be getting Team Fortress 2, Portal, Half Life 2 and, when it comes out, Dota 2. Which, while not the complete Steam library, is still a pretty great selection of games.
As with Mac support, it’s unlikely that it’s going to mean everyone on Windows is going to pack up shop and move over to Linux’s open source goodness just because there are a few games on it, and even if Valve are doing the hard work of supporting it, it’s unlikely many other publishers are. Indies might, though, as they’ve done with Mac, so it’s certainly not going to be a wasted effort.
Either way, it’s going to be interesting to see what novelty hats they put in TF2 for linux users. The Mac earbuds are now worth around $30, if you’re savvy about selling them.