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Default Egosoft Open Letter to the Community about X on Steam, Linux, etc.

February 22nd, 2013, 13:27
Egosoft's managing director Bernd Lehan posted an open letter to the community in their forums. He talks in open and precise language about their policy regarding Steam, long term support, a non-Steam .exe for X3: Albion Prelude (already available!), Linux & Mac conversions, Steam's Big Picture Mode and Egosoft's business strategy.
Here's a quote:
Steam Play (Linux and Mac):

Today when we talk of "PC Games", we no longer ONLY mean Windows. For some time already, both Mac OS and Linux have become valid alternatives. External partners ported our games over to MAC and Linux and sold them as a new product, sometimes for a different price. Unfortunately these externally developed ports had a number of problems for us as a developer as well as for our customers:

For the customer: Should you ever switch to a different operating system and want to continue playing our games, you had to buy the game again.
For the developer: Since the porting is not based on a single set of source code, it gets increasingly expensive to develop updates for all platforms.

Steam's solution to this problem is quite radical and customer-friendly. Steam encourages all developers to turn their titles into so-called "Steamplay" games, where versions for all operating systems are part of just one product. You buy it once and you can play it on all operating systems that the developer supports. This even works if you bought a game for windows in the past and the developer adds support for another operating system later.
Announcement 1: Steam play: X3 games on Linux and Mac

EGOSOFT is currently working on porting all X3 games (X3: Reunion, X3: Terran Conflict and X3: Albion Prelude) natively to both Linux and Mac OS. There will be a transition period in which we phase out the older ports by 3rd parties, but our goal is to make all three versions available under "Steamplay" for all customers. This means that everybody who owns a Windows license on Steam will automatically own all three versions!
German equivalent found via GamersGlobal.
More information.
Gorath is offline


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February 22nd, 2013, 13:27
Egosoft is phasing out the older linux ports so they can remake them. I guess there is an incompatible with Steamplay.

And now I'm crying because I don't own the collection on Steam so no Linux version for meeeeeeeeeeee. Or I'll just buy it again when its on sale.

I'm really starting to like Valve for all they are doing for the Linux and Mac gaming community. I might be a bit annoyed by some features of Steam, but if I can play more games under Linux I'm not going to slander it.
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February 22nd, 2013, 15:47
Consumer-friendly, yes, but also more power to Valve - since no-one does a similasr thing, Steam becomes kind of an monopoly …

"Steamplay" is insofar similar to "Directx" that it binds the customer to a single "platform", kind of.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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February 23rd, 2013, 07:04
It would really matter if other providers offered competitive service. Right now they're merely 'ok' and don't compete automatically on price. The only thing they (Origin) have is exclusivity which is an anti-competitive tactic (not in a legal sense, but in the sense that they aren't fostering competition, but "fake" competition by creating artificial shortage).
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February 23rd, 2013, 15:02
Exactly. Nobody prevents the other DL provider from offering similar stuff. But they don't.

Steam has advantages and disadvantages. I can understand if a small developer / mini-publisher like Egosoft sees overwhelming advantages for themselves. Mr Lehan gave many good arguments in his open letter.
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February 24th, 2013, 21:13
Interesting. They are adding gamepad controller options for the existing game. That menu system is pretty deep even with mouse/keyboard, using a gamepad is going to be one heck of a UI challenge.
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