Things are getting interesting on the Linux front. Yesterday Valve pushed a DirectX to OpenGL translator to help game developers port over their titles quicker to be compatible with Linux and now Crytek has also announced that it is integrating Linux support straight into CryEngine 3. This means that any game made with CryEngine 3 and its derivatives in the future will automatically also sport some Linux compatibility out of the box and it may possibly help to port titles currently running on a variation of CryEngine to be ported over as well. CryEngine 3 joins the ranks of Valve’s Source engine, the Unreal engine, the Unity Engine, every id Tech engine to date and Unigine among dozens more that support the open-source Linux platform.
CryEngine 3’s Linux integration came as a surprise to everyone and will be debuted and discussed at the 2014 Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, California on the 19 to 21 March. Its expected that Crytek will discuss the way forward with licensing the engine to game developers on the Linux platform as well as detail what this means for future titles created by Crytek.
Although this doesn’t speak of any plans by Electronic Arts itself to port Origin to Linux, this is a big thing for Crytek’s other customers like the military and flight training schools who use the incredibly realistic engine to power their simulations. Running the engine on Linux could have been a requested feature and Crytek may reveal the motivation behind the move in their discussion at GDC 2014.
This is interesting because Crytek has recently been doing a lot of strange things, like signing up for the ID@Xbox program as an independant developer and publisher, or producing free-to-play titles like WarFace, or licensing out CryEngine and refusing to adopt Frostbite 3 for internal development. Despite the ties the company has with Electronic Arts, Crytek is trying awfully hard to stand on its own feet.
The Linux integration is one more step towards increased adoption among developers and gamers on the desktop market. With Valve pushing ahead with SteamOS with gusto there’s a renewed public interest in the open-source operating system and particularly so because more and more engines are being made compatible with it.
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