Published in Gaming

Valve’s Steam Hardware Survey claims Linux gamers declining

by on22 March 2016

But things are not what they seem

Valve’s Steam Hardware Survey appears to show Linux use declining and its survey has raised a few eyebrows in the Linux community.

The Steam Survey says that reveals that machines running Linux were at 0.91 percent in February 2016, a drop of 0.04 percent from January. This is actually part of a long, slow downward slide. Linux has been hovering around 1 percent for a while, and it’s dropping further.

But there is something weird about these figures. For a start it does not include Steam’s own Linux based operating system as being Linux. In 2013, Valve announced there were over 65 million SteamOS users around the world. In February 2015, Valve announced there were over 125 million active SteamOS users worldwide.

So while Steam’s user numbers are growing, Linux use should also be growing.

According to Gaming on Linux the figures are pants and Linux use amongst gamers is healthy. In fact there should be between 160 - 190 million accounts as of March 2016.

It’s theory is that although the number of Linux users is still at a fairly dull one per cent, they tend to buy more games.

“Since fewer games are available on Linux, Linux gamers are more likely to buy the games that are available. In addition, I suspect that Linux users are relatively more likely to buy from DRM-free stores than Windows gamers, meaning that the Linux share on GOG, Humble, and developers' websites would be higher.”

For this reason it might be worthwhile to port games to Linux because they are more likely to be bought.

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