Is… Is this E3 news? On day three, I can’t tell anymore. Did Sid Meier swing on a trapeze across the E3 concourse to announce that Civilization 5 was now available on SteamOS and Linux? Did Aspyr gather the world’s press in an art deco theatre to reveal that this was their first Linux port, after years of porting popular games to Mac? Or is it the case that there was a simple post on Civ V’s Steam forum to declare that users of Ubuntu could now begin conquering 4X strategy worlds?
Probably that last one.
Someone just rang my doorbell. Is… is that E3 news?
The post on Aspyr’s own site has more information. The port includes all expansion packs and DLC, multiplayer will work cross-platform between the different operating systems, and most interestingly, it features “support for Valve’s upcoming Steam controller.”
That controller might be delayed till next year, but games like Civilization seem like exactly the kind of thing it was designed for. Taking traditionally mouse-based games and making them playable on my couch is exactly what I’m hoping for from SteamOS and its power owl.
While it’s also good news that Civilization V has come to Linux, I’m more interested in the news as a potential sign of things to come. Aspyr have long been solely focused on bringing games to Mac, and in the past twenty years they’ve been responsible for porting dozens of major games: BioShock Infinite, Borderlands 2, all the Call of Dutys, and a ton more. That they’re now turning their attention to porting Linux games is a promising indication that the open-source operating system might be home to more games in the near future. That’s good news for players and good news for Valve’s SteamOS, which aims to provide a lightweight, Debian-derived OS solely for the purpose of running games on your television.
I just sneezed. Is… is this E3 news?
If you need to refresh your memory, you can read Alec’s Civ 5 review here.