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The Loki Drama Rears its Head Again

The Loki Drama Rears its Head Again

If you want to know a major reason that many major game publishers are hesitant to strike into the Linux market, there is a one-word answer: Loki. The demise of Loki Software, a company that once existed solely to provide ports of major game clients for the Linux market, has put an edge of fear into major game publishers that the Linux market simply will not purchase enough games to cover the costs of the extra coding.

The problem, of course, is that (depending on who you talk to), the death of Loki Software had to do with many, many things, not just the game purchasing market. What these other things are is of course open to debate, and to properly discuss them in a public forum requires judicious use of the word "alleged" if to protect from lawsuits and from spreading potential "just a rumor" information as the truth and nothing but the truth.

In an interview with The Linux Show, "Linux and Main" editor and publisher Dennis Powell revealed that in May 2003 he found out the hard way that there are players in the Loki drama who indeed turn to the courts to settle alleged disputes. Loki's founder and CEO Scott Draeker, brought a lawsuit in May 2003 against Linux and Main and Powell as its editor and publisher, for defamation of character.

While Powell's attorney hopes to have the case thrown out, the Linux gaming industry and community might in fact be better off seeing this case go to court. Perhaps having Draeker try to prove that he was truly damaged by the trio of published articles - as compared, for example, to the many online and offline discussions that no doubt said far worse - and having Powell defend his position would possibly help the major game publishers understand that Loki's demise might not have been caused by a "cheap" Linux market after all.

On top of this, of course, is the fact that Linux is in use on far more desktops today than in 2001. In some ways, Loki may have been an idea slightly ahead of its time. I'd like to hope that a game publisher putting a serious effort into Linux clients today would find an enthusiastic buying public, considering that a majority of Linux desktop users tell me that the only reason they keep Windows around at all for the desktop is for playing games.

Personally, I'd rather not play games at all than have to keep dual booting into an operating system I find less and less familiar - not to mention having to keep an otherwise unused Windows installation up to date with security patches, hardware drivers (after all, games push machines enough that you want to make sure to have the very latest), and more.

More Stories By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

Dee-Ann LeBlanc has been involved with Linux since 1994. She is the author of 12 books, 130 articles, and has more of both coming. She is a trainer, a course developer - including the official Red Hat online courseware at DigitalThink - a founding member of the AnswerSquad, and a consultant.

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