The myth “Linux can’t game” has been abolished many times. And now, there’s another new kid on the block. Or at least there would be, but for the evilness of a gaming company.
Does anyone know about Minecraft: Story Mode? You don’t? Well, I don’t have time to tell you about it, so I’ll just point you to the Wikipedia article. Go read it.
So now you know about Story Mode, let me have another survey. Hands up those of you who run Linux and who wish to buy the game and who have been anticipating it and wanting it. 1… 2… 3? Yes. You! You in the back there, is your hand up? Well now, even though Story Mode Season 2 is out, and it supports Windows 10, Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox One, Android, iOS and even Apple TV (I know, right?) But no Linux.
Hang on, you might be thinking, normal Minecraft supports Linux. Heck, I play it all the time! So why isn’t story mode here? Well may you ask. You see, the standard edition of Minecraft downloaded from the Minecraft website (sometimes called the Java edition) is written in a language called Java. Java has this thing where you only have to compile it once and it will run on any Windows, Mac or Linux computer so long as that computer has the Java Runtime Envronment (JRE) installed. In this way, Minecraft supported Linux from day one.
But, under the instruction of Microsoft, Mojang’s owner company, TellTale Games, the producers of Story Mode, have coded Story Mode in C++, which, while a better language than Java in many ways, does not have it’s cross-platform compiling support, so extra work is needed to port it to Linux.
Okay, so they don’t want to support Linux. Understandable, considering that extra work would be involved and that most of their customers aren’t there. I get it. No. That’s not the case. You see, according to Liam Dawe, our collegue at Gaming on Linux who interviewed David Brady, a former dev at TellTale Games and actually worked on Story Mode, a Linux version not only exists but is considered stable, even “release ready!”
So why has the release not rolled out to the masses? Nobody knows. Liam said he did some digging but couldn’t find anything. Your guess is as good as mine. One theory, as cooked up by Joey Sneddon, author of OMG! Ubuntu! (a blog of which I am a huge fan) is that, with stuff piling up and Story Mode sinking down the priority list, TT Games just did a nothing-ventured-nothing-gained on Linux and left us in the dust.
What are your theories? Do you think TT missed out on the Linux gaming community?