"Our perception is that one of the big problems holding Linux back is the absence of games. I think that a lot of people...don’t realize how critical games are as a consumer driver of purchases and usage."
- Valve co-founder Gabe Newell discusses how his company is actively encouraging more people to install open operating system Linux.
Newell says his cutting-edge company, which runs popular game distributor Steam and develops game series Half-Life, Portal and Team Fortress, needs an open environment in order to thrive, and that Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 is "a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space" due to its relatively closed nature.
The company is putting the finishing touches on a native Linux version of its Steam client, as well as a port of its popular Left 4 Dead 2, as a first step toward supporting the platform.
It's almost inarguable that Valve kickstarted consumer acceptance for digitally distributed games, but can it do the unthinkable and make PC game players leave Windows behind?