updated 01:49 pm EDT, Tue July 17, 2012
Left 4 Dead 2 reportedly stable, working towards full Linux support
Valve is bringing the Steam game distribution platform to Ubuntu. A company blog for the project tells of an 11-person team porting not only Steam, but also Source engine-powered game Left 4 Dead 2. According to the post, co-founder of Valve Gabe Newell has been interested in a Linux port of Steam and Source for some time, and last year formed the team devoted to the project.
On choosing Ubuntu as the distribution to work for compared to other Linux variations, the company indicated it “reduces the variability of the testing space and makes early iteration easier and faster,” and that Ubuntu is also a popular distribution with high recognition in developer and gaming communities. Left 4 Dead 2 was also chosen for porting alongside the main Steam client, and currently runs natively under Ubuntu 12.04. When work to improve performance has been completed, the team will move towards making Left 2 Dead 2 work under Linux in general, followed by porting other Source-based games such as the Half-Life and Portal franchises.
Steam has been operating on Windows since September 2003 and currently plays host to over 1500 games. Both Steam and the Source engine were ported to Mac in 2010, while limited features are available in mobile apps. Recent listings in the Android app suggest the digital distribution platform may expand beyond games, adding productivity titles and media editing utilities.