And those enthusiasts would do something much more useful if they spent their time implementing the very same features they want in their own mini-distro into an already existing one. But then it wouldn’t be THEIR distro…
The reason for this is simple: Egoism.
This article really hits home: https://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/linux-fragmentation-sum-egos.html
Of course. Just a few examples:
https://twitter.com/grumpygamer/status/858387467187101696?lang=en (though not specific, I think one can assume that 25% Mac/ 5% Linux is a fair assumption)
https://www.hemispheregames.com/2010/06/23/linux-the-numbers/ (and that was 2010, when Linux was MUCH worse usage wise than it is today)
Most do report something in the 1-3% range, though.
I think one problem, maybe the major problem, is that there is only one release of any game. Games that have Linux support from the get-go tend to report a much higher percentage. Those that add support later on report much lower numbers.
The reason seems clear: A game is most hyped on release. Once that hype is over, a new port doesn’t really bring it back into the view. Steam doesn’t even report release on a new platform on a title you wishlist, for example.
So if you do a port, do it on release. Many developers don’t and then wonder why they don’t even reach 3% of sales…
Also, due to its niche status, Linux has its own gaming spheres and blogs. Titles that are not reported there might or might no go less noticed.
For example, quite a few games reported rather high Linux sales number after promoting a bit on sites like https://www.gamingonlinux.com/ .
I wasn’t kidding before.
People make a business out of porting major titles such as Total War: Warhammer, Tomb Raider, etc. Others go “Linux first” (though of course not “Linux only”).
Do you honestly think that would happen if it wasn’t worthwhile? These people are surviving somehow.
A low % of many millions is still at least hundreds of thousands. And there are more than just “a few million” PC gamers.
There’s also the point that for many, the port is too much work for a small user base. Which is understandable. However, it is also a self-fulfilling prophecy. If everyone would only support Windows, Windows could get worse and worse, but everyone would be stuck with it (some say that is already the situation we’re in).
So, honestly, even if the user base was only 0.01%, it is better to support that than to hand out a free monopoly to a product as mediocre as Windows. Besides, Linux isn’t going anywhere, it already is the most wide-spread system - just not on user PCs.
All it needs is one truly great distribution, IMO. Oh, well…