February 28, 2002, 12:00 AM — Loki Software has gone under. Loki made quite a name for itself as one
of the main companies porting popular Windows games to Linux, including
Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns and Tribes 2. Sadly, though, Loki ceased
operation at the end of January, 2002.
This news surely will generate more claims that Linux won't make it on
the desktop, which is also sad. Linux has been steadily improving on
the desktop for some years now, including the availability of games.
There remain a good number of companies making games for Linux,
although most make games for Windows or MacOS as well.
In addition, a huge number Linux games are available free-of-charge.
Just a partial list appears at http://icculus.org/~zakk/gamelist.php?
license=free as part of the Linux Game List. If you omit the "license-
equals-free" parameter, you get a larger list of games for Linux,
including commercial ones, that is, go to
http://icculus.org/~zakk/gamelist.php. This includes slightly over 200
In addition to running games natively on Linux, you can use Windows-
compatibility packages such as WINE (at http://www.winehq.com) to run
Windows games on Intel-based Linux systems. The WINE application
database lists the status of many games under WINE starting at
http://appdb.codeweavers.com/appbrowse.php?catId=2, where you select
game categories. Note that for many games, such as Civilization III,
you will see a list of problems and perhaps some hints for working
around the problems.
TransGaming (http://www.transgaming.com) offers an enhanced version of
WINE, called WineX, for running Windows games on Linux. You can see a
list of supported Windows games at
In addition to losing a company focused on Linux desktop products, the
loss of Loki also highlights the number of open source projects Loki
used to host. Loki certainly proved to be a good corporate citizen in
the Linux world. Many of the free projects that used to be hosted by
Loki are now at http://www.icculus.org/. Some of the projects include a
port of the game Aliens vs. Predator, and other goodies, mostly game-
related programming libraries.