Valve has announced a Linux client for its digital video game distribution service, Steam. To mark the occasion, it's also offering a 50 to 75 percent discount on over 50 Linux game titles till 21 February. The games company officially supports Ubuntu, and has made the client available on the Ubuntu Software Center.
Team Fortress 2, the Free to Play game, is also available on Steam for Linux. Valve announced that for a limited time, Steam users who play the game on Linux will automatically receive a free, exclusive in-game item: Tux, the Linux mascot, that can be carried by any of the game's classes and traded between players. Other Valve titles available on Steam for Linux include Half-Life, Counter-Strike 1.6, and Counter-Strike: Source.
In addition to games, the Steam for Linux client also includes Big Picture, the new mode of Steam designed for use with a TV and game controller. Big Picture had come out of beta in December 2012.
"The introduction of Steam to Ubuntu demonstrates growing demand for open systems from gamers and game developers," said David Pitkin, Director of Consumer Applications at Canonical. "We expect a growing number of game developers to include Ubuntu among their target platforms. We're looking forward to seeing AAA games developed with Ubuntu in mind as part of a multi-platform day and date release on Steam."
"We're huge fans of Linux. It's like the indie OS-a perfect home for our indie game," said Alen Ladavac, CTO of Croteam, creator of the Serious Sam franchise of games. "And who better to lead the charge into Linux gaming than Valve? With Steam distribution on Windows, Mac OS, and now Linux, plus the buy-once, play-anywhere promise of Steam Play, our games are available to everyone, regardless what type of computer they're running. That's huge."
Steam claims to have 50 million accounts around the world and offers over 2,000 game titles.