Linux games have always been one of the goals of free software. If game developers could only be persuaded to develop for Linux, the daydream goes, the operating system would start to gain serious market share. The last few years have lent hope to the dream, but the progress remains slow -- so slow, in fact, that its realization is starting to look questionable.
The first large scale effort to sell Linux games commercially was Loki Software, which ported games like Civilization and Railway Tycoon around the turn of the millennium. It quickly failed financially, leaving Linux gaming largely to minor free-license games like Pysol and Tux Racer, and to efforts to run Windows games using WINE.