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Loki Software, which specialised in porting A-class PC games to Linux, has filed for bankruptcy.

According to a report on LinuxPorts, the company owes hundreds of thousands of dollars to Activision and other publishers it has worked with.

The company's problems are perhaps unsurprising as Linux gaming is something of a niche market. Most Linux gamers have a Windows or dual-boot system to play on because so few games make it to Linux, and since the Linux port usually comes out months after the original Windows release, most people have already bought the game by the time Loki releases it. And why pay out another $30-50 for a separate Linux version?

Even when the releases are simultaneous, sales are poor. Id Software said last year it was disappointed with sales of the Linux version of Quake III Arena.

While developing Linux ports for publishers to include bundled with their own Windows products might have worked, paying those publishers hefty licensing fees to sell standalone Linux versions clearly hasn't. ®

Copyright © 2001, Eurogamer.net. All rights reserved.

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