Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
03 August 2006
TransGaming forsakes GNU/Linux gamers one more time
We now know exactly what TransGaming has been doing with the money its gotten from selling WineX/Cedega to its GNU/Linux customers: preparing for a future on MacOS X with a new product called Cider.

WineX/Cedega is a legal fork of the WINE project which came to prominence in 2001 with TransGaming's focus on making Windows games work on GNU/Linux and a promise to release code back to WINE after reaching 20,000 paying subscribers. A number of games now work well enough to be officially supported, but after six years the code promise isn't mentioned by TransGaming anymore. In the meantime TransGaming began working with Aspyr to port console games to other platforms; not a single one included a port to GNU/Linux.

This new Intel Mac product, Cider, is based on WineX/Cedega. With its promise of "Cider-vetted games", cleared by the original PC publishers, it appears to have support far beyond what TransGaming ever secured for GNU/Linux customers.

To all the WineX/Cedega supporters: this is your bitter reward. With your contributions, TransGaming will likely take its WINE-derived code, move on to MacOS X, and never look back. Unlike Loki who left us their installer, SDL, OpenAL, and much-improved OpenGL, a departure byTransGaming will not leave the GNU/Linux infrastructure any stronger. On the other hand, they did manage to make your wallets a little lighter.

My advice is this: cancel your subscriptions and buy a copy of a native GNU/Linux game, like DooM 3 or Uplink or Cold War. Give a donation to the coder of a Free Software game. Or donate to a Free Software project, especially one that's making GNU/Linux a better platform for games. Better yet, if you have the skills the community needs your help on any of a multitude of projects.

But whatever you do, spend what you have on real supporters of GNU/Linux, not parasites.


--Matt Matthews at 21:05
Comment [ 18 ]

Comments on this post:

You couldn't be more incorrect. Transgaming ported the original sims game and kohan to linux. As a result, Cedega took a couple big leaps forward from having availability to windows game source code. Having more games ported to the Mac with Cider will result in large improvements being made to Cedega.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 03 August, 2006 23:14  

Right, right. They ported a game, Kohan, that had already been ported by Loki. Good going there, TransGaming.

I'm waiting for the part where GNU/Linux is better off for having TransGaming. Let me know when you find it.

By Blogger jvm, at 03 August, 2006 23:20  

I agree that its a real shame that more people didnt simply 'buy into' native games instead of thinking they could not LIVE without their windows counterparts. I know there are some really good ones with no linux binary ( you want to play online with friends yes ), but NOW we are getting some very quality titles as you mentioned, and linux people should take every opportunity to buy those games, thereby sending a clear signal to vendors that linux can make them alot of money. WE've sacrificed linux native games and gotten emulation in return. Stop the insanity , and go grab a kewl native linux game including but not limited to:

cold wars, X2, vendetta, ut2004, quake4 , savage ( coming soon from s2games), and other great titles you find out about from and Play them IN linux, and more will come, and soon you can be telling your friends about all the kewl linux games, instead of pretending through emulation and paying fees for the simulated pleasure of it all ;)

a linux user/game developer making cross platform games for all platforms with panda3d (

P.S.--if you want to really help...consider a donation to us instead of to emulation that in the end isn't going to get you quality linux entertainment..

you can find us at: < and we'd appreciate any help you can provide [ yes its 'early' in our development, but with help we can procede faster, and your name will appear in final product as a contributor ]

By Anonymous neighborlee, at 04 August, 2006 00:12  

I doubt transgaming will move on and never look back as long as there is still money in what they are doing now. Which isn't much for Linux, but it does allow some people to play games that they could not possibly play any other way. That said, they might move on, and they most certainly are paying more attention to OSX.

Also, from what I remember, they didn't port the sims, they just made it work with their WineX and sold it in a boxed set with Mandrake or something. I'm not sure that transgaming has ever really ported any games to linux from start to finish. A wine port isn't really as good as a native port anyway.

There might be some improvements to Cedega because of Cider, but I wouldn't count on it.

I think for the most part, transgaming are a bunch of profiteers. They worry about their profits first, and possibly only.

By Blogger Stewart, at 04 August, 2006 02:04  

Do you have any data to back up your assertion that subscriber money went toward the development of Cider or is it just a wild guess? Did you contact TransGaming about this?

As for giving code back, when the wine license changed all bets were off.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2006 08:58  

Anon: The whole "license changed" crap is a red herring. Any code you write can be dual licensed. See the GPLed version of id Software's Quake engines, which can also be bought under a different, commercial license. Why can't TransGaming dual license their code? After all, the code they created is their own, right?

If the code they created with WineX/Cedega does not show up in Cider, then I'll believe that GNU/Linux subscriber money had no effect on Cider. Otherwise, intentional or not, the GNU/Linux subscribers have subsidized TransGaming's move to a new platform -- a platform that out of the gate has more advantages than TransGaming ever secured for its GNU/Linux customers.

By Blogger jvm, at 04 August, 2006 09:26  

Didn't they fork Wine when it was BSD and as such are under zero obligation to give anything back?

By Anonymous james, at 04 August, 2006 10:33  

Stewart is right about Transgaming not porting The Sims to Linux. And I know that they did not port any Kohan titles either. They created a special version of WineX specifically for each game. You can read about The Sims from Slashdot and Kohan Also, if you read the press relese announcing the Kohan ports, it sounds like they are stating that WineX is going to be used instead of a native port.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2006 10:35  

The license change is not a red herring. The wine folks changed their license specifically because of the winex fork. They are the ones who changed the rules in the middle of the game.

I don't see how Cider is more advantageous. I can play games on Linux *now*. Mac users have to wait until a developer uses Cider to port a game.

And even if Cedega code is used in Cider one would think that they would share back in the other direction as problems are found and fixed, so both sides benefit. It isn't like subscribers haven't gotten anything in return for their investment.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2006 11:20  

Anon: If you're not going to address the point, don't bother responding. It has zero to do with what WINE's license is. Why can't TransGaming dual-license their code to share back with WINE? They obviously can.

If TransGaming has secured publisher assistance for Cider-approved games, then that's an advantage for MacOS users than GNU/Linux users have never had, short of the Kohan and Sims ports. A several publishers and a half-dozen titles are mentioned for the Cider deal.

I'll admit the users got something for their investment. They may have gotten some enjoyment from some Windows games for now, but some of us feel that WineX/Cedega has damaged GNU/Linux by diverting those resources and that money to an area which does NOT make it a better platform for native games and applications.

By Blogger jvm, at 04 August, 2006 11:30  

Transgaming HAS released some source back to the wine project. They are well aware of dual licensing but it doesn't really solve the problem. They can freely give code to Wine (and have) but they can no longer use any Wine code because of the LGPL.

The reason (according to them) is the copy protection code they support. They are legally unable to release that code (due to licensing and the DMCA I believe) but would be required to if they used the core LGPLd code.

Thus the issue here is that while they could contribute to Wine, Wine can no contribute to Cedega. That's not what open-source is supposed to be about is it?

A different Anon than above.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2006 12:29  

I strongly disagree with jvm's commentary. I don't believe this is any indication that Transgaming will abandon the Linux market. Indeed, I am sure their experience getting Windows games to run under Linux has helped them develop this product for MacOS, just as I am sure that what they learn from developing for MacOS will help their Linux product.

Because Transgaming's Cedega product works so well, I was able to completely dump Windows. I am using Linux 100% of the time on my home PC, and I doubt I am the only one who has made this leap because of them. And because I have made this leap, I am much more keen on trying Linux games. I wouldn't have even glanced at the website for the upcoming Savage2 game if I weren't running Linux. But they have a native port in the works, and I will likely purchase the game if it's good. Also, I show up to LAN parties now with a fully functioning gaming rig... a Linux box, running a mix of Windows and Linux games. You better believe there's a coolness factor there, that everytime I show up I get closer and closer to getting someone else to running Linux.

The Windows games I run, when it comes down to tech talk on the forums or the games themselves, I mention I'm running it under Linux, and have seen a few others mention they run selected games under Linux as well. This generates discussion, awareness, INTEREST.

Interest, in Linux.

Just because Transgaming hasn't publically given out a technological package or framework like Loki did doesn't mean that they haven't contributed. They have contributed, and their contribution is good.

Best regards,


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2006 12:34  

If the Transgaming folks were really committed to giving back their changes to WineX, they would advertised (or be transparent about) the size of their subscribers base, which is nowhere to be found on their website (no information, no promise to keep).
I've ask them the question by email and will let you know if I ever get an answer.

By Anonymous Gwe, at 04 August, 2006 15:14  

If the problem is the LGPL, I'd like to know how CodeWeavers can continue to stay in business and (last I checked) is still giving all their work back to WINE. The conversation I had with the CodeWeaver leads a few years ago indicated that there is a delay between when they have new code and when that code is put into WINE, but that it was a question of when (short term, even), not whether, the code was set free.

And TransGaming can't work out to do the same? This has to do with proprietary SafeDisc code or what have you? And that can't be made compatible with the LGPL? I find that difficult to believe, given that binary-only modules work just fine with the GPLed Linux kernel.

One wonders if there isn't some sense of irony here: LGPLed software can't be made to run with proprietary code even though it's running on an operating system with a GPLed kernel that can safely use binary-only modules?

And as for the claim "Wine can no [longer] contribute to Cedega", let's remember that WineX/Cedega wouldn't ever have existed if not for the immense foundation that was WINE to start with. If anyone owes anyone anything (if only in a sense of obligation), its TransGaming owing WINE.

By Blogger jvm, at 04 August, 2006 16:25  

jvm, I totally agree with you, I went to the IRC channel, I didn't get a response yet about questions... I think I should have better just sent Transgaming an email... maybe I will!

I really need the source, I can't agree with you 100% if it is just FUD that's going on in here.

jvm, while I get a response, you may want to look into 2 things: they are developing a completely cross platform thing like wine, but instead of runtime, it converts all binaries to their respective platform. Pretty neat!

Also, if you know for sure what's going on with cedega, don't support them, instead of paying them a penny, pirate the software (You can, look in some torrent websites) and pirate it just for these few games that may have run better on cedega than on Wine.

As far as CodeWeaver vs Transgaming when it comes to contributing back to the source of both, I don't know, but I've talked to a developer that goes on #winehq channel on and supposedly he's getting paid to develop wine, not crossover office :)

AFAIK, Transgaming don't contribute too much and what the first anonymous poster said was FUD in its original form, misinformation.... Loki were the ones to port games like Kohan, I don't know about sims (Loki went out of business some 2000 or 2001).

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 August, 2006 19:58  

More whining about WINE. Geez, why not just post this on Slashdot for the other Stallmanites to read?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 August, 2006 13:51  

I have to say I agree with JVM 100% here. I suggest everyone who has a subscription with TG to cancel it and just use Wine. If you read over wine's Changelog's for the past year D3D has come a long way and this is without any help what so ever from TG.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 06 August, 2006 09:54  

Now I try Transgamings product from time to time and the last time was about 2 months ago. I got 1 of my games to work - several ones they claimed was supported didn't in any way.

I then did what any sane person would and complained to Transgaming demanding my money back and guess what. They stonewalled me completely, it was basically "You setup is broken, our product works perfectly". How's that for support... yes Transgaming loves GNU/Linux users. Completely unable to support an out of the box working Fedora Core 5 setup (also tested an Ubuntu release for the benefit of the doubt in their favor.. same result).

I've given up, there are now several good free games out there, Battle for Wesnoth, FreeCiv, Tremulous, Nexuiz and many more. Not to mention that everything ID software releases works under Linux.. So does basically every Unreal release since the dawn of mankind.

By Anonymous David Nielsen, at 25 August, 2006 14:56  

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