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GOG rolls out Linux PC game support ahead of schedule

GOG.com is adding Linux support to its classic gaming catalog ahead of schedule.

The site, which optimizes older games for modern PCs and sells them DRM-free, is now offering 50 games on Linux. Some of them, including Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold, Sid Meier's Colonization, and Rise of the Triad: Dark War, have never been on Linux before, as GOG has created custom builds for over 20 games.

Games with Linux support will include DEB installers for Ubuntu and Mint, allowing users to easily set up their games. GOG will also provide tar.gz archives for installing on other Linux distributions.

GOG announced its Linux plans in March, saying it would bring at least 100 games to Linux this fall. "We're still aiming to have at least 100 Linux games in the coming months, but we've decided not to delay the launch just for the sake of having a nice-looking number to show off to the press," the site said in a statement.

Linux support wasn't always in the cards for GOG. Last September, GOG spokesman Trevor Longino told GamingOnLinux that GOG wasn't planning to support Linux due to the difficulty of supporting many distributions and their various updates.

While it's unclear why GOG had a change of heart, its' worth noting that rival Steam has ramped up Linux support considerably over the last year, as it prepares to launch SteamOS, a Linux-based operating system for game consoles. (Valve originally planned to release the first consoles this year, but has delayed the launch until 2015.) If Valve's console efforts take off, GOG may be able to offer its catalog as a DRM-free alternative.

To celebrate the Linux launch, GOG is offering up to 75 percent off certain titles for the next five days. These games also run on Windows and Mac, so you don't need Linux know-how to take advantage of the deals.

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