In a historical moment, YoYo Games has announced that GameMaker: Studio now exports to Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux-based operating systems available.
“With GameMaker: Studio’s Ubuntu Export, developers can export their newly-created and pre-existing games as an Ubuntu Software Center-ready application from a single code base and at the touch of a button,” the announcement read.
The release of the module now closes the loop between Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, generally regarded as the three major systems of personal computing.
No official word has been given on what features may not be available when exporting to Ubuntu, if any. However, based on information previously obtained by Game Maker Blog, it is right to speculate that Ubuntu will have networking support, providing more opportunities for multiplayer game development as total cross-platform compatibility becomes a reality.
Those who own a copy of the GameMaker: Studio Master Collection will receive the Ubuntu module for free, and it will be included at no extra cost in the bundle for new customers.
Users of the Professional edition who wish to take advantage of the new export feature will need to buy the Ubuntu module at a cost of $99 USD. The module will soon be available on the Steam Software Store but is currently found on the YoYo Games website.
YoYo Games CEO Sandy Duncan says the Linux compatibility “couldn’t have come at a better time” and describes the new module as an opportunity for the community to explore new ways to monetize their work.
For some time rumors have been circulating about a Linux edition of GameMaker, which may now be inching closer to reality following the release of the Ubuntu module. However, this isn’t the first time that YoYo Games have dipped their toes into Linux functionality. In December of 2011, YoYo Games released an image of the GameMaker IDE running in Fedora, a teaser than never manifested into anything practical.
YoYo Games are also known to have an unofficial pet project; creating compatibility for the ‘credit-card sized’ Raspberry Pi computer, which traditionally runs a Debian-based Linux system.
GNU/Linux operating systems have been receiving a lot of attention in the past year from the gaming industry. Exactly one month ago, the popular game content distribution network ‘Steam’ was released to Linux. As a result, games like Half-Life and Counter-Strike are now natively playable on the system. For those who have had success selling a GameMaker game through Steam, it could be the start of an opportunity to hit a new audience on a grand scale.