The relevance to retailers of the ascendant Linux multi-user operating system in the world of PCs increased last week.
This follows the announcement by games developer Activision that its "Civilization: Call To Power" will be the first computer game commercially available on the Linux platform.
The company expects to release the game for Windows in March or April, followed shortly by a Linux version, Activision said.
"It says something about the potential of Linux when the first game on this platform is the latest title in one of the best-selling and most highly acclaimed PC game franchises in the industry," Eric Johnson, senior vice president of Activision, said.
The Linux version will also include the new tools, options, combat and graphics the PC version will have and will be based on the same story line, Activision said.
More than 2.5 million "Civilization" games have been sold worldwide since the first title was released in 1991. The game challenges players to create a civilisation spanning the years 4000 BC to 3000 AD.