LGP History pt 4: The end of the ride, but not the end of the company

It has been 12 years since I started Tux Games, and a little less since I started LGP.

These last 12 years have been, to coin a phrase, “interesting”. There have been highs and lows, great times and bad times. But always fun.

The last year or so, LGP has been quiet, too quiet some have said, and they would be right. I will hold my hand up and say, ‘My bad’.

You see, 10 years of working 7 days a week had taken its toll. You can’t continue on a high energy rampage for 10 years without something breaking, and in the end I burned out. I started letting things slip, and I started to neglect the companies.

I take no blame for this, it was bound to happen, as anyone knows when they work so hard they neglect social life, sleep, proper eating habits, the outcome is inevitable. I have put in a massive effort into Linux gaming, an average of 60-80 hours a week for 10 years and an investment that totals close to half a million pounds out of my own pocket, so I consider blame to be the wrong word. Probably, responsibility is more the correct word.

It took me some months to notice what was going on, and even longer to accept that my burnout was going to kill LGP unless I did something about it. The lack of drive slowed down production of new titles, shipping, customer service, everything that I either handled or had a big part in helping with, was all being compromised. The answer didn’t come from Dr’s, and it didn’t come from telling myself to ‘just stop slacking and get on with it’. The answer came by accepting the new reality that my burnout was not going away and I was no longer the right person to be at the heart of Linux gaming. I still love Linux and I love Linux gaming. LGP is my baby, and you don’t devote 12 years of your life to something like this without being proud of, and attached to, your creation.

And so in recent months I took the decision to stop. Difficult doesn’t even come close to how hard the decision was. I lost a lot of sleep over it, and it was depressing, stressful, and disheartening, but I knew in the end it was the best thing for me to do for myself and for the company.

But I didn’t want to let the company die. Of course not, I have invested too much time, money, blood sweat and tears into LGP to just say ‘That is it, bye’. And so I sat down and had a long think about how to save it.

The decision was made to find and hand over control of the company to someone new, someone who could move it forwards where I no longer had the drive and energy. To that end, I selected Clive Crous to take over my position in the company.

Clive has been a part time developer for LGP for many years, having a hand in quite a few games. But his primary qualification for the job comes with his unrestrained enthusiasm for Linux gaming. I selected Clive not because he offered the most money for the company, as the decision was made that only a token payment would be made, so don’t worry I just decided to ’sell out’ . I chose Clive as he will bring about new energy and drive to LGP, the main thing it has been lacking in the recent past. He has some big plans, and I won’t steal his thunder by telling you what he is going to be doing, but I think you’ll be happy with the new and revitalised LGP. Give him some time though, things won’t change overnight. He has a lot of work to do, and a lot to learn about the industry. Treat him gently!

So, as I say goodbye, I would like to thank the many many people who have supported me over the years in keeping LGP alive. Not in the least I need to give special thanks to Mel, Gareth and Eskild, who have been there offering support, a dose of reality, and a kick up the backside whenever it was needed, and to all the dozens and dozens of others who have given up their time, often for nothing in return, to keep LGP and myself running.

I know Clive is preparing a hello speech, like this is my goodbye speech, and his posting will follow this one in a day or two.

And with that, I give you, Clive Crous, CEO, Tux Games and Linux Game Publishing.

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35 Responses to “LGP History pt 4: The end of the ride, but not the end of the company”

  1. Niels says:

    Michael, thanks for all you did for Linux gaming. There aren’t many people who come close. I hope you can really rest now.

  2. Reto says:

    Wish you two all the best.

  3. bfb says:

    Don’t forget you’ve been part of the solution, thanks for your work.

  4. Dave Jones says:

    The king os “dead”. Long live the king :).
    Thanks so much for al your efforts. It must have been very hard to stop and pass the baton.
    I know Clive – he spends hours working on his laptop at my little restaurant. He is able, enthusiastic and excited about all this. LGP is in good hands!


  5. Thanks for everything you’ve done for Linux gaming, Michael. I wish you and Clive all the best for the future.

  6. Jeff Craig says:

    Michael, I have been a customer of LGP for the last 10 years, and quite a fair number of your games rest upon my shelves. Your work pulled the Linux Gaming community through a really rough patch after the fall of Loki, through this modern surge of indie games doing their own ports.

    Your work enabled me to get my gaming fix, while not weakening and installing Windows or buying Windows-only games. Thank you for everything, even if it did lead to this unfortunate burn-out.

    I am incredibly excited to see the future of LGP.

  7. akm says:

    Thank you very much for all you work on lgp, tux and all other things that are linux.

    I hope you get yourself on track again and maybe we will see you back one day with a passion for linux gaming

    Take good care of yourself

  8. MaximB says:

    Hello Michael Simms.

    I want to thank you for your great efforts to bring more games to Linux, I know that you have given your life to that goal and I respect that very much.
    I wish you good luck on your new way and I hope that now you can finally attend to your own life, family and friends – you deserve it.

    Please update us on how things go for you after your leave.


  9. gbudny says:

    Thank you for all your hard work Michael and I think LGP made the best games for Linux.

  10. Gilboa Davara says:

    Thanks, and good luck, both to you and your successor.

    - Gilboa

  11. Joey Ferwerda says:

    Thank you for everything Michael!

    You have been a big inspiration to the linux gaming world, and opened up a whole new world for aspiring game developers like myself.

    I understand your decision, you did a lot for the linux community, and now it is time to let the community do something for you.
    You deserve your own time now like no other :)

  12. Eddward says:

    Michael, your efforts over the years are greatly appreciated. I’m sure Clive will carry on well. The Linux video game markets owes you a great debt. I wish you success in your future and I hope you finally get to enjoy that parts of your life that have suffered for LGP & Tux Games.

    Tux Games has been my first stop for years and I’ve enjoyed several of LGP’s titles, but I’ve always been somewhat uncomfortable with the impact I’ve heard the business has had on your life. Nobody could ask for what you’ve given. I truly hope the best for you. Thank you.

  13. Kip says:

    Hey Michael,

    I am saddened to hear that you will be leaving, but I think it may be time for a well deserved rest in your case anyways. I am sure you will be moving on to greater things. Your contribution to gaming under GNU/Linux will not be forgotten.

    Take care,

    ~ Kip

  14. Joost Roeleveld says:


    Many thanks for all the hard work you have put into this. I didn’t even realize it’s been 12 years already. Time does really fly.

    All the best to you and your family and I hope you’ll manage to recover with time. I’m looking forward to hearing how your “retirement” is going.


  15. EnzoFr says:

    Thanks a lot for your hard work Michael, you may be proud of you.
    If I had 10% of your courage and devotion, my company would raise a lot and I would be a millionaire !
    And welcome to Clive.

    Good luck to you two !


  16. Jano Kupec says:

    Although i’m not much of a gamer, i really enjoyed the linux edition of Quake 3 and the two titles from X series. I was missing games like that in the linux world, and i am glad that LGP filled that gap. Thanx for that and wish you all the best in the future!

  17. GBGames says:

    Congratulations, Clive, and good luck to Michael on your future endeavors!

  18. Frank Earl says:

    Thank you, Michael.

    Thank you for the 10 years you’ve worked at trying to make Linux gaming a reality.

    Thank you for all the titles you’ve provided to us to date.

    Thank you for being willing to provide FOSS tools to empower game development on Linux as well as an easy porting path in many cases.

    Thank you for giving me MY start in the industry.

    Take a well deserved break, Friend. You’ve earned it.

  19. Christopher May says:

    All the best Michael! Take it easy, recover and come back stronger. Just take it easier next time :)

    I’ve bought every commercial Linux game ever made and virtually all have been through you so thanks!


  20. higuita says:

    As to increase sells, maybe adding your games to desura? humble bundle might be harder, but desura should be simple :)

  21. Rene says:

    hi’ Michael,

    I hate as much as you do to see you go. But you are right, 10+ years on the same diet which is such an up hill battle, no one could have done it alone for as long as you did.

    I’m proud to have helped a tiny bit when I could and I can’t wait to see where Clive now will take us and LGP in the future.

    I hope you can get some down time with rest and the family so they may enjoy you as we have for the past many years. I also hope that some day you’ll be ready for round 3, 5 or 7 however it may be you will always be welcome back here I’m sure.

    all the best
    Rene Kjellerup

  22. Sean says:

    Thanks Michael, I’m another fan of all your efforts to keep Linux gaming alive and healthy. Best wishes for your new successes to come!

  23. Michael, I wish you the very best of luck and thank you for all your hard work.

    Vicente Carro, from Spain ;)

  24. Rich says:

    Sorry to hear this. I’ve experienced burnout and I know how terrible it feels. Concentrate on getting better again: that’s the most important thing. :)

  25. Weber Ress says:

    Michael, thanks for all you did for Linux gaming. Good luck in your new projects !

  26. Vadim P. says:

    Good luck, and please keep doing what you’re doing – and I’ll keep supporting you!

  27. Apopas says:

    Michael you are one of the most important people in Linux history!
    Have fun from now on!

  28. Michael Simms (LGP Business Adviser) says:

    Wow, I am really quite overwhealmed by the responses. I am not quite sure what else to say, except thankyou all. Really, thankyou.

  29. Sobek says:

    hi michael, your departure due to illness is saddening me. I hope you will recover soon. Best wishes!

  30. prayags says:

    Though I am not one of your customer, but I have been a keen follower of your blog. I would say that a student of yours that you never knew. I am in the process of setting a company similar to yours (but selling different goods). So you thoughts and insight have been an invaluable lesson to me.
    I am really touched by what you decided for your self and your baby ‘LGP’.
    I wish you all the best in life.

  31. Kieltux says:

    Dear Michael,
    thank you very much for all the work you have done for the Linux community. Sitting beside my game shelf (X2, Majesty,…) you and LGP give me a lot of good times playing games on Linux. I was (am) one of the beta-tester for several games (Coldwar, X2, Sacred, Knights and Merchants,…) and it was a great experience for me to be a part of LGP. Best wishes!

  32. maxztt says:

    Hello Michael,

    Your contribution to the Linux gaming world had a high value to me. I bought all released LGP titles, some even a second time.

    To me, “Michael Simms” was always a synonym for “Linux Game Publishing”.
    It will be hard for me to get used to the new guy.
    When I thought of LGP, I thought of you, your office, Querty the cat and sometimes also of the flood that was destroying some of your goods a few years ago.

    I even thought about helping you porting, but never sent any email because I just could not assure to be able to work a certain amount of time on the porting per week.

    I wish you the best for all aspects of your life, and hope that both, LGP and you, have a bright and long future.

  33. iluciv says:

    Thanks for all your effort regarding linux gaming. The future is bright esp for linux gaming!

  34. jorval says:

    Hey Michael,

    I just wanna Show my respect for all the years andere hard work you did.
    Thank You!

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