The problem is actually wider than just Steam Deck, affecting any Linux based system, and dates back to September 2021, when Epic Games announced its Easy Anti-Cheat service would be available for Mac and Linux. At the time, it said that “support for the Wine and Proton compatibility layers on Linux is included”.
Simply put, Wine and Proton are compatibility layers for Linux systems, allowing users to run Windows-based software. Valve’s Steam Deck will run on its own SteamOS, and use Proton to enable games to run.
However, in a Steam Community post (as spotted by PCGamesN), Fatshark developer “Hedge” has pointed out that enabling Epic’s Easy Anti-Cheat on Linux-based platforms is far from easy, with the main problem being that there are two versions of EAC to contend with: EOS, tied to Epic Online Services, and Non-EOS.
“It’s far more complex than first suspected,” Hedge writes. “Most games historically use Non-EOS EAC. It’s the one Vermintide 2 uses as well.”
Hedge adds that “Epic only added Proton support for the EOS version of EAC”, and the “to implement proton support for Vermintide 2, a huge amount of reworking of the EAC implementation would be required.”
Even if developers were to do this for all EAC games, this could result in players having to “authenticate with Epic Online Services as well – perhaps even logging in to the Epic environment”, although Hedge says this is to be confirmed.
Hedge also points to Epic’s original announcement as not being “entirely accurate”, specifically its claim that it would only take developers “just a few clicks” to make their EAC games Linux-compatible. The developer claims this “would only apply to titles using the EOS version of EAC, which simply hasn’t been many games aside from either pretty new ones, and likely predominantly Epic exclusive titles.”
The Vermintide 2 developers are “still looking at what is or isn’t going to be possible, but it’s not as easy as it was made out to be – far from it in fact.”
Also in September 2021, Proton’s James Ramey warned that Steam Deck may not play all Steam games. However, BattlEye, another form of anti-cheat software, should be fully compatible with the platform.
In related gaming hardware news, shipments of graphics cards are expected to rise by 10 per cent in 2022, easing a now years-long shortage of the critical components caused by both the COVID pandemic and cryptocurrency miners snapping up cards.