CD Project, the developer of the Witcher franchise, is moving very fast, and only a day after the The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings game appeared in the Steam database, most of the game assets were available for download.
The majority of the gaming community knows about CD Project, because it is the developer of two of the best RPG games in the past decade. There was no hint about a possible Linux launch and it kept the information very secure. In fact, due to the fact that the game has been out for some time on PC, Xbox 360, and Mac OS X, no one was really hoping to get a native Linux version.
In hindsight, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was also released on Mac OS X, which means that the engine is also OpenGL-friendly. As we all know, this is basically a requirement for any major title that is launched on Mac OS, with the exception of the ones using a Wine wrapper. This is a game that has very high system requirements, so the Wine wrapper is out of the question.
CD Project is also known for its other major project, GOG.com. This is a digital distribution platform that focuses more on bringing old games to life and on making them compatible with newer operating systems. The company also has a fair number of new games available and it's widely used by indie publishers. Best of all, the games are DRM-free (digital right management).
CD Project has been bugged by the community for quite some time to also support Linux games, but it has been very skiddish about it, up until a few days ago when it announced that Linux games would arrive on GOG.com starting this fall. It even promised some titles that would be ported for the first time, and our guess is that The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings will be one of them.
Now, if you also have a Steam account, you will know that the dev is also listed with its game on the platform. Starting today, users of Steam who already had the game purchased for another platform, like Windows or Mac OS X, might have noticed that it can now be downloaded, with a small caveat.
The binary files needed to run the The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings haven't been uploaded yet and the game can't be started, but you get to download a little over 18GB. The launch can't be too far away into the future and we'll keep you apprised if something changes.