Saturday, September 24

Various BioShock games get a 2K Launcher calling it a ‘Quality of Life Update’

Apparently now a Quality of Life Update means adding a launcher to existing games and breaking them, if you’re 2K that is.

Just recently BioShock Remastered 1 & 2, plus BioShock Infinite all had this “Quality of Life Update”. Expecting some sort of bug-fix and polishing that the name implies, it was nothing of the sort. Instead, the patch notes for all three simply state:

This week’s update features various quality-of-life improvements, including:

  • Account linking option added in-game
  • The addition of a new Launcher which includes a Store to purchase new content

For BioShock Infinite I can confirm the update breaks launching the older Native Linux port from Virtual Programming. Not great for those of you sticking to Native versions and paid for that.

Looking over various reports, many people are mentioning that the launcher update has broken all three for them on Steam Deck. Confusing though, as testing all three across desktop Linux and Steam Deck and all three worked out of the box for me with Proton 7.0-4 and no other changes and I wasn’t even shown a launcher on Steam Deck. All good, until I tried running them again on desktop and sometimes the launcher just doesn’t show up so they don’t run. Frustrating.

You can see my video guide on how to switch between Proton versions or a Native Linux build if it exists.

Infinite was noted to be Unsupported on Steam Deck anyway, but forcing Proton 7 makes it work in my testing.

As for BioShock Remastered 1 & 2, neither of them had a Native Linux version so players on desktop Linux and Steam Deck were using Proton. The problem here is that both had been through Deck Verified with the first being “Playable” and the second being “Verified”.

Thankfully, the community has stepped in to provide multiple workarounds for these games if the launcher has broken them for you. If you add these as a launch option (under Properties for each game) it should work for all titles across desktop Linux and Steam Deck to skip the launcher and I’ve tested them personally working:

BioShock Remastered 1:

bash -c 'exec "${@/2KLauncher\/LauncherPatcher.exe/Build\/Final\/BioshockHD.exe}"' -- %command% -nointro

BioShock Remastered 2:

bash -c 'exec "${@/2KLauncher\/LauncherPatcher.exe/Build\/Final\/Bioshock2HD.exe}"' -- %command% -nointro

BioShock Infinite:

bash -c 'exec "${@/2KLauncher\/LauncherPatcher.exe/Binaries\/Win32\/BioShockInfinite.exe}"' -- %command% -nointro

There’s been a lot of unhappy gamers on Windows too, so 2K have a bit of a storm brewing with all three titles getting negative reviews on Steam. Hopefully they will learn from this. It’s just another reminder of the problem with launchers and publishers just stuffing them into games with no real benefit to users.

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