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MacBytes
Mar 12, 2004, 03:48 PM
Category: Games
Link: Piracy ‘could kill Mac-gaming’ (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040312164831)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by arn

Nermal
Mar 12, 2004, 04:12 PM
I still think Halo's piracy rate would have been reduced if they'd released a demo. People don't want to buy a game that has been synonymous with bad performance. If they could try it out first, they wouldn't need to "steal" it to see whether it works or not.

1macker1
Mar 12, 2004, 04:24 PM
Yeah, people dont want to buy a game, it turns out to be crap. But if World of Warcraft dont make it to the Mac, there will be trouble in paradise.

Nermal
Mar 12, 2004, 04:44 PM
I'm pretty sure it will make it to the Mac, there's a beta on the Mac, plus Blizzard develop both versions themselves so they don't need to worry about paying royalties to the PC developer or anything.

Dont Hurt Me
Mar 12, 2004, 05:11 PM
the biggest threat to Mac gaming is poor Hardware. Imac,Emac,ibook. can any of these make Halo,UT2004,Nascar 2003 shine? nope. how the heck you going to sell games for mac if only the top professional models can run them? Piracy isnt that much of a threat in my H.O. and Halo was such a poor job all the way around I dont blame people wanting a look to make sure it ran like crap.

Photorun
Mar 13, 2004, 01:48 PM
I still think Halo's piracy rate would have been reduced if they'd released a demo. People don't want to buy a game that has been synonymous with bad performance. If they could try it out first, they wouldn't need to "steal" it to see whether it works or not.

Agreed. That's what happens with a lot of games, if you cant try it why buy it?!? Halo definitely needed a demo.

Photorun
Mar 13, 2004, 01:52 PM
the biggest threat to Mac gaming is poor Hardware. Imac,Emac,ibook. can any of these make Halo,UT2004,Nascar 2003 shine? nope. how the heck you going to sell games for mac if only the top professional models can run them? Piracy isnt that much of a threat in my H.O. and Halo was such a poor job all the way around I dont blame people wanting a look to make sure it ran like crap.

Yeah DHM, I wish gamer makers for peecee would make their games work on eMachines, the $499 computer in a box Dells (note: they DON'T work on those if you didn't know), and on people's 486 machines [cough!]. Give me a break! If you want gaming pony up the bucks for a gaming machine, get a G5 OR a peecee (go over there and be quiet), peecee hardcore gamers often spend just as much on their hardware so they can keep up and I don't want to hear about a buddy who built an AMD machine in his parents basement which doubles as his bedroom (he's in his late 20s) for parts for $500, that's not realistic for most peecee lusers anyways.

shamino
Mar 13, 2004, 08:18 PM
First off, how is this different from the Windows world? Stuff there is pirated just as much, if not more, but you don't see game companies threatening to abandon the Windows market.

Second, developers are going to have to realize that Mac people don't want to pay a 300% premium for games just because it's on the Mac platform. There are quite a lot of titles (especially older ones) where the Windows version sells fo $10-15, but the Mac version sells for $40-50.

If the game won't sell in the Windows market for $40-50, what makes them think Mac people will be dumb enough to pay those inflated prices?

nagromme
Mar 14, 2004, 12:54 AM
The difference, not to state the obvious... is that Mac publishers are selling on a different scale than PC publishers. Piracy won't "kill" Mac gaming, but don't kid yourselves--it has already hurt.

(Also note that a Mac version costs less to make than the original--much of the original work on the game is preserved.)

Stolid
Mar 14, 2004, 03:09 AM
The difference, not to state the obvious... is that Mac publishers are selling on a different scale than PC publishers. Piracy won't "kill" Mac gaming, but don't kid yourselves--it has already hurt.

(Also note that a Mac version costs less to make than the original--much of the original work on the game is preserved.)
This can actually vary quite a bit. When a publisher wants to make sure the game is great on all sorts of levels they will often do lots of platform-oriented tweaks that make it a real pain to port but run very very well on the system that it is written for. In this case all you really can port are certain game logic sections and the art.
As a coder I've seen ports that transfer anywhere from 0% of the code to a 100% 'just recompile it'. I'd say the average windows->mac conversion would be a good 50% rewrite.
If you're a company like Blizzard that writes for both platforms at the same time you generally go about it by sacrificing a touch of performance and having the game layered into the 'game' part and the 'interface'; then all you have to do is make a format that you can easily work with on both PC and Mac. OpenGL can be a godsend here.
The real issue when you do that though is that you link yourself to compiling the majority of the code; which for something that needs the performance of a game can be a bit of a pain (compilers take quite a bit of tweaking to make sure the assembly they spit out has things written well to avoid pipeline bubbling, but I won't turn this into a EE/CS class :P)

nagromme
Mar 14, 2004, 06:03 AM
Good point. But even when 0% of the code transfers to Mac, a LOT of the game expense is other stuff: designing the game itself, 3D modeling, textures, the flow and logic of the game down to the smallest detail, writing the plot, recording dialog, cutscene videos, etc. etc. That only needs to be done once, and adding a Mac version re-uses that stuff.

I'm aware though, that even so, Mac publisher profits are VERY slim.

shamino
Mar 14, 2004, 09:26 AM
This is all well and good. But as a consumer, I really couldn't care less about what it costs the publisher.

When I see the exact same title sold for two platforms, and one costs four times as much as the other, that's going to crowd out any other ideas. I'm not going to say "I'm OK paying a 300% markup in order to support the Mac platform". Instead, I'm going to push Microsoft to improve Virtual PC so I can buy the Windows version. Or I'll simply use a PC for my games. Or I'll buy a version for my favorite game console.

You can say whatever you want about the expenses of producing Mac games, but most people are not buying software for the pupose of supporting a platform. If I can get the same game for less for Windows, or PlayStation, I'm going to do it.

(I realize my argument has nothing to do with piracy per se, but publishers don't seem to care. They see all sales-losses equally. They may not be able to prosecute me for buying the Windows version, but they hate me just the same.)

nagromme
Mar 14, 2004, 12:24 PM
They don't hate you just the same: the article talks about tracking piracy, and specific measures against piracy. (But I agree that sometimes I see a game on sale for PC but not on sale for Mac.)

Also, pricing on the shelf is often not the publisher's choice, but rather someone else deciding whether to charge the publisher's MSRP or not. Shopping around is the best thing to do in that case. Go online.

Also, a price difference sometimes results when release is not simultaneous. People will pay more for a game that just became available to them--and if the PC version has been out longer, it may drop in price first. Luckily, simultaneous (or near) releases are becoming more typical.

MrMacMan
Mar 14, 2004, 06:18 PM
I've seen a bunch of crappy ass ports...

Look...

Apple Make OpenGL run faster, better, easier to improve, whatever.

Devolpers -- MAKE A FRIKKEN DEMO. Halo is probably not gonna run on my machine, but how do I know?? Maybe you made the best port ever and it runs fine, maybe you did a crap job and it lags on a Dual 2.0 G5 -- WHO knows?!

Photorun -- No, your wrong. I expected my iMac when bought to play any games that were released during the next 3 month period.

My iMac couldn't even hold that expectation... :(