Game Developers Lazy?

Discussion in 'Games' started by milzay, Jun 12, 2004.

  1. milzay macrumors member

    Dec 31, 2003
    I've never really used my pc/mac for gaming (always gone with concoles) so its not a big concern for me, however i dont see why games for the mac are so limited.
    It cant be that hard to port a PC game to a Mac. The graphics of PC games would be playable on Macs so surely no graphical changes would need to be made. So there is some stuff that needs to be done, but if games can be released on the PS2, XBOX and NGC then they must be able to quite easily release games on both platforms (also consider graphics have to be changed with different consoles)
    Im not sure about all of tis, but it just sounds to me like a case of lazy developers/publishers.
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    I think a lot of it has to do with the monetary return for the effort involved, is it worth it? If we (as a porting company) pay $65,000 for the license, spend $10,000 to get it converted, spend $25,000 for duplication of the finished product and packaging, we're looking at about a $100,000+ grand just to bring it to the Mac. So, we slap a $49.99 price tag on it and hope we sell enough copies to be profitable. Don't forget that all the companies that originally developed it and licensed it to your Mac porter probably still get a percentage of the sales. So you have to sell a lot of copies of the game to move from the red into the black. Let's face it, there's not a lot of Mac users out there, and even less that game. There's a butt-load of WinTelThon users out there, many many many of them the primary targert audience for gaming (teens). There's also a butt-load of console gamers out there as well. With those kinda numbers, even if your game blows, [with the right marketing] you're almost sure to get enough suckers to buy it just to break even. In the Mac market, not a lot of developers are able or willing to make that gamble.
    But I agree with you, I'd love to see just 1/4 of the games that are developed for the WinTelThon market come to the Mac. Eventually the top sellers probably will, just about the time "Game-Foo III" is coming to the market.
  3. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    If game developers were able to cross-compile thier games (like with OpenGL) from the same source, mac ports would be a no-brainer, but it doesn't work that way... yet.
  4. applekid macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2003
    To be blunt, that's a bad assumption.

    There's so many different APIs, frameworks, assembly languages, etc. you have to re-write all of that to make a port. Console-to-console porting is slightly faster, but most developers usually write those ports simultaneously for all systems or have the man power to do all of the work. Also, those ports usually come from the same company. PC-to-Mac ports are almost always done by a porting house such as Aspyr's internal dev team, Feral, Westlake, etc.
  5. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    The answer is a firm yes/no/maybe.

    As mentioned, it takes money and interest, expertise is not optional either. If it was simply a matter of looking at the display and saying "I want that on the Mac display", we'd have more games.

    The only time I think that the developers are lazy are in writing the original, sloppy code that makes it difficult for the game to perform well on slower machines--such as most of the machines Apple sell.

    It seems as Linux goes, so goes Mac OS X. Having a gaming interest on Linux makes it much more likely that games will make it Macintosh because there are similarities in the software interfaces available: SDL for visuals, OpenAL for audio, OpenGL for graphics, and OpenPlay for networking. This has already made the UT2003/UT2004 port much more successful. Now, if more game designers would embrace these technologies on Windows, there wouldn't be much to stop the port, but money.

    Unfortunately, money is important. For all the Mac OS X users out there, not that many are buying games. People say that there aren't many games available but if you count what's there, you'll find that it's a huge investment to buy many of them. Will a publisher re-coup its upfront money? That's the gamble.

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