Star Wars: Empire at War is Intel-Only

Discussion in 'Games' started by aidanpendragon, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. aidanpendragon macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 26, 2005
    #1
    Was quite looking forward to this, especially as the (PC) system requirements generally looked not too steep. Imagine my surprise when I check & see Aspyr says it's Intel-only; G4 and G5 need not apply.

    Now, maybe my last-gen eMac would have been just on the cusp of being able to run a Mac port; guess I can understand that, even if I'm not too happy about it (you need a top-end rig for Civilization??). But Aspyr also just cut out everyone running a high-end iMac G5, a PowerMac Quad, etc., i.e. anyone who bought a Mac before January 2006. Oops.

    Strikes me as sheer laziness on their part. Macworld has part of Aspyr's "explanation," which is just an excuse: "The complexity of bringing a totally new game engine to OS X meant there was plenty of work just getting the game up and running on the Mac, and adding the extra work of supporting PowerPC as well would have pushed the game release off several months."

    Boo frickin' hoo. Sorry you think PowerPPC is "extra work" and not what much of your market still is. Why not release a Universal version in the next few months, if you're so concerned about the ship date?

    But on the plus side/insult to injury, "because we were focusing solely on the Intel version of the game, we did take care to ensure it would run on all Intel Macs, including those with the Intel integrated graphics chips." So, GMA 950? Si. My Radeon 9600? Nein.

    Maybe this would be less of an issue but for all the good hype Aspyr gets as being so Mac-friendly, a developer who really cares instead of churning out quick'n'dirty ports, etc. In reality, they just flipped a lot of people the bird.

    I would say I won't buy any more Aspyr titles, but they've already made that decision for me. All I can say is that when I do get the inevitable Intel Mac, I'll cheerily pass over Aspyr games and run them in Windows under Boot Camp, instead.

    ...a few threads down is one praising Blizzard for its dogged support of past & current apps as Universal, Mac and Windows equally, etc. They're the real heroes.
     
  2. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

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    #2
    Give them a good moan.

    And write a letter, much better than an e-mail.

    But, you know sign of the times and all that.
     
  3. TDM21 macrumors 6502a

    TDM21

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    #3
    I got Aspyr's Mac newsletter last night where they talked a little about the development of Empires at War and why the decision was made to be Intel only. That is what Macworld is referencing. While I don't like the idea of Intel only I can understand why. Look how long it took to get some games over to Mac because the engine hand to be ported. After that some games were only Mac to Mac network play (Command & Conquer Generals for example).

    Here is the complete article:

     
  4. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    Cork, Ireland.
    #4
    Must be a substantial risk, the Mac gaming market is (sadly) very small, and to cut out all PowerPC Macs just makes it smaller again. Factor in that a lot of Intel users would do their gaming in Boot Camp and it leaves a very, very small target market.
     
  5. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #5
    I'm not surprised...even though I'm being left out now I think it's probably the right move.

    A lot of people are switching to the Mac, and Apple (I'm sure) wishes to drop PowerPC support as soon as possible - the only PPC users they really care about are the Pro users who have tens of thousands of dollars invested in G5 towers running professional application suites. People on the consumer end will see PPC support drop more quickly.

    It's important that the Mac gaming industry "keep up with the Joneses" by releasing as many ports as possible and as quickyl as possible. Going Intel-only massively simplifies this.

    Plus, lets face it - G4s (even the most highly modified towers and last-gen PowerBooks) are marginal gaming platforms at best when it comes to 3D gaming. The G5 machines with weaker video cards (especially the iMacs) are also in this category. Within a couple years only the towers with upgraded video cards will be much use for 3D games, and the lack of newer video card options will hamper their performance. In addition, there is no indication that Third-party CPU upgrades for the G5 will ever be available - IBM may not be interested in selling small lots of CPUs to the likes of PowerLogix and OWC, making the G5's lifespan much shorter than the evergreen G4 towers.

    Intel platforms are the future for the Mac, and the Mac gaming industry (in my opinion) is in a tough spot - they are now competing directly with the much, much larger Windows gaming world. Mac user who want to game can install Windows and play the newest games as soon as they are launched - no looong waits for bad ports anymore (ahem, Halo!). They need to get lots of games ported fast and make them run fast on the entire Mac line when possible, and they can't afford to spread themselves thin by working on porting games to a legacy architecture as well.
     
  6. MichalM.Mac macrumors regular

    MichalM.Mac

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    #6
    Damn Aspyr !

    hi (sorry about my english:)
    I have two PPC - last iBook (1.42), and heavily upgraded G4 digital audio (1.8, ATI 9800)... i play games a lot and i love sci-fi games. I was really hoping, that they port SW:EaW. One Day a saw on net new, that says this game will be available for Mac OS X and it will run on PPCs. Hooooraaay, but as i can see Aspyr is group of "fast losers" (they do fast uplayable ports of games like Civ4) Now I'm really really Sad, that SW:EaW will NOT be for PPC. I don't plan any Intel Mac in 2 years so this is bad thing for me. DAMN YOU Aspyr !!!!!!
     
  7. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #7
    This isn't the first Intel-only game – that honor (or not, depending on your perspective) belongs to Heroes of Might and Magic V.

    Still, even though I already have EAW for the PC, I'll probably pick it up for the Mac.
     
  8. MichalM.Mac macrumors regular

    MichalM.Mac

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    #8
    That's not SAME. First HoMaM 5 is developing Freeverse = amateurs, they never work on game like this Second - they use special new technology - Cider, which emeluta DirectX API..... EaW Intel Only is about LAZY Apyr :( :( :(

    (sorry about my english)
    MichalM.Mac
     
  9. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

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    #9
    Another reason why I've all but given up on gaming in my Mac. My iMac G5 Rev. A still rocks and I can't justify getting a new Mac just to play the occasional (and sometimes second-rate) port.

    Oh well. Back to my Wii...
     
  10. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    Jun 29, 2006
    #10
    MichalM.Mac: in terms of context, it's identical. In terms of background, which is what you're whining about, no, it's not the same. But it's still Intel-only.
     
  11. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

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    On the moon.
    #11
    Nothin' like shafthing the PPC guys.

    Most people will probably end up skipping the Mac version for the PC version, as this game will probably run better under Windows XP in Boot Camp then it would under OSX due to Direct X.
     
  12. Ringo macrumors regular

    Ringo

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    Mar 30, 2004
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    Quebec
    #12
    I'm pretty sure Aspys had already mentinonned that they would quickly turn to Intel-only they mentionned a 6 month to 1 year window, I may be wrong but sure I read that some days after Apple announced the migration. Guess you'll have to live with it. But it's actuallly weird that Aspyr would cut out a portion of an already small market.


    (!!! just saw that you added an Apple "smiley" :apple: :apple: Thanks mods! )
     
  13. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    Mark Adams of Aspyr has been whining for the longest time how it would be nearly impossible to bring games to both Intel and PowerPC-based Macs. I suspect his boss at Westlake would have been giving a different story.

    Aspyr spent so much time making poor choices that it's no wonder their game ports need more resources than they should.

    I find it difficult to believe that IEEE-754 floating point is different on two processors. Even on a 68040 or 68881, it's still a standard format. If they didn't want to use AltiVec to help, the G5 has decent floating point support and they could have left the G4 behind, since they'd already done that anyway.

    Good developers work out the problems. Aspyr whine.
     
  14. TDM21 macrumors 6502a

    TDM21

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    Jul 7, 2004
    #14
    Wow, I didn't think there would be this much of a negative attitude towards Apsyr. Still, Apple hasn't sold a PPC system for almost 6 months (not counting the refurb store). I think it time to start looking at where Mac are going; and that doesn't look pretty with the name change. The gaming market lives on the latest and greatest hardware and in the Mac world that is Intel.

    If you want to call Aspyr lazy then go ahead, but the original announcement of SW:EaW was made back at the start of November. With the game shipping in February, three months of development time is very reasonable. In contrast, PPC and UB development has always been a long and time consuming process. Civilization IV was first announced for Mac back in October 2005. The game did not ship until July 2006: 10 months later. Obviously the game wasn't ready to ship, but Aspyr had to get it out the door. After that, it took another 6 months to make the game compatible with GameSpy and PC players. Want another example? Command and Conquer: Generals took 7 months to ship from when it was first announced. Doom3: 8 months. All of these game have one thing in common: the engine they run on had to be moved over to Mac.

    With the Intel switch here to stay, it was only a matter of time before Aspyr to release an Intel only game. I'm sure MacSoft is going to soon follow. Glenda Adams even said in an interview with IMG that Aspyr planned on shipping the first Intel only games by early 2007. PPC gaming is starting to look bleak. By this time next year I doubt you will see any big name games being announced as Universal Binary.
     
  15. MichalM.Mac macrumors regular

    MichalM.Mac

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    #15
    I'll rather wait to May and have PPC version of this game :( :( :(
     
  16. fblack macrumors 6502a

    fblack

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    USA
    #16
    We all knew this was coming...

    We all knew this was coming down the pipe. Some of us have seen this before. I remember the transition to PPC, we were told that there would be plenty of software for our old machines for a looong time. It didn't take more than about 1-2yrs before software really dried up for my poor ol 68040 processor, sniff :( .

    I guess what's surprising is how quick PPC might get abandoned. We might see a stampede by the middle of the year and a serious drop off for ppc software offerings. Its unfortunate, but expected.
     
  17. Dunepilot macrumors 6502a

    Dunepilot

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    #17
    Seconded. The poor Mac ports being made by companies like Aspyr are the reason why I bought a Gamecube, and now, a Wii. To drop PPC support this early where there are lots of very capable G5 machines out there is pretty ridiculous. Oh well, kiss goodbye to your (small) Mac market.
     
  18. Cloudgazer macrumors 6502

    Cloudgazer

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    RSA
    #18
    There is no good reason for Aspyr to drop PPC support just yet.
    Most macs out there are still PPC.

    Yes, I know they're looking to the future.
    But in 2 years time, No one is gonna want to play this game anyway.

    This was my last hope for mac gaming.

    *sigh*
    Guess i may as well just get a PC for my gaming needs.
    I have tried to be supportive of mac game developers... but no more.

    $#%@ them!
    :mad:
     
  19. combatcolin macrumors 68020

    combatcolin

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    #19
    I think in this case an on-line petition might actually work for once.
     
  20. MichalM.Mac macrumors regular

    MichalM.Mac

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    Mar 26, 2006
    #20

    Hey Yeah !!! Let's try online petiton, for example in Half-Life 2 petition case there was problem with Havoc licensing, but in THIS case only problem is Aspyr opinion. If lot of people sign, maybe they reconsider this case and make this for PPC :) i know that i am little naive, but PPC users should try this and hope !!! :)
     
  21. iancapable macrumors 6502

    iancapable

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    London, United Kingdom
    #21
    That's because they used cider to port it. When I was a Linux user I used cedega a lot for windows gaming, people said it was slower, but I didn't see any problem with the games supported, depends on how complicated it was to support.

    I think a lot more games will be ported with this or at least made a bit more cross platform now that the mac is getting much more popular!
     
  22. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #22
    Every dealt with their technical support? Ugggh.

    Aspyr and Mark Adams don't care what the outside world has to say. They're convinced that getting things out the door cheaply is the best way to do it.

    They're not in search of excellence; they're apparently only in search of the weekend.
     
  23. aidanpendragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 26, 2005
    #23
    6 months isn't much of a window in which to declare all previous (PPC) hardware obsolescent/unsupported.

    Same thing. By this time next year, maybe I can understand, particularly as system requirements ramp up. Or on high-end FPS's now. But a relatively modest game like Empire at War, that lots of PPCs reasonably could have run (I mean, if they can get it running on Intel integrated graphics, come on)?

    I can see Aspyr's thinking: if we don't get an Intel Mac port out as quickly as possible, people will just play it on Boot Camp. But that logic doesn't fly:

    - 3 months is still "too long" for that particular market segment: people inclined to play it under Windows will either A. buy it when it comes out & not wait, or B. if they do wait for 3 months, buy the price-dropped PC version rather than the "always-$50-never-reduced" Aspyr version.

    - The people most likely to buy a Mac port (of any game) are those who don't have any other option: PPC users. We're also the ones most likely to wait 6-8 months for a port and pay a premium when we finally get one. And we're still, in early 2007, well in the majority of the installed base. Why Aspyr thus doesn't do a Universal version later (i.e., release in another 3 months) is beyond me.

    I'll gladly sign if someone does one.
     
  24. aidanpendragon thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I think I have a comic string of emails from trying to explain the bugs introduced by their Civ 3 "update" patch.
     
  25. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    Sod off
    #25
    Ok, you've changed my mind a bit.

    I'm looking at moving to a Mac Pro in a year or so, and I plan on breaking the bank with it. My G4 tower is still chugging along nicely, but I've pushed it pretty much to the end up its upgrade potential - any more major upgrades would require me to remove something I've already upgraded.

    So I'm looking ahead and not really concerned about PPC, as long as it's well supported throughout 2007.

    But there is a huge installed base of G5 users that I sort of ignored (maybe it's jealousy, since I was never able to afford those G5 towers I drooled over).

    If I had a G5 now I'd probably be 3 years away from a replacement, and that's a long time to have no new games...I mean, how many times can I beat Diablo II before I realize it's getting old? ;)

    Anyway, I have to admit to myself that, given the option of running Windows and playing all the games I want to play, or waiting 1/4 year to get two to four ports from Aspyr - well, sorry, but Windows sounds awfully good at that point. I already have a copy of XP for my junker PC....

    ...so what does Aspyr have to offer me? I'm not a die-hard Mac user that refuses to use anything without an Apple logo - even though Macs have been my primary (sometimes only) home computer for 11 years. I'll go where the games are. Heck, I already did that with my PC, which was used partly for a few games I couldn't play on the Mac.

    There's only one problem with this scenario - if most of us go to Windows for gaming, then OS X will die as a gaming platform (other than Burning Monkey Solitaire :rolleyes: ). I'm not happy about that. Instead of a couple of 6 month-old games per year, we'll get none.
     

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