Why does Apple ignore gamers?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by yadmonkey, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    Western Spiral
    #1
    It seems to me that Apple would be wise to court gamers and game developers more aggressively. Now, I have heard many Mac-fanatics swell up with passion and pride saying "Why do you need a Mac to play games?" and "Macs are for serious professionals."

    As a serious professional who loves video games, I see it differently. I own 4 Macs and have made a pretty good living troubleshooting and maintaining Macs, but because Apple largely ignores a 6 billion dollar industry, I am forced to give my money to Apple's biggest competitors as well. Now, the same Mac-fanatics might say "Fine. You own Macs and you bought gaming hardware as well: what's the problem?"

    Macs are more expensive than PCs (and well worth it for the most part, in my little opinion). Apple is trying hard to court the average home user with their Switch campaign. The problem is this: the average home user can't and/or won't afford to buy a more expensive Mac, plus a PC and/or game consoles for their gaming needs. Your new Mac is plenty capable of playing all the latest games, but that functionality is wasted for the most part.

    Now, if you love video games (there are many of us - $6 billion/year) and you are wavering between getting a Mac and a PC (the target market of the Switch campaign), Apple has basically made the choice for you by not aggressively courting game developers.

    Another thing - other companies are starting to aggressively pursue the education markets, which is threatening to Apple's small percentage of the market share. It so happens that there's a higher percentage of gamers among students, who certainly don't have the extra money for other hardware. If a student sees a discounted PC on which s/he can play games in their off time versus a more expensive Mac which gets very few good games - what choice is s/he going to make? Some will still go for the Mac, but I suspect many more would if there were even a few more games available.

    So, though I'll only turn it on for games, I'll always own a PC for gaming until Apple can fill that need for me and I'll happily give MS that money as long as Apple continues to give us gamers the shaft.

    Apple - throw us a friggin bone here. How about Age of Mythology, Splinter Cell, or even just a simultaneous release with a PC version??!
     
  2. 8thDegreeSavage macrumors 6502

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    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #2
    I think you live in a cave. I play almost all the best releases of this year on my Mac just fine.
     
  3. zach macrumors 65816

    zach

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    Medford
    #3
    yeah. i do too. I play my games on a 12" ibook with a 700 Mhz G3 and they play fine. So think about how theyd play on a 1.42 dual.... (i realllllyyyy want one (current status: $2000 dollars in account, 5171 needed :-(
     
  4. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
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    #4
    Re: Why does Apple ignore gamers?

    what should apple do here? threaten the developers children? blackmail them? release dates are set by developers and game companies, not by apple. the way developers see it, there's such a small market for Mac users that the game can wait a bit (if it comes at all). i'm dying for SimCity 4 for X, but i don't blame apple-- they had nothing to do with it.

    if you want to bitch at someone here, go yell at the game companies. apple provides the hardware and software needed to run the games-- it's up to developers to do the rest--

    pnw
     
  5. Skurn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2003
    #5
    It's not that easy

    Apple can't simply give us gamers a simultaneous release since it's the game developers that decide whether we will get a game or not in the first place. The developers can:
    1) Don't make the game for us
    2) Make the game for us (delayed)
    3) Let someone (like Aspyr) port it for us
    4) or do like Blizzard, which gave us a simultaneous release with WarCraft 3

    If more ppl had a mac and the average mac was better for games than it is (mine has a ATY Rage 128 VR, 8mb vram and 400Mhz), the developers might get more interested in porting more games. Everyone can't afford the newest mac so it's great for gaming. Now that's when this vicious sycle starts running. I believe Apple also would have to make their machines better by investing in better graphics card and greater processor speeds (which is not possible at the moment, but we'll wait hopefully for the PPC 970;)) to be able to keep up with the latest games.
    In short, alot would have to change b4 Macs would be real gaming machines.
     
  6. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

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    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    In your head.
    #6
    Be vocal, or at least write the companies that develop software.
    To be blunt- Companies develop software based on where the money is. I don't think they care about the technology. They can always underpay engineers and designers, who are more than willing to be underpaid to work in this economy.

    For the first time in history, the video game industry (and its related franchises) took in as much money as the motion picture industry. This is if their books are correct. In any case it is money driven. When it is profitable for them to make multi-platform games, then they do it.

    Incite people to write. It does make a difference. I generally get responses from developers. It makes a difference, though often the response is “We don’t see much of a market”. They say this to the first, and maybe the 100th person, but what about the 1000th? Remember, Star Trek was “saved” more than once through public intervention. Star Trek- a relatively small niche audience saved a show.

    Lastly, always buy an application, never copy. This helps make an reasonable in price, as well as reinforcing its “need”. This is preachy and makes no statements about how applications are distributed or about its users. Some companies will always charge “too-much” for their products, and they tend to be the most pirated. I try not to use any product that I think is to expensive, at least for my use. This is one of the reasons I have not upgraded to OS X.x.
     
  7. nuckinfutz macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

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    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    #7
    Gaming

    Is is a huge industry but it's hard to be profitable. The amount of Development that goes into a game with the unique programming and fine tuning rivals just about any app you can think of. That's alot of resources to expend.

    I also think that Apple's corporate culture has always eschewed gaming in favor of Professional tools and applications. This surely has caused a loss in sales to consumers.

    They have done something however. With Sprockets and OpenGL they've made it possible to support cross platform gaming. The Developers just have to rise to the challenge. As well as consumer purchasing games.
     
  8. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Western Spiral
    #8
    "I think you live in a cave. I play almost all the best releases of this year on my Mac just fine."

    Well, 8thDegreeSavage, your insight is matched only by your incredible wit. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and provoking answer. I happen to live in a very high tech cave where we have broadband, 6 computers, 2 game consoles, a refrigerator, microwave, cable TV.... come to think of it, we call it a house. The fact is that you played a fraction of the best releases of the year because that's what the Mac got. Yes, it got some great games, but Mac-only users are missing out on a whole world of other games.

    "what should apple do here? threaten the developers children? blackmail them?"
    Paulwhannel, is that the best you can think of? The fact is the core of OS X should make it relatively easy for game developers to port their games to the Mac. Apple should be more helpful in supporting developers in getting started with the porting process... maybe start a program to get developers to re-think porting. Its not unheard of. It would mean an investment of time and money for Apple, but in the end, it could be quite cost-effective for game developers to make the port.

    Skurn, I agree that it will be difficult to get simultaneous releases to happen. I also agree that much will have to change within Apple for them to start catering more to gamers. That's why they need to start right now.

    I really don't believe Apple's 5% (forgive me if this number is wrong) market share is all that secure. If you haven't noticed, Apple is losing footing in key markets. I already mentioned education, but another Mac industry is also starting to look to PCs - the music industry. Not the music studios and record companies, but people who are looking into home studios, which is a huge portion of the market. Digidesign's Pro Tools is an industry standard and even they are starting to do product tours demonstrating their products on PCs.

    On the other hand, Apple has made some converts among the average home users, ala Switch. Turns out, a whole lot of average home users really like video games. If these trends are to continue, Apple can't afford to ignore what is projected to be the largest entertainment industry by next year.
     
  9. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #9
    Thanks, nuckinfutz. I agree that its a tough industry to make money in. However, once a game is finished for another system, it should not be too expensive for the port to OS X. I guess I'd just like to see Apple compete on more levels because I want to see Apple stick around.
     
  10. phgreer macrumors regular

    phgreer

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    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    #10
    I hope Ubisoft get'sUru ported to the Mac platform. I hear it's just PC right now but Cyan the developer is trying to work with Ubisoft to get Uru ported.

    Oh for those who don't know Uru is the big online game project Cyan has been working on since Riven. They say it's not a sequel as far as the storyline goes but it's set in the same "universe" and the present day.
     
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #11
    With OSX Apple has gotten better but still has more work to do when it comes to the mac and gaming. If they want to get that young base out there then they know gaming on the mac is a must. The top PC Games almost always make it to mac. examples RTCW,Halo coming to mac,Doom3 coming to Mac,UT2003 coming to Mac and this continues. I see mac gaming as brighter and brighter and now with 1 gigers everywhere macs will run whatever is thrown at them. Apple even has there own game/page section so to say apple is ignoring gamers is wrong, perhaps it would have been better to say why has it taken so long to wake up to the gamers.
     
  12. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    Western Spiral
    #12
    Dont Hurt Me, maybe you're right that it is too much to say that Apple ignores Mac gamers. Apple is doing something, but I hope it is enough. Part of me is responing to their "we don't need gamers" attitude of the past. You're also right that there are some good games on the way. I played Halo on Xbox for countless hours and it will more than live up to the hype for any platform.

    The thing is that there are always games that are sorely missing from the list, like Age of Mythology and Splinter Cell, which would surely sell well enough to merit the port. Maybe we'll get lucky and get these games eventually too.
     
  13. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

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    Jan 22, 2003
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    In your head.
    #13
    If you’re in a cave, I must be living in a burrow. I have only a revB iBook, OS9, a word processor, no TV, cable, or DSL. Oh, I live in a studio- I am in burrow.

    You bring up an interesting idea; Apple could help directly with development, perhaps start entire division whose sole job is to help port applications, in this case games, to OSX. This would cause a problem for the companies that exist solely to convert applications from one OS to Mac. I think that Blizzard has subcontracted the same company to do all of their software, though I can’t remember what the name of the company is.

    Every level Apple competes on helps the company. Hell, were hopping that Apple becomes a big as M$, then we can complain about how Apple dominates the market and how we hate the benefits and problems that their software provides.
     
  14. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #14
    Eniregnat, I very much agree that every level Apple can compete on will help them. So happens, gaming is a huge level.
     
  15. cubist macrumors 68020

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    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #15
    Last year at MWNY there was a whole aisle of 17" iMacs running games, and it was impossible to find a free seat. More than twice as many as the machines in the free Internet area. So I think that Apple wants games to succeed. I saw Age of Empires II and WC3 and WipeOut 2097 there, and bought all three eventually.

    The developers are a funny lot. Electronic Arts, for example, seems to have an anti-Mac attitude. AOEII is from Microsoft, ported to Mac by Bold Games. CivIII and others were ported by MacSoft fairly quickly. The console market (PS2, Xbox et al) is artificially hard and expensive to enter.

    Another hurdle for a game developer is MacOS X. Should they develop exclusively for X, or for Carbon? If the latter, development is no easier than before, perhaps harder; if the former, you may be shutting yourself out of a large portion of an already small market.

    I think we'll have to give things time: time for the MacOS 9 (and 8!) diehards to give in, time for better hardware to be available, time for MacOS X to get better.

    In the meantime, open-source games such as Racer, FreeCraft and FreeCiv can be ported to the Mac (with X11) and run well. They don't run well on Windows, if at all. We are on the brink of a major industry shift to 64-bit Unix/Linux; Windows has peaked and is in decline. The Mac has got to ride that wave. MacOS X was a big gamble, but it was a necessary one.
     
  16. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

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    Kalifornia
    #16
    I knew I'd be shortchanged on games when I bought my Mac but it's not a big issue with me. I don't know how the rest of you feel but as far as I can tell, 90-95% of the games for PC's are junk anyway. I don't remember where I read this but I heard that most published games lose money or barely break even. Usually the only games come out for the Mac are the good ones. When I was a PC user, the games never worked well because it was so hard to keep up with the increasing requirements in memory, sound and vid cards, CPU speed, hard drive capacity, I finally gave up.

    I use a console (Gamecube). Consoles are $150-$200 now, you never have to worry about compatability problems and minimum system requirements, you just get a new one every 3-4 years. TV screens are larger than most monitors. While not all games port to a console, it's a good compramise.

    I've still got my old Connectix Virtual Game Station PS1 emulator, though I hardly use it. Maybe if someone can make a PS2 emulator for the Mac we'd all be happier.
     
  17. Mr. MacPhisto macrumors 6502

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    Jan 16, 2003
    #17
    I'm actually currently developing a high-end Mac-only gaming studio because of the potential I see with Cocoa and OS X. I'll likely start the company this summer and currently have several investors ready to make a commitment - so I'll likely have a great deal of capital at start up to invest at the beginning to create something very special.
     
  18. macktheknife macrumors 6502a

    macktheknife

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    Jan 24, 2002
    #18
    Eniregnat: I totally agree with you in that Apple should have a department 100% dedicated to gaming, whether it's helping developers port their games or create better game programming tools. I also think Apple should make an equity investment in some game companies to ensure they develop for the Mac. Apple could strike a deal with say, an Electronic Arts, to help with the cost of developing a Mac version of a game and taking an gains (or losses) associated with it. I think it would send a good message to the gaming industry: Apple so confident that games could be profitable on a Mac it is willing to put its money where its mouth is.

    A better solution would be, IMHO, form an alliance with Nintendo to get GameCube games to play on the Mac. Wait, wait, hear me out first (and no flames!): Game console makers don't make money on the consoles themselves so cannibalization of GameCube sales shouldn't be a big deal. Apple can help Nintendo with network gaming (which will be infinitely easier on a Mac than some clumsy add-on). I mean, imagine the possibilities! Imagine competing in Super Mario Cart on the Internet!

    Ah, we can always dream, can't we? :)
     
  19. macktheknife macrumors 6502a

    macktheknife

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    #19
    Hey Mr. MacPhisto, can you tell us more about your startup? What kind of games do you have in mind? What's your timeline of delivering a product?
     
  20. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

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    #20
    man everyone is gonna hate me for this post. i pretty much laugh at my mac when it comes to games. but we are getting better. most games that come to mac satisfy people like the top 10 games. but there are so many other games that are out there that we dont have and probably never have. morrowind, americas army, soldiers, gta3, the new matrix game, game of the year battlefield 1942. also star wars galaxies (which because of a couple of days ago the game will no officially suck a***), splinter cell. i could go on and on. we just now got force feedback, teamspeak is almos here. EAX sound technology with creative audigy drives (which drivers are suppose to come but yet still havent).5.1 surround sound gaming. the mac will be good if you like sims and harry potter and the rest of your games. but apple is no where close to pc's in the game market. all i have to say is that if you are serious about games and thats really what you want to do, a mac isnt the machine for you. same goes for if you want to do video and photo editing, then a pc really isnt the computer for you.

    iJon
     
  21. macktheknife macrumors 6502a

    macktheknife

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    #21
    Hey, iJon! I thought you weren't going to post anymore on Macrumors!?!? Glad see you really do prowl these threads. :D
     
  22. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #22
    wow more people read that thread than i thought. i did some thinking and changed my mind. read my thread on it. that will tell you why i changed my mind.

    iJon
     
  23. idkew macrumors 68020

    idkew

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    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    #23
    well, beacuse there are CONSOLES out there.

    i bet 75% of that $6b is spent on consoles, console games, and accesories.
     
  24. kenkooler macrumors regular

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    Jan 2, 2002
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    Mexico City
    #24
    I would say it's not completely out of the question, both the GameCube and the Playstation2 have PowerPC processors and are not so different from PCs.
     
  25. idkew macrumors 68020

    idkew

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    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    #25
    every game would have to be recompiled for a mac ppc processor. while they are both ppc, the gamecube's proc and apple's procs are not compatible.

    it would be neat though. make a 2 sided disc- one apple, one gc. too bad any slot loading drive can't handle mini cds/dvds.

    an adapter for controllers would be very cheap to manufacture.

    the bid problem comes with video cards. nintendo knows everything about the gamecube's hardware; that is not true about an apple. maybe we could just add a gamecube pci card which has the video card and such along with controller plugs... all for $149.

    possible, but not probable.
     

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