Aspyr Will Stop Selling 32-Bit Mac Games After Today

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,446
8,513



Aspyr has announced that today is the last day of sales for its 32-bit Mac games, in anticipation of Apple's upcoming move to 64-bit only apps on macOS Catalina later this year.


After today, Aspyr's remaining library of Mac games for sale will be 64-bit or will receive a 64-bit update by September, when macOS Catalina is expected to release. The company promised that it will continue to port games to Mac, and that it has a "number of big announcements" for different platforms coming in the fall.
"Once Apple announced it was discontinuing support for 32-bit titles, we decided ending sales for those games was the right thing to do, and well before Apple's support ends later this year," said Elizabeth Howard, vice president of publishing at Aspyr. "Giving players fun, innovative games across all platforms is our focus, and we have some exciting new projects that we will reveal very soon."
Players will be able to continue to enjoy 32-bit games if they don't upgrade to macOS Catalina and remain on macOS Mojave and below, but 32-bit games will no longer be sold on the Aspyr store. Aspyr gave a complete list of all the 32-bit games being removed from its library, which you can read here. This includes Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, multiple Call of Duty games, Civilization IV, Tomb Raider 2, and more.

Aspyr is a video game developer and publisher that brings popular games to Mac computers, and also creates games for mobile devices, Linux, and Windows PC. You can check out the Aspyr store to browse the company's full suite of Mac games.

Article Link: Aspyr Will Stop Selling 32-Bit Mac Games After Today
 

nt5672

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2007
1,901
3,949
Of course it would be too hard to take a couple of million from the CEO and upgrade these games to 64bit.
 

Rudy69

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
619
532
I find it hard to believe it would be that hard to compile it as a 64bit binary. I wonder what library they're using that's causing it to be a deal breaker, surely every once in a while they get a few sales
 

locovaca

macrumors regular
May 14, 2002
182
118
Iowa
Sadly I still have Drawful 2 from the Mac App Store as my remaining 32 bit app. I’m curious on what happens when Mojave drops and the App Store still has 32 bit only apps.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,471
24,220
I hope they'll be able to upgrade Civilization 5 to 64-bit. Might have to hold off on upgrading the OS if not. :)
 

JosephAW

macrumors 68020
May 14, 2012
2,395
2,578
Good. Glad to hear they are continuing support for 64 bit games. My Power Mac G5 is a 64 bit computer. Let me go and buy a game today. Oh wait, Apple discontinued my 64 bit computer.
 

MasConejos

macrumors regular
Jun 25, 2007
149
43
Houston, TX
I find it hard to believe it would be that hard to compile it as a 64bit binary. I wonder what library they're using that's causing it to be a deal breaker, surely every once in a while they get a few sales
It's not as simple as selecting the 64-bit target and recompiling. (I'm simplifying here...) The code will have many memory-mapped data structures where an integer is expected to be 32-bits. When integers are suddenly 64-bits, all of the addresses and offsets are no longer correct as they were set with the expectation that an integer was 4 bytes. Additionally, things like the graphics subsystem will need to target 64-bit drivers instead of 32-bit, and these things are usually not 100% the same across the entire API.

Yes, a forward thinking programmer can compensate for a lot of this when they write the code in the first place, but that doesn't mean they were forward thinking. As such, to update a given title, it can take one or more programmers a fair amount of time to update the data structures, target new drivers, etc, then test everything. For older titles, the cost of updating is often more than the expected profit from sales, so it doesn't make financial sense to update.

The Aspyr software list wasn't anywhere near as long as I was expecting, so that means that for a lot of titles, they really only did (or will) have to set the target to 64-bit or do some minor updates. Most of what is being dropped is quite old.

With that said, it's still sad that titles are being dropped. I expect things to be far worse for non-Feral/Asypr titles. There are a lot of small studios that aren't as committed to the Mac platform as those two, and I don't expect anywhere near as good of a conversion rate.
 

ikir

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2007
1,368
738
It's not as simple as selecting the 64-bit target and recompiling. (I'm simplifying here...) The code will have many memory-mapped data structures where an integer is expected to be 32-bits. When integers are suddenly 64-bits, all of the addresses and offsets are no longer correct as they were set with the expectation that an integer was 4 bytes. Additionally, things like the graphics subsystem will need to target 64-bit drivers instead of 32-bit, and these things are usually not 100% the same across the entire API.

Yes, a forward thinking programmer can compensate for a lot of this when they write the code in the first place, but that doesn't mean they were forward thinking. As such, to update a given title, it can take one or more programmers a fair amount of time to update the data structures, target new drivers, etc, then test everything. For older titles, the cost of updating is often more than the expected profit from sales, so it doesn't make financial sense to update.

The Aspyr software list wasn't anywhere near as long as I was expecting, so that means that for a lot of titles, they really only did (or will) have to set the target to 64-bit or do some minor updates. Most of what is being dropped is quite old.

With that said, it's still sad that titles are being dropped. I expect things to be far worse for non-Feral/Asypr titles. There are a lot of small studios that aren't as committed to the Mac platform as those two, and I don't expect anywhere near as good of a conversion rate.
Finally a non whine post on Macrumours and even an interesting one! Yes I agree the list is quite short, still sad to see Borderlands the presequel, it has few years.... why it was 32bit???
 

fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,166
2,285
Silicon Valley
I'm confident that it's gotten harder to play games in macOS over the past 4 years. Back then, we had fairly up-to-date OpenGL, proper Nvidia support, and no looming 32-bit deprecations. Now Apple is asking for trouble with their war on open graphics standards and all this compatibility-breaking nonsense.

There are plenty of tests out there showing Mac-compatible games running worse in macOS than in Windows, and often it's not something the FPS meter can capture. I'm not a gamer, so idc usually, but every now and then I want to play CS:GO and have to reboot into Windows cause it's that bad in macOS. And it used to run fine 4 years ago.
 

chucker23n1

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2014
2,567
3,368
I find it hard to believe it would be that hard to compile it as a 64bit binary.
Games often are, just like other performance-critical code.

I wonder what library they're using that's causing it to be a deal breaker, surely every once in a while they get a few sales
All it takes is a dependency on some old version of Havoc, PhysX, Unreal, whatever. Then you first need to move to a newer library, which in turn will introduce lots of breakage.
 

fairuz

macrumors 68020
Aug 27, 2017
2,166
2,285
Silicon Valley
It's not as simple as selecting the 64-bit target and recompiling. (I'm simplifying here...) The code will have many memory-mapped data structures where an integer is expected to be 32-bits. When integers are suddenly 64-bits, all of the addresses and offsets are no longer correct as they were set with the expectation that an integer was 4 bytes. Additionally, things like the graphics subsystem will need to target 64-bit drivers instead of 32-bit, and these things are usually not 100% the same across the entire API.

Yes, a forward thinking programmer can compensate for a lot of this when they write the code in the first place, but that doesn't mean they were forward thinking. As such, to update a given title, it can take one or more programmers a fair amount of time to update the data structures, target new drivers, etc, then test everything. For older titles, the cost of updating is often more than the expected profit from sales, so it doesn't make financial sense to update.

The Aspyr software list wasn't anywhere near as long as I was expecting, so that means that for a lot of titles, they really only did (or will) have to set the target to 64-bit or do some minor updates. Most of what is being dropped is quite old.

With that said, it's still sad that titles are being dropped. I expect things to be far worse for non-Feral/Asypr titles. There are a lot of small studios that aren't as committed to the Mac platform as those two, and I don't expect anywhere near as good of a conversion rate.
:%s/int/int32_t/g
?
I'd believe that it's hard to recompile into 64-bit just cause of dependencies, not their own code.
 
  • Like
Reactions: flindet

Bokito

macrumors regular
May 29, 2007
168
359
Netherlands
Finally a non whine post on Macrumours and even an interesting one! Yes I agree the list is quite short, still sad to see Borderlands the presequel, it has few years.... why it was 32bit???
I think the Windows version is 32-bit and so is the engine. Certainly if there are not enough sales they really can’t afford it to port it to 64-bit.

Of course it would be too hard to take a couple of million from the CEO and upgrade these games to 64bit.
I got a reply from Aspyr some years back that the beat selling Mac game sold about 250K copies. Considering the average Mac game costs somewhere between $ 20 and $ 60, that isn’t a lot of money we’re talking about. Aspyr has expenses like any other company including expensive licenses, developers ($$$), QA department and support people. The CEO of the company will probably earn a very average salary after all payments.
 

Darmok N Jalad

macrumors 68000
Sep 26, 2017
1,986
6,418
Tanagra
Do you have any evidence that suggests that the CEO of Aspyr; a company who's entire revenue stream is based off porting games to Linux and Mac platforms, even makes a million dollars a year?
Of course not. It’s just assumed that all corporations are evil, and they have infinite funds to spend on whatever someone who has never run a business wants!

Ironically, people run their own lives like businesses all the time. If OP’s employer came to him and said, “hey, you know that work you did 6 years ago? I need you to redo it to today’s standards, on your own time, for free. Actually, I need to take money from you to do it, but hey, you make more than Kevin over in the call center, so you can afford it, right?” He’d quit his job that day.
 

chucker23n1

macrumors 68030
Dec 7, 2014
2,567
3,368
Do you have any evidence that suggests that the CEO of Aspyr; a company who's entire revenue stream is based off porting games to Linux and Mac platforms, even makes a million dollars a year?
Well, LinkedIn guesses it has 167 employees. Even if it's only a third of that, it takes a lot more revenue than a million a year to pay those.
 

Hastings101

macrumors 68020
Jun 22, 2010
2,110
736
K
Not really a big deal, Aspyr’s older ports kind of suck anyway. It’s amazing how much better Civilization IV runs under Crossover/Wine.
 

jeffbax

macrumors member
Jul 17, 2004
48
6
I find it hard to believe it would be that hard to compile it as a 64bit binary. I wonder what library they're using that's causing it to be a deal breaker, surely every once in a while they get a few sales
These games are so old, they likely depend on various middleware that are almost certainly long unsupported. All you need is one 32-bit library to make the whole thing a non-starter.

It's an unfortunate reality, but it's not a conspiracy if they don't update a game. One of the upsides of the games that can go open source and have their engines maintained for free by people, but at some point its not going to make financial sense to update all the old games.

At that point, you'll probably have to reboot into Windows, or maybe WINE/Crossover will have some kind of solution -- but when Apple rips out all the 32-bit support for things games hook into it also becomes that much harder.

If anything, games are of the hardest things to support long term vs. your typical indie Mac app that gets to sell a new version every so often to keep up to date with the OS.


Bioshock, Homeworld, Doom 3, and Civ 4 particularly sting though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: macfacts

Maoltuile

macrumors newbie
Apr 8, 2009
20
3
Good. Glad to hear they are continuing support for 64 bit games. My Power Mac G5 is a 64 bit computer. Let me go and buy a game today. Oh wait, Apple discontinued my 64 bit computer.
Apple first claimed and then denied that your G5 was a 64-bit computer, as they did for my Power Mac G5 DP 1.8Ghz and then Mac Pro 1,1 (that last really hurt).
 
  • Like
Reactions: JosephAW