Biggest thing holding Apple back is the lack of games?

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by luffytubby, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. luffytubby macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

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    #1
    Warning: LOOOOOOOOOOooooonnnnggggggg....




    In a recent interview on Kikizo with Todd Hollenshead from ID software( http://games.kikizo.com/features/todd-hollenshead-id-software-interview-p4.asp )


    A question came up about Mac:






    Kikizo: When we last spoke to Gabe Newell, one of the interesting things we discussed was the Mac. His view is that the people in charge of games at Apple change jobs every couple years and that there's no consistency or they don't take it seriously enough. But here we see you have this running perfectly on Mac. Would you agree with his comments on Apple gaming?

    Todd: It's a true comment. I think historically, Gabe is absolutely right. The Apple guys will probably frown to hear me say that, but I mean there are facts and there are facts [laughs], and the fact is, that over the years Apple has shown an interest in gaming and then not followed through on it. Certainly our hope is that they are going to follow through. I do think they have made a significant investment... Jobs had a limited amount of time [at his WWDC 07 keynote] and John Carmack isn't the kind of guy who's going to get up on stage just to try and please Steve Jobs. John has his own ideas and he's his own guy, and even the persona of Steve Jobs isn't going to work on John very well, if at all! But if Steve had games on his show; not only did he give time to id, he gave time to EA, and I do think that it demonstrates at least a commitment at a high level to sharing the platform's face, if you will, with games.



    But I mean, it is about the follow up. Now Apple was great to work with us; we were in some dialogue and they asked what we thought of having it on Mac, they sent some engineers down and they made a commitment about drivers and how they were going to support this stuff in the future, and I certainly hope they follow through on it, because with the hardware now, you're not having to deal with this weird Power PC architecture; they have Intel chips and all that stuff, and it does make it a whole lot easier for us to work with it. I don't think that they're hamstrung at a performance level - they don't have to create these weird Apple-only benchmarks.







    Added to this, is Kikizo's earlier interview with Gabe Newell from Valve, from last year, just before the release of the Orange Box( http://games.kikizo.com/features/gabenewell_valve_iv_sep07_p1.asp )



    Kikizo: People keep asking you about a potential Macintosh version, and your stance is that this is a strictly Windows project...?

    Gabe: Well, we tried to have a conversation with Apple for several years, and they never seemed to... well, we have this pattern with Apple, where we meet with them, people there go "wow, gaming is incredibly important, we should do something with gaming". And then we'll say, "OK, here are three things you could do to make that better", and then they say OK, and then we never see them again. And then a year later, a new group of people show up, who apparently have no idea that the last group of people were there, and never follow though on anything. So, they seem to think that they want to do gaming, but there's never any follow through on any of the things they say they're going to do. That makes it hard to be excited about doing games for their platforms.



    Kikizo: So you think it's all because of staff turnaround in their gaming department?

    Gabe: I just don't think they've ever taken gaming seriously. And none of the things developers ask them to do are done. And as a result, there's no gaming market there to speak of. We'd love it if they would get serious about it. But they never have, and can't even follow trough on any of their commitments for game developers.


    Kikizo: So would you say that the rumour that crops up every couple of years that Apple is about to do a big plan and release a console box, is basically ********?

    Gabe: We've seen no evidence that they are able to follow through on even simple programs in the game space. It seems bizarre to me because it's like one of the biggest things holding them back in the consumer space. If you look at a Macintosh right now, it does a lot of things really well compared to a Vista PC, but there are no games. Why, I don't know. If I were a Macintosh product manager, it would be pretty high on my list, and a problem to get taken care of, as probably the number one thing holding them back with consumers.





    Now, I love my Mac, and I have really come to love OSX, but that does not mean that people can't be in disagreement about certain features(or lack there off).
    I always thought it was idiotic to push forward on something casual entertainment like Music and Movies, and then just dismiss their lack of game support as "Apple does not care about games".
    Mac's are great for work, we get it, but there is no excuse why someone who bites into the "lifestyle" branding that Apple themselves sprew out, should not be able to enjoy games, which are just becoming a bigger and bigger and bigger part of the culture.
    Because as you can read above, they obviously do(or did) but have failed to manage it any special way.



    My opinion on this; Apple should listen to Valve. Next to Blizzard, Valve are the frontrunners in the Computer gaming scene. In the non-console space of Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo, they are kings.

    Many people feel that their service Steam, has made a revolution in gaming, as the 12+ Million users, begin to easily purchase and play games, in an the gaming hub. Not only a virtual store, but also what has become a gathering place for all types of gamers. The level of simplicity, stability and ease of use is amazing.
    It is single handedly my favorite app, that I miss from Windows.
    And the hole system is actually very Mac-Like, in terms of UI, and how easy to buy products and play.
    Since it's release it has become something massive, and many computer game companies are now publishing their games through Steam, as it seems to have an negative effect on Piracy, due to the fact that people using Steam, have to be connected to Steam(for varification).
    Another great thing about the service is that, when you purchase a game on Steam, you will never need to install it from a DVD, or put in a DVD to play, making it easier and less of a hassle.
    Steam now has many games up on it's service and more are coming every day, including Classics like Doom, and current favorites like Assassins Creed and Company of Heroes, and even upcoming games like Far Cry 2 and Left 4 Dead.
    There also alternatives like casual games for Soccer moms and light gamers, aswell as indie games for the folks who like alternative, like Audiosurf.
    In Steam now, you can even add your own games who was not purchased on Steam, and have them launch from the Steam Games Menu, which is a nice touch.

    One of the latest additions are Achievements, similiar to what is found in Xbox Live. Performing certain tasks like beating a game at a certain difficulty or performing 10 headshots in a certain online shooter game or beating a level in less than 4 and a half minutes, might earn you Achievements. Small emblems of status. These where rolled out with the Orange Box, but are now making their way into older products.
    Their amount of free updates and support from their fanbase and mod community has been nothing less than staggering.
    Steam is not only a game central, it's a hub for gamers and a community in it's own right.

    It's decent enough to still have Blizzard supporting the platform and have Boot Camp, but I seriously urge Apple to try and make it work with Valve, to get Steam on OSX.
    Individual Mac support for the litterly thousands of high quality games might be more tricky, but we don't exactly know what Gabe and Valve needs Apple to do.
    It seems to me that it's not impossible, rocket science or even a hard challange, but simply a matter of wanting to do it. If Apple really felt that gaming was not "meant" for their platform, they wouldn't even invest the slightest resources into asking companies to do it, and send technicians down to companies to talk about drivers and support.

    At the end of the day, OSX is an operating system and Windows is an operating system.
    They can both do most things - Web Browsing, Editing(Movies, Images, Audio), Writing, Management, general work and applications, E-mail... They are both capable in all ways but one, which is gaming.

    It's been talked about so much, since the early 90s and people will probably continue to talk about it, until something is done, because obviously there is interest from developers, publishers, gamers, and people who want to make the switch to Mac but won't because of the poor support.
    Over are the days of PowerPC, and I think Apple should embrace that fact and get something done.
    OSX can do pretty much everything else. If the sole problem lies in DirectX, then I think Apple should licens the use to use DirectX as it is the standard today that all games are made for.



    Note; I didn't buy my Mac to game on, and am not dissapointed or mad at Apple or anything, but obviously it is my belief that it is something that is holding Apple back, and I refuse to believe that Apple are so out of touch with reality that they don't know how big gaming has become. Profits surpassed the Movie industry years ago,
    The Playstations threat to home computing was the direct reason that the Mammoth launched it's Xbox console, and in every territory around the world(especially in Asia) are gaming still booming and increasing at a rapid rate.
    10-15 years ago it might not have mattered as much, but gaming in as it is now, is AT LEAST as important, relevant and significant as Movies and Music.
    And I just know many people who won't take the plunge because of all this. And I think it's sad to.
    Because it makes the saying that Apple does everything you want in a computer to do, a lie. Because it obviously don't. Not yet at least.
     
  2. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    #2
    There are two sides to every failed cooperation, and Id's side is a valid one. (Ironically, I mostly play Id games on my Mac these days! For all the harsh words, Id has been good to Mac users--and that's continuing, with Quake Live and Rage.)

    I definitely do NOT think the lack of games is the thing "holding Apple back." "Gamers" won't flock to Mac for their primary gaming any time soon, no matter WHAT Apple does.

    But gaming is one of many things people do with computers--one that's important to me--and I very much wish Apple paid it more attention.

    Meanwhile, a few things that give me SOME hope:

    * Apple adapts to consumer demand in surprising ways sometimes. The Mac Mini was once unthinkable--the way a midrange headless seems unlikely today. Exchange support and Boot Camp seemed unlikely too--until they happened.

    * I've heard from a major game engine developer that their engine is one of the things Apple now tests OS X versions against.

    * Snow Leopard is focused on performance, including leveraging the GPU in new ways. They've also bought chip technology that would be relevant to making Mac-specific co-processors. Macs stand to end up faster than Windows PCs as a result of these steps--and at some point games will benefit too.

    * Apple has focused a lot on game development with the iPhone.

    * The overall Mac market is growing fast. That means every segment WITHIN that market is growing too--including every kind of gamer. Demand from Mac users for gaming performance will only mount.
     
  3. luffytubby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

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    #3

    Right now, OSXs marked share is at 6%
    '


    I think that if OSX can get 10% it would be enough to make more developers make their games cross platform compatible similiar to Blizzard.
     
  4. t0mat0 macrumors 603

    t0mat0

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    #4
    It's a decent article. Linked it here yesterday. Apple has a lot going for it gaming wise soon. The portability to the Macis much better now they're on Intel.
     
  5. michaelsaxon macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Game development will follow Mac market share increases.

    As it stands, I think PC game development is in the hurt box on its own and is getting challenged by consoles.
     
  6. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #6
    I think these are two very different statements.

    The Mac is never going to be a major gaming platform while it has less than 10% market share and very little gaming developer support.

    But if Apple did make the effort, then gaming could at least stop being a reason why people would avoid the Mac. It could be a "close enough 2nd" to the PC such that the Macs other positive features make it the more compelling choice overall.
     
  7. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    #7
    Agreed--that would be a factor. I just don't think think it's the "biggest" factor. The biggest factors holding Apple back, affecting a larger group of people than just that small segment who buy a computer with games as a goal, would be things like peer pressure, resistance to change, pure "fear," persistent myths, etc.
     
  8. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #8
    I can recall a couple of keynotes made by Steve Jobs where gaming has been in the focus... a few come to mind: (see pics)
    - MW New York 1998 (iMac and games, like Unreal etc.)
    - MW San Francisco 2000 (Quake 3 on early Mac OS X)
    - MW New York 2000 (Bungie and Halo... :rolleyes:)
    - MW Tokyo 2001 (GeForce 3 intro and show-off of early Doom 3 stuff)

    But...
    Every time you actually bought the newest game for the Mac (like Unreal back then) no Mac could play them at high settings.. why not? Cr@ppy grfx card!
    I can image the frustrations game developers get by Apple, as they never seem to get real follow-up. Steve Jobs does a few demo's, gets everyone in gear for gaming, and then delivers very poor 3D grfx cards in Macs, and "forget" the developers too. :mad:
    Every new iMac launch (until now, though) would get us Mac gaming enthusiasts annoyed about the utter cr@p Apple now has put in there as a grfx card. So, even if the developers were encouraged and helped by Apple, the primary computer on which these games should be sold and played on (the consumer Mac, i.e. iMac) couldn't handle 15 fps at low settings.

    If you ask me, Steve Jobs personally dislikes games.

    However how things can change.... Boot Camp helps us too here. The need for better grfx is stimulated by Boot Camp, and the possibility to do Windows gaming, supported, on the Mac.
    We now have decent stuff... even in the iMac!

    Ss the market share increases, and we have better hardware... I'm sure developers will get more and more support from Apple too. Apple seem to have "gotten it" with the iPhone, now back to the Mac....
    ;)
     

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  9. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    #9
    Quite a number of games have been demo'd first on Mac. Off the top of my head:

    Halo
    Doom 3
    Rage

    Better GPU options would be great--but that would not solve much for developers: the number of game shoppers who would buy one of those high-GPU Macs would still be a very small market. Time is needed to change that.
     
  10. KurtangleTN macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Yes, in my personal view it is. There are many gamers i know that deal with the driver problems with BSODs on Vista far too often, but can't make the plunge because the Mac Pro is out of their league and the iMac isn't customizable.

    Apple is so concerned with shoving simplicity down your throat that it can't seem to get the idea of average people wanting a tower. At least back when the PowerMac G4s there was always a fairly affordable tower to fill the gap but now the gap between the iMac and Mac Pro is bigger than ever and it sucks.

    I also think Steve Jobs dislikes gaming, and I agree judging by many keynotes they seem to try to give some hope and then perform it very half ass.
     
  11. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    #11
    They were demoed first on Macs, yep. But usually these demos were very early betas.
    The games were made available for purchase first on Windows.

    If you have a small market share in the first place, and then the majority of that market share has an iMac with bad 3D grfx performance.... your new games-sales won't reach the level you would have expected as the performance of your game is truly dramatically bad on that platform.

    Have you ever tried Unreal for Mac OS 8 on an iMac??? After all that boasting and gloating about the performance of the G3 they "forgot" to mention the worst 3D performance.... in both OpenGL and RAVE.
    Really... even the "Pro" Power Mac G3 Blue & White with ATi Rage 128 couldn't handle Unreal! We had to wait for the über expensive Voodoo 5 5500 Mac edition for anyone to play it at the settings a normal Windows gamer could play it for a year...
     
  12. Irishman macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Part of Gabe Newell's problem has been that he's pissed that Apple won't pay his Million dollar licensing fee to show they're serious about porting games to the Mac.

    The problem isn't that Valve can't port their games to the Mac. The problem is that they won't. They've had a couple titles that I know of mostly done as far as coding, but pulled the project at the 11th hour. (the titles? Half Life, and Pharaoh-something).

    Why?

    Cash, folks. Pure and simple.

    But look at some top-tier game developers who DO play nice with the Mac platform:

    Blizzard
    id
    Epic
    EA
    Bungie

    Are they showing signs of having made poor business decisions as a result of their support of the minority platform?

    No.

    Do they bitch and whine about apple not really being serious about games and withhold titles just for spite?

    No.

    So, Gabe Newell, suck it!
     
  13. luffytubby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

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    #13
    What are you talking about? Don't you think developers just want to reach a larger audience?
     
  14. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    #14
    Right. The demos merely show an interest by Apple in games, and by game devs in making their engines run on Mac.

    The statute of limitations on Mac OS 8 grudges has passed :p (BTW, I played Unreal Tournament on a PRE-G3 Power clone: a 200 Mhz 604e with NO 3D board. All software rendering, at min detail, at 320x200 letterboxed because 320x240 was too slow! And unbelievably, I still I had fun. I took a screenshot once comparing Deck 16 back then to Deck in UT2004 with detail up. I can't wait to add UT3 to the comparison.)

    Privately? They might! (But EA, with their Cider-only pattern, better hadn't complain!)
     
  15. bluebomberman macrumors 6502a

    bluebomberman

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    #15
    I'm actually starting to think that the game question is growing less important and will continue to do so.

    1) Laptops are dominating sales (EDIT: PCs and Macs) - with a few exceptions, they all game poorly, too.
    2) PC gaming as a whole has been suffering a gradual decline - I can't think of the last PC game to come out that sent quakes through the gaming world that didn't have the name Blizzard attached to it. UT2007 and Crysis haven't been terribly big, and Madden's been canned for PC.
    3) Mac market share continues to grow at a steady and decent pace, despite the lack of gaming chops.
    4) Boot Camp has made things a bit less painful for Mac owners - less of a need for a dedicated Windows gaming rig.
    5) Blizzard makes native Mac games, and id Software indicates they will do so as well.
    6) Cider hopefully will get better - Spore will be the real test.
    7) A lot of gaming attention is being shifted over to iPods and iPhones.

    Some other thoughts:
    1) Valve's got a bit of a rep as a company who hates the work required to do cross-platform - Gabe Newell's pretty infamous for blasting the PS3 Cell architecture and decided to outsource the conversion. So anything that's not Windows/Xbox won't get the love from them. (Maybe they'll do something for the Wii one of these days. I'm not going to hold my breath, though.)
    2) Apple never really has cared too much for gaming, and never will. Witness the numerous threads in this forum about how Starcraft and Diablo II got borked by the removal of 256-color support. Their attitude seems to be benign neglect - let people make games, maybe we'll send a few engineers over to help out, but otherwise you're on your own.
    3) Ironically, the coming of Snow Leopard and the ability to tap into GPUs might force Apple to significantly up the GPU horsepower in future machines.
     
  16. liptonlover macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I don't think Apple is doing bad in the game market at all. I look for new mac games all the time, and I play a wide variety of games. And I am never disappointed. I remember a time when I could surf the internet looking for games and most of the games I found would be PC only with no mac implementation. Those times are gone.

    a) a lot of bigger game companies are porting their games. Sometimes not releasing them quite as quickly as for the pcs, but they're doing decently.

    b) small creative game companies are both remaking and usually improving big pc and mac titles, and offering them cheaper. They're also coming out with great games of their own design.

    c) there are quite a few mac only companies. I can never remember their names but the guys who do bugdom, nanosaur, all that stuff. (What IS their name?!?!)

    d) there's the open source community as well. They make some great games too. BZFlag and TTD come to mind...

    e) java downloadable games gives us cross platform games. Maybe they weren't made on a mac but plenty if not all (not sure how java works) are cross platform.

    f) finally there are plenty of online games that don't care WHAT computer you have as long as you have java or flash.

    So really I don't mind doing all my gaming on a mac.
     
  17. Irishman macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Replying to your numbered points:

    I agree with #1. Only cold hard cash will bring Newell over to the light side.

    #2 is partly true. Apple has never cared much for gaming like it cares for Photoshop. "never will" presupposes a lot for the prediction to hold up. The same could have been said about Apple and interest in a cell phone, until the iPhone came along. So, all in all, Apple has been a company that does nothing but surprise us.

    #3 is too early to tell.
     
  18. Irishman macrumors 68020

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    #18
    liptonlover, you mean Pangea. They made Bugdom and Nanosaur, and Cromag Rally, and Otto Matic.
     
  19. TSE macrumors 68030

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    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #20
    The game market or PCs is dropping like flies, and while the PC game market is dropping, Apple's gaming market is rising, slowly but surely. So you know what that means? Apple is actually gaining ground against Windows and all other PC Manufacturers.

    Personally I support MacSoft completely. They are a great little company, they don't code games, but they port them almost completely flawlessly. I was surprised when I bought AOE2 for the Mac, now it doesn't work with Leopard and hopefully they can get it working soon enough though.
     
  20. liptonlover macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    their logo looks familiar... I just checked out their website they seem to have a nice business going on there.
     
  21. Miharu macrumors 6502

    Miharu

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    Finland
    #22
    As a semi-serious gamer playing on an Intel Mac, Boot Camp has helped me a little (I played some Half Life 2 and Bioshock that I bought), but overall both of those games have been left to dust because I can't be arsed to boot all the time. I've been really lucky and I've lately bought a good number of games on Mac, Command & Conquer 3, Battlefield 2142 both for 10€ a piece!

    And this Spore game doesn't intereste me much but I picked up the Spore Creature Editor for 4,95€ and the cover clearly states it works with Macs too, so yeah I got it!

    EA is selling it's Mac games for way too high a price, especially since they are "just" Cider ports... They run slow! They should all cost 29,90€ and it's a promise that they'd sell better.

    Games that I want for Mac right now is at least Tomb Raider Anniversary, but they ask some 42€ for it and you can find the Windows version for 20 bucks EVERYWHERE.

    Thank God for Blizzard. I have all their games and I'm a serious WoW addict. Raiding Vashj right now.

    So my solution would be this: if there's a port of a 2 year-old PC game(CIDER PORT OR NOT........), you are not justified to sell it for 50 bucks, it must be cheaper! I love video games, and Mac is a viable gaming platform but the games are just so expensive why would anyone want to buy them?
     
  22. luffytubby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    luffytubby

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    #23
    I think you are putting this out of context mate. Gabe's beef with PS3, which many other developers have been raging on is that PS3s Cell is illogical, hard to code for and makes the porting harder. He has been out for 360 at some point aswell.
    But actually you could hear him being positive about Mac, and even admitting that OSX does many things better than Vista.

    And now that PPPC is gone, it does not really apply. The hardware is the same.



    That aint different from MS. Its not like they beg developers to make games for their OS. People just do.
    It should be the same on Mac. Just like with any other software.

    You could use the same logic with anything else... it could have been music, editing, or music instead that mac sucked at. Its not about apple making the games, but providing the tools. And the only thing I can think of is DirectX!


    False. The PC gaming is in its best state ever. It is simply CHANGING. Boxed retail sales are going out the window, and in comes free downloadable games with real money shops and advertisment driven.
     
  23. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    #24
    One thing that may help PCs and Macs alike, in future: low-end and integrated graphics chips will keep improving. The low end won't be quite AS low always.
     
  24. iamamthelawl macrumors newbie

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    Dec 16, 2007
    #25

    When was the last time bungie ported something to the mac?
    Since when was EA a top-tier anything? The ports are way to expensive(pc is only 20 dollars and comes with northern strike) and not as good as the originals.
    When was the last time epic has ported something to the mac? UT3? (yah it sucked but still)
    If you will not make as much profit off mac games as windows games, there should be an incentive to make them in the first place. I really like my mac and I do want apple to pay more attention to games, its the only reason I own vista, for the games and when that is gone I do not need it anymore.
     

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