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In a new Q&A video from Wired, Blizzard vice president Jeff Kaplan responded to a list of user questions on Twitter, all centered around the company's popular first-person shooter Overwatch, which is currently available on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. Ahead of the game's release, the company said that any development on Mac was not in the works and that focus would be on the other platforms.

Now, in response to a user asking if the game will ever be on Mac, Kaplan has said that Blizzard is "open minded" about bringing Overwatch to MacBooks and iMacs, although such development doesn't appear to be a priority.

ana-overwatch-800x484.jpg
User's question: Hi I was just wondering and I'm sure this question is kinda of annoying. Will Overwatch be coming to mac?

Kaplan's answer: I will not say that it's definite...that we will never be on Mac. We are open minded to it, we just need the priorities of our development process to line up with the capabilities of the platform in order for it to become a reality.
Kaplan's response is a bit non-committal, neither confirming nor denying whether players will ever be able to purchase Overwatch for the Mac, but it is at least nice hearing that the team behind the game continues to consider all platform options moving forward. It remains unclear what specific Mac-related limitations might be preventing Blizzard from pushing forward in Mac development on Overwatch, but from Kaplan's comments it appears that the team wants to ensure the game's quality before it would publish it on Apple's computers.

Blizzard has supported Apple devices for many of its previous games, including bringing Hearthstone to iOS and Mac, as well as launching Heroes of the Storm on Mac. Overwatch runs best with a consistent frame rate due to its fast-paced gameplay, particularly during competitive season games, but some lower-end PCs have been able to run the game with concessions in graphics and resolution.

The Mac-related question appears at 12:45 in Wired's new video.

Article Link: Blizzard VP Jeff Kaplan Says Company is 'Open Minded' About Bringing Overwatch to Mac
 

gim

macrumors 6502
Jul 27, 2014
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but some lower-end PCs have been able to run the game with concessions in graphics and resolution.

This is exactly why I never understood their decision not to release it for macOS. If you turn the resolution and details all the way down, this game is absolutely playable with integrated graphic solutions...
 
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jim001

macrumors newbie
Jul 26, 2011
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I would love to see Overwatch on Mac as I am getting a little tired of it on the PS4.

Maybe if Apple would update OpenGL from version 4.1 that was released in 2010 we could have some nice things.

We are the ones that are getting hurt because Apple wants everyone to use Metal. Blizzard was one of the companies that show cased Metal when it was announced and they don't even want to use it.
 
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archi_130w1

macrumors member
Mar 9, 2016
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This is exactly why I never understood their decision not to release it for macOS. If you turn the resolution and details all the way down, this game is absolutely playable with integrated graphic solutions...
I can typically smoothly play it on my 2016 M7 by using the tweaks from here:

I love that guy's channel.
 
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CWallace

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Aug 17, 2007
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Maybe if Apple would update OpenGL from version 4.1 that was released in 2010 we could have some nice things.

That would certainly help, I imagine.

We are the ones that are getting hurt because Apple wants everyone to use Metal. Blizzard was one of the companies that show cased Metal when it was announced and they don't even want to use it.

Not true. World of Warcraft is now on Metal (with significant performance improvements) and Heroes of the Storm recently was ported to Metal (still technically a Beta release). Surprisingly, Blizzard is also considering porting Diablo 3 to Metal.

So a Metal version of Overwatch is probably not beyond happening. Be nice to not have to use Boot Camp when I want to play it.
 
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JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
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This is exactly why I never understood their decision not to release it for macOS. If you turn the resolution and details all the way down, this game is absolutely playable with integrated graphic solutions...
The problem isn't the lack of GPU power, but rather the lack of suitable graphics APIs on the Mac. macOS currently ships with a very old version of OpenGL which can't give the performance nor the graphical features required for parity with the PC and console versions.

Metal is certainly an option but I imagine it would add to the development time significantly to develop an entirely distinct renderer for the Mac version. It's certainly a possibility though.

With that said, I genuinely do suspect there's more to this story than Macs not being capable of running the game.
 
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Ritsuka

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Blizzard ported StarCraft 2 to Metal too… so it's not like they don't have the resources to do it.
 
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Janichsan

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Oct 23, 2006
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It remains unclear what specific Mac-related limitations might be preventing Blizzard from pushing forward in Mac development on Overwatch, …
They way he said it back in 2015, it was pretty clear what why Overwatch wasn't coming for the Mac: Apple's (at least at that time) crappy graphics APIs.

This is exactly why I never understood their decision not to release it for macOS. If you turn the resolution and details all the way down, this game is absolutely playable with integrated graphic solutions...
Contrary to what the detractors keep claiming, the hardware never was the main problem for Mac gaming. Even the later Intel GPUs were capable enough for games, albeit of course not at ultra settings and 4k resolutions.

The main stumbling block always was Apple's sorry excuse for an OpenGL implementation, with its outdated specifications and second-rate implementations. And Metal only appears to have become capable enough in the last few weeks.
 
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nvmls

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Mar 31, 2011
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This company took Apple's current approach back in the day, to squeeze profit out of one of their best franchises ever (with diablo 3), first with a pay to win model, after failing, with the illusion of a never-ending "balance", which has never been such. They endlessly lied and under delivered, over and over and over. They stripped almost everything cool from D 1 & 2 which had an amazing core concept & longevity.

Look where the game it's at now, barely alive with an expansion already and they think another expansion with a character they took out from previous versions is worth paying for. In addition to this, the mac client has had nothing but latency & stuttering issues during years, the blizzard app agent is still showing as not responding after years of patching.

We'll see how many expansion copies you sell this time.

So long Blizzard.
 
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Janichsan

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Oct 23, 2006
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Blizzard ported StarCraft 2 to Metal too… so it's not like they don't have the resources to do it.
StarCraft 2 is a game that was specifically designed to run on the widest range of hardware as possible, including better pocket calculators. Before Blizzard added the Metal renderer, it ran without problems and without any limitations on OpenGL 2.1. That's an 11 year old standard. Porting that to Metal poses not much of a challenge.

Overwatch on the other hand was designed from ground up for DirectX 11, a far more modern and advanced graphics API and would require a similarly modern and advanced API for macOS.
 
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CWallace

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With that said, I genuinely do suspect there's more to this story than Macs not being capable of running the game.

As others have noted, the biggest stumbling block is probably the old(er) OpenGL code Apple uses in macOS hobbling performance. Even before Diablo 3 went to Direct X with Patch 2.4.3, playing it in Windows via BootCamp with the latest AMD drivers on my 5K iMac resulted in significantly better performance than macOS. And that gap has now only grown with Direct X 11 support.

So I expect OW just doesn't run well on macOS in OpenGL unless you have something like a 295X/395X on a 5K iMac. And Overwatch developer resources are also currently focused on expanding the game (it's just about to celebrate it's first anniversary) with new heroes, maps and events.
 
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iBug2

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Jun 12, 2005
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Blizzard is probably waiting for the next Metal update from Apple. This years Metal should be feature comparable to Vulkan and DirectX 12.
 
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JoelTheSuperior

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Feb 10, 2014
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Blizzard is probably waiting for the next Metal update from Apple. This years Metal should be feature comparable to Vulkan and DirectX 12.
Quite possibly. I know there's a lot of doomsayers regarding the Mac platform as a whole right now but Metal does make me optimistic, if only Apple can convince developers that it's worth learning and developing for an API that's only useful on their platform.
 
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CarlJ

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Feb 23, 2004
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Wouldn't it be interesting if Apple released Macs with faster/better graphics hardware (like, say, NVidia chips), and improved the APIs for graphics in the next release of macOS (to be seen at WWDC), and brought Blizzard on-stage to demo Overwatch on the new hardware?
 
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ikir

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Sep 26, 2007
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I would love to see Overwatch on Mac as I am getting a little tired of it on the PS4.

Maybe if Apple would update OpenGL from version 4.1 that was released in 2010 we could have some nice things.

We are the ones that are getting hurt because Apple wants everyone to use Metal. Blizzard was one of the companies that show cased Metal when it was announced and they don't even want to use it.

Every Blizzard game on Max use Metal and it runs smooth even if "beta". Stop fudding
 
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JoelTheSuperior

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2014
404
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Every Blizzard game on Max use Metal and it runs smooth even if "beta". Stop fudding
The problem with Metal is that it's macOS specific and has only really become viable for AAA game development relatively recently. It's a very efficient API (in my experience WoW can even manage slightly better performance under macOS than it does under Windows) but the problem is that developers need to be really dedicated to the Mac and very confident of a return on investment for it to be worth it for them, as it essentially means having to write a renderer that can work with Metal, as opposed to just OpenGL (which already works on Windows, Mac and Linux) or Vulkan (which works on Windows and Linux).
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
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The problem with Metal is that it's macOS specific and has only really become viable for AAA game development relatively recently. It's a very efficient API (in my experience WoW can even manage slightly better performance under macOS than it does under Windows) but the problem is that developers need to be really dedicated to the Mac and very confident of a return on investment for it to be worth it for them...

Fortunately, Overwatch is a $60 base game with significant In-Game Purchasing potential.
 
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GeneralChang

macrumors 68000
Dec 2, 2013
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This is exactly why I never understood their decision not to release it for macOS. If you turn the resolution and details all the way down, this game is absolutely playable with integrated graphic solutions...
If you turn them all the way down, this game runs great on some seriously crappy hardware. It's super well optimized. I guess it might be a Direct X vs Open GL thing.
[doublepost=1495055204][/doublepost]
Fortunately, Overwatch is a $60 base game with significant In-Game Purchasing potential.
Base game is actually $40. $60 is the Origins edition that comes with some skins and other loot.
[doublepost=1495055469][/doublepost]
Blizzard ported StarCraft 2 to Metal too… so it's not like they don't have the resources to do it.
Well, to be fair, stuff like WoW and SC2 and D3 have been out for years. Their dev teams have had a lot of time to work the major bugs out of the system, and so low-priority stuff like building the game to run on Metal gets more attention.

With as much money as there is wrapped up in the Overwatch competitive scene, I can imagine the dev team is still really focused on making sure the game is excellent on the platforms they've got.
 
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definitive

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Aug 4, 2008
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Blizzard became too greedy for their own good. At this point they are more focused on milking their user base through micro transactions, while holding out on implementing new game-changing updates for as long as they can. As soon as enough people start complaining and the issue becomes public, they'll publicly address it with promise of things to come, while keeping people glued to the game(s), waiting for the updates to come. A few months to a year later, they'll release some mediocre update to the game in question, and once again keep milking its users until enough of them complain. Rinse and repeat.

What was once a user friendly company which released quality games, has become nothing more than another company which focuses on pumping out in-app purchase games.
 
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star-affinity

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Nov 14, 2007
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What was once a user friendly company which released quality games, has become nothing more than another company which focuses on pumping out in-app purchase games.

Can't say that I agree. While the in-app purchases are there in some games I also have a strong impression that they're developing, maintaining and improving their games.
 
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GeneralChang

macrumors 68000
Dec 2, 2013
1,546
1,213
Blizzard became too greedy for their own good. At this point they are more focused on milking their user base through micro transactions, while holding out on implementing new game-changing updates for as long as they can. As soon as enough people start complaining and the issue becomes public, they'll publicly address it with promise of things to come, while keeping people glued to the game(s), waiting for the updates to come. A few months to a year later, they'll release some mediocre update to the game in question, and once again keep milking its users until enough of them complain. Rinse and repeat.

What was once a user friendly company which released quality games, has become nothing more than another company which focuses on pumping out in-app purchase games.
Overall this is a little off-topic, but I've never felt pressured to make a single microtransaction in any Blizzard games. Admittedly I haven't really played much Heroes of the Storm, and that seems like the place where that would be most common since, you know, it's free.

Honestly, I put more time into Blizzard games now than I ever have before, even during the height of Starcraft and D2's popularity, and I couldn't be more pleased with how they treat their fanbases. Especially in Overwatch.
 
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earthTOmitchel

Contributing Editor
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Mar 6, 2015
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I'd love to see it on the Switch, honestly. It's the perfect form factor for a game like that.
I'm still not quite sold on the idea of a Switch port. I love the idea of being able to pick it up with me and bring it, but the need of wi-fi would hinder it so much. I guess you could do Play vs AI but at that point I'd probably just rather play another game.

I also couldn't play it with any accuracy with the joy-cons if the Splatoon test fire taught me anything. I LOVE the way the Switch feels, but the joy sticks aren't conducive to precise aiming in a shooter game imo. It'll be fine for a few casual Splatoon matches, but something as intense as Overwatch would frustrate me I think.
 
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