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Boot Camp and Mac Game Developers?

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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With Apple's release of Boot Camp to allow Intel Macs to boot into Windows XP, many users are enthusiastic about being able to run many Windows-only games that have not yet been ported to the Mac.

This added capability, however, may cause most uncertainty to current Mac game developers who have always had an uphill battle in providing timely ports to the Mac platform. Some fear that bringing widely available Windows XP booting ability to the Intel Macs may reduce incentive to produce for the Mac-specific market.

InsideMacGames posts several reactions from some current Mac developers. Reactions appear to be mixed. Brad Oliver of Aspyr Media offers these thoughts:

From a business standpoint, I suspect Aspyr is, in the short term, going to continue releasing Mac ports as before and see where the market takes us. If Mac sales tank, we've got enough revenue coming in from PC and console ports that it probably won't hurt the company too much and we'd just focus on the other platforms. It's possible that the Mac market share could increase so dramatically that the demand for Mac games increases enough to offset the costs of the loss of sales to dual-booting, but I'm not so optimistic about that.

 

laidbackliam

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2006
330
0
i' so unsure of what is going to happen wiht mac games. i don't play many games, but i'd like to see the games developed for mac, not windows xp/vista
 
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glowingstar

macrumors member
Aug 9, 2005
50
0
San Leandro, CA
hmmm....

cause for worry..... unless, of course, mac sales really do take off.... i hope there is some sort of "halo effect" now that macs can easily run windows.
 
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excalibur313

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2003
779
3
Cambridge, MA
A mac user will always get a mac version of a game over a pc. The only instance where that wouldn't happen is if he or she already had a pc version for some other purpose which isn't as common.
 
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jamdr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
659
0
Bay Area
I buy very few games but if Mac games continued to be made, I'll continue to buy them.

It would be bad for Apple if companies like Aspyr did stop producing Mac games. It's just a bad user experience to be forced to boot into some different operating system to run a game, or any other piece of software. What would people new to OS X think about that? It would definitely be a major turn-off. I can just see it now:

Installation instructions:
Windows:
1. Insert CD and double click installer.

Mac:
1. Restart your computer and hold down the option key.
2. When prompted to select an operating system, choose Windows XP
3. Follow instructions for Windows

:(
 
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badmofo9000

macrumors regular
Feb 14, 2005
122
0
Shores of Lake Michigan
Mac games are dead. I see little point for publishers to port new games to the platform. I really think this dual boot idea will take off. I don't think there will be enough people buying the mac version 6 months later when they can have the pc version now if they install windows.
 
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Aaon

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2004
287
19
excalibur313 said:
A mac user will always get a mac version of a game over a pc. The only instance where that wouldn't happen is if he or she already had a pc version for some other purpose which isn't as common.

This may be true, but remember that oftentimes there is 6 month or more lag between the PC version and Mac version of a game. I'm not convinced that people will wait 6 months to experience a game when they could run down to Best Buy, pick it up, and play it on the day it is released. There are no UI advantages in running the game in OS X versus in Windows. While I would prefer the native Mac version for stability and easy access, I suspect that Boot Camp may indeed have a negative effect on Mac game producers.
 
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Austin.xstone

macrumors member
Jan 10, 2006
43
0
New Zealand - Ohh Yeah...
YaY!

All this, to me is good news, solves all my problems, and Games? Well I would still rather see the games on OS X. I mean who wants to look at Windows anyway?!?

Yes all sounds good - Now all I need is a New Intel iBook to try it on! :rolleyes:
 
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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
I can understand the uncertainty in the minds of Mac game companies. But some of the developer comments in the same article were much more positive, and I choose to be optimistic and agree with those!

Re general fears that development of Mac-native apps will diminish: no way. That will INCREASE because of Boot Camp.

Demand for native Mac apps will increase faster than ever now, and demand drives sales. Developers won't turn away now!

The only way demand for native Mac apps would decrease is if the number of Mac users willing to "settle for Windows" increases FASTER than the overall growth of the Mac OS X user base.

Settling for Windows means rebooting, giving up iLife and all your Mac apps, abandoning the security and ease of use of OS X, and--don't forget--PAYING for a copy of Windows. That's too much to settle for unless you have to. And then you'll do it only WHEN you have to. Not by choice. You will still demand OS X and OS X apps.

So I see the number of Mac users willing to settle for Windows being VERY small, increased only slightly by people now choosing Boot Camp Macs for their next "PC." (A great many of them will end up using Mac OS X even if that wasn't their intent at first.)

Meanwhile I see the overall Mac user base growing a LOT--and growing even more because Boot Camp gives switchers a reassuring safety net.

Result: more Mac OS X users, more Mac OS X apps. Not less.

Now, re games specifically: gamers are the most likely to "settle" for Windows because you're not using the OS at that time, and you're not trying to collaborate among multiple apps. Windows is "good enough" at that point, if you accept the inconvenience of having to reboot just to game. Except for three factors:

1. When you go online to game in Windows (or download content, or chat/email to set up a match, or browse for hints/cheats), you are subject to Windows malware.

2. To game in Windows, you must buy--and take the time to install--a copy of Windows. Mac games don't need that. Mac games will run right off the shelf.

3. If you find Windows gaming acceptable (which I can totally understand), then you ALREADY were gaming in Windows. You owned a PC on the side. Mac owners buying Windows games is NOT anything new with boot camp--it was a factor Mac game companies were already contending with. At least now Mac game companies will have an ever-increasing base to sell to.

I trust the game companies to know more about all this than I, but I tend to think the overall growth of the Mac platform will ultimately help Mac game developers more than the harm done by Intel and Boot Camp. The good will outweigh the bad, and we'll all have more games.

I know I for one will gladly wait a few months more for a native Mac port of a game! Will everyone? No. Will everyone buy a copy of Windows because they can't wait? No. All that is needed is enough new Mac users who want Mac games--and I expect that will happen.
 
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MacsomJRR

macrumors 6502a
Jul 8, 2003
516
0
San Diego
It does sound kinda sad when you put it like that. Hard working mac game developers, struggling against the giant that is Windows XP and it's abundance of high quality gaming titles in every available category known to gaming man and woman.

ho hum...

BRING ON THE XP GAMING BABY! WOO HOO!
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,093
299
Indianapolis
Yeah, I'm sticking with my OS X games. I don't want to spend my money to dual boot. Partitioning sucks and I don't want to kill my drive.
 
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~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
44
1123.6536.5321
I don't see what the big deal is about this. Everyone always seems to say, "Macs aren't for games", "if you want to play games get a PC", etc. etc., so this will just reinforce this belief. Mac developers will not want to develop ports for Mac, since Mac users can just play the Windows versions immediately, as opposed to having to wait months and months for the Mac versions. I think many gamers just want to play their games, so if they can do it through Windows on their Mac, who cares? Why would they even need Mac ports? Then again, there will be those people who don't decide to go the Boot Camp route, and still want to play Mac ports of games since they don't have Windows on their Macs - for them, this could suck. ;) :cool:
 
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mproud

macrumors regular
Mar 3, 2003
164
0
You'd have to buy Windows first.
Nobody wants to do that.

Also...
Boot Camp is beta software. (Would you play a beta game?)
 
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darwen

macrumors 6502a
Apr 12, 2005
668
12
California, US
Good point. Why would anyone develop for OSX anymore? Most people will be running Windows and OSX now. While many would prefer to stay in OSX, lets be honest... this is happening for a reason... it is easier to just adopt windows on our same great Mac machines.

I perfer to run OSX but there are programs I need for windows and if I can keep my mac only programs on the same machine... I dont really mind switching back. At least every once in a while ;) .
 
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Sharewaredemon

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2004
1,976
162
Cape Breton Island
mproud said:
You'd have to buy Windows first.
Nobody wants to do that.

Also...
Boot Camp is beta software. (Would you play a beta game?)

Such a good point, but how hard is it to pirate Windows?

I'm serious I don't know because I've never had the need (mmmm apple lifer).
 
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oingoboingo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2003
988
0
Sydney, Australia
~Shard~ said:
I don't see what the big deal is about this. Everyone always seems to say, "Macs aren't for games", "if you want to play games get a PC", etc. etc., so this will just reinforce this belief. Mac developers will not want to develop ports for Mac, since Mac users can just play the Windows versions immediately, as opposed to having to wait months and months for the Mac versions. I think many gamers just want to play their games, so if they can do it through Windows on their Mac, who cares? Why would they even need Mac ports? Then again, there will be those people who don't decide to go the Boot Camp route, and still want to play Mac ports of games since they don't have Windows on their Macs - for them, this could suck. ;) :cool:

I agree completely with what you've just said...and that is the point of concern. Mac users will be tempted by the immediate availability of Windows games, instead of waiting months and months for native ports. So who will care? The Mac game developers! This is going to be a tough time for them, hence the topic of the article.
 
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~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
44
1123.6536.5321
oingoboingo said:
I agree completely with what you've just said...and that is the point of concern. Mac users will be tempted by the immediate availability of Windows games, instead of waiting months and months for native ports. So who will care? The Mac game developers! This is going to be a tough time for them, hence the topic of the article.

And I agree with you. ;) Yes, I am not saying this is a good thing for the Mac developers, but instead a harsh reality they may soon have to face whether they'd like to or not. :cool:
 
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nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
Sharewaredemon said:
Such a good point, but how hard is it to pirate Windows?
Not sure, but it is done.

Then again, how much money was any gaming company ever going to make from pirates? The people willing to steal are probably not the most profitable customers to go after.
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,093
299
Indianapolis
nagromme said:
Not sure, but it is done.

Then again, how much money was any gaming company ever going to make from pirates? The people willing to steal are probably not the most profitable customers to go after.
I think there are just cracked keys or stolen corporate ones. That or just plain hacked versions of Windows. Don't expect all your updates to work though.
 
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Undecided

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2005
696
150
California
Don't worry about the lack of Mac games - just get a Nintendo Revolution later this year. If it turns out to be as good as it seems, then the Revolution will be the Mac of game consoles.
 
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oingoboingo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2003
988
0
Sydney, Australia
~Shard~ said:
And I agree with you. ;) Yes, I am not saying this is a good thing for the Mac developers, but instead a harsh reality they may soon have to face whether they'd like to or not. :cool:

Great! Everyone is in agreement then! :D
 
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Sharewaredemon

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2004
1,976
162
Cape Breton Island
nagromme said:
Not sure, but it is done.

Then again, how much money was any gaming company ever going to make from pirates? The people willing to steal are probably not the most profitable customers to go after.

Hmmm that makes sense, I can't see there being a lot of people out there who are serious enough about gaming, and dedicated to using a Mac wanting to purchase a copy of Windows just so they can play games.

Legitimate Mac gamers (Read: ones who BUY their games) will likely continue to desire Mac ports. Hopefully the Mac game developers will not be squashed by Boot Camp.
 
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yoda13

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,468
2
Texas
I miss the days already where Macs were different, where we had to wait for ports of games, where our processors were different, and where I felt good for using a Mac. I still love my Mac, I will always be an Apple fan, indeed I have never owned a computer that runs Windows. Part of me understands why Apple is doing this, but part of me is sad too. Oh well, I am not that much of a gamer anyway. Star Wars: Galaxies is the only reason I would ever consider doing this on any future Intel Mac that I might own.
 
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Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,324
4,748
Los Angeles
Think a few years down the road. Gamers like/need speed, so they are likely to have fairly new computers. That means the percentage of Mac users on Intel-based Macs will approach 100% faster than for the general population. And many of them will fork out the money for Windows software, since they will already have the hardware to run it and there are many Windows-only games.

Now put yourself in a game developer's shoes. It's harder than before to justify the incremental development and support costs to sell a Mac OS X version because many of your customers can already use the Windows version.
 
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