Game Devs Express New Fears Over Future of Mac Gaming as Apple Deprecates OpenGL and OpenCL in macOS Mojave

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Yesterday at WWDC 2018, Apple revealed macOS Mojave, which is set to bring users a Dark Mode, redesigned Mac App Store, organizable Stacks, streamlined screenshots, and more when it launches wide in the fall. Alongside the new features, Apple has confirmed that it is deprecating OpenGL (Open Graphics Library) and OpenCL (Open Computing Language) in favor of Metal.

    This means that apps built using OpenGL and OpenCL will still run in Mojave, but they will no longer be updated after macOS 10.14 launches. Apple encourages games and "graphics-intensive apps" built with OpenGL to adopt Metal ahead of Mojave's launch, and apps that use OpenCL for computational tasks "should now adopt Metal and Metal Performance Shaders."

    Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is one of the latest Mac games to run on Metal

    Launched four years ago, Metal is Apple's own 3D graphic and programming interface that combines the functions of OpenGL and OpenCL under a singular API. In explaining the move of deprecating the "legacy technologies" of OpenGL and OpenCL, Apple said that "Metal avoids the overhead inherent in legacy technologies and exposes the latest graphics processing functionality" of GPUs found in devices across iOS, macOS, and tvOS.

    Although Apple's decision to deprecate the older technology in favor of its own graphics API may not be surprising, some game developers have begun criticizing Apple for the move, particularly how it affects the future of gaming on Mac. Notably, OpenGL is an open-source, cross-platform solution that made it simple for developers to build games on both Mac and PC at the same time, providing some parity to a platform that many have agreed is lacking as a gaming hub.

    Since "many games and apps continue to use OpenGL," particularly those that released prior to Metal in 2014, the shift to Metal-focused development is leaving Mac developers worried about any potential to grow as a gaming platform (via PC Gamer). Game developer Sam Loeschen tweeted that he feels "conflicted" about the decision, calling Metal a "really, really good" graphics API but admitting that "this decision alienates macOS further as a gaming platform."

    Speaking with PC Gamer, game designer Rami Ismail said that while "it's not doomsday," it appears that Apple is preparing for such an occasion in regards to fully terminating OpenGL/OpenCL on Mac. He explained that for now, "the worst that's going to happen" is that parts of old apps will "break," and pointed out that lacking a single cross-platform graphics API is a "pain" and "not very good for developer confidence" in Apple.
    More developers and programmers chimed in on the news to PC Gamer, including Alex Austin, who ultimately said that while he likes to develop on Mac to "support fans if I can," he's most likely "not going to spend any time on Metal because Macs are a pretty small percentage of the market and really probably not worth it even now."

    Article Link: Game Devs Express New Fears Over Future of Mac Gaming as Apple Deprecates OpenGL and OpenCL in macOS Mojave
  2. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Why do some think old technology should be supported forever? At some point you have to cut it loose. If you require it, then don't upgrade. Sorry kids. This is how the world works. Even Honda doesn't support your '84 Civic with new parts like fenders anymore.
  3. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    Isn’t Metal already the only way to have graphics-intensive games on iOS?
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040


    Jan 26, 2014
    Horsens, Denmark

    OpenGL in itself isn't old though. It's just that Apple hasn't updated it past 4.1. But OpenGL keeps getting updated regularly.

    Regardless, to tackle the cross-platform API issue, we have MoltenVK. It's not a single API at the backend, but it solves the issue somewhat. And a lot of games use middleware like Unity and Unreal, and they can handle the API calls.
  5. jecowa macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    Isn't OpenGL on the way out anyway? I think Vulkan is the successor.
  6. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    No we don't. That is like telling a programmer to write in C instead of Java.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 5, 2018 ---
  7. lilrush macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2008
    Apple really does not care about gaming apparently. Every game I've run in metal so far has been a disaster.
  8. zorinlynx macrumors 603


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    The thing is, there's a lot of software out there that is well-supported and being used on Macs right now, that uses OpenGL. A good example is Second Life.

    Some developers may decide that it's not worth the effort to port their code to Metal, since Metal is only used by Apple. Thus they will just discontinue Mac support.

    We are going to lose software on the Mac platform because of this.
  9. napabar macrumors 6502


    Jun 12, 2008
  10. Naraxus macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2016
    When have Macs EVER been good for gaming?
  11. napabar macrumors 6502


    Jun 12, 2008
    You guys are forgetting that Apple is creating a unified program for developing apps on the iOS and macOS. There are many metal games on the iOS that can now easily come over to the Mac.

    You've just got to abandon the old school way of thinking how Mac games are made.
  12. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    Who cares about iOS games for the Mac?
  13. lilrush macrumors regular

    Jan 1, 2008
    You ever tried running a blizzard game in metal? Starcraft is the worst of the bunch. Nearly unplayable with graphical glitches. I went back to OpenGL after seeing how bad metal was. The game devs don't support it the same.
  14. theheadguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2005
    As usual... did you read the post? They explained why.
  15. obitow macrumors member


    Jun 11, 2012
    Juiz de Fora, Brazil
    Care to elaborate on this? My understanding is that both Metal and Vulkan are low level, so this analogy seems inaccurate.
  16. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    Blender is all OpenGL / OpenCL. Was going to buy an eGPU to increase Blender performance but now it looks like I should move to Linux or Windows instead. This truly sucks. :-(
  17. cube, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2018

    cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
    C, Vulkan, DX12, and Metal are low level.

    Java, OpenGL, and DX11 are high level.

    Although it would probaby be a bit more accurate to compare OpenGL and DX11 to C++ and something like Unity 3D to Java.
  18. soupcan macrumors 6502a


    Nov 21, 2014
    Eff Metal. Vulkan exists to be cross-platform as one single low-level API and works on macOS as well, just not officially supported by Apple because they have to be ******s about it.
  19. jecowa macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    Maybe this move is related to an Apple-designed GPU for future Macs? Apple is already using their own GPU design in the iPhone.
  20. bigtomato macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2015
    Typical apple fashion take the walled garden approach, simply not worth being on a Mac any longer. Innovation cannot come from just one company people.
  21. racerhomie, Jun 5, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 5, 2018

    racerhomie macrumors 6502


    Aug 14, 2015
  22. cube macrumors P6

    May 10, 2004
  23. racerhomie macrumors 6502


    Aug 14, 2015
    They can ban all 3rd party graphics libraries for all I care. As long as it brings iOS apps & games to the Mac faster.
  24. lunarworks macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    I don't understand why Apple can't support OpenGL/CL and Vulkan alongside Metal.

    It's fine for iOS, where developers are used to doing things Apple's way and only Apple's way, but the desktop is a whole other beast.
  25. Netniks macrumors newbie


    Jul 15, 2003
    Although my first reaction was to upcoming ARM-based Macs, this mirrors my thoughts, as well. Since I'm not a gamer, I can pretend that this won't affect me, but I think it portends Macs that feature lower power consumption.

Share This Page