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Leo Loikkanen's blog

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Leo Loikkanen avatar 12:46 PM on 12.27.2009  (server time)
Gaming On the Mac: Why it's Important

The people will see the title to this blog post and think: "Gaming on the mac? Everyone knows that there are no games for the mac, lol newb". To these people i say: "You are wrong, there actually are a lot of games for the mac. Even the Penny Arcade Adventures was ported to the mac, along with Braid, Emberwind, Aquaria and World Of Goo". "So?", they'll say. "Mac hasn't got nearly as much as games as the PC does. Sure it gets some ports from the AAA titles, but aside from the indie creations and smaller venues of games, there aren't really any good, proper, often released channels of games for the mac to speak of".

Please amuse me for a moment, as i try to go through the statements, and counter them. While it is true, that there aren't nearly as much games for the mac as there are for the PC, that does not mean, that the Mac is a barren wasteland when it comes to gaming. Many indie developers (Like 2D Boy and the guys who made Emberwind) have ported their games for the mac and released them at the same time with the Wintel versions, causing the field of possible income to rise more dramatically than what it would've been if it had just been released for the Wintel Platform (please note that i use the Term Wintel to refer computers with the Intel Chipset running windows on top of them, as PC Still means Personal Computer).

The indies understand, that the people owning macs are more likely to buy the stuff they want, than going to some P2P site, hoping that someone has shoddily wrapped the next big gaming blockbuster to Cider, and released it for all the people to share. Buying the game they'll support the developer, as well as letting them know that Yes, there are people that are willing to pay for their products, if they're released for the mac as well. If they own a console, like the Nintendo Wii, PS3, or Xbox360 (Doubtful if they're Hardcore Mac fanboys...), i'm sure that they'll resolve in buying the game via the console's marketplace, if a port of the game for the mac does not exist, or the Mac is used for some hardcore working.

Some companies, like EA, do release their stuff (or the big big names of their stuff) to the Mac platform as well. Dragon Age: Origins is getting a Ciderized version of itself to the Mac, as did Spore and Sims 3. Whilst this is a good thing for the people who also want to play games on their Macs and iPhones, it's also a bit of a downfall. As it's released with Cider, it means that the mac's native technologies are not being used to enhance the performance of the game itself. Also with cider, it's possible that there are bugs ranging from gameplay issues to graphical glitches, that will further downplay the enjoyment of the person playing the game. Of Course, the mac is still too small of a marketshare, that native porting isn't that profitable from a financial standpoint. Sure, they could use the man-hours to port the game to the Mac, allowing it to use CoreAudio, Grand Central and CoreGraphics, but will it be worth it, if 10,000 people will buy it, compared to the millions of people with Wintel Machines?

OF course, the companies releasing these products are big big companies, and have to please their shareholders, whilst making profit from the products that they sell. The indies escape this responsibility, as they're mainly working for themselves at STarbucks, or somewhere LIKE Starbucks, without having the pressure to make profit looming above their heads (that is, if they still got a dayjob). I do say that the support of the mac platform gives more benefit to the programmers as well. As the Mac is so tightly controlled, there are less hardware configurations to take into account whilst programming, thus shortening the time before it can be released. This can be one of the points why people should release more stuff for the mac.

This is all i got to say about the subject. If you got any thoughts, or you know something important that i might've missed, please leave the feedback to the comments below.

Thank you for reading.

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