For those of you who have read anything I've posted to Destructoid, you'll know that the title of this blog is completely out of character for me. I can't stand Apple, and I'm constantly talking about how much I can't stand going through Steam to play my PC games. So, what's going on? Have I lost my mind? Has Gabe Newell finally won me over?
No. Hell, no. However, something has recently come to my attention that makes me much more willing to deal with Steam. For the past couple weeks, I've been messing with turning my laptop into a Hackintosh -- running Mac on a Windows-based PC instead of the other way around. I got it to work for the most part (there are still bugs I need to work out), and the first thing I tried to do was download a couple Steam games to test them out. I was playing around with them, and I noticed something interesting about the ones I had tried: None of them needed Steam to be running in order to play them. Now, Steam games are occasionally like this, completely DRM-free, as the choice to implement Steam's DRM is up to the developer/publisher; The interesting part about this story, however, is that the games I tried through Mac OS X actually DO require Steam to be running if you play the Windows versions.
A few days ago, I logged into my Steam account and downloaded the Mac version of The Walking Dead,
and I backed it up to a thumb drive. Last night, I went up to my old college library, where quite a few powerful Macs are set up for people to use. I plugged in my thumb drive and started playing The Walking Dead,
just as if I had downloaded it right then and there. It played beautifully, too, just as well as the Windows version on my own PC, and this was all straight from a flash drive.
I did some research into this amazing discovery, and I came to find out that the Mac version of Steam doesn't contain the CEG component -- the part of Steam that handles all of its DRM. Some games still do require Steam to run somehow, like most games made by Valve themselves, but the vast majority apparently don't. I looked up some more games online, and the new Shadowrun Returns
is another example of a game with DRM if you play it through Windows, but DRM-free if you play it through Mac.
From what I can tell, the majority of Mac Steam games are DRM-free, even the big-name ones.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm actually considering building some sort of unholy gaming rig just to play Steam games through Mac. I don't even know how to comprehend my own words here, as Apple and Steam are two things I generally really dislike. But it's really amazing to know that there's an official, non-hacked version of Steam out there that's almost -- almost
-- as user-friendly as GOG.com. As much as this sickens me, if I'm ever going to get into PC gaming, I think it might just be Mac that makes me do it.