“It’s time for Apple to use some of its superior design skills to come up with a game for the beleaguered Mac loyalist — like me,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek. “There’s nothing that can be done with Windows that can’t be done better on a Mac. With one major exception: games. Gaming is the one area of computing where the Mac has seriously lagged in the area of software. While a few major titles have been ported over the years, Mac gamers are treated like a market afterthought. Major releases on the Mac are usually a year or so behind those on Windows. Most of the feelings I have about this situation can’t be put into polite language.”
“…A small shop in Austin, Tex., known as Aspyr Media… makes more games for the Mac than any other company,” Hesseldahl writes, “How many Mac developers does Aspyr have? Five who work full time. That’s it. Why so small a team? Because, as Aspyr’s Director of Development Glenda Adams told me, a successful Mac game might sell 50,000 units. It physically hurt my head to hear so low a number. My first question after hearing it was, ‘How do you do this profitably?’ Her reply: ‘It’s always been a razor-thin kind of thing.'”
“Turns out, Mac users aren’t really into games. That, or they just don’t think of Macs as the machine they turn to for gaming. It’s strange, since Macs have always been generally better at graphics, producing animation, editing sound, and so on. It would seem the Mac would be an ideal gaming environment. And yet the market indicates otherwise,” Hesseldahl writes. “Maybe Apple’s user base just isn’t fully aware of great games that are now available for the Mac? Sure, there are games to be found at the Apple store, prominently displayed in the software section. But does Apple market the Mac as a gaming machine? Adams says it should… But first, another question needs to be addressed. In the Boot Camp era — in which Mac users can simply install Windows on their machines — is there even a need for Mac-specific games? Aspyr’s Adams thinks so. ‘The majority of the end-users we talk to still want Mac-native games,’ she says. ‘If they can get Mac-native games, they’re willing to wait for them.'”
“And while we’re on the subject, why doesn’t Apple try its hand at building good games for the Mac on its own? Apple is full of creative people turning out great software, but why hasn’t it ever turned out a game? After all, gaming is in Apple’s very DNA. Early in their pre-Apple careers, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (some accounts suggest that Woz did most of the work) created Breakout for Atari… An Apple game might help prime the pump. One great game would get Mac users looking for more great games, and thus help demand, which would encourage more games. In time, one of the weakest planks in the pro-Mac sales proposition would start to look stronger,” Hesseldahl writes.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: First of all, a hex upon Hesseldahl for writing “beleaguered Mac loyalist.” Mac users are the last personal computer users who should ever be described as “beleaguered.” Now, while we’d like to see the end product of an Apple-produced game and we’d love to see Mac and Windows games released on the same day (only market share and games sales increases would really accomplish that latter goal), realism dictates that we recommend, “Get a game console if you want to play games.” You know which one we’ve got our eyes on…
FYI: Some Mac game links:
• Amazon Mac Games
• Aspyr Top Selling Mac Games
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