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Valve: Apple isn't serious about gaming

updated 05:55 pm EDT, Wed October 3, 2007

Valve: Apple isn't serious

Apple hasn't been serious about gaming for the past several years and isn't serious about the industry now, according to Valve Software co-founder Gabe Newell. The executive who helped found one of the most successful entertainment software and technology company's explains how talks with Apple over the years always seem to peter out into nothing, and that at each meeting Apple produces a different group of people who appear to know nothing of the talks conducted during the last group from a year prior. "They [Apple] seem to think that they want to do gaming, but there's never any follow through on any of the things they say they're going to do. That makes it hard to be excited about doing games for [Apple] platforms."

Newell detailed the process of speaking to Apple representatives in an interview with Kikizo, explaining the drawn out process.

"We tried to have a conversation with Apple for several years, and they never seemed to... Well, we have this pattern with Apple, where we meet with them, people there go 'wow, gaming is incredibly important, we should do something with gaming.' And then we'll say, 'Okay, here are three things you could do to make that better,' and then they say 'Okay,' and then we never see them again," Newell explained.

"And then a year later, a new group of people show up, who apparently have no idea that the last group of people were there, and never follow though on anything. So, they seem to think that they want to do gaming, but there's never any follow through on any of the things they say they're going to do. That makes it hard to be excited about doing games for their platforms."

Concluding, Valve's co-founder expresses his lack of hope of working with Apple to improve the gaming experience for Mac owners.

"I just don't think they've ever taken gaming seriously. And none of the things developers ask them to do are done," Newell said. "As a result, there's no gaming market there to speak of. We'd love it if they would get serious about it. But they never have, and can't even follow trough on any of their commitments for game developers."

Valve's debut title Half-Life has won more than 50 Game of the Year awards and was named "Best PC Game Ever" on three separate occasions by PC Gamer magazine. Valve is also responsible for relesing Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, Team Fortress, and Portal.

CodeWeavers today announced that its CrossOver Mac 6.2 software supports Team Fortress II out of the box, but uses virtualization technology that allows users to install and run Microsoft Windows. Native Mac games are still considered a rarity among hardcore gamers in the industry, with Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft and several EA titles -- which have been promised but that are still pending release -- standing as islands in a sea of large scale PC-only games.

Apple's independent gaming community is alive and well, however, donning numerous feature-rich titles with intricate plots and smooth gameplay. Fun as they are, the smaller games can leave many Mac gamers hoping to see some of the latest and largest new games hit store shelves for Mac OS X as well as Windows at the same time, rather than a year or more later -- if at all.

Apple's apparent interest in embracing game-makers seemingly dissipates after employees leave the meetings, which leaves Mac gamers with that all-too-familiar feeling of fending for themselves when the hottest new titles hit the streets, which means resorting to Microsoft Windows.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not serious about gaming?

    Isn't that an oxymoron?

  1. bhuot

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What are the details?

    What exactly does Apple need to do to enable this? Will this cause the Mac to be less stable, less secure, cost more, be dependent on other companies' proprietary technology, require greater system requirements, require greater code complexity, cause compatibility problems, require a huge investment, or cause any other problems with the existing user base.

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm not a gamer, but

    This article implies that the reason games are as prevalent on the Mac is b/c of Apple. I don't think that is quite accurate. I kinda just tossing things out here, but if you wanted to create games for the Mac, you'd write code to do it. Games left the Mac platform back when Apple sales continued to plummet. It's a chicken and the egg paradox. This company wants Apple to make it easier for them to code for games, but Apple is not seeing a significant portion of it's user base interested in extreme type "PC" games. Build it and they will come. Yeah, but build what and how will come. I figure Apple can just turn the discussion around and say write games for the Mac and build a base and we'll start optimizing systems for these games; or whatever.

  1. derbbre

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why would they be?

    Lots easier to support Bootcamp than it is to make game developers happy. They're only ever happy about developing for Windows, so I think Apple's on the right path. Keep the hardware PC-spec and allow gamers to run Bootcamp (or Parallels, if their D3D support ever really kicks in).

  1. Cubester

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Geeze, I am the ultimate mac fanboy, and I can't believe how you folks knee-jerk defend everything Apple. The fact is, most Apple computers have very weak video cards. End of story. Consider the new iMac - expensive, beautiful, very powerful, excellent screen...underpowered video. In every way a premium computer - except in graphics power. It's like buying a BMW, but with budget just won't handle as well. Honestly, this saddens me. Oh well, same as it ever was.

  1. nitewing98

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What was the first clue?

    I mean after all, the blueberr iMac I bought came with Nanosaur. The iBook I bought had Deimos Rising. Current offerings only come with OS X, iLife, and Front Row.

    I guess we're supposed to be doing our gaming on the iPod...and there's SUCH a selection there...(sarcasm intentional)

  1. rspress

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple used to....

    Apple used to do a lot more for gamers at one time. Early on Apple even did their own game called "though the looking glass" that came in the form of a book. The Woz was probably the biggest reason Apple did games in the Apple II days but Apple has never rolled out the red carpet for game developers. Does the Mac really need to play games with the playstation, Wii and Xbox around? It would sure help with sales to Windows users. Apple could part with a little of the large amount of cash it has to send Apple developers to the major PC game companies to help them get up to speed on the Mac. Coming out with a game development platform that ties in with Xcode would be another nice touch that would help the big companies put out the Mac games and help independent developers come out with some truly outstanding shareware games.

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    He's right, they aren't.

    If apple was serious about gaming, there would be a gamer's iMac.

    Apple already charges top dollar for it's products. Why not make a killer gaming machine?

  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    By a console already

    If I want to game, I'm using a dedicated console. Take your pick - PS2/3, XBox, Wii...

    I get work done on my Mac - when I'm not posting on MacNN. Last thing I want is a bunch of useless API's mucking up my OS.

  1. bradpdx

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Games going to consoles

    I think that Apple sees games as a minimal win for the company that just doesn't fit their demographic, and I agree. If many titles were suddenly available, it would not impact Mac sales in a significant way.

    Games are moving to consoles where they belong - it makes little sense to devote general purpose computing devices to these very specific purposes.

    Caveat: I never play games on my computers - not even solitaire. And shoot-em-ups of any sort turn me off big time. So perhaps I am not the best judge, but I get a lot done with computers :-)

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