How Apple is Influencing Which Games You Play on Your Mac – An Introduction

written by Russ Looney on March 31, 2014 in Special Feature

Apple's influence on games

Why aren’t there more big name, AAA games available on the Mac?

It’s a question that many a Mac gamer has undoubtedly asked as they long for some of Windows PCs’ most popular titles, such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the most recent Call of Duty game, or multiplayer blockbusters like PAYDAY 2 and the recently released Titanfall. It’s also a question that is being asked more and more frequently as the number of Mac users who play games increases.

Any lack of content does not seem due to a lack in demand.  As the number of Macs being sold has increased in recent years (the small exception being Apple’s most recent fiscal year), the number of Mac gamers and demand for quality games are increasing even faster.  In fact, even with the small decline in Mac computer sales last year, top Mac game publisher Aspyr Media saw a 33% increase in unit sales year over year and continues to see an increased demand for more AAA games on the Mac.

Aspyr unit sales

However, despite this success in the AAA Mac game space, there are challenges that Mac game publishers must face on a regular basis, and as the platform holder, Apple often plays a key role in determining how these unique challenges are handled.

What are these challenges, and how exactly does Apple affect the way Mac game publishers approach them? Just what does it take to get a great AAA (or indie!) game on the Mac, and why do some games seem to have limited features when compared to Windows PC?  

In this series of articles, we’ll answer these questions by touching on three core aspects of the Mac publishing process and how Apple is impacting each:

  1. The Content Acquisition Process
  2. Development Challenges
  3. Distribution and the Impact of the Mac App Store

In each article, we’ll lay out some of the key challenges Mac publishers face, what’s being done to overcome these challenges, and what Apple’s role is in Mac game publishing.  

In the meantime, let us know what you think! Do you have any questions you’re anxious to get answered? Have insights of your own? Lay it all out in the comments below!