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Interview: "no evidence" Apple understands gaming

post #1 of 193
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On the eve of releasing his latest game, Valve Software co-founder Gabe Newell has revealed his team's repeated frustrations in convincing Apple that gaming is equally as important to consumers as editing home movies.

Gaming news site Kikizo learned of the Mac maker's apparent sluggishness in an interview in which Newell acknowledged that Valve had approached Apple to encourage game-friendly development but rarely achieved any results. In spite of enjoying initial cooperation from Apple, the team behind Half-Life 2 and other titles encountered what it said was only a half-hearted attempt to address game developer requests.

"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,'" Newell said. "And then we'll say, 'OK, here are three things you could do to make that better,' and then they say OK, and then we never see them again. 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 through 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."

The pattern has been a staple of Apple's approach for several years, the Valve chief said.

Apple has frequently had a problematic relationship with game developers, which have often either refused to write Mac versions or else have converted existing Windows versions, some of which take months to reach the Mac platform. While a small group of major developers such as Blizzard and id Software continue to create native Mac software, others have been lured away by promises of a larger user base and easier development with either game consoles or Windows PCs.

Many veteran Mac users will often cite the example of game developer Bungie, which had developed many Mac-only or Mac-first games during the 1990s. Apple chief Steve Jobs famously touted the software house as an example of the Mac's gaming prowess during his Macworld New York 1999 keynote speech, showing an early version of Halo -- only to watch Microsoft purchase Bungie a year later and limit the Mac version of Halo to a third-party port, which arrived in late 2003.

And while Apple's switch to Intel processors has streamlined development and encouraged EA to return to the Mac, there was "no evidence" to suggest that even the simplest plans for game development registered in the Cupertino firm's mindset, according to Newell. While Apple has primarily focused its home user efforts on the iLife creative suite, the Valve frontman argued that the company should devote much more attention to gamers if it hoped to attract more Windows converts.

Games are "one of the biggest things holding them back in the consumer space," he said. "If you look at a Macintosh right now, it does a lot of things really well compared to a Vista PC, but there are no games. Why, I don't know. If I were a Macintosh product manager, it would be pretty high on my list."
post #2 of 193
http://www.google.com/trends?q=games...ate=all&sort=0

Might want to work on that, Steve.
post #3 of 193
Quote:

ok, game applies to any possible type of game, not just video games. Board game, fully online game, and other game in general make up a large part of the search.


this was entertaining though (along with the zune scene stats which have been steadily going down for the past year).
http://www.google.com/trends?q=zune%...ate=all&sort=0





oh and anyone know what valve wanted apple to improve?
post #4 of 193
I'd imagine part of it is the underpowered video cards in mac mini's/imac's. Playing newer games requires quite the beefy videocard, and most integrated chipsets don't do too hot with them.
post #5 of 193
yeah, i want games on my mac... and NEON and chrome and spinners and a little lcd on the tower to run my itunes visualizer. and a plexiglass panel on my case to see the two $800 graphics cards i've got sucking 1400 watts of power, and a digital readout of processor temp, and five optical drive bays. i want - no i don't want chrome, i want plastic that LOOKS like chrome. yeah, and a blacklight instead of neon. OHHH, and make my computer look like an ALIEN! 1337 PWN4G3! YEAH, and give me a 96,000 dpi laser mouse with 37 buttons and four scroll wheels on it FTW!
come on apple, why can't i customize your industrial design?

i don't care about games stick with what you're doing 10x better than anyone else.
post #6 of 193
If microsoft ever moved past their 80s technology, yes im talking about bios, then most video cards would be made with efi. That would help some



post #7 of 193
wasn't this posted like a week ago???
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

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Originally Posted by addabox

Being an Apple basher means you never, ever have to acknowledge success.
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post #8 of 193
I don't care if they are purchasing a computer for their digital life, when I suggest a Mac, they ask what games comes with it.

I'm not talking one or two people, but every single one i try to switch over. Now these are all home users, so Apple does have some options for them. But when i talk to gamers! I get laughed at

Hard to understand that the smartest OS on the planet can't play the big games well.
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post #9 of 193
what does the BIOS have to do with gaming on a mac?
post #10 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickertb View Post

what does the BIOS have to do with gaming on a mac?

Graphics card support.

I'd very much like to not having to pay for Vista or XP to run the Orange Box, thank you Mr. Jobs.

/Adrian
post #11 of 193
Maybe why we don't see Apple putting resouces making the Mac platform an awesome game platform is because Jobs is not a gamer himself. He enjoys his music and video media but games just aren't his deal.
post #12 of 193
@mrpiddly:

Very true that it refers to all types of games.

Just for laughs.

http://www.google.com/trends?q=vista...ate=all&sort=0


Only M$ products even register.

Before flaming: I own a XP laptop, a XP desktop and a Xbox 360
post #13 of 193
Personally, I'm glad that Apple doesn't waste resources on games. Talk about least common denominator! To each his own.
post #14 of 193
well, it's going to be a long time before apple wakes from those fake surveys that suggest the mac platform is growing. not it is not, ilife is just not a market driver at all, every windows and linux can do what iLife does, sometimes even better. how much does the average folk spend on iLife anyhow? i just play music on itunes, and sort my photographs once every few months. my ibookG4 is prolly going to be the 1st and only mac i'll own for a long, long time.
post #15 of 193
The Mac has rarely been a platform to game on and it never will be. There is no reason at this point to even try and keep up in the gaming arena. For the most part gaming has moved on to game consoles (xbox, ps(), etc...) so that a Mac user isn't really missing much. There is a minority segment of gamers who need the latest and greatest video. For this you need a more open hardware platform where you can add multiple graphics' cards, change motherboards, etc... This is clearly not the Mac and never will be. Buying a tower Mac at this point to try to get mediocre high-end gaming graphics doesn't make any sense. So that segment of the gaming community is lost to Mac's. It's really not a big deal as the variations on killing games is hardly what many if not most people want (which is why Nintendo's latest console is number one at this point).

Apple is on the right track. Forget about high-end killing games. Put out a platform that can handle family friendly entertainment and keep tying th platform into a variety of neat portable devices (iPod, iPhone,etc...). That is where the market is for computers. Extreme gamers just have to accept it. The Mac isn't for them.

philip
post #16 of 193
IIRC, PC games are a very small percentage of total game sales. So, although certain people like to complain about the limited availability of games for OS X, the fact remains that most people don't care. If you want to run a lot of games on your Mac, just dual boot. Problem solved.
post #17 of 193
As a former pc gamer and alienware pc (high end gaming computer) owner. I see this whole article as a bit misguided really. One thing the article fails to mention is the near collapse of pc games in the market place. Over the last 5 years or so, shelf space in retail stores from EB to Best Buy has shrunk more and more. The future of the $ in the gaming market is in the console games. My friends that still actively persue PC gaming all also have an xbox 360 to suppliment the pc and are paying increasingly high video card/system upgrade costs to have an increasingly small number of titles available to them.

The article mentions Blizzard, id and EA as companies lured back/still working with apple, short of that, who is left really? I guess as a fan of bioware and some of the licenses they own, that'd be nice, but if I remember correctly NeverWinter Nights ultimately got ported to the mac.

I guess just to have a "complete" machine, I'd like some games to run on my macbook, but the way I see it - that's what the consoles are for nowadays. Lot cheaper and have a longer lifecycle than the latest nvidia chipset.
post #18 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

Maybe why we don't see Apple putting resouces making the Mac platform an awesome game platform is because Jobs is not a gamer himself. He enjoys his music and video media but games just aren't his deal.

That's great if Jobs is going to be the sole consumer of Apple computers, but not so great for the real world where people would like to be able to do what the things they enjoy with their computers. As someone who likes games, my next computer purchase will probably be back to the Windows side.

Someone made the comment on another thread that they thought Jobs would close off Apple computers just like iPods and iPhones if he could and I honestly believe he might. He seems like he's trying to create his own computer ecosystem anyhow. With iLife, iWork, the pro apps trying to cut out the need for Adobe. The iTunes/iPod/iPhone/AppleTV chain. Honestly, Apple only makes one open computer (the Mac Pro) and as the name and price both imply, it's not really designed for the home market.

Sorry, organizing photos and making YouTube videos isn't my idea of a great time. But that sort of seems like what Jobs has in mind for the Mac.

I've wondered if one of the first seminars new Apple employees are given is entitled, "Your opinion matters. Just as long as it's the same as Steve Jobs."
post #19 of 193
Avie Tevanian was not interested in games when he was with the company and running the software side. I don't know if that culture has changed at all. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple has written off games as something best handled by specialized hardware -- be it an Xbox, PS3, Wii, or tricked-out Windows box. They may also see games as appealing to an audience smaller than the typical consumer. While some are hesitant to switch because of game availability, they may believe that number to be small. Their embrace of games on the iPod is a bit weird.
post #20 of 193
-The % of people that would buy a Mac for gaming, if titles were available doesn't make up for the amount of money that need to be spend in order to make Mac games.

-There is no need for yet another gaming platform.
post #21 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by alansky View Post

Personally, I'm glad that Apple doesn't waste resources on games. Talk about least common denominator! To each his own.

As a a non-gamer I could care less. I play Chess on my Mac and Suduko on websites and Crosswords in the paper. Not exactly something you need a great video card for.

However, as a shareholder I can how adding better video cards and beating out comparable games in frames-per-second or what ahve you would have bring over more switchers since that seems to be the most important thing to these people and I know many people whose lives are entrenched in WoW. Some to the point of losing girlfriends and leading to divorces. Is it really that addictive?
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post #22 of 193
How old ARE you, Wayland? If you want adults (or people who don't HAVE to build their own PCs to save money) you might want to improve your communication skills. I know you THINK "prolly" is cute. It isn't . . . not if you want you be taken seriously.
post #23 of 193
Quote:
yeah, i want games on my mac... and NEON and chrome and spinners and a little lcd on the tower to run my itunes visualizer. and a plexiglass panel on my case to see the two $800 graphics cards i've got sucking 1400 watts of power, and a digital readout of processor temp, and five optical drive bays. i want - no i don't want chrome, i want plastic that LOOKS like chrome. yeah, and a blacklight instead of neon. OHHH, and make my computer look like an ALIEN! 1337 PWN4G3! YEAH, and give me a 96,000 dpi laser mouse with 37 buttons and four scroll wheels on it FTW!
come on apple, why can't i customize your industrial design?

Gaming is huge, and anyone who thinks that "gaming" is nothing but Quake 4 running on a box that looks like a traffic accident with 2 8800GTXs in it and fans the size of a fat lady's thighs is just dead wrong. That crowd is incredibly small, and the vast majority of "gamers" play their games with a minimum of technical knowledge because they (gasp!) like to play games. The Sims 2, for example, is an incredibly popular example of this, and yet it plays like a dog on the MacBook--the most popular Mac sold these days. Don't think many people like playing The Sims? The original in the series was the first game to beat the sales of Myst (12 million copies sold), which came out in 1993. People who have never even heard of a dedicated graphics card play games that require them on the PC side because it doesn't cost $2000 to buy a laptop that comes with one. Lots of people routinely play graphically-intensive titles without being "hardcore" enough to live the "gaming lifestyle" you seem to think that playing games requires.

If the MacBook had an NVIDIA 8400 in it, it'd be no problem for all but the highest-end games these days and would certainly play the kind of "non-hardcore" 3D games people buy in the truckloads. This would help a whole lot.

The other problem is the lack of a low-price expandable desktop. If you want expandability and future-proofness, the $2000+ Mac Pro is the way to go, but it's almost twice the cost of many PC gaming rigs (such as the one I put together for a friend last month, which clocked in at under $800 and included an 8800GTS). A sub-$1000, smaller-form-factor desktop that had a PCI slot and a removable hard drive would be pretty perfect for this (and yes, it could even *gasp!* retain Apple's stunning industrial design!).

Apple's choice to ignore gaming is just that--a choice. If there were a will, there would be a way.
post #24 of 193
am i a bad person for thinking the modding/content creation of games more fun then the actual game.

Im mad i didnt get into crysis beta though,
post #25 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayland.ind View Post

well, it's going to be a long time before apple wakes from those fake surveys that suggest the mac platform is growing. not it is not, ilife is just not a market driver at all, every windows and linux can do what iLife does, sometimes even better. how much does the average folk spend on iLife anyhow? i just play music on itunes, and sort my photographs once every few months. my ibookG4 is prolly going to be the 1st and only mac i'll own for a long, long time.

What exactly are the Windows and Linux equivalents to iLife? And in what areas do they do things better?

I use iLife everyday. I really don't include iTunes in the suite, but I use iPhoto constantly publish to Web Gallery, share and edit photos and even purchase books from mine or other people's travels that I've put together.

I do use iMovie and iDVD less often for authoring but I have used them with great success. I'm one who was intimidated by the old iMovie and glad that the this new version is much easier for me to use.

When I do DVD authoring I have to use GarageBand and Quicktime Pro to edit audio but that is usually only an hour or two of time per movie. GarargeBand is great but surely the least used of the iLife suite for me.

Again...
What exactly are the Windows and Linux equivalents to iLife? And in what areas do they do things better?
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post #26 of 193
VinitaBoy; are you here to comment on my writing skills or the story itself? Why don't you express your opinion on the story itself like everybody else? I assume you don't really have an opinion on it since you're here for judgement purposes only. To answer you question, i'm old enough to screw your wife, sister, mom, girlfriend, etc.
post #27 of 193
Quote:
how much does the average folk spend on iLife anyhow?

well, "average folk" spend around $80 for a number of applications that would cost signifigently more on windows.
post #28 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayland.ind View Post

VinitaBoy; are you here to comment on my writing skills or the story itself? Why don't you express your opinion on the story itself like everybody else? I assume you don't really have an opinion on it since you're here for judgement purposes only. To answer you question, i'm old enough to screw your wife, sister, mom, girlfriend, etc.

i find that "screwing" other peoples relatives is always to most mature solution to everything.
post #29 of 193
I had this discussion on these forums in the past and this person pointed out that the average PC gamer on Steam is far away from the SLI & uberbox type system, they typically use two to three year old machines, but the specs I saw for those were competitive with a brand new iMac. SLI is one of those things that's absolutely not necessary and well beyond the optimal cost/benefit curve.
post #30 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpiddly View Post

If microsoft ever moved past their 80s technology, yes im talking about bios, then most video cards would be made with efi. That would help some

Microsoft can and has done EFI booting but the problem is that the hardware makers don't seem to care to offer it.
post #31 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I had this discussion on these forums in the past and this person pointed out that the average PC gamer on Steam is far away from the SLI & uberbox type system, they typically use two to three year old machines, but the specs I saw for those were competitive with a brand new iMac. SLI is one of those things that's absolutely not necessary and well beyond the optimal cost/benefit curve.

I can't speak for the people in the discussion, but the systems that were typically 2 to 3 years old in the hands of a gamer were quite possible THE best that money could buy at that time. That was usually the case for me and my friends. The first game where the min specs weren't good enough for a decent frame rate - time to go to comp usa. . . Keeping a gaming pc up-to-date can be the ultimate levelling treadmill/money pit. I'm not knocking it as I did it for nearly 10 years but that's how it works. There's no part of the apple product line or corporate culture that lends itself to this environment. that doesn't make it wrong, it just makes it ill fitted for the company.
post #32 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

How old ARE you, Wayland? If you want adults (or people who don't HAVE to build their own PCs to save money) you might want to improve your communication skills. I know you THINK "prolly" is cute. It isn't . . . not if you want you be taken seriously.


I prolly think you prolly need to stop worrying so much about what are prolly little things... prolly.

.
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post #33 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

The Mac has rarely been a platform to game on and it never will be. There is no reason at this point to even try and keep up in the gaming arena.


They don't have to keep up. They just have to keep gaming from being a reason NOT to get a Mac. \

Honestly gents, I WORKED in the games industry. PC gaming may be secondary to consoles, but its never going to go away. Some ppl do want to play games on their Macs... and why shouldn't they?

And if you think PC gaming is dead and buried, check out World of Warcraft sometime... that thing is pulling in over $1 billion a year in revenue for Blizzard. Damn.

.
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post #34 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

...Some to the point of losing girlfriends and leading to divorces. Is it really that addictive?

..Or the ones who literally let their children starve because they're too busy playing games on their computer. I know the vast majority aren't that crazy haha, but that's what I think of when I think of gamers. I don't understand how people become that "addicted" to it.
post #35 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunesis View Post

..Or the ones who literally let their children starve because they're too busy playing games on their computer. I know the vast majority aren't that crazy haha, but that's what I think of when I think of gamers. I don't understand how people become that "addicted" to it.

Just about anything can be seriously addictive, but any given thing might only be a problem for a small number of people.
post #36 of 193
Obviously "desarc" doesn't give a poop about gaming and is a trolling fanboy. This is hardly suprising since Mac users haven't been able to play a single game other than Photoshop (DUDE LAYER 15 fvcking RUULES!). The only other games it can play are limited to whatever is badly ported 3 years later and runs (barely) on the highest spec'ced tower there is from Apple. If you call chugging to framerates worse than phone-based camera-video (or iphone camera video - HA!) running.

Of course this problem is "my fault" somehow and I'm a hertic for even mentioning how nice it'd be to actually have a computer as versitile as a Wintel rather than "merely better" in "some respects" - and wholly incapable in others. Oh sor-ry there I go again.

Suffice it to say - with a wonderful environment such as this, "desarc" doesn't give a poop and the marketplace has responded. I'm left with trying to convert people to a Mac AND a console instead of a Wintel. Thanks Apple and your utterly wonderful apolgists.
post #37 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

They don't have to keep up. They just have to keep gaming from being a reason NOT to get a Mac. \

Honestly gents, I WORKED in the games industry. PC gaming may be secondary to consoles, but its never going to go away. Some ppl do want to play games on their Macs... and why shouldn't they?

And if you think PC gaming is dead and buried, check out World of Warcraft sometime... that thing is pulling in over $1 billion a year in revenue for Blizzard. Damn.

.


It will be interesting to see where the WoW lifecycle ends. I would have thought something would be coming down the pipe now to challenge it for mmorpg of choice, but not yet. I think the pc will anchor this market for years to come - the console seems determined to never add a mouse and keyboard which is really the best set up for mmorpg's. course oddly enough Blizzard games play on a mac.

I don't think pc games are dead and buried, but they are on the decline - and that maybe just a trend that could change. Seeing the Halo 3 release here recently made me remeber when a blizzard release(diablo II for example) was met with much hype and limited-edition stuff, blah blah - don't see that anymore.
post #38 of 193
Totally agree with this game developer's sentiments. Apple HATES game developers, and that's because Steve Jobs personally HATES games. Whatever Steve doesn't like doesn't get accomplished... yet MISSING GAMES ARE THE #1 BIGGEST PROBLEM WITH THE MACINTOSH PLATFORM!!!

It is also sooo true about the rapid turnaround at internal departments within Apple... and the new team has NO IDEA about what the previous team had accomplished.

Folks, the inner workings of Apple are a complete disarray, and you need no more proof of this than the fact that WE HAVE NO GAMES ON MAC OS X!

STEVE JOBS, WHY DON'T YOU GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER?! THE WHOLE WORLD WANTS GAMES.
post #39 of 193
Quote:
Originally Posted by wayland.ind View Post

To answer you question, i'm old enough to screw your wife, sister, mom, girlfriend, etc.

Every village has its idiot. every thread has its retard.
post #40 of 193
I guess Apple has been busy making Macs and software for guys like me. I'm Apple's perfect victim.
- I work with animation.
- I work with illustration.
- I do video editing.
- I do DVD authoring.
- I create music.
- I write.
- I communicate and use the web.

But... I don't play computer games. Not because there aren't so many games.. no, but because I don't care so much about computer games. It typically takes too much time and uh... I think the kind of games I would like aren't available on computers anyway.

- Hence... I have a Nintendo Wii, that I occasionally play games on in the sofa.

I guess Apple thinks that all their customers are like me. But we all know that's not the case. We all know that computer games are as usual to computer users as e-mail or web surfing is. Apple should approach game developers and help them to make more games for the mac. And Apple should also release that goddamn gaming mac that everybody wants. An iMac with replaceable graphics card.
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