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Royalty demands may have kept Valve's Half-Life 2 off the Mac

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Money -- and lots of it -- rather than a lackluster approach to gaming on the part of Apple may be the primary reason why Valve's popular Half-Life 2 title has thus far eluded the Mac platform, according to a new report.

Responding to recent comments by Valve Software co-founder Gabe Newell, an insider for IMG is reporting that while there is little doubt that Newell waged a few valid points about Apple's lack of focus when it comes to games, the real reason Half-Life 2 never made it to the Mac is because of Valve's outrageous asking price for the Mac port.

According to the report, representatives for Valve met with Apple over the prospect of porting Half-Life 2 to the Mac a few months before the title was due to out on other platforms. The project never took off, however, because of Valve's insistence that any game publisher who wanted to port Half-Life 2 to the Mac had to advance $1 million to Valve.

"That's right, that's $1,000,000," the report states. "That might be peanuts to someone like Valve, but no Mac publisher in their right mind would have given Valve that kind of money just for the rights to publish Half-Life 2 for the Mac."

In a recent interview with Kikizo, Newell insisted that his firm's titles have failed to make their way to the Mac as a result of Apple's half-hearted attempts to comply with the requests of game developers.

"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."

Valve, whose estimated revenues for 2005 totaled just $70 million according to some reports, is also responsible for producing gaming titles Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, and Team Fortress 2.
post #2 of 42
Well, Valve's Steam has long been criticized for only existing on a Windows platform thus disallowing any Mac or Linux games to be purchased.
So I'd say there's something wrong with Valve after all. Let's see some, any effort on their part and then blame Apple for all the faults.
post #3 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck View Post

Well, Valve's Steam has long been criticized for only existing on a Windows platform thus disallowing any Mac or Linux games to be purchased.
So I'd say there's something wrong with Valve after all. Let's see some, any effort on their part and then blame Apple for all the faults.

Maybe Apple can just buy them out and get their Half Life franchise like Microsoft did with Halo. Oh and make it Mac OSX and PS3 only.
post #4 of 42
Apparently, one of the three things was a buttload of money, and another is/was windows-native development tools; they probably wanted to code to the metal, too - disastrous policy w/ any modern OS, but was once very common w/ game houses. No telling to what extent MS humours that point of view.
If yer gonna bother with thinking different, swing for the fences.
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If yer gonna bother with thinking different, swing for the fences.
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post #5 of 42
Valve can keep their motion-sickness inducing game between their ass. For gaming, I will play my xbox360 and wii
post #6 of 42
I don't think they would have had a problem selling many copies of Half-Life 2 for the mac. Many of you may have remembered a website I use to run called DemandMac.com where in just a few days for the Half-Life 2 petition I had gathered over 50,000 signatures. After contacting Valve numerous numerous times regarding sending them copies of all the signatures, they never replied even once! And to tell you the truth, with this Half-Life 2 petition I had realized that more politics existed in porting Applications/Games to the Mac and that my website would have little or no effect on "Demanding" stuff for the Mac, so I closed shop on DemandMac.com. Thanks Valve!
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwharff View Post

I don't think they would have had a problem selling many copies of Half-Life 2 for the mac. Many of you may have remembered a website I use to run called DemandMac.com where in just a few days for the Half-Life 2 petition I had gathered over 50,000 signatures. After contacting Valve numerous numerous times regarding sending them copies of all the signatures, they never replied even once! And to tell you the truth, with this Half-Life 2 petition I had realized that more politics existed in porting Applications/Games to the Mac and that my website would have little or no effect on "Demanding" stuff for the Mac, so I closed shop on DemandMac.com. Thanks Valve!

i really wish that there was a mac version of steam. right now i'm using crossover but it is a little glitchy and doesn't really run it as it would on windows. i have cs, cz, and cs:s, dod, half life 2 , and a few more, and it'd be nice to play them all on my mac without having to use crossover or parallels etc...
MacBook Pro
2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
120GB Serial ATA Drive@5400rpm
SuperDrive 8x
15" Glossy Widescreen Display

with a wireless Apple keyboard

and

iPod Touch
8GB
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MacBook Pro
2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
120GB Serial ATA Drive@5400rpm
SuperDrive 8x
15" Glossy Widescreen Display

with a wireless Apple keyboard

and

iPod Touch
8GB
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post #8 of 42
I think this story again boils down what has been stated before. Developers who want to be on the Mac are already there or are on the way. Valve is not there because they choose not to be.
Bungie is my kinda gaming company anyway and here's to hoping they once again embrace the Mac.
post #9 of 42
I think the article misses the point that there's a difference between valve doing a native game (which is why they wanted Apple's help) and getting another Mac company to make a port for $1 Million.
post #10 of 42
I for one rejoice every day that there are no games on the Mac. Jesus, I hardly get anything done as it is.
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinney57 View Post

I for one rejoice every day that there are no games on the Mac. Jesus, I hardly get anything done as it is.



I remember the days of staying up to four in the morning playing Myth I and II.
post #12 of 42
I thought that when Apple went Intel they releaased developer tools that let developers compile the same code for Mac and PC. Is this the case and if so there seem no reason wht all games should not de sold for both platforms.
Wll I have my G5 so I am off to get a life; apart from this post...
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Wll I have my G5 so I am off to get a life; apart from this post...
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post #13 of 42
I'll keep on saying this. It all comes down to numbers. If there were enough Macs out there, this wouldn't be a problem.

Every time we look at something, such as games, programs, graphics cards, or whateer, it's lack of numbers that is the fault for us not having them.

Someone said they had gotten 50,000 signitures,. Big deal. With the cost of game development, it needs at least 100,000 to even begin looking at break even on the PC platform for even an inexpensively done game. Add the cost of porting, and that number goes up significently. If Valve did ask for that number, and I wouldn't be surprised if it did, then you are looking at 200 thousand games for anything close to break even. And then royalties kick in after a certain number of sales. In reality, it would probably take twice that number of sales to break even. I don't see that many selling on our platform.

These days, top games take years to do, and can cost $10 million, or more, to produce. They have to sell a whale of a number to make any money.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addison View Post

I thought that when Apple went Intel they releaased developer tools that let developers compile the same code for Mac and PC. Is this the case and if so there seem no reason wht all games should not de sold for both platforms.

The defacto graphics subsystem for Win games is Direct3D (DirectX 10) and Apple uses OpenGL. They are not compatible.

http://www.gamesforwindows.com/en-US...DirectX10.aspx
http://developer.apple.com/graphicsimaging/opengl/
post #15 of 42
If Valve used OpenGL and other open standards instead of DirectX this would be much less of an issue. Half-Life was OpenGL/DirectX - and it even ran better in OpenGL mode!

Blizzard, id, and many others have been making games compatible with Macs for a long time. Building your projects around inflexible engines and development tools are to blame. I'm not claiming it's free, but it's a lot cheaper than trying to go back and fix your lack of foresight.

As for the actual issue of 1 million: it isn't Apple's job to fund your development. Apple already solved this problem for Steam and any other program that does not run on OSX - Boot Camp. Is it the perfect solution? No. But it gets the job done and guarantees function on a Mac.
post #16 of 42
Sounds like Valve is incompetent and can't write for the Mac and then blamed it on Apple. Then they demand an absurd amount ($1 million) for someone else do code the program for the Mac. Sounds like they are both lazy and greedy.
post #17 of 42
I got 50,000 signature just in the first 3 days! The petition ran for several weeks and accumulated over a quarter million votes and that's only those who voted.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwharff View Post

I got 50,000 signature just in the first 3 days! The petition ran for several weeks and accumulated over a quarter million votes and that's only those who voted.

That's good, but history shows that most people who signed would never buy it. That's why companies are wary of petitions, they don't cost anyone anything to sign. Perhaps if each of those people were required to deposit $20 in an escro account, they would have listened.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avor View Post

As for the actual issue of 1 million: it isn't Apple's job to fund your development. Apple already solved this problem for Steam and any other program that does not run on OSX - Boot Camp. Is it the perfect solution? No. But it gets the job done and guarantees function on a Mac.

Err, no they didn't solve the problem. Yes, you can use Boot Camp to play the latest games, but with the kind of crap graphic cards that come with the consumer Macs why bother?
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by camimac View Post

Err, no they didn't solve the problem. Yes, you can use Boot Camp to play the latest games, but with the kind of crap graphic cards that come with the consumer Macs why bother?

It's more than that. By playing games through Boot Camp, we aren't getting any Mac development. This just makes it necessary to buy windows, and give $300 to MS and its distributors.
post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'll keep on saying this. It all comes down to numbers. If there were enough Macs out there, this wouldn't be a problem.

Every time we look at something, such as games, programs, graphics cards, or whateer, it's lack of numbers that is the fault for us not having them.

QFT.

Until Apple offers consumer level hardware that is actually capable of running modern games, what game companies do doesn't matter.
post #22 of 42
Very true and is one the main factors for closing down the site. However of all the petitions I had ever ran on the site, Half-Life 2 was the strongest AND largest by far. I can't help to believe that if in fact it was released, they would have made at least a small profit and any profit is a good thing!
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

QFT.

Until Apple offers consumer level hardware that is actually capable of running modern games, what game companies do doesn't matter.


That has little to do with it. What you guys don't seem to understand is that most people who play these games do so with hardware that's at about the same level as the Mac's. There just aren't all that many people buying graphics cards in the general population, including most of those playing games.

It's also just a very few games that really need the better cards. Most people play with most of the difficult stuff turned off, and they don't seem to mind.

High end gamers don't mind paying the equivalent of the Mac Pro, and that's the machine Apple doesn't sell enough of (well, actually, they don't ell enough of any of them).

Also, don't forget that laptops make up a good half of all sales, and they are no better, and often worse than what Apple has, but are used for games anyway.
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by camimac View Post

Err, no they didn't solve the problem. Yes, you can use Boot Camp to play the latest games, but with the kind of crap graphic cards that come with the consumer Macs why bother?

Problem: Some people feel held back from buying Macs because some software isn't developed for both systems.
Solution: Boot Camp lets you run windows and run said applications.

It does solve the problem from now on. How well it solves it is almost a moot point in the matter.

As for graphic cards, I'm running games fine. Then again, I'm not looking to run games at extremely high resolution, max settings, and still get 60 FPS. That market is not really in Apple's scope of business to begin with (PC Modders etc).
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That has little to do with it. What you guys don't seem to understand is that most people who play these games do so with hardware that's at about the same level as the Mac's. There just aren't all that many people buying graphics cards in the general population, including most of those playing games.

It's also just a very few games that really need the better cards. Most people play with most of the difficult stuff turned off, and they don't seem to mind.

I like to refer to the Steam user survey regarding what hardware people really use to play PC games.

I see only 2% of the players using integrated graphics, plus whatever integrated are in the 14% "other" category. I think it isn't farfetched to say that 95% of the people on Steam have better than integrated. Of Apple's consumer hardware, everything but the iMac comes with integrated.

This problem goes way beyond turning effects off and having to drop to a non-native resolution that looks like someone melted your crisp LCD. First and foremost, this is about being able to play at all. The GMA 950 doesn't run this year's games. It doesn't run last year's games. It mostly doesn't run games from the year before that.

The iMac's graphics high end is lackluster and struggles with new games, but at least they will run at low resolutions, with some effects on to boot.
Quote:
High end gamers don't mind paying the equivalent of the Mac Pro, and that's the machine Apple doesn't sell enough of (well, actually, they don't ell enough of any of them).

The equivalent of Mac Pro? Now you're talking a few percent of the market at most. Serious competetive gamers get by with machines costing far less than the low end iMac.

Go above $1500 and you won't get any significant volume of gamers.
Quote:
Also, don't forget that laptops make up a good half of all sales, and they are no better, and often worse than what Apple has, but are used for games anyway.

At least half of Windows laptops I see advertised have dedicated video memory, which puts them head and shoulders above anything from Apple except iMac.
post #26 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

I like to refer to the Steam user survey regarding what hardware people really use to play PC games.

I see only 2% of the players using integrated graphics, plus whatever integrated are in the 14% "other" category. I think it isn't farfetched to say that 95% of the people on Steam have better than integrated. Of Apple's consumer hardware, everything but the iMac comes with integrated.

This problem goes way beyond turning effects off and having to drop to a non-native resolution that looks like someone melted your crisp LCD. First and foremost, this is about being able to play at all. The GMA 950 doesn't run this year's games. It doesn't run last year's games. It mostly doesn't run games from the year before that.

The average PC costs $700. sometimes that even includes the low end monitor. Even desktops for $1,00 are using integrated graphics. you'd be surprised what you will find when you look through the Dell and Hp catalogs they mistakenly send me every week.

even the better machines use the lowest end graphics, better than 950 graphics, but not always yhat much better than 965 graphics.

Quote:
The iMac's graphics high end is lackluster and struggles with new games, but at least they will run at low resolutions, with some effects on to boot.The equivalent of Mac Pro? Now you're talking a few percent of the market at most. Serious competetive gamers get by with machines costing far less than the low end iMac.

They seem to be fime for most people playing game as we often see from posts.

As for the Mac Pro, Alien and Voodoo sold plenty of $3,000+ machines to gamers. they still do. I know gamers who spend several hundred just for higher speed LED lit memory for their machines.

And I did say "high End" gamers.

Quote:
Go above $1500 and you won't get any significant volume of gamers.At least half of Windows laptops I see advertised have dedicated video memory, which puts them head and shoulders above anything from Apple except iMac.

The truth is that "gamers" are a very small part of the computing public. the same few million buy most of the games, year after year, with older ones dropping out as new ones enter.

MBP's also have dedicated gpu's and memory.

Most people who buy games might buy one or two a year.

The rest play on consoles.
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwharff View Post

I got 50,000 signature just in the first 3 days! The petition ran for several weeks and accumulated over a quarter million votes and that's only those who voted.

Yeah, but you voted twice.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

At least half of Windows laptops I see advertised have dedicated video memory, which puts them head and shoulders above anything from Apple except iMac.

This statement is flat out WRONG! I am in the market right now for 3 Winblows laptops and to get dedicated graphics on a PC laptop you are spending mac money. Remember ANYTHING that says shared memory is NOT dedicated chip. They show ATi and nVidia chipsets but the memory is not on the graphics ship. READ the fine print it is there for a reason.
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsmi View Post

I am in the market right now for 3 Winblows laptops and to get dedicated graphics on a PC laptop you are spending mac money.

I just did some shopping around for laptops made by some of the big OEMs. As for their GPUs, here are the contenders for 'books in the consumer arena.

HP
$875 Pavilion dv2500t series

NVIDIA 8400GS (64 MB)

$1000 pavilion dv9500t series

NVIDIA 8400GS (128 MB)

$950 Pavilion tx1000z series

NVIDIA 6150GO

HP Compaq
$600 Presario V6500Z series

NVIDIA 7150M

$450 Presario C500T series

Intel GMA950 (integrated)

Dell
$500 Inspiron 1501

ATI Xpress1150 (integrated)

$800 Inspiron 1420

Intel GMA X3100 (integrated)

$850 Inspiron 1721

ATI Xpress1270 (integrated)

$1300 XPS M1330

Intel GMA X3100 (integrated)

$650 Vostro 1400

NVIDIA 8400GS (128 MB)

Sony
$950 VGN-CR290

Intel GMA X3100 (integrated)

$1200 VGN-FZ290 (who comes up with these things?)

NVIDIA 8400GT (128 MB)

Toshiba
$971 Satellite A200/A205

ATI Mobility HD 2400 (128 MB)

$1250 Tecra M8 (sounds like some sort of firearm to me)

Intel GMA X3100 (integrated)

Lenovo
$1100 N200

NVIDIA 7300GO (256 MB)

In conclusion:
Lots of Windows laptops priced at or under the MacBook's going rates either come with or can be configured to include dedicated graphics cards. Many do not. But in the Windows world, it is possible to purchase a laptop with a dedicated GPU for significantly under $2000. Granted, many of these computers will undoubtedly include substandard components, weaker processors, and worse support than Macs. But the fact remains that you can get a Windows laptop with a dedicated GPU for a lot less than $2000.
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by syklee26 View Post

Valve can keep their motion-sickness inducing game between their ass. For gaming, I will play my xbox360 and wii


Didn't take long for the mac community to turn. hehe.. predictable
post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnurse View Post

Didn't take long for the mac community to turn. hehe.. predictable

Or you, perhaps?
post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duddits View Post

Yeah, but you voted twice.

Crap I would've voted ten times had I known about the survey. I love Half Life2.

Article sounds like someone's trying to defend Apple's lack of interest in gaming. The hardware already proves it though.
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by camimac View Post

Err, no they didn't solve the problem. Yes, you can use Boot Camp to play the latest games, but with the kind of crap graphic cards that come with the consumer Macs why bother?


Too true. Plus Bootcamp doesn't allow you to use Fan Control. When I play WoW through Bootcamp my macbook gets ridiculously hot.
post #34 of 42
Stupid on Apple's part.
As of last year, or the year before, AFAIK, the Video Game market does more business in gross $$$ than the movie business.

I guess Apple hates money.
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post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by superkaratemonkeydeathcar View Post

Stupid on Apple's part.
As of last year, or the year before, AFAIK, the Video Game market does more business in gross $$$ than the movie business.

I guess Apple hates money.

But how much of that is for consoles?
post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The average PC costs $700. sometimes that even includes the low end monitor. Even desktops for $1,00 are using integrated graphics. you'd be surprised what you will find when you look through the Dell and Hp catalogs they mistakenly send me every week.

even the better machines use the lowest end graphics, better than 950 graphics, but not always yhat much better than 965 graphics.

Yes, there are lots of machines being sold using integrated graphics. What I said was that they cannot run new games, and therefore computers actually being used for gaming have something else.

At least Acer and HP have laptops with passable graphics chips for cheap. I have seen those brands used by gamers.

edit: just for kicks, I went into the Dell website. The first laptop I clicked on cost 900€ equipped with a Geforce 8400M GS. A Macbook starts from 1050€.
Quote:
They seem to be fime for most people playing game as we often see from posts.

The experience with a particular hardware is subjective, but if your specs are so pitiful the game won't even start, that's not subjective. I don't think framerates in the single digits are seriously okay for anyone, either. You see it reflected in the Steam survey.
Quote:
As for the Mac Pro, Alien and Voodoo sold plenty of $3,000+ machines to gamers. they still do. I know gamers who spend several hundred just for higher speed LED lit memory for their machines.

I'm describing the elephant's trunk, you're describing its tail. I don't know a single person who'd have had a desktop worth over $1500. I do, however, know several people who have been among the nation's and continent's top gamers. Who are these people spending hundreds on LED lit memory?
Quote:
The truth is that "gamers" are a very small part of the computing public. the same few million buy most of the games, year after year, with older ones dropping out as new ones enter.

Got any numbers to support that? I think it's false.

The average age of the readership (yes, readers, not subscribers) of my country's leading gaming magazine rises every year. It's currently at about 25.
Quote:
MBP's also have dedicated gpu's and memory.

We're discussing how the lack of volume of gaming-capable Macs causes companies not to make games for the platform. $2000+ laptops do not generate that kind of volume. MBP is simply not a consumer class machine.
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4metta View Post

Too true. Plus Bootcamp doesn't allow you to use Fan Control. When I play WoW through Bootcamp my macbook gets ridiculously hot.

Ehmm... play from Mac OS X, WOW runs very good on Mac especially with lastest 2 patches.
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikir View Post

Ehmm... play from Mac OS X, WOW runs very good on Mac especially with lastest 2 patches.

He's talking about Macbook.

My Core 2 Macbook with 2GB memory doesn't run WoW nearly well enough in OS X with all settings at minimum and at Macbook's internal resolution. I haven't tried Boot Camp, but the OS X client makes it clear that you need every extra bit of speed you can get with this slug of a GPU.
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikir View Post

Ehmm... play from Mac OS X, WOW runs very good on Mac especially with lastest 2 patches.

Not on a macbook it doesn't. On a macbook WoW crawls with horrible framerates under native OS X. Even with everything turned down. No way to go into Shatt without horrible frame stutterring on a macbook in native OS. Under Bootcamp with Windows XP it runs MUCH better with almost everything turned up. The sad fact is that the Windows XP drivers run the integrated gpu better than Apple.\
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gon View Post

He's talking about Macbook.

My Core 2 Macbook with 2GB memory doesn't run WoW nearly well enough in OS X with all settings at minimum and at Macbook's internal resolution. I haven't tried Boot Camp, but the OS X client makes it clear that you need every extra bit of speed you can get with this slug of a GPU.



Windows drivers run the macbook gpu better. I would say that WoW under bootcamp runs as good as it does natively on a macbook pro. It's common knowledge in the mac section of the WoW tech support forum.
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