Prolific Mac game porter Aspyr acquired, parent company promises expansion

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 4
Swedish game company Embracer has bought long-time macOS publisher and game porting firm Aspyr, and plans to expand its game catalog with new licenses.

Aspyr is known for bringing
Aspyr is known for bringing "Star Wars" to the Mac


As part of a trio of deals, Aspyr has been bought by Sweden's Embrace Group for $100 million upfront. A further $350 million will be paid out in the future as part of the acquisition as it meets certain unspecified targets.

Aspyr is a long-time porter of games to the Mac, and is best known for franchise games such as Civilization, Star Wars, and Call of Duty. When Aspyr dropped its 32-bit Mac titles in 2019, the company said it was focusing on games for all platforms, and that it would be revealing new projects.

According to GamaSutra, the new owners said that Aspyr will be run as an independent company under Embracer's Saber Interactive subsidiary.

It will continue to be run by co-founders Michael Rogers and Ted Staloch. Embracer says that it plans to accelerate Aspyr's growth by acquiring more games under license, as well as working with Saber on development.

At the same time as buying Aspyr, Embracer also bought puzzle game developer Easybrain in a deal worth up to $750 million.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    Not to forget that they also used to port a lot of games for Maxis like The Sims and SimCity. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 5
    Is it just me or did everyone hear a techno-breathy "Aspire!" as they read the headline of this article?  ;)  Their branding practices are obviously working on me at least.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 5
    corp1corp1 Posts: 30member
    I miss Mac gaming, but the reign of Aspyr (and other porting houses like Feral Interactive, not to mention the small subset of Steam games that work on macOS) was marked by buggy ports that arrived years after Windows versions at full price. 

    The final nail in the coffin of Aspyr's old model was the death of 32-bit games (with no path forward for those who purchased them.)

    Now that Apple is switching to ARM/Apple Silicon, I definitely don't see a bright future for "PC" gaming on the Mac.

    The future that Apple seems to be forging is one of smartphone games ported to the Mac and subscriptions to Apple Arcade.

    Some of those games are pretty good, but it's still disappointing.
    edited February 5 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 5
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,041member
    My only acquaintance with Aspyr was a couple of Tomb Raider games. They were pretty good, in my non-gamer estimation, but were uh- toned down from the earlier Edios releases, which I played until the wee hours of the morning, then dragged myself to work.

    Those first two games were the first games I put on my pizza box Mac which was my first computer. After the downsizing, it just wasn't quite as much fun.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 5
    corp1 said:
    I miss Mac gaming, but the reign of Aspyr (and other porting houses like Feral Interactive, not to mention the small subset of Steam games that work on macOS) was marked by buggy ports that arrived years after Windows versions at full price. 

    The final nail in the coffin of Aspyr's old model was the death of 32-bit games (with no path forward for those who purchased them.)

    Now that Apple is switching to ARM/Apple Silicon, I definitely don't see a bright future for "PC" gaming on the Mac.

    The future that Apple seems to be forging is one of smartphone games ported to the Mac and subscriptions to Apple Arcade.

    Some of those games are pretty good, but it's still disappointing.
    That isn't much of a future. But ... it is the way it is and has been for some time. Gaming on Apple computers hasn't been a thing since Sierra Online basically invented computer gaming. Market share has varied between 3%-15% and even in the past 10+ years of the iOS "halo effect" has rarely surpassed 10%. So, the games go where the consumers are. Add to that absolutely no one buys a Mac to game. They buy them for content creation, for programming/engineering/IT work etc. and they may game on it from time to time in their spare time. In contrast with the PC gaming industry where gaming entirely drives the purchase and the ability to also do video editing or data science on their gaming laptop or rig is a side benefit that helps their gaming hobby eventually pay for itself (kind of). 

    So I guess you can say that the M1 chip gives Apple the opportunity to make gaming a thing on macOS by integrating it with the thriving gaming ecosystems on iOS and iPadOS (tvOS not so much but Apple claims to have a PS4-caliber Apple TV coming out soon so who knows) where pretty much nothing existed before, so maybe that would be an improvement. The problem is that it would require AAA games to be submitted to the iOS app store, which of course you realize is a very big barrier for a ton of reasons.
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