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

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    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.
  • Reply 3 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.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    Valve can keep their motion-sickness inducing game between their ass. For gaming, I will play my xbox360 and wii
  • Reply 5 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!
  • Reply 6 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    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.



    If Apple is hard to deal with there isn't any reason for Valve to even try. Between PC and Xbox they don't need Apple. Version for 360 and PS3 are right around the corner.



    Apple doesn't understand they aren't all that powerful they always want things their way and most these days are telling them to take a walk. Which of course only ends up affecting us.



    The only market that Apple can dictate any terms is the iPod it's the only market they have any real market share.



    Apple systems have never been gaming systems I suspect they will say that way as long as Steve Jobs is around.
  • Reply 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...
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    I for one rejoice every day that there are no games on the Mac. Jesus, I hardly get anything done as it is.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    addisonaddison Posts: 1,185member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,368member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    taskisstaskiss Posts: 1,212member
    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/
  • Reply 15 of 42
    avoravor Posts: 44member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    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.
  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,368member
    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.
  • Reply 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?
  • Reply 20 of 42
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,368member
    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.
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