As a Mac gamer, I thought the recent announcement of the Steam digital games delivery service coming to Mac was very exciting. Even if Steam never becomes as popular on the Mac as it is on the PC, it will bring us, at the very least, some great Valve titles like Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead and Portal.
But best case scenario? Steam on Mac gets just the same vibrant games economy that the PC version enjoyed. But to do that, developers need to be on board.
Luckily, it looks like at least two game developing studios are going to take the plunge. Gas Powered Games, who created Supreme Commander 2 and Dungeon Siege, plan to develop for Mac in all products going forward, saying that porting games to the Mac is relatively easy since they’ve got identical internal architectures, unlike the PowerPC days. Unfortunately, that sounds to me like they’re talking about using CrossOver to make their ports. DICE is also now talking more seriously about bringing their Battlefield series of games to the Mac as well.
The big risk here is that developers will choose to use CrossOver or other DirectX wrappers to do their ports, which is the last thing the Mac gaming scene needs. I hope Steam leads to developers seriously devoting time and resources to OS X game development… not just an expansion of the lazy porting we’ve seen over the last few years.