A few weeks ago we asked IMG readers to send in questions for Aspyr Media for a feature called Ask Aspyr. Michael Rogers, the President of Aspyr Media, took the time to answer the numerous questions. So without further ado, here's this month's installment of Ask Aspyr.
Question: Your company does a great job of porting great titles. With the success of the Sims series (and the fact that you ported it), and your relationship with EA, is there any chance of a porting of the upcoming SimCity 4? Another reason I ask this is because SimCity 4 allows you to import your sims from The Sims. Any thoughts? - Teagon Murray.
Answer: We'd love to do this game.
I realize that those kind of answers can be frustrating, but the worst thing we can do is talk about a title we're negotiating, or developing, or pursuing, etc. and have the original publisher read some comment out on the Internet about Aspyr and their titles before they give the green light.
So, I'm afraid that we're not going to be too good of a source of scoop for questions like this.
Question: Are you planning to move to OS X-only ports in the near future? - Jensen Gelfond
Answer: Yes. It's really more a matter of doing the games as quickly as possible, and that Apple is doing a great job adding technologies to OS X, and continuing to add technology to OS X. So, it's inevitable that we'll do OS X only titles.
Since we've received these questions, we've announced Nascar 2002, and it is OS X only.
Other reasons for doing OS X are time to market (if doing OS X only makes a big difference in when the title is released), technology (something is present is OS X that's not in OS 9), and in general that machines have been shipping with OS X for some time now, and some games will basically require newer hardware, and OS X is included on all the new systems, so we know it's at least there.
Question: Do you work exclusively with Westlake Interactive to do your ports? - Jensen Gelfond
Answer: We've done some work recently with Beenox (www.beenox.com) for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 and i5works (www.i5works.com) for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon. Westlake has done some great work with us, we have a great relationship with them, and plan to continue using them.
Question: Where do you see yourself excelling and going beyond the call of duty when compared to the other major Mac labels out there? - Jensen Gelfond
Answer: I think Aspyr has done a good job of selecting games, and in sales, marketing and support. There's a lot we can improve on, and our challenge moving forward is to get better on each game.
We do try to go beyond people's expectations -- under-commit and over-deliver. It's difficult to measure the success of that, but we do keep trying.
For example, in the first 6 months of 2002, we averaged 80%+ of all customer support emails answered with 1 working day. In the second half of the year, we tried to do more by answering 70%+ in the same business day we receive the request. It's all about getting better.