|Interview with Tuncer Deniz: Mac Games Arcade|
December 18, 2008 | Eddie Park
Macgamestore.com recently introduced the Mac gaming community to Mac Games Arcade, an application that allows users to peruse, purchase/download online, check out demos, and organize their game libraries. Seeing as how we have easy access to the man behind it all, Tuncer Deniz, we thought a short interview taking a deeper look at the platform was in order.
1) So, Mac Games Arcade. How did this idea come about?
After working on Macgamestore.com for the last few years I started noticing a few trends. One is that people want digital downloads. When we started offering digital downloads our sales started booming. But digital downloads also represent its own issues and headaches. For us, downloading, serial numbers, and lost digital downloads and what not are issues we encounter on Macgamestore.com all the time. First is the downloading part. There’s a lot of Mac users out there who love to play games on the Mac but things like downloading a .dmg and install it to your Mac is easy for experienced Mac users but difficult for novices. The same goes for entering serial numbers. I’d say over the last 2-3 years, the majority of the emails we’ve gotten are from people who enter their serial number incorrectly. And then there’s those who download the game and then after a while can’t find there game or somehow they delete it accidently or just misplace it.
With Mac Games Arcade we wanted to solve all those issues with digital downloads and for the most part, I think we’ve done that.
Beyond that though, I just thought there was an opportunity there to create a cool application for digital downloads. It was something in the back of my mind for a long time.
2) MGA has a lot of neat features, including easily-accessed demos and a bestseller list. Are we going to be seeing any new features in the future, such as a friends list (ala Steam) or a matching service of some kind?
It’s certainly possible. It really depends on how well the product is received and what features people want out of it. For 1.0 we wanted to make the basics work right. We already have a lot of ideas for 2.0 such as chatting, friends list, free games, ability to add your own games, etc. But for now we just want to put it out there and see how it goes.
One other feature we want to roll into the application after launch is detecting what kind of Mac and then giving you a warning if the game won’t run on your Mac. For example, let’s say you download an Intel only game and you have a PowerPC Mac. It be cool if Mac Games Arcade would say “Sorry, this game will only run on an Intel Mac.” That would save you from downloading a program that wouldn’t work on your Mac anyway.
3) Will we be seeing the addition of more prominent game makers/publishers in the future? For example, it'd be great if we could buy EA or Freeverse titles or download demos straight from MGA.
Well, that is certainly something we’d like to see happen. We’ve already signed a deal with UbiSoft so we will be getting their games on Mac Games Arcade and TransGaming’s titles will also be appearing on MGA. But I’ll have to admit that the more traditional Mac publishers haven’t been as forthcoming. We’d love to get Feral’s, MacSoft’s, and Aspyr’s titles on MGA but it’s up to them. Then again we have to prove that Mac Games Arcade is a good product and that it attracts a lot of buyers, so time will tell.
4) How exactly does MGA keep track of purchases per customer? For example, if I switch computers, will I still be able to reinstall all my purchases?
Yes. Every purchase is tied to your login so if you switch to a new computer, you can then login and re-download all your previously purchased games. We felt this was really necessary because a lot of people are nervous about losing their investment. With Mac Games Arcade, you can re-download your games at any time.
5) Steam has the ability to add games to its listing even if they were purchased outside of Steam. Will MGA have a similar feature sometime in the future?
Not for 1.0 but definitely for an update down the line. It has been something that a lot of beta testers have requested.