May 27, 2019
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A Day At MacPlay
July 10, 2001 | Michael Yanovich

On a recent trip to MumboJumbo’s offices for an article on Myth III, I was given a surprise introduction to their neighbor, Diane Zammit, president of the newly resurrected MacPlay. The person who introduced us was Mike Donges, MumboJumbo’s executive producer.

What resulted was an impromptu conversation between the three of us concerning the current state of Macintosh gaming versus the dire situation just a few years ago. Making the conversation even more interesting are Diane and Mike’s backgrounds, as they both worked at Apple and have a strong perspective from both sides of the Apple/developer saga.

To sum the conversation up in one sentence, I’d have to say: “There’s a heck of a lot of good news.”

While this article won’t have many direct quotes in it, everything that follows comes from notes taken during the conversation.

First, let’s start with a brief background refresher course. This may seem like ancient history to some, but Apple’s near brush with death is still shiny and wet in its freshness. Before Steve Jobs’ return, before the iMac, sometime during the System 7.5 fiasco (anyone remember the sheer number of patches released for that operating system that were all called 7.5?), Apple was a company breathing its last breaths. The product line was bloated and confusing, profits were in the negatives, sales were ghastly,,, and there were very few games for the Mac.

While some cross-platform game companies just stopped producing games for the Mac (like LucasArts and Activision), some Mac-only game companies didn’t have the luxury of focusing on their other markets. Sadly, this forced some companies to close their doors, and among them was the Mac publishing giant MacPlay.

But now, Apple’s phenomenal resurgence is so extraordinary that it will surely be regarded as exaggerated mythology in another hundred years. An amazing new product line, the best chipset on the planet, a growing market share and its new foray into retail outlets has given Apple and the gaming market a new life.

And from Apple’s new fire comes a modern phoenix, the rebirth of MacPlay.


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