|Inside Mac Games Holiday Q&A 2: TransGaming|
December 10, 2010 | Jon Carr
Welcome to Part Two of our Inside Mac Games Holiday Season Q&A Feature! This time around we interview TransGaming of Cider fame. Paul Nowosad, VP of Corporate Marketing and Business Development, agreed to answer some questions for us about the competition, the upcoming Apple Store and the status of Cider.
IMG Holiday Season Q&A 2: TransGaming
Jon Carr: The state of Mac gaming certainly seems to be on the rise, but there seems to be little transparency or interaction between Mac game porting houses or developers and the Mac gaming community. Is this important, and if so, what should be done about it?
Paul Nowosad: TransGaming is constantly working to grow its reach, support and overall voice in the Mac community. The foundation of this effort is rooted in GameTreeMac.com, where the community of Mac Gamers is growing and kept well informed to all the great game releases, new site features (such as our download mgr), and soon will see a host of other services such as an active community news/blog, Mac tools, and more social interaction opportunities with GTM Facebook, Twitter, and related properties.
JC: OnLive's streaming game service offers a mix of games for Mac users to access, which includes PC only and already available Mac games. Do you view this as a positive thing or taking away from current Mac game sales in other locations? Would you ever consider partnering with OnLive if that were possible?
PN: The OnLive offering is a true technological step forward for the whole gaming industry (and digital content in general), and while it offers Mac users with OnLive accounts, in OnLive coverage regions, access to a minor selection of games, the breadth of games available on the Mac (both AAA and casual) is far greater than OnLive can meet today. Fast growing technologies like 'streaming' and now SMART TV offerings, such as TransGaming's GameTreeTV Platform for set top boxes/TVs, continue to make gaming more and more available to consumers, whether on a Mac or connected consumer electronic device.
JC: Valve's massive Steam network has arrived for the Mac and some view Steam as a monopoly in digital downloads in the PC market, do you think this could also happen in the Mac realm, with Steam taking over digital sales? It also offers a one of a kind game network, with Friends, News, automatic patching, frequent sales and Steamplay. Is this a model other companies should try to emulate?
PN: Steam's entrance to Mac digital games distribution was a welcome arrival, and a sign that Mac gaming is truly a growing opportunity for developers. Steam has yet to fully reach the growth with new developer titles they voiced was to occur following their launch period, but did bring their games to market, which is a welcome set of IP for consumers to enjoy on their Mac (vs. PC). Steam, Apple Mac App Store, GameTreeMac.com, and others will continue to serve a growing marketplace and offer new game related services and community connections that should see strong overall Mac gaming growth in parallel to its PC cousin, who arrived many years earlier.
JC: Apple recently announced a Mac App store would be "Coming Soon." Do you view this as a possible threat to your own game sales and other Mac game stores? Or is it another positive option for Mac users everywhere?
PN: The real opportunity in the Mac App store is the ability to grow the awareness and general availability of Mac games to consumers with Apple hardware. The placement of a 'news stand' marketing engine like the Mac App store, on every Apple computer desktop, is a sign that great games from leading developers will have a marketing "voice" if not a distribution channel to add to their marketing and sales mix. Apple initially is not supporting all game types or formats, thus digital channels like GameTreeMac.com are still a vital source of distribution to Mac developers and gamers. The ability to reach a broad Mac market with new entertainment apps, and ultimately sell Mac games through this new channel will be an evolving process, and one that TransGaming has the tech know how and tools to support... thus offering its Cider developer base a clear line on how to evangelize the channel for max benefit. GameTreeMac.com is more than just selling games (unlike the Mac App Store), and with new improvements coming in the months ahead, consumers using our channel will see the value to being a Member, if not for the promotional benefits, then to realize what new games are hot, and how to connect with fellow Mac gamers.
JC: Your Cider technology seems to have become a popular way for big publishers like Ubisoft and EA to bring titles to the Mac, and has given a lot more gaming options to Mac users. However some complain about poor performance with "Ciderized" titles. Do you think Cider will eventually have on-par performance with native game ports?
PN: The voice in the market on Cider is far more positive than any criticisms that have ever been written. Native Mac games when compared directly to Cider enabled titles don't result in better performance, a common generalized misquote, but rather simply offer another approach to bringing great Mac games to consumers. Apple is still a key player in the performance aspects of many games (trying to be on par with PC)... and Apple has been making great strides to improve the hardware and software required to see great gaming perf/experiences on the Mac vs. other platforms. Cider today enables more games for developers than ANY other development process (related to AAA games), thus the benefits to bring a universal gaming community of PC and Mac users to life, such as Sony's Free Realms, Settlers 7, SIMS 3, or LEGO's new MMO, is unmatched. Cider is a constantly evolving technology that will bring more and more great games to consumers through their trusted Developers and Publishers brands for many years to come... plus bring them to Mac gamers on launch day, not 6-12 months after the PC/Console releases.
JC: Cider was most recently used to bring Dragon Age Origins : Awakening and The Grand Theft Auto Trilogy to the Mac. Do you have any other upcoming news or titles that Mac gamers should be excited about?
PN: We are working with the best developers and publishers in the industry and have new partnerships with Sony Online Entertainment, LEGO, Disney Interactive, and Take-Two Interactive. The games we assist developers to bring to market will continue to meet the needs of consumers through 2011, and we recommend all gamers join the GameTreeMac.com community to be kept informed, or contact our growing list of publishing partners to ensure the games they want to see for their Mac become realized in the months ahead. As we have news, we will most certainly share it with everyone!
JC: Thank you for your time!
TransGaming continues to live up to their motto of "broadening the playing field" with the Cider technology by bringing popular PC titles to the Mac. You can join their community and social networking endeavors to stay tuned to the latest news, updates and discounts and speak out about games you want to see brought to the Mac.