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No more mac-only networking games!


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#41 a2daj

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 10:42 AM

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Then you obviously need to start a Macintosh publishing company. Since you are so certain that the majority of PC games do not deal with DirectX for networking you will have a lot of PC games to port that are not already spoken for, won't you?

Well, correct me if I'm wrong, but Battlefield 1942 (an EA game, just like C&C) uses DirectX for networking, and it plays multiplayer with the PC... there is a subset of games that use some weird thing that won't work. I'm advocating that these games be avoided...

You're wrong.  BF 1942 and C&C:G do not use DirectPlay.  If they did, then the next DirectX update would probably break BF1942.  And it'd be tough to get the Linux servers going since Linux doesn't have DirectPlay either.

C&C:G has an issue with how x86 handles floats compared to PowerPCs.  Technically, they could get a game to connect, but the game would get out of sync fairly early, and a x86 'floating point number emulator' is out of the question since it'd be a performance hit.

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No, I never said that! What I'm saying is, if part of the game is multiplayer, then it should work - not with 1% of the population, but all of it!
Then you need to tell the PC publisher to stop using Microsoft APIs! That is the only way!

Nothing I can say to a PC developer is going to have an effect. That's Apple's job, if anyone. If a whole lot of people start whining that the games won't work with the PC, then maybe Apple will start doing something...

There's nothing Apple can do about it.  Microsoft likes to keep their technology proprietary.

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No. They decide what they have the capital to license, and then ask to fill the content creators' pockets for it. This can easily spill the matter of what to port into something that your thread has completely ignored--circumstances. "Oh, sorry, we have an exclusive contract with publisher XYZ so we can't license it again for another three years," or an exclusivity to appear on a certain platform, or a significant portion of IP royalty to another party/creator/benefactor, what have you, that can easily make game X totally non-portable. Mac game publishers don't just "decide" what to port. They have to sift through what is possible, feasible, and easily negotiable. That might sound like "a decision" to you but it's a lot of hard work as soon as you try to do it. The "decision" isn't theirs and can even be very complex within the organisation or business that has the ability to grant the right.

So... they decide what to port, then ask for permission to do so?

Sometimes PC publishers ask Mac publishers if they'd like to port a game.

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In other words, if they only dealt with it the way you propose, we would have a lot less games to choose from at all.

unfounded statement. I'm sure these guys have built up a few contacts in the industry by now, they can get a quick handle on whether it's doable very early on...

-- james

But you're still proposing we lose games strictly based on crossplatform multiplayer compatibility.  We could miss out on some great games if Mac publishers went in that direction.  I'd rather have a good game with Mac to Mac only networking than another Klingon Honor Guard.

There are some porting contracts where the Mac guys are not allowed to contact the PC developers at all.  There's a lot of hoops that the Mac guys have to go through and some hard lessons they've had to learn along the way (like Raven Shield and C&C:G multiplayer).
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#42 jamesa

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 10:43 AM

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that's a cop out! I don't want a PC, but I don't think it's unreasonable to be compatible with 97% of the worlds computers, and 99% of PC online gamers!
Whaleman has already cleaned up your numbers. Please re-read.

And you may have noted my objections to them.

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How do you think that Mac publishers can do this when they do not make the decisions that create PC games which can only possibly be incompatible?
Perhaps by considering alternate routes. Because right now, Mac-PC compatibility isn't working. Simply continuing to port the games without looking at alternatives won't fix the problem. And the only way I know to let them know I want them to do something about it - more about it - is by not buying the game.

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How do you think that "by focusing on only compatible games" that we will have more (or better) games? Your wants will only create a giant sucking sound in the place of games that we would have otherwise had.

Yes, and in the place of existing giant sucking sounds  new compatible games pop up. If they can only port three a year, I want them to know where my priorities lie.

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And just so you know, you aren't covering any new ground here. That's another reason you're getting nothing but derision
I'm here for discussion, not a popularity contest ;)

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You seem to think you're cluing us in but we've had this discussion many times, game set match.
Only about what I think. Not claiming to do any more than that.

-- james

#43 jamesa

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 10:49 AM

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C&C:G has an issue with how x86 handles floats compared to PowerPCs.  Technically, they could get a game to connect, but the game would get out of sync fairly early, and a x86 'floating point number emulator' is out of the question since it'd be a performance hit.
I didn't know that. Good to know. But see, there are plenty of games out there than don't use MS tech... that are still good games. I'm not going to blame them for C&C if that is indeed the problem!

Though I think that, if that was indeed the problem, what about offering PC multiplayer to those with dual CPUs? Couldn't one CPU do the x86 emulation, while the other plays the game?

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There's nothing Apple can do about it.  Microsoft likes to keep their technology proprietary.

I wonder how hard Apple tried... surely, that wouldn't be too good, the little guy making noises about how MS's proprietary code is preventing software interacting...

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Sometimes PC publishers ask Mac publishers if they'd like to port a game.
Yeah, well, in instances of publishers like that, you'd expect the publishers to keep the  devs more tuned in to cross platform issues...

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But you're still proposing we lose games strictly based on crossplatform multiplayer compatibility.  We could miss out on some great games if Mac publishers went in that direction.  I'd rather have a good game with Mac to Mac only networking than another Klingon Honor Guard.

We're missing out on plenty of great games already. We're just switching which ones based on a very valid need to play with the rest of the world...

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There are some porting contracts where the Mac guys are not allowed to contact the PC developers at all.  There's a lot of hoops that the Mac guys have to go through and some hard lessons they've had to learn along the way (like Raven Shield and C&C:G multiplayer).

Well, I've bought many of their games, and accept all that. I'm just asking that they bear it in mind in the future.

-- james

#44 a2daj

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 10:55 AM

Whenever they miss out on a good game it's usually because the PC publishers won't let them.

I think the first criteria for a game is that it's a good game.  Unfortunately, sometimes contracts get signed before the PC version comes out and bombs.  Not much you can do about that.  If you propose they wait, then there will be the tons of people complaining that the game is way too late if the game happens to do well.  No win situation.

If the game has a multiplayer component, the publishers will do whatever they can to get CP NW working.  But if it's DirectPlay, they usually use OpenPlay.  Sometimes you get C&C:G issues.  Or sometimes you might get Raven Shield situations where the PC version uses networking libraries other than DirectPlay that the PC developers don't want ported.
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#45 Auron

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 11:19 AM

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News flash: The majority of game buyers doesn't care about multiplayer at all! You can choose to believe it or not, but that's the simple truth.

this is based on what exactly?

and if this were true, then why do virtually all games ship with a multiplayer mode if a "majority of game buyers" don't care about it?

-- james

The Best-Selling Game of all time is the Single-Player Sims. (Notice the multi-player one flopped.) Nuff Said.

#46 DaveyJJ

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 11:31 AM

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The Best-Selling Game of all time is the Single-Player Sims. (Notice the multi-player one flopped.) Nuff Said.
Followed very closely, I seem to recall, by the original Myst. I don't remember ever finding the multiplayer part of that title  :wink:

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People play games to play against each other ...

I love good single player games .....

-- james

Uh, which one is it?

I buy games to play single player that I want, that either have no multiplayer or I don't care about the MP aspect, and I've bought one or two games (Diablo II comes to mind) specifically to play MP in my 18 years of Mac use. Don't use a blanket term like "People" when you mean "Some Mac gamers." This whole thread has turned into a soap opera, btw.

PS. And Neverwinter Nights has a great Mac-PC multiplayer component that works flawlessly built right in, no one's mentioned that title.

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#47 Whaleman

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 01:28 PM

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This should have been made a Sticky long ago: Mac/PC compatible games.


Why not check under Frequently Asked Questions?

;)
You shouldn't ask yourself such worthless questions. Aim higher. Try this: why am I here? Why do I exist, and what is my purpose in this universe?

(Answers: 'Cause you are. 'Cause you do. 'Cause I got a shotgun, and you ain't got one.)

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#48 Whaleman

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 02:19 PM

Ok, some facts that we probably haven't made clear enough earlier in this thread.

1. Most games that could be multi-platform networkable if ported gets ported and this is usually because of some of the following reasons:
I. They're built on the Unreal or Quake III engine.
II. They're developed cross-platform (Blizzard, iD, Epic)
III. They're developed with other platforms in mind.
Of the rest, probably at least 95% uses network code that wouldn't be possible to port, if not your 99.95%. Why? Because it's cheap and easy. If they haven't planned a Mac port, why bother using a more expensive/difficult networking protocol?

2. Console ports seldom have networking at all, or if they do, it's highly limited. Do they cost less for that? Nope. In Sweden a console game usually costs 20-40% more than the PC version did at launch. Mac gaming has it a lot better than the console gamers on this are. If the PC game has networking, the Mac game always get it, even if it's only within the same platform at times.

3. Loss of Mac sales will only hurt, not help. The Mac publisher gets financial problems and the PC publishers and developers give up the idea of supporting Mac gaming in the future. While good sales will get the Mac Publishers to survive, and has the possibility to open up the eyes of the PC Developers/Publishers.

4. Mac gaming has improved a lot lately, and it sure as hell hasn't been because gamers have been boycotting the Mac publishers. During the past years we have gotten more games faster than ever before. And more PC publishers/developers have started to take interest in the Mac market because of this. Epic has started to do their own ports instead of letting Westlake do them, BioWare did the NWN port themselves, S2 did a Mac port of Savage (even if it died off in some other troubles), EA and Ubi is showing stronger and stronger commitment to the Mac platform than ever. And this is not because we refuse to buy their games because the decision to port them came too late to do anything about cross platforming. Chances are that if a non-crossplatformable game sells well on the mac, the sequel will redeem this issue. It's no guarantee, but it sure is more sure than if the game doesn't sell good at all, in which case we might not get the sequel at all.

5. This thread is as silly now as it was on page 1.
You shouldn't ask yourself such worthless questions. Aim higher. Try this: why am I here? Why do I exist, and what is my purpose in this universe?

(Answers: 'Cause you are. 'Cause you do. 'Cause I got a shotgun, and you ain't got one.)

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#49 Macmeister

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 04:22 PM

Putting on flame-retardant suit....

This topic keeps being brought up simply because the issue isn't going away. In fact, I've seen more threads such as this one started lately than I ever have. I'm sure the publishers/porting houses are well-aware of this, and frustrated by it as much or moreso than the rest of us.  Perhaps the reason there are multiple threads on this very subject is because they always seem to deteriorate into condescending, then retaliatory, remarks, perhaps because the opening post wasn't worded very tactfully.  It might be a good idea, in future threads, for the opening poster to frame his/her words a bit better, so there is a better chance at constructive conversation.

Not to stir up the pot any more, but I'm sure many of you are familiar with how easily statistics are manipulated; for one, simply because of the current environment/circumstances surrounding the study (this would be with regard to the percentage of people playing single player versus multiplayer).  However, as the internet becomes more ubiquitous in households everywhere (most especially broadband), it seems to me the multiplayer aspect of gaming will gain tremendous ground and relevance to a majority of gamers -- i.e. the more familiar the population becomes with the net and computers, the easier (and more attractive) it will be for them to sit down and give it a "whirl".  Take board games for example:  it's an extremely common and fun pastime for many families and friends.  The opportunity to simply sit down and connect to any member of your family or to a friend and play a casual game of whatever is going to become both more attractive and convenient.  Not that single-player will lose anything by it -- multiplayer will simply become much more popular in and of itself, imho.

That said, what about users posting *ideas* as to what possible solutions there might be (and, no, I don't think all ideas or notions on this subject have been exhausted - perhaps technical feasibilities aside) to this issue.  

If we can maintain a civil and constructive thread, we might actually get some developers in here to participate.

For starters (ready for jeers, rotten tomatoes, & pipe-dream comments), I'll throw in an idea:  What if all the major Mac publishers/porting houses went, in concert, to Microsoft and tried to work a deal to have, say, the Mac BU make, and maintain, a Mac version of these technologies?  A huge investment, I'm sure, but perhaps quite profitable for both in the long run?

#50 gbafan

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 12:11 AM

I'm thankful that this thread was started.  

I could go on and on about cross platform networking and why the majority of Mac ports only support teh craptastic GameRanger but why bother.

We are an elite minority of gamers with only FOUR (3 1/2; mice Macplay?) well known publishers.  I suppose this is better than it once was... Ah I remember when the original C&C shipped.  I ordered it from a small online store and was quite excited when it arrived.  I logged into the PC/Mac Westwood internet gaming service and had a freaking BLAST. </tangent>

Anyhoo.  We (minority Mac gamers) need a cross platform gaming service. The Mac publishers need to work directly with (someone) to help provide this for us if they want their business to grow.  There are many competing platforms for our gaming dollars.  Several new ones will be shipping in the next two years; starting with the Nintendo DS and continuing to the release of XBox Next, etc. In the near future (next two years) online gaming is going to explode and we'll be left in the dust playing each other on GameRanger, the worlds worst excuse for a matching making service, while everyone else is playing each other over XBL or GameSpy or TheZone or whatever else they (the other gaming communities) come up with.

Aspyr, MacSoft, Feral and Macplay (cough) need to team up and get something done before it's too late.
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#51 gbafan

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 12:17 AM

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Aspyr, MacSoft, Feral and Macplay (cough) need to team up and get something done before it's too late.
Oh and one thing I'd like to add.  

All good things do come to an end.  We've seen boon times before back in the day; Mac games were coming out our ears.  And then poof; we couldn't land a port to saw our lives; Quake anyone?  OMFG that took forever.

We need cross platform gaming to survive.  It is the future.
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#52 a2daj

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 01:18 AM

I thought GameScouter was the worst?
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#53 OneButton

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 01:19 AM

personally i only buy games that are mac and pc compatible for multiplayer.  I am looking forward to rise of nations, but if i can't play against the pc crowd then i won't buy it.

i don't see my actions as a grand revolt against publishers... just my preference... like how some people won't buy one genre of game or another.
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#54 gbafan

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 02:01 AM

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personally i only buy games that are mac and pc compatible for multiplayer.  I am looking forward to rise of nations, but if i can't play against the pc crowd then i won't buy it.
To help you free up some dollars for something else, it won't be supporting PC to Mac play. :(
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#55 jamesa

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 03:49 AM

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People play games to play against each other ...

I love good single player games .....

-- james

Uh, which one is it?

the two aren't mutually exclusive.

my point is, however, when I buy a single player game I do so to play it by myself. Though, truth be told, I very rarely buy them any more - but I did thoroughly enjoy the single player Journeyman Project 2, Marathons, Myth and Halo.

Most games I buy now (and, according to the earlier survey, most people are the same) 60% of game time is spent playing online.

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I buy games to play single player that I want, that either have no multiplayer or I don't care about the MP aspect, and I've bought one or two games (Diablo II comes to mind) specifically to play MP in my 18 years of Mac use. Don't use a blanket term like "People" when you mean "Some Mac gamers." This whole thread has turned into a soap opera, btw.

There's a survey backing up what I said.

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PS. And Neverwinter Nights has a great Mac-PC multiplayer component that works flawlessly built right in, no one's mentioned that title.

Excellent, another one to the list.

-- james

#56 Macmeister

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 03:58 AM

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personally i only buy games that are mac and pc compatible for multiplayer.  I am looking forward to rise of nations, but if i can't play against the pc crowd then i won't buy it.

i don't see my actions as a grand revolt against publishers... just my preference... like how some people won't buy one genre of game or another.

I think this is a prime example of what is going (and will continue) to occur, if something isn't done.  Not necessarily a revolt, but simply put: given the ratio of PC  to Mac users, it is a *very* common occurrence for Mac gamers to have multiple PC gamers as friends.  The Mac user might also consider replacing his/her machine for a PC.  I realize I'm stating the obvious, but my point is this:  these *are* lost sales for the Mac gaming publishers/porting houses, and potentially lost future sales to Apple Computer itself.  It would be nice to see Apple become more involved.  We've already seen what can be done when they do exert pressure -- even on Microsoft -- with reference to VPC 7, though that was more of a bread & butter situation.

Granted, it's a likely possibility the Mac gaming publishers/porting houses are already exploring their options and/or are already pursuing them.

I do agree with gbafan -- something needs to be done, and it's likely going to take some of these groups (the gaming houses & possibly Apple) together  working with an "entity" in the PC world to make it happen.

#57 Gafgarion

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 04:28 AM

"Since my feet won't run as fast as a car I'm gonna take this shotgun here and shoot myself in the foot. There's probably another foot somewhere out there that can run faster for me."

That's TrooperSam logic for ya.

Guys, in a big market boycotting games would work: Another guy that could meet your needs would step up to the plate. In the Mac market all you're doing is ensuring that the entire market collapses.

Apple and all the game companies together couldn't do much to change the trend. The reason Apple had an influence on the VPC7 decision is because a lot of professionals rely on VPC for their businesses... Apple couldn't even hope to be as persuasive about gaming.

Apple has helped PC developers in the past and has been mostly fruitless. Anyone remember when Apple gave some machines and stuff to the TeamSpeak team? Have you used Mac TS? Of course not, it hasn't been made.

The only way the Mac gaming market can hope to influence devs in regard to abandoning proprietary libraries is by getting a larger market share; and that isnt going to be accomplished by boycotting games.

So boycott all you want, but know that it's not helping anything... In fact you just let Microsoft win.

#58 Macmeister

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 04:59 AM

Just to preface this:  I'm not ranting at Mac game publishers, nor Apple.  The reason I posted was because, as big a success as the Mac games market has become, I'd like to see it become even bigger.  I'm a diehard Mac user, and would never consider boycotting Mac games or Apple computers for that matter.

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Guys, in a big market boycotting games would work: Another guy that could meet your needs would step up to the plate. In the Mac market all you're doing is ensuring that the entire market collapses.
I wasn't suggesting a boycott (if you were responding to what I said) -- I was stating that there *are* users who will simply put a game back on the shelf because it lacks cross-platform multiplayer capabilities -- not out of an attitude of boycott, but simply because it's no longer interesting if they can't play it with their friends.  Simply a statement of fact.

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Apple and all the game companies together couldn't do much to change the trend. The reason Apple had an influence on the VPC7 decision is because a lot of professionals rely on VPC for their businesses... Apple couldn't even hope to be as persuasive about gaming.

This is why I made the bread and butter statement.  I'm fully aware of that.  However, money talks, and that's why Microsoft moved -- because it's making money for them also.  There's no reason why an initial investment from Apple and, possibly, the Mac gaming houses, might not turn Microsoft's head.

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Apple has helped PC developers in the past and has been mostly fruitless. Anyone remember when Apple gave some machines and stuff to the TeamSpeak team? Have you used Mac TS? Of course not, it hasn't been made.
Apple didn't infuse them with any sort of monetary investment.  They seeded them two Macs.  They (TeamSpeak) already had their hands full with the (then) current version.  They're also doing it for free (they were *not* contracted to do it.  They've since announced they're working on coding a Mac version (which, yes, we haven't really seen any evidence of); even then, you'd have to spend $50 to use it on GameRanger, but that's all mainly irrelevant as far as this topic goes.

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The only way the Mac gaming market can hope to influence devs in regard to abandoning proprietary libraries is by getting a larger market share; and that isnt going to be accomplished by boycotting games.

I completely agree with you that boycotting Mac games is the **wrong** thing to do.  And I agree the point here IS to get a bigger marketshare.  The question is: How will that come about?  Money has to be spent.  Apple spends huge amounts of advertising and marketing dollars to promote their products.  Money moves the machinery here.

I suppose I left out one thing in my earlier post with regard to Apple, and Mac game developers/publishers approaching a company such as MS and making a deal.  I assumed it was understood they would come to the bargaining table with money. ; )

#59 Gafgarion

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 05:29 AM

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(if you were responding to what I said)

My comments were aimed at the thread's poster.

#60 Macmeister

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 05:32 AM

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(if you were responding to what I said)

My comments were aimed at the thread's poster.

My apologies, then. ; )