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How many Mac-Games do you buy each year?


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#1 landoq

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:43 AM

Hello

How many Mac-Games do you buy each year?

thanks

#2 Quicksilver

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 09:09 AM

Frankly, I haven't bought a Mac game since I bought a Mac that could dual boot.  The only thing that would persuade me to buy another one right now is if it was Mac-only and utterly awesome, like the original Escape Velocity.

If you want to count Windows games, I pick up 15-20 games/year.
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#3 teflon

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:34 PM

not particularly many. But then again, I dont really buy too many games over all.

as QS said, though, its mainly cos of Boot Camp. End of last year there was an abundance of new shooters, none of which are on the mac yet (apart from ETQW, with CoD4 coming), and ive not worked through all of them yet...

maybe a total of 10-15 games maximum over the whole year??
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#4 Janichsan

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:43 PM

I didn't buy too many Mac games last year: only five – and one of those was actually the ten year old Fallout. But I didn't buy many computer games at all. In addition to the Mac games I bought three Windows games (Crysis the only recent one).

I think I actually bought more DS games than computer games recently...

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#5 dojoboy

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 01:12 PM

View PostJanichsan, on March 27th 2008, 02:43 PM, said:

I didn't buy too many Mac games last year: only five – and one of those was actually the ten year old Fallout. But I didn't buy many computer games at all. In addition to the Mac games I bought three Windows games (Crysis the only recent one).

I think I actually bought more DS games than computer games recently...

I sure the hell did.

Most my Mac games are comps for beta testing.  I generally get 1-2 a year as gifts though.
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#6 Whaleman

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 01:36 PM

I think the highest number of Mac games I've bought in one year is like 50ish. So far this year I'm only up to 2 though.... so I might end up at 8-10 before the year is over if I keep that pace.

And for the record, I just moved all my Mac CDs to CD bags.... filling over 300 slots... most of them game CDs.
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#7 bobbob

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 02:30 PM

I bought... 5-6 last year, only because they were not castrated ports with uncertain futures published by a company that gives little or no attention to Mac games. In comparison I bought about 40 PC games and expansions last year, because they were good and I wasn't about to wait for a quarter of them to be ported, or settle for horrible ports of the other three-quarters and wait indefinitely for performance improvements and expansions.

#8 Brad Oliver

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:00 PM

View Postbobbob, on March 27th 2008, 01:30 PM, said:

I bought about 40 PC games and expansions last year...

I bow to the new king of disposable income! ;)

In all seriousness, given the plunging sales of PC games in general, I'm a little surprised that anyone would dedicate themselves to buying that many PC games last year. What genres do you go for?
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#9 bobbob

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:23 PM

View PostBrad Oliver, on March 27th 2008, 03:00 PM, said:

I bow to the new king of disposable income! ;)
A couple bundles on Steam got me 25, plus a few bargain bin titles to hit 30-something, then a few discounted recent releases to fill it out. It's not like I paid full new release retail prices for them, like some kind of Mac gamer ;)

Off the top of my head, I got id's back catalog, all of Valve's Source-engine games, Stalker, C&C3, Titan Quest + Immortal Throne, Contract Jack, NOLF2, Silent Storm + Sentinels, Dawn of War + Winter Assault + Dark Crusade, Psychonauts, ... I'm still looking for a few games that I should have bought in 2007, too. Forgotten Realms Deluxe (Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, NWN, et alia) and SupCom: Forged Alliance come to mind.

It's lopsided towards FPS, but I prefer games like Stalker which are more RPG, and (unfortunately) squad tactical games and good strategy games are somewhat of a niche market so they're underrepresented. Psychonauts also stands out as the best game there, and it's more of a platformer.

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given the plunging sales of PC games in general, I'm a little surprised that anyone would dedicate themselves to buying that many PC games last year.
I think you're mixing up cause and effect. There were a ton of good games available so I bought some. The console versions are almost always worse, so it's kind of odd to think anyone would pick those instead.

#10 Eric5h5

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 05:07 PM

View PostBrad Oliver, on March 27th 2008, 06:00 PM, said:

I bow to the new king of disposable income! ;)

The king of disposable time, rather.  ;)  I usually spend a few weeks on a game, on average (on the extremes there are some that just take a few days, some a few months).  If I bought anything like 40 games a year, half of them would go completely unplayed.

Not really sure about the question, offhand...I guess about 10 games a year on average.  I also have a backlog of unplayed or unfinished games going back at least 5 years.  I don't buy anything other than Mac games; wouldn't have time to play them if I did....

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#11 ehuelga

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 11:03 PM

Fewer lately, since I became a daddy. Used to buy 3-4, now just 1, maybe 2.
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#12 bobbob

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 11:14 PM

View PostEric5h5, on March 27th 2008, 04:07 PM, said:

The king of disposable time, rather.  ;)
The funny thing is I had already played many of the ones I bought. I had most of id's back catalogue already and bought it for the expansions and games that didn't have Mac ports, and even then it was a cheap way to get them (not to mention that many had gone out of print). Others were PC-only games just a few years old and publishers such as Aspyr had stopped printing them, so it was a conscious choice to pick them up even if I don't get around to playing them for a while. Some of the rest just came along for the ride. Peggle Extreeeme? Commander Keen? I might fire those up for a few minutes, but it's not like I really wanted them. Accounting for all that, I got most of the games in bunches starting in Sept., and have already gotten through most of the interesting ones with a couple gaming sessions per week. The only big time sinks left are Half-Life 2 & episodes, most of the other games might take a month of Sundays at most. I'll probably go back to a few favourites before finishing those off, though. By next September I'll be ready to stock up again!

Edit: to sum up, if any Mac game publishers are listening, if your games matched or exceeded the PC versions on features and performed well, plus had a sane selling price, I would buy a lot more Mac games. Continue to lose at the bargaining table, thus missing features and price, I'll be buying even less Mac games.

#13 Frost

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 11:50 PM

Sadly I have not bought a Mac game in a long time. Too out of date, and the people whose houses I can play at have been screwed over by the dropping of PPC support. That, and the dearth of truly quality Mac games (a couple here and there doesn't count) the past couple of years pushed me to move back to console gaming in a big way. I still play on my Mac regularly, mind you. Just not new stuff. And, honestly, even if I did have a Mac capable of playing new stuff, I probably wouldn't buy a lot of what's been coming out lately. Just a handful of titles in the post-Quake 4 era were games I'd have bought.

Back when good Mac games were coming out constantly a few years ago I was picking up games like crazy; about 15 games per year just on my Mac, plus about 5 PS2 games per year. For the Mar07-Mar08 period that's turned into 0 Mac games compared to 4 PS2 games, 11 PS3 games, and 4 Xbox 360 games.
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#14 Brad Oliver

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 02:39 AM

View Postbobbob, on March 27th 2008, 10:14 PM, said:

Edit: to sum up, if any Mac game publishers are listening, if your games matched or exceeded the PC versions on features and performed well, plus had a sane selling price, I would buy a lot more Mac games. Continue to lose at the bargaining table, thus missing features and price, I'll be buying even less Mac games.

Well let's be fair here: a chunk of those "40+" games you bought are over 3 years old and some are far older than that. The PC hasn't gone through quite the same OS turmoil that the Mac has seen since many of those games were released (some of the titles date back to the 68k Mac era!), so it's a lot easier to resell older PC games.
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#15 bobbob

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 03:44 AM

View PostBrad Oliver, on March 28th 2008, 01:39 AM, said:

The PC hasn't gone through quite the same OS turmoil that the Mac
The few individual games I listed had Mac ports that were Carbon or Cocoa enough that they should work. Apple might have failed a little bit in the case of NOLF2, but MacPlay kept selling the game with a promise of it eventually working long past every indication that they had no right to be in business. Baldur's Gate 2 under Rosetta works as well as it ever did, NWN has decent maintenance and a UB, and BG1... well Graphsim has a checkered past (and present, and future!).

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some of the titles date back to the 68k Mac era!
Which ones? Doom 2 and before? You realize Steam packages those with DosBOX because the stock engines don't work under Windows anymore, either? Aspyr could cheaply do something similar to make a Doom anthology, which might demand a higher price and might be a bit more viable with the Doom 3 expansion, too. God knows retail shelves have enough of them that they must be profitable for somebody.

Doom 1-2 and Quake 1-3 even have nice GPL ports, and those could even be branded and bundled (mere aggregation) with a little more effort.

The problem most of these older Mac games have is that the publishers walked away from the table with only a couple years to sell copies, no agreement to port or even bundle the PC toolset, little nor no forethought and agreement about source repo maintenance and access, patches, expansions or publicity, royalties completely out of line with the discounts the PC publishers give to retailers after release, and little cooperation with or from Apple to keep the games working in future versions of the OS/hardware even assuming they would continue maintenance.

Even high-profile titles like ET:QW don't show the possibility of a Mac port on the homepage, which says something about negotiations.

#16 Brad Oliver

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:16 PM

View Postbobbob, on March 28th 2008, 02:44 AM, said:

Doom 1-2 and Quake 1-3 even have nice GPL ports, and those could even be branded and bundled (mere aggregation) with a little more effort.

I would surmise it's a little more complicated than that - getting the rights to sell a GPL-ported game are filled with contention. More likely they'd be reported, which might be a few weeks work at this point - nothing major - but it's still kind of a pain. When I was at Aspyr, if I did an Intel or Carbon update, it still went through QA for a week or two to vet it and make sure it wasn't complete crap. The total time wasn't much, but it tended to drag out over the span of a few months while everyone's schedule could get in sync. I'd submit to QA - they'd find a nasty bug, send it back, I'd fix it, etc. As I recall, the Intel version of Alice took many months from my first start to final release, but the actual effort involved was a few weeks. That's neither here nor there, and with the promise of revenue it could have been sped up, I'm sure.

Quote

The problem most of these older Mac games have is that the publishers walked away from the table with only a couple years to sell copies, no agreement to port or even bundle the PC toolset, little nor no forethought and agreement about source repo maintenance and access, patches, expansions or publicity, royalties completely out of line with the discounts the PC publishers give to retailers after release, and little cooperation with or from Apple to keep the games working in future versions of the OS/hardware even assuming they would continue maintenance.

I agree with most of your points here. It strikes me as absolutely crazy that it's easier for me to run older PC versions of a game than older Mac versions. Let me address some of the points you raise.

In the past, it appears there wasn't a lot of thought given towards the contractual necessities for long-term maintenance and revenue for Mac ports. I couldn't tell you if it that is actually true though - I was never party to the negotiation process, just the end-result. I *think* the newer contracts today do have clauses to deal with this as the problems of the past started to catch up, but I don't know for sure.

The toolset/editor was always talked about as in "can we reasonably do this alongside the game?" and usually the answer was no. I recall Glenda did a Tomb Raider editor and I did a Civ3 editor, and that was about it. I recall before I left Aspyr, the new question was "how lame would it be to bundle the PC editor and force people to use Boot Camp or something similar?" but I didn't follow it much beyond that.

We rarely had interaction with most PC developers. Some were actively hostile to Mac porting houses and wouldn't accept our e-mails, never mind patches. Others welcomed fixes with open arms (hello, Firaxis! and a big hello to the team who did Centipede!). I know we did negotiate and got source repo access for some projects (e.g. id games and a few others), but it was usually the exception to the rule. Most PC developers wanted to distance themselves from any Mac ports.

As well, we also tried to negotiate source access before a PC release. It failed most of the time, but for a few projects (again, Firaxis rocks) we were able to get beta code drops. The end result was that we shipped Civ3 only 2 months behind the PC and Civ4 had a similar but slightly longer lag, as I recall. Trouble is, those few months seem like an eternity when you're waiting. I don't know if anyone remembers this, but back in the day there were commercials for Civ4 on TV and they advertised the Mac version in the ad, so we often did try to attempt to leech off publicity.

My recollection for expansions is that we pretty much always did them if the game sold halfway well (speaking towards Aspyr, MacSoft was a little more cautious here, as I recall), although it does seem like in the past year or two that no longer holds true.

As for the point on wacky pricing, I agree - I don't get why Mac prices continue to stay high much longer than the PC. I understand why they are high initially of course, but I wish they'd drop in a reasonable time-frame.

I would also agree that support from Apple was spotty. Now that I'm on the other side of the fence, I feel like I've been able to help guide the process along and the feedback loop has shrunk considerably, at least for my old companions at Aspyr. It helps immensely in knowing who to talk to and what to do, and that was always the biggest problem when I was at Aspyr.

As a side note, if you want Mac versions that actually outshine other platforms, I'll point to 3 examples that I personally know about. Centipede (MacSoft) contained a whole extra world, a particle effects engine, the actual arcade emulator and remastered cutscenes. Alice (Aspyr) contained remastered cutscenes and updates to the Q3 engine for newer features like anisotropic filtering. Alpha Centauri (Aspyr) contained a bunch of AI bug fixes that were never released in a PC patch (although the net play was never quite as stable as the PC and the Carbon beta version could use a round of polishing).
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#17 Janichsan

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:30 PM

View PostBrad Oliver, on March 28th 2008, 08:16 PM, said:

We rarely had interaction with most PC developers. Some were actively hostile to Mac porting houses and wouldn't accept our e-mails, never mind patches. ... Most PC developers wanted to distance themselves from any Mac ports.
Woah, that's gross. :blink: I didn't knew they hate us Mac gamers that much.

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#18 bobbob

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 05:02 PM

View PostBrad Oliver, on March 28th 2008, 12:16 PM, said:

getting the rights to sell a GPL-ported game are filled with contention
Presuming you're getting the rights to publish the game content, the GPL is really no hindrance vis-a-vis rights. Valve missed the boat a bit by not offering the source to DosBox at first, but now they bundle the DosBOX source with the games and it's no problem. If your legal team is telling you something entirely different about the GPL, i.e. that 'you will be reported', you likely have other problems. It's not a hard license to read, Valve did it with only a little bitty booboo, and you might be missing out on a larger market.

Quote

- I was never party to the negotiation process, just the end-result. I *think* the newer contracts today do have clauses to deal with this as the problems of the past started to catch up, but I don't know for sure.
Glenda has talked a lot about this, mostly just to say that she can't comment on negotiations in progress to port expansions or song sets or whatever. When this is after the PC expansion is in the bargain bin, or the song sets have been available on the 360 and PS3 for months before the eventual Mac release, it's already too late. You lost my business because you've waffled too long and I can't trust you (by past experience) to port the stuff with this kind of non-reply. What would it take to agree to options to port any expansions, bundle toolsets, etc when negotiating the original game? This kind of stuff is boilerplate in other publishing industries.

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I recall before I left Aspyr, the new question was "how lame would it be to bundle the PC editor and force people to use Boot Camp or something similar?" but I didn't follow it much beyond that.
Glenda posted something about trying and failing at getting an agreement to do it. It shouldn't be a hard thing to bargain for, assuming it was any priority at all which you don't seem to think it was. Walking away from the table without the little things like this is just an admission that you don't want me to buy your games. Stay and play your hand.

#19 TheGreenie

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:10 PM

For me I still prefer to get Mac games over the PC counter part. I do some times feel ripped off but if it means I don't have to boot into windows then so be it... I still also dream the dream that my support will help the industry improve one day, any day now... But there is no limit to how many games I do or don't get it all depends on what is released. If there is a game that I think is good I buy it. If none are released then I don't... Last year I think I bought more than the previous year, not all of them great but thats nothing new :) The way I play games is I like to finish them and then delete them to never play again unless it has great multiplayer. Just like movies, I hate re-watching what I have already seen. As for Half-Life 2 I hate that hey have added a little polish to a mod and then sell it... One thing I liked about games like that was the free mod community even if it wasn't always mac compatible. Just my 2 cents :)

#20 Brad Oliver

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:13 PM

View Postbobbob, on March 28th 2008, 04:02 PM, said:

What would it take to agree to options to port any expansions, bundle toolsets, etc when negotiating the original game?

Money. The Mac publisher pays for the right to publish expansions, so agreeing ahead of time to publish the expansion when the sales aren't proven carries a risk. It used to be expansions were rubber-stamped almost blindly because they were almost always "free money", but I think getting burned on a few of them has led to the current state of affairs. That said, I don't know that the deal is with the Beyond the Sword expansion for Civ4 given that Warlords made it - lack of manpower (my ego tells me this must be true) or poor sales of Mac Warlords maybe?

Quote

Glenda posted something about trying and failing at getting an agreement to do it. It shouldn't be a hard thing to bargain for, assuming it was any priority at all which you don't seem to think it was. Walking away from the table without the little things like this is just an admission that you don't want me to buy your games. Stay and play your hand.

I don't recall saying I didn't think these items were a priority. If anything I'd say the opposite, and I have (sometimes to my detriment) argued strongly for their inclusion. I personally argued hard (and won!) to get the Civ3 editor in the original MacSoft contract. My memory fails me, but that was the last game I remember working on that had a standalone editor associated with it. That said, it is true that we couldn't get the rights for the MacSoft Civ3 Editor when the Aspyr Civ3 Complete package came out, so if you want to castigate Aspyr or myself for that, feel free.

I can't tell if you feel that failure to secure the toolsets/editors is the Mac publisher's fault but if so, I strongly disagree. It's true that their absence sends a bad message to the customer, but to assume that the Mac publisher rolled over and died is simply wrong. Unfortunately, Mac porting houses lack a lot of leverage for many of these negotiations, be they editors or full games.

I am aware of many contracts that either fell apart over simply ridiculous demands like a certain company's "1 meelion dollars" for a certain high-profile game or "no, you can't have source code but we'd love for you to do a Mac version" - lack of code access came up more than any sensible person would think possible. I know of a few times where the PC code was even "lost" (usually around the time a company would fold) - wtf. And I remember more than once trying to get patch code out of a PC developer in a reasonable time-frame and having to wait months(!!) to get any kind of traction. One PC developer even went so far as to say "stop asking us - you'll get the code when we're ready." But now I'm just being bitter and rambling. ;) The end result is the same: the appearance of lack of quality or concern in the Mac port, and it sucked every single time it happened. I hated having my hands tied like that, and it's one of the reasons I left Aspyr. I've never asked the guys at Omni why they stopped (aside from the PR they put out) but I'd wager this was a major issue for them.
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