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Is this the end for Aspyr ?


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#1 Heimdal

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 06:02 AM

After finally releasing Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare with months of delay (a schedule is better than no schedule - see UT3 :glare: ), the game came out in the version 1.5 (PC 1.7). Now all buyers are waiting for patches like in the past the players of ET:QW. Actually Aspyr has no mac projects in the pipe and to my opinion the next EA blockbusters will be ported from EA itself. Has Aspyr a future with mac games or do they only want to develop for PCs and mobile phones ?

COD4 will be the last title that i will purchase from this company, after this one => boycott :nuke:

#2 dojoboy

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 06:15 AM

Boycott why?  Because they don't release as many Mac games as you want them to?  And, no disrespect meant, but how do you know their Mac development plans?
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#3 teflon

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 07:24 AM

Aspyr keep their cards close to their chest (as do all the porting houses), so we have no idea what they have planned until they announce. You can be sure that whatever they bring will be a AAA title though.
However, they have been having a difficult time of late getting games out on time with good performance and the latest patch.

Feral went through a very dry spell a few years ago too, but theyre now most definitely top dog with the number of releases and their popularity. This is helped, in part, by how they started off very much as the underdog, bringing a number of niche games. Aside from the very slow intel switch over they had, theyre now managing to do both new and big games as well as niche games, and older games.
Theyre very much catering for everything but the bleeding edge.

For me Aspyr need to keep bringing the titles that they're well known for, the big games. But I think they need to go back to basics for this to work (arguably theyve done this already). Last winter they announced 3 big games were to be released. GH3 and NWN2 both had poor performance no matter what you played on, whilst ETQW got delayed repeatedly. The same goes for CoD4. Id like to see them focus on a single title at a time for the next year or so, wait until its 95% done with maybe a month of beta testing left to go, where the performance is practically spot on with what they expect, and then announce it.

That way, we dont see the big delays (even though they might very well still be there), and we get a game that performs well.
Of course, this also means that they need to stay away from the kind of game that wont be easy to port, and wont work well with OGL. Which somewhat limits them.

oh well.
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#4 Heimdal

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 09:08 AM

On the financial aspect, porting a game like COD4 on mac costs a lot (ressources and time) and bring a little in comparison with mobile phones or Nintendo DS games with more potential customers. The gap between PC and mac releases is too big and lead to report the buy on another actual and available game. Boot camp is also a curse for mac developpers, the people are tending to get the PC version instead of waiting for a long time (my case with COD4 - bought 29,00 € last March and first experience with Boot Camp). On the other hand, Aspyr has to learn to deal fearly with mac customers, it´s unacceptable to release a game with a different multiplayer version than the actually PC one.

#5 teflon

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 09:41 AM

well yes, it does cost a lot to port a mac game, specially in comparison to other platforms. But its the market that Aspyr have chosen, and even when they've diversified into other areas, the Mac market continues to tick over at a decent enough pace.

One of the big problems is reputation, which can be lost just as quickly as it can be gained. MacSoft now has a reputation for not doing anything, Feral for keeping mac gaming alive, and Aspyr for bringing few ports out behind schedule and with mediocre performance.
Quite a twist compared to 2006, Aspyr were the stalwarts, Feral was nowhere to be seen and Macsoft brought out a very small number of high quality ports.

As for the Boot Camp issue, its fair to say that a large number of people are now using boot camp. But at the same time, a large number of mac  users get their gaming fix from game consoles. For a large number of boot campers, they would prefer to stay in OS X. I personally find myself holding off on certain games that have the potential for being ported, UT3 and Gears of War for example. Both of those Ive now bought for PC, but only because a) they were dead cheap and b) the port had completely stalled and been delayed indefinitely.
But when it comes to games which I consider have no chance, Ill probably just buy them. Games like HL2, STALKER, Bioshock. None of these had a hope of being brought across.

I completely agree that its crazy for Aspyr to release a game (twice now) which is already behind the times upon release. In this instance by 3 months! I mean, thats totally beyond belief.
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#6 dr.zeissler

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 09:51 AM

there is no need of any boykott, because there are no further mac-ports announced (yet).

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#7 AussieMacGamer

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 12:08 PM

So they bring out a game that's underwhelming. Big deal, they've done it before. it is most definetly not the end for aspyr. I am eager too see what they have waiting in the pipeline.



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#8 Maestro

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 02:01 PM

View PostHeimdal, on September 28th 2008, 07:02 AM, said:

COD4 will be the last title that i will purchase from this company, after this one => boycott :nuke:

COD4 requires a intel mac, correct? Why aren't you loading Windows and playing COD4 on vista?

Aspyr needs to come out with some original content, preferably some Mac/PC cross platform shooters
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#9 Douglas

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 02:31 PM

View Postteflon, on September 28th 2008, 08:41 AM, said:

. MacSoft now has a reputation for not doing anything

MacSoft is still releasing games slowly aren't they?  AOE III expansions, Unreal Tournament III? Are these cancelled?

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#10 dojoboy

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 02:39 PM

View PostDouglas, on September 28th 2008, 04:31 PM, said:

MacSoft is still releasing games slowly aren't they?  AOE III expansions, Unreal Tournament III? Are these cancelled?

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They already released the AoE3 expansions.
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#11 Naman

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 03:52 PM

View Postdojoboy, on September 28th 2008, 05:15 AM, said:

Boycott why?  Because they don't release as many Mac games as you want them to?  And, no disrespect meant, but how do you know their Mac development plans?

I think the boycott is because of their online store, with its soul-sucking DRM that makes Spore's look mild by comparison. I'm behind that too. I will not buy an Aspyr product until they strip the DRM down to at least the level of Steam.

#12 teflon

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 04:24 PM

Well, in that case, boycott the online store, dont boycott the actual company.
If they see that the online store isnt getting any sales, then they will either shut it down/not put any more games on it, or theyll modify it so that its more attractive (cheaper and/or less DRM).

Thats the only way to affect this situation, as simply not buying their games will just make them leave this market completely, at which point everyone and their monkey loses.
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#13 iRolley

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 11:49 AM

View PostNaman, on September 28th 2008, 03:52 PM, said:

I think the boycott is because of their online store, with its soul-sucking DRM that makes Spore's look mild by comparison. I'm behind that too. I will not buy an Aspyr product until they strip the DRM down to at least the level of Steam.

Can you elaborate please ? I was considering getting CoD4 from their Online Store.

#14 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 12:04 PM

View PostiRolley, on September 29th 2008, 01:49 PM, said:

Can you elaborate please ? I was considering getting CoD4 from their Online Store.

The DRM allows installs on up to three machines, but only allows you to download the game again for up to two years, and that's only if you purchase the $5 extended download service. You can deauthorize previous machines.

Of course, you can backup the files yourself. This is contrasted with Steam where you can have the game on any machine you want as long as you've got your login/password, and no limits on downloading.
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#15 teflon

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 01:45 PM

well. you can backup the files from Steam too. For any of the games. But you need to verify and then decrypt the files should you want to install it again.

Steam's system is much better as there is no limit to the number of machines you can install on. its tied to a internet based account, and not hardware. Seeing as Steam is now a major player in the market (think iTunes of gaming), its not going to go anywhere unless something goes spectacularly tits up.
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#16 bookman

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 01:47 PM

I would think that with the installed base of intel Macs growing by leaps and bounds, that this would be a decent time for porting houses to ramp up the intel only games. I have to say that when I look at the PC games at Target, that things seem to be moving pretty slowly on their side as well. I don't think it's just Aspyr, I think the entire PC game industry is in a downturn.
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#17 Tesseract

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 02:34 PM

Since Aspyr virtually was Mac Gaming for a while there, is this this month's Mac Gaming is Dying™ thread?

#18 teflon

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 04:08 PM

yup, pretty much.

ok, so the Mac installed user base is growing, which is great. But the vast majority of those sales are macbooks, followed by iMacs, followed by MBPs and the Mac Pros (if I remember correctly). So you're looking at many many people with machines that have integrated graphics.

Now lets look at target demographic. Lets say people in their late teens/early twenties. Students! they are poor, but like laptops for portability, so tend to have macbooks instead of their pro counterparts. So thats possibly one of the primary gaming markets is half locked out because of apple's decisions with hardware.

Feral, however, is definitely ramping up, and catering to everyone. Aspyr is porting big names, which inevitably require higher specs...

such is the situation, and yet mac gaming has always persisted some how.
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#19 bobbob

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 05:34 PM

View Postteflon, on September 29th 2008, 03:08 PM, said:

Aspyr is porting big names, which inevitably require higher specs...
They seem to be publishing a ton of lower-end games on the PC side, though. They obviously don't spend so much time 'optimizing' Apple's code, pay less for licenses, reach integrated graphics, hit lower price points and reach a larger demographic, have a less demanding patch schedule, etc., so they'd follow the same lead on the Mac side, but no, they go for the few and the proud games they consistently have problems with.

#20 Mr. Selvetarm

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 05:39 PM

There's like 50 casual PC games at Target and about 15 gamerificly intense games.

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