Artist Formerly Known As Brad Ol, on December 23rd 2008, 05:18 AM, said:
First, from which orifice are these percentages originating?
I think those figures come from my conservative orifice
&, funnily enough (be it indirectly), from one of your colleagues. I believe it was Glenda who said last year that despite the introduction of Boot Camp, Aspyr's Mac sales were stable, neither up nor down. In a way, a disingenuous comment, though probably not intended. As a seasoned observer, my figures are a reasonable deduction suggesting otherwise.
Second, and at the risk of getting myself in trouble, I'll speculate that a non-insignificant portion of the problem Aspyr has encountered stems from a lack of focus on the Mac (and some of our traditional PC port work) at the expense of branching out to avoid being blindsided by a Boot Camp exodus that seems to have in hindsight not been all that bad. Irony or just bad luck? Someone should ask Alanis.
But surely the reasons for Aspyr doing this are germane to my point? Let's not just "speculate", but look at some facts.
Before the switch to Intel (circa 2005), Steve Jobs cited the Mac user base to be about 19 million. When Glenda made her comment, that user base had grown to well over 20 million. Now it's about 25 million. So one of 3 things is happening for Mac game sales not to be
increasing as incrementally as the Mac user base.
1. Most of the millions of switchers from PC to Mac never game on their Macs - I think that's highly unlikely.
2. As older Mac gamers abandon gaming completely, just as many - no more, no less - gaming switchers buy Mac games rather than Boot Camping it - again, most unlikely as it relies too much on the coincidence of parity of numbers assumed to be joining & leaving.
3. That most switchers to Mac have continued gaming via Windows & are now being joined by more older Mac gamers doing likewise. But only now are Mac developers feeling the full effect of that loss, the damage done by Boot Camp & are slowing development for the platform as a consequence.
I think the latter point seems to make the most sense. For eg., "Imperial Glory" on Mac (a 2-yr old game) is selling here in the UK for £29.99 (the cheapest I can find). On PC, the same game new is only £2.99. That's £27 or about $40 difference! Even though I don't Boot Camp it (YET) & already have the Mac version, which copy would I buy if I'd already had Windows on my Mac? You guessed right. My loyalty would be firmly to my wallet. I think that's what we're seeing generally with gaming on the Mac, as evidenced by all the growing Windows-gaming threads on most Mac fora. Gaming on the Mac is doing well & will continue to do so as Apple improves GPUs on all Macs. Mac gaming (something different) isn't doing well, not least thanks to Boot Camp.
Case in point: I was told the other day that Call of Duty 4 is selling like the proverbial hotcakes for us. It's a year old and excludes low-end graphics cards even.
Sorry, but one game's word-of-mouth sales really means very little, even less so without figures.
It's like saying to people "look, Mac gaming is doing great! The Sims sold well over 100,000!" blah, blah, when the truth is that most Mac games don't reach anywhere near those figures (according to MW's Peter Cohen, who regularly talks to people in the industry).