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Interview: Destineer's Peter Tamte
August 26, 2002 | Michael Phillips

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There are many faces in the Mac games industry, some interesting and some not. For instance, reading an interview with Kenny the IMG intern probably isn't at the top of anyone's to-do-list. Then, there are people like Peter Tamte, a fellow who's industry experience makes for quite an interesting tale.

Recently, I had the chance to chat with Peter about his work at Destineer Studios, his past at Apple, Halo, the future, and one subject so emotionally charged, I almost decided to forget the entire interview.

Mike Phillips: Can you give us a brief history of yourself in the gaming industry?

Peter Tamte: My first experience in the games industry was during High School when I wrote some games. Years later, I ended up starting MacSoft to bring value-priced games and productivity software to the Macintosh market. This business did very well, so we started bringing key PC games to the Macintosh, as well. That's when we started making billions and billions of dollars. Then, Steve Jobs asked me to join Apple as director of worldwide consumer marketing. After working for Steve for about a year, the president of Bungie, Alex Seropian, asked me to come to Bungie to help him and Jason grow the company. After we sold Bungie to Microsoft in 2000, I started Destineer. Destineer is famous for making the "Option" key on Powerbook keyboards. They were going to give us the contract for the Apple/Command key, but I've always thought that key was a bit confused. Is it the Apple key or the command key?

Mike Phillips: You started Destineer/Bold about a year and a half ago. Can you tell us how things are going?

Peter Tamte: Most of the work we've been doing during the past 1.5 years has been on our original content. This is coming along nicely. We hope to start showing what we've been working on publicly in the near future.

Additionally, we've brought two games to the Macintosh so far, Age of Empires II and Links Championship Edition, and have announced two more -- Halo and Flight Simulator. We have a bunch more announcements to make this year, as well.

Mike Phillips: Now that Links Championship Edition is finally shipping, do you have any regrets from its journey to the market?

Peter Tamte: Well, I certainly would have liked to see it ship when we originally had hoped! However, Links is a game with a rich Macintosh heritage. We wanted to make sure it got done right.

Mike Phillips: Will we see the Links Course Converter?

Peter Tamte: Yes. It was stupid of us not to include it on any of the four disks that come with Links. I mean, four disks! Couldn't we have put the course converter on one of them? Once it's done, we'll post it for free download on our website. Then, we'll stop doing stupid things forever.

Mike Phillips: Can you give us any sort of update on the status of MS Flight Simulator?

Peter Tamte: No. We're not going to comment about release dates until we're more comfortable with the development progress. Flight Simulator is a massive project.

Mike Phillips: After Halo's announcement, the Mac gaming community let out a collective "w00t!" of joy. Can you give us a progress update on Halo and will it be a simultaneous Mac/PC release?

Peter Tamte: Everyone who is involved in the project is committed to a simultaneous Windows/Mac release for Halo. The progress on Halo is meeting all the internal schedules so far.


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