Last week I carried out an interview with Peter Molyneux (the founder of Lionhead Studios which has games like Black & White, Fable and The Movies to its name) over at TUAW sister site Joystiq. I made sure to ask him a question or two about the state of Mac gaming because one, I *used* to be a relatively hardcore Mac gamer and two, Lionhead has a track record of bringing all of its games to the Mac. That isn't changing with Microsoft's recent acquisition of the company (haven't we heard all this before?!).
The relevant part of the interview:
"There's this Catch 22 situation where not many people play games on the Mac and therefore developers don't want to make games for the Mac.
Exactly. I think it would need Apple to get behind games. There's nothing in their operating system that panders to games at all and I take my hats off to Microsoft. I think they've realized that games are important."
Macworld's Peter Cohen suggested that Molyneux was referring to Apple's lack of a unified application programming interface that would make the jobs of game programmers much easier. I think this suggestion is spot on, but not the only thing that Molyneux was referring to. One passive improvement could include getting Apple to kick its recent integrated graphics habit (Molyneux called my MacBook "a perfect thing" in the interview - pity it can't play games). Sure, we'd all like an iTunes Games Store, a mid-range upgradeable Mac with a decent graphics card and an Apple that publishes games, but it ain't gonna happen while you-know-who is still around.
Unless Apple gets off its arse and gives game developers more than the bare minimum of support, Mac gaming is going to disappear thanks to the rapid emergence of easy access to Windows games via Boot Camp or GPU virtualization (when it finally appears). Only then will we see articles on Apple.com about how awesome Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter looks on the Mac, instead of long features about how the GRAW music was composed using a PowerMac G5.