When Valve confirmed Mac support for Steam last week, I emailed the Joystiq team with the following claim: "this is arguably the biggest gaming news on Mac OS ever." It seems Valve shares the sentiment, as the company's John Cook – director of Steam development at Valve – calls it "the biggest event in Steam's history." He also answered some more of our questions via email, so read on!
Joystiq: Just to clarify, Steam users with games already purchased on Windows and that have Mac versions available will have those Mac versions accessible to them immediately in Steam, for no extra charge?
John Cook: This is supported by "Steam Play." We are using this feature to provide cross-platform access to all Valve games to those who already own the PC version. We hope other developers and publishers will use it in the same way.
Some blogs have reported that Valve "hates the Mac" – From Gabe: "So, they seem to think that they want to do gaming, but there's never any follow through on any of the things they say they're going to do. That makes it hard to be excited about doing games for their platforms." So, as a followup, was Apple involved in this endeavor at all? Did they provide any programming resources or platform-level assistance?
First, the statement that Gabe hates the Mac is erroneous. In fact, he worked on a 6Mhz Lisa running a Mac emulator in his first post-college job and is involved in the current Mac work on a daily basis. As for Apple, yes -- we've been working with them on this project and we're looking forward to expanding that relationship as we launch Steam for the Mac.