Why isn't GoW on OSX/MacOS?


#1

It seems odd that Steam is available on Mac but not Gems of War. Is there some issue with porting it? I don’t own a windows machine and I’m thinking of getting rid of my mobile device as I’m moving to a place without cell service.

I see some pics of people playing GoW using a emulator on OSX but they all complain about it being painfully slow. So what gives? Why PC and not Mac when I understand the framework to run the game exists on both?


#2

I don’t work for the company so I can only guess as to the answer, but my suspicion is that they don’t feel the market on that platform is big enough to justify the development, integration into another distribution system, and quite substantial ongoing support costs.


#3

It would seem minimal since they’re already on Steam and Steam is on Mac. However, I may not be understanding something, which is why I brought it up.


#4

Perhaps that would solve distribution, but there is still development cost (even cross-platform tech usually has some level of adaptation cost associated with it) and, most importantly, an ongoing and substantial support cost.


#5

I think @lyya has the base of it correct. The main issue is that iOS and OSX are different environments, meaning they need a separate build just for Mac, which could possibly come with it’s own bugs and issues. Which would raise the support costs as Lyya said.

So in short I think it’s more about the increased support costs and added development times, rather than distribution.

EDIT: Goddamn it… sniped by @lyya herself :stuck_out_tongue:


#6

@Lyya is correct. Steam is a distribution platform not an OS or engine. Steam doesn’t actually run the game, so porting to OSX would be a substantial undertaking.


#7

The game is built on Adobe Air, which is a multi-platform runtime environment (similar to Java). The effort of porting the PC version to OSX should be rather minimal, and support cost increase should be zero or close to it (since the hardware and the distribution service are the same, it should not require a different build, just a different packaging, which is mostly a one-time effort).

The only reason I could think that the devs don’t want to do it is if they think the OSX gaming market is so small that it’s not worth any effort at all.


#8

Yes, I thought this was an Adobe Air game which would make it highly portable, thanks for confirming.

Also, I think the reasoning MIGHT also fall to ‘people with a MacBook Pro are likely to have a ipad or iphone too so they can play there’ which is 100% my situation until my ipad suddenly became too slow to run the game anymore so now I play it on my Android phone and wish I could do it on my Mac.


#9

With respect, that is never the case in practice. Platform ports are subject to their own quirks, and regardless, if an issue is reported on a new platform, reproduction will require new hardware. Adding new platforms is a substantial investment to any software project.


#10

While it doesn’t really affect porting to OSX, it seems the Console code base is built in Unity rather than Adobe Air. But as @yonizaf said, AdobeAir is a highly portable platform so it’s likely that’s not the issue, leaving us more with @lyya’s comments about increase in support due to a new platform (and requiring hardware to test it on, and the support staff to deal with the bugs )


#11

How many bugs did you see reported that affect just iOS but not Android (or the opposite) and are not tied to apple/google services integration? Because I don’t remember any.

While it’s not impossible for there to be the odd bug that only affects OSX and not Windows, the chance of that happening is actually quite smaller compared to bugs that affect different hardware combinations on the same OS. I don’t think it should scare the devs, unless as I said they care so little for the platform that they don’t want any effort associated with it at all.


#12

At the very least, there are graphics corruption issues that only affect some Android phones that are not an issue on iOS.

The devs care in proportion to the market they think they can build. It’s safe to infer that they see the investment not worth their time relative to other investments – or they’d have made it already. (And considering the task they already manage with a small team, I for one do not wish to see them spread their resources any thinner.)


#13

Another possible reason could be approval times. If they need to get update approval from Apple (I’m not sure if Steam circumvents that) for MacOS then that could delay deployment times even more than they already do due to iOS. It seems MacOS and iOS are considered separate apps, so would likely have separate approval processes.


#14

They are also not an issue on other Android devices. That falls under “bugs that affect different hardware combinations on the same OS”. The chance of it happening on iOS is smaller because there is much less variation in hardware, but it’s not unthinkable that similar issues can arise that affect some hardware combinations on Windows (and once again, a lower chance of it happening on OSX due to less hardware variation). The issue here is hardware related, and the amount of OSes supported is of no consequence.

Also, it’s an Adobe Air bug, the devs couldn’t fix it even if they wanted to.


#15

Regardless of how difficult or not it is, I’d like to see the devs weigh in on whether they’re considering it.


#16

Sure it is. The devs accept the diversity of the PC platform and the attendant bugs because, on the whole, the platform is worth the effort to support. OSX simply does not justify the investment…or they’d spend the money (yes, money is spent, despite the implication here otherwise!) and support it.

The point about Air doesn’t matter at all in the eyes of the consumer, who sees a broken product and not broken pieces of it.

If you disagree and think the platform support is worth their time, feel free to speak up – but to be surprised about the lack of support to me bespeaks a fundamental lack of understanding about the software development and support process.


#17

I did not know that. I don’t play on PC since you run OSX. :wink:


#18

That would only be an issue if they were distributing the OSX version natively via the Apple App Store. If they were using Steam, Valve would be the arbiter rather than Apple.


#19

I can’t think that (or the opposite) because I have no idea what is the size of the OSX gaming market. It’s quite possible it is so small that the devs want to spend exactly zero effort on it (but I already said that twice). I just pointed out that if they did want to support it, it should be very easy to do (though not zero effort).

But it has nothing to do with additional OS support. If there was an iOS device that used the same chip as the broken Android devices, it’s not unlikely that it would have been affected as well.

As it is, Windows devices enable countless hardware combinations, while the variation in OSX hardware is much smaller. To avoid adding 10 more hardware variations when you already support 10,000 is rather pointless. That is beside the fact that people can already install Windows and run the game on their Apple hardware, so you have to support that hardware anyway.


#20

I’d be surprised if the OSX market is tiny because Blizzard spends millions converting their games to OSX, despite the fact that in Starcraft, you can’t do any of the keyboard commands without completely messing up your osx keyboard by editing the keys.

However, despite using Blizzard as a indicator, I just found this and realized that OSX is still not all that large of a market share:
https://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10&qpcustomd=0

But then I remembered that only rich people can afford OSX computers(demographically, I know plenty of non-wealthy that own these, myself included - I inherited all my from the gaming studio!) which means that people using IOS and OSX are the ones who actually BUY things, where Windows and PC users tend to pirate and want everything for free.

So really, I’d like to know what the Devs think.