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Old 12-11-2010, 09:08 AM   #1
Janichsan
 
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Exclamation FAQ: Why is (game title here) not available on Steam for Mac??!?

Increasingly often, people new to the Mac and the Mac gaming scene wonder why a particular game they crave is not available on Steam for Mac. Basically, there are two answers to that question and to decide which of those is the relevant one, you have to clarify one other question first:

Is there a Mac version of that game at all?

Steam is not the only outlet for Mac games, so when you do not find a certain game here, it's possible that it is available somewhere else. Google it, check MacGameStore.com, GameAgent.com (Aspyr), Feral's webstore, GameTreeOnline (Transgaming), Deliver2Mac (Virtual Programming), Amazon and the Mac App Store (should be on your computer).

You cannot find a Mac version anywhere? Then the answer is rather simple:

A. There is no Mac version of that game.

There are several possible reasons for this, but in most cases it's simply lack of interest of the original publisher. The Mac gaming market is rather small and not every publisher of PC games considers it worth the extra effort.

Especially when a game has been just released for Windows, the lack of a Mac version does not in every case mean that the game will never be available for Mac - in fact, Windows and Mac versions of a game released simultaneously are still the exception. Many indie developers like to support the Mac, but simple do not have the resources to develop the Mac version alongside the Windows version. Making a game compatible to two different platforms is no trivial task and sometimes takes time. So it's quite possible that the developers release a Mac version of a game a couple of months after the Windows version. When the Windows version is available from Steam, it's very likely that the Mac version will also be.

When it comes to big budget titles, things get a bit more complicated: a Mac version might turn up several months or even years after the original release of the Windows version, but then it's very unlikely that it will be available from Steam. The reasons for this will be explained in the next section.

Nevertheless, many Windows games never will be available for the Mac at all. It's a sad fact of life.


B. A game is available for Mac, but not on Steam.

As mentioned above, many publishers have no interest in releasing their games for the Mac. Fortunately, there are third-party companies like Aspyr, Feral, Virtual Programming and (to some extent) Transgaming, that fill this hole by porting these games to the Mac. In almost all cases, the initiative for the Mac versions comes from these porting companies. They approach the Windows version's publishers, pay them a (hefty) license fee for the right to port the game and then adapt and partially rewrite the game's code to make it run on Macs. (Transgaming's business model works somewhat differently, but the final outcome is the same.)

When this happens, it's in most cases very unlikely that the Mac version will be available from Steam. The reason for this is that Steam does not discern between Mac and Windows versions. They only allow for a single SKU ("stock-keeping unit") for each game (or edition of a game), regardless of the supported platforms. That means that the revenues of each sold game would have to be split between the Windows version's publisher and the porting company. Steam has a mechanism in place for that, but that has strict rules for that split that - especially for older games - often turn out unfavourable for the porting company (which already made considerable investments in the Mac port).

Here are statements from Aspyr representatives on this topic:

Quote:
[E]ssentially, SteamPlay is an "all or nothing" system. It doesn't necessarily affect publishers who do both the PC and Mac port, but is something that Mac publishers like Aspyr must consider.

Credit is given to the platform that sees the most playtime through the first week of purchase. So if you play a SteamPlay game primarily on a PC for the first week, the Mac publisher will never see any compensation, even if you primarily play the Mac version afterwards.
Quote:
On the sales side, Valve’s support of the Mac platform via Steam right now is reliant on publishers participating in Steam Play which is Valve’s program of releasing every game “Hybrid” despite who did the development work. Right now there is no compensation for the [Mac] publisher if their game is downloaded but not purchased. For the [Mac] publisher this is tough to swallow ... .
And a similar statement from Feral:
Quote:
Steam insists on selling dual version (PC & Mac) skus. This is a problem for us in that we lose control over the pricing, which is not something any company can afford to do.
C. A game is sold in retail on a hybrid disc with the Windows and Mac versions, but the Mac version is not on Steam.

Last but not least, there is rather rare case. At the moment, this only affects a handful of games like The Settlers 7 (disc version, Steam), Spore (disc, Steam), The Sims 3 (disc, Steam) and respective expansions.

In those cases, one has to know that the rights for retail distribution and digital distribution are not always in the hand of the same company. So, it can happen that the original publishers holds the rights for the retail distribution, while the porting company the rights for the digital distribution in download stores. This appears to be rather often the case for games that are ported by Transgaming.

When that's not the case, the question "Why is the game not available from Steam for Mac?" has to be answered with: "No idea." Possibly the publishers are just being .

Last edited by Janichsan: 02-18-2012 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Janichsan View Post
Possibly the publishers are just being [color="#FF66FF"]♥[/color][color="#FF66FF"]♥[/color][color="#FF66FF"]♥[/color][color="#FF66FF"]♥[/color][color="#FF66FF"]♥[/color].
Awesome post its about time someone made this so I could stop reading this over and over again. In fact I recommend this be sticky'd the this forum.

I mean I all for anyone who posts that they have sent an e-mail or support ticket to the developers to annoy them and we should all follow suit which most of the time i do. Anything to show the publishers that steam is an option for mac gaming. It might pay a little less but some money for your game rather then no money for it (me personally I don't want to buy anything not on steam, i have consoles for that). But yea. No more annoying but its on "such and suches store.com but not here".

Also I would like to add that there have been a lot of posts about valves lack of effort for steam on mac. And I have to agree. Right now it feels a lot like this whole steam on mac thing was just a money grub for their own personal franchises. Half-life and Counter-strike are awesome but they are not enough. Valve themselves need to see that some money is better then no money as well and start possible offering some sort of incentive or break to the publishes to give both games. They need to give people who haven't played Half-life or Team Fortress a reason to download Steam and use it. There are plenty of big ticket games out their that people would recognize. Like for example "The Sims" is a very common mac game and has a completely different demographic then most any of Valves games.

Lastly.. I just wanna say where is Fable for mac?!?1? lol
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:48 AM   #3
Janichsan
 
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Added a quote from Aspyr on the topic of SteamPlay.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Janichsan View Post
Added a quote from Aspyr on the topic of SteamPlay.
Stating the obvious, but what they don't realize is buying multi-year old games at premium prices have been "hard to swallow". Valve is showing that you do not have to do that anymore.

If it's the publisher not wanting to pony up, maybe it is time they started thinking about changing things.
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Old 12-13-2010, 12:38 PM   #5
Janichsan
 
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Stating the obvious, but what they don't realize is buying multi-year old games at premium prices have been "hard to swallow". Valve is showing that you do not have to do that anymore.

If it's the publisher not wanting to pony up, maybe it is time they started thinking about changing things.
*sigh* That again? Do I also have to make a FAQ for this?
What you obviously don't understand is that the porting companies have to "pony up" before they even can get to work - and quite a substantial amount. And they have to get the money back they had to spent on producing that port. No income, no ports, you lose. It's as simple as that.

Valve can sell their ports for peanuts since they heavily subsidise the ports by the revenue from the Windows versions. Feral, Aspyr and Co. do not have that luxury.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:44 PM   #6
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That's the consequence of a poor business model. God speed, porting houses, your time on this world was short.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:52 AM   #7
Janichsan
 
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Originally Posted by pendulousphallu View Post
That's the consequence of a poor business model. God speed, porting houses, your time on this world was short.
So I guess either you don't want any Mac games at all, except Blizzard's, Valve's and some indie games or you have an ingenious idea for a better business model that no one else has thought of. Care to enlighten us?
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:57 AM   #8
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Poor business model doesn't mean dumb people were behind it. Business fail. Puppies turn into dogs. It's just a fact of life. Mr. Gabe projects an influx of games in 2011 for our platform so it's certainly not up to me to come up with that model, better and brighter minds are already all over it.

I'm happy to see these porting houses go. It wasn't a good arrangement for anybody, really. Too expensive on either side of the counter.

RIP, Aspyr, I hope the rights for your products revert to the original developers once you are dissolved.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:04 AM   #9
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How I would like it to happen: publisher approaches developer, asking if the developer will port publisher's game for money.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:32 AM   #10
Janichsan
 
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Originally Posted by pendulousphallu View Post
Poor business model doesn't mean ... blubb
So you have nothing meaningful to say but "porting companies are the sh*t because I don't have any grasp on the business, but I don't like it so it must be sh*t". Yeah, thought so much.

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Originally Posted by Madd the Sane View Post
How I would like it to happen: publisher approaches developer, asking if the developer will port publisher's game for money.
Well, if wishes were horses... Unfortunately, the publishers don't do this, because most don't give a sh*t about the Mac.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:40 AM   #11
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Alright, I'm getting out of here before this turns into another open letter.
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Janichsan View Post
So I guess either you don't want any Mac games at all, except Blizzard's, Valve's and some indie games or you have an ingenious idea for a better business model that no one else has thought of. Care to enlighten us?
No what he is saying is that he wants the publishers and possibly the developers themselves to start making native ports of the windows games that they publish instead of having porting studios buy an expensive licensing fee from the publishers in the first place. So for example Activision and Infinity Ward would actually fund/develop the port themselves of the call of duty games.

Basically what Blizzard and Valve do today.
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:54 PM   #13
Janichsan
 
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Alright, I'm getting out of here before this turns into another open letter.
Honestly, thank you for that. First of all, this discussion has nothing to do with the topic and intention of this thread. Secondly, we had that same discussion now for what feels like the tenthousandth time, while rehashing the same opinionated arguments over and over. We heartily disagree on that topic. Let's leave it at that.

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Originally Posted by Noliving View Post
So for example Activision and Infinity Ward would actually fund/develop the port themselves of the call of duty games.
Yeah, totally likely scenario. Feel free to contact Activision and ask them about their Mac support (for non-Blizzard games).

And I would be grateful when we could leave the discussion about the porting companies' right to exist be. The situation right now is that most Mac games come from porting companies and so far, that doesn't seem to change for the next while.

Last edited by Janichsan: 12-15-2010 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:53 PM   #14
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Pendy knows how to keep the peace. Great FAQ, f'real (should be stickied). Sorry to hijack to rehash an old discussion. I feel like a hypocrite for rolling my eyes at the evergrowing thread.

Peace, love and harmony.
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Old 12-27-2010, 04:50 AM   #15
Janichsan
 
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Great FAQ, f'real (should be stickied).
Hm, now how to get this stickied?
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