Will Apple Be Rotten Towards Gamers Forever?


Let’s not pull any punches. Your first stop for the latest and greatest computer games isn’t going to be Apple. But will that be the case forever or will Apple someday make a play at the computer gaming market?

OSWeekly.com’s Brandon Watts hopes so…

“With so many products practically asking for games, why is there such a holdup? Is the idea of gaming not elegant enough for Apple? Since Apple is such a visual and interface oriented company, I’d love to see some in-house games created by Apple that would fully utilize their platforms so that other developers would take note and take gaming on OS X and beyond seriously. Why don’t you throw us a bone, Apple?”

The second sentence in that quote flashes through my mind every time I wonder why Apple doesn’t do more (or any) gaming stuff. Perhaps Mac users find gaming too pedestrian. Leave it to the savages with their loud, ugly PCs or the ignoramuses that sleep on the street in front of Best Buy waiting for the latest consoles to go on sale. You know, people like me.

And then there’s Boot Camp. Now that it’s easy to load Windows onto your Mac, what sense does it make for Apple to allocate resources towards gaming? Apparently none. But Watts wants to see true Mac games…

“Yes, the state of gaming on the Mac is still ridiculous. Apple is into looking pretty and using computers to have fun, but where are the games? All of this is frustrating, to say the least. Granted, there are some commercial games available for the Mac, and you can find some independently developed games online, but as hard as I’ve tried to be interested, it just doesn’t happen. I can’t find anything that I want, and I’m sure I’m not alone. For all of you Macheads out there, when was the last time you purchased a game for the Mac?

Listen, I know that there are Flash games that can be played on the Mac, and if I really wanted to, I could always boot into Windows using Boot Camp or Parallels to play some games, but that’s not the point. When I speak of games, I mean true games for OS X.”

Whatever Apple’s reason, it’s pretty clear that it’s not interested in pursuing games as a huge part of its business strategy. Call me crazy, but it might have something to do with the extent to which Apple would have to rely on outside developers. For a company that’s known for exerting ultra tight control over so many aspects of its product lines, licensing games doesn’t really seem like a good fit. Can you imagine Steve Jobs learning that a line of games he’s about to announce at a keynote has been delayed because the developer can’t get its ducks in a row? His hair would go even grayer.

The one area I think Apple would be wise to focus on, however, is the handheld market. Those iPhone and iPod touch doodads that everyone’s talking about look like pretty killer gaming devices to me; a device with the touch feature of the Nintendo DS and the cool factor (and power) of the Sony PSP. It’s a whole new can of worms for Apple to build relationships with the same game developers that make titles for the DS and PSP but it’s a can that might be a good one to open sooner or later.

Apple Dislikes Gaming and Makes It Clear [OSWeekly.com]