How Many Mac Gamers Are Out There?

That’s the question asked in a guest article by David Rosen of Wolfire Games, on Kotaku today, which brought up some issues worth debating.  A few facts, from the article:

Mac sales of most blockbuster titles are minuscule, around 1-3% of the PC sales. However, a lot of that is due to the lag time before the Mac version is released. The article cites Modern Warfare, the Mac version of which came out 47 weeks after the game was available on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Safe to say most Mac users who wanted the game got it on another platform rather than waiting almost a year for a Mac version.

Macs make up about 9% of the global computer market, but Macs are disproportionately owned by younger users, who buy more software and play more games. Indy game developers like PopCap report that Mac versions sell 20-25% for their titles.

As Mac sales continue to climb, more major game companies are putting attention and effort into their Mac ports.

It’s a good time to be a Mac gamer. Valve recently announced Steam for Mac, and that all their future games will be simultaneously released for Mac and Windows, including Portal 2. [4] Also, there are a number of other big games coming up that will be released simultaneously for Mac and Windows, including Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, and Rage. Some of the big developers are starting to realize that there are a lot of Mac gamers, and that porting to Mac is not very hard. If you can put in an extra 1% cost and get 22% more revenue ? why not make a Mac version? It would be worth it even if it were only an extra 2% revenue!

As you guys know, Blizzard is one of the only major PC game developers who create Mac versions of all of their products, which are released more or less simultaneously with the PC versions. Blizzard is presumably not doing this out of the kindness of their hearts; they’re hiring Mac programmers since the sales make it worthwhile. Ironically, as the Mac gaming market grows, it might become less profitable for Blizzard, since they’ve traditionally dominated the Mac market, almost by default. If more devs put out timely Mac versions, Mac games will have more options than Blizzard to choose from.

Our site stats tell us that the vast majority (85+%) of our readers are using PCs, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, since a lot of you guys browse from work during the day, where the office PC is your only option. Many of you may be closet Mac users in the privacy of your own home, where you game more than you browse.  So, anyone out there using a Mac? Does Blizzard hold a special place in your heart just because they’ve always supported the Mac platform? Do you feel more able to use or switch to a Mac since you know that WoW and SC2 and D3 will be playable on it?

Update: This sort of view is why Mac gaming has a strong future. The majority of college aged computer users seem to be using… Macs. I saw mostly Macs being used in the library when I was finishing my degree a couple of years ago, and a friend of mine, a university prof, says at least 80% of the laptops she sees her students using are Macs.

Tagged As: | Categories: Hardware & Tech, Mac Games


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