Go to any technology forum and ask a question involving Gaming and the Mac Platform. I bet you someone will mock you within the first 3 answers! Life is hard for the common mac gamer. You would imagine the situation has improved over time.
After all, more and more AAA games are being ported to the mac right? The sad reality is that Mac games are still considered as a joke for many and they will try to convince you that a joke it shall remain. I decided to look more closely into the situation and figure out whether they actually had a point, or they were just being unreasonable fan boys. Is Mac gaming really a joke? it it getting better? If so, how can we tell?
If we want to be smarter than the fanboys, we need to rely on a system. This can be a little tricky when talking about gaming and games. What defines whether a gaming platform is good or bad? Is the Xbox 360a good platform? What about the PS3? I had to make a choice, so I decided to keep it simple and consider the number of “good” games released on the mac per year since 2007. After all, a good platform is a platform that offers plenty of good games right?
But, how to define what a top game is you ask? Well, I had to make an arbitrary decision: it is a game with a Metascore higher than 81!
Metascores take into account tenths of reviews from all around the internet to create average reviews. This will have to do it for this exercise.
For a more detailed explanation of what a Metascore is:
Metascores are given by Metacritics.com, whom carefully curate a large group of the world’s most respected critics, assign scores to their reviews, and apply an average to summarize the range of their opinions. The result is a single number that captures the essence of critical opinion in one Metascore.
Enough talk, what do the figures say?
The Take away
For the sake of clarity, I have mainly focused on the numbers: How many good games can you play natively on the Mac?
As pointed out by a few fellow mac gamer, numbers aren’t everything. There’s also price points, performance and the lack of strong communities in specific games. I have no intention of discussing it all here. In this post, I will focus on the collection of Mac games available.
So, what is the truth about mac gaming?
Mac gaming future is bright
Well, Mac haters have been right for a long time BUT things are changing quickly! Yes, PC gamers still get more good games per year, but the Mac is catching up.
The figures speak for themselves: in the first graph, we can see how every year more good games are being released on the Mac with an historical 2012 year where as many good games were released on both PC and the Mac.
The Mac platform is gaining momentum, with more developers paying attention to it and bringing their best games to the Mac. A perfect example of this is Borderlands 2, a Triple A game released on the Mac only two months after the PC release!
However, the first graph doesn’t tell the whole story.
Mac gaming is still a long way from PC gaming
There is a reason why so many good games were released on the Mac in 2012: Mac Gaming is late, with games released years ago on the PC only being ported to the Mac in 2012. A perfect example is Company of Heroes. I will never complain I finally have this game on the Mac (I love it!), yet it needed 7 years to make the jump from the PC to the Mac…
The second graph highlights one of Mac Gaming’s biggest issues: Late release dates!
If we only consider top games released on PC and Mac the same year, than Mac figures plummet. The huge number of games released in 2012 (Graph 3) are for the most part, games released years before on PC.
What does it all mean to you mac gamer?
I still believe the future is bright for Mac gaming. Yes, a lot of lost ground needs to be recovered. But at the end of the day, more and more great games are coming to the Mac, giving us more and more choices on what to play in our favorite all-around platform!
We will not get to play the latest and greatest as soon as they are released elsewhere, but hey, by now we have learned to be patient!
I have no problem waiting if I can play some Company of Heroes, Borderlands 2 or Civilizations 5 in the meantime…. 😉
Do you believe Mac gaming is indeed getting stronger each year? Do you use your Mac as your main gaming platform? I answer to all the comments!