[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n my review of Lords of Xulima, I left out a major part of my experience due to a lack of immediate relevance. Were the PC and Mac versions stable at the time of my review? Yes, and I stand by my positive verdict of the game. But at the game’s official release, I was horrified to discover that the Mac version was, in my opinion, borderline unplayable! Now I wouldn’t ordinarily think this an issue—many developers release Mac versions after their games’ PC release, but that wasn’t quite the case here. You presented Lords of Xulima as if it were a finished game to Mac players, only including a small note about persistent bugs in the update section of the game’s Steam store page. Personally? I don’t know anyone who makes a habit of expanding the update logs for a game that isn’t early access when they are considering buying it. The assumption is, of course, that if the game is finished, then it should just work.
Steam shares the blame, of course, by failing to differentiate between complete PC games and Mac versions sill in beta, but Numantian Games, you were fully capable of either just releasing the PC version, meanwhile testing the Mac version on your website, or waiting until both versions were stable to release. The latter would’ve required you to push your release back, but in the end, that or the former choice would’ve been more ethical. And why are Mac users mistreated when it is evident that digital distribution has seen Mac gaming on the rise again? I’m not claiming Macs will somehow replace PCs as premier gaming consoles, but the fact of the matter is: Mac gamers’ money is as good as PC gamers, and we should be better respected as consumers—especially by you, a small developer. After all, doesn’t it all add up to better revenue for you in the end?
Valve seemed to believe this when they expanded Steam’s market and developer tools to make gaming more accessible than ever on Mac. I remember that first day on Steam’s new store page very vividly, because like so many Mac users, I had been living in a sort of wild west of cider-wrapped games, Bootcamp, and 3rd party programs like CrossOver. Since then, the amount I spend on computer games went up dramatically. I went from having less than ten games in my library to nearly 250. And I’m not alone.
And before anyone starts jeering that Mac computers are overpriced and lack customization, and that the OS X platform isn’t gaming friendly, you’re missing my point. The issue here isn’t, “Macs suck and are a pain in the ass to make games for.” It’s “Mac gamers deserve as much respect as PC gamers.” Period. It’s bad enough we have to wait longer for games to be released to us, but don’t ever release a game that is incomplete without properly informing the consumer, Mac user or not!
[author image=” http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/amanda.jpg”]Amanda French first cut her gaming teeth by playing such classics as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Super Mario World at the ripe age of four. From there spawned a lifelong love of video games, particularly narrative heavy adventures and open world games. A creative writing graduate of Full Sail University, Amanda writes fiction novels in her spare time. You can find her work at the Independent Author Network under the pseudonym, Illise Montoya. Amanda’s all-time favorite games include Dragon Age: Origins, Fallout 2, and Tekken 5. She lives on the California coast with her husband and young baby son.[/author]