The Future of Mac Gaming

While listening to Drk Mode with Luke Miani and Noah Rubin, one of the topics brought up was Mac gaming. The question was, is Apple moving in the gaming arena? Will the next generation of Macs be more suited for gaming?

Yes they will be. But, in many respects, Apple is already there.

If we jump back, the Apple II was absolutely a gaming system. Companies like Electronic Arts, Origin, and Sierra got their start on the Apple II. Big franchises like Ultima, King’s Quest, and Wizardry got their start on the Apple II. Clearly there is precedence.

The Macintosh and Apple III were a push toward making Apple a serious business company. Games feel to the wayside.

Let’s not forget the iPad is a huge gaming platform. There are thousands of casual games, but there’s lots of bigger, beefier titles. Real Racing got its start on the iPad. Need for Speed, and Asphalt are available on the iPad. Adventure games like Ember, Pascal’s Wager, and Dungeon Hunter have their home on the iPad.

During keynotes and demos, Apple has shown off their graphics capabilities with Tomb Raider several times. They have Apple Arcade. Both of these are hints at what’s to come, a testing ground.

With their advances in graphics capabilities, it makes sense that gaming will also advance. There won’t be big FPS games coming, because that’s not an image Apple wants to perpetuate. Nor does Apple want to get into making game accessories like controllers, wheels and pedals, but higher end games are coming to macOS.

From a development standpoint, creating games for Apple Silicon resembles development for Xbox and Playstation. The hardware is uniform. They knew what to code against. They know the graphics capabilities and they’re already optimized by the OS.

With the change in Big Sur, and Apple Silicon, there is already a move to improved and smoother graphics. This allows developers to enhance their existing games to support macOS.

Apple and users would be happy to see casual games, strategy, board games, adventure, and big puzzle games like Myst return to their platform. Those games would be cinematic experiences and open up lucrative markets.

Creating a billion dollar gaming market for Apple isn’t really that big of a deal. That kind of money won’t increase the bottom line by much, but it’s a lucrative market for developers. Apple has the worldwide distribution platform to “compete” with Steam.

Will gaming on Mac compete with Windows? No, there’s no reason to try.

Is there incentive for Apple to increase their gaming prowess? Absolutely. The iPad is extremely successful with games, why not spice up the mix and bring that to macOS?

Does Apple have the hardware? If we look at what they can do with their first Apple Silicon offering, and what we can expect in GPU capabilities for the future, Apple can absolutely make inroads into gaming. Or more to the point, they can make a very viable platform that allows developers to make impressive games and reach a large audience.

Apple Silicon has 8 GPU cores and counting for a reason…

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