|One On One With Glenda Adams (Part 28)|
March 21, 2006 | Tuncer Deniz
Tuncer: I know that we've talked this to death, but maybe we should cover it again. As you know, someone has figured out how to dual boot Intel Macs into Windows. And although Mac native drivers aren't available for Intel iMacs and Mac Book Pro's, there's probably some on the way. Other simpler solutions are bound to happen. What are your thoughts on how it will affect Mac gaming?
Glenda: So far it looks like its more of a kind of a 'hacker proof of concept'- something to just do because you can, not because it's actually useful. And from what I've read I don't think it's ever going to be something so simple to do that a large number of users are going to use it regularly. If Apple suddenly shipped all Intel Macs with Windows and the ability to flick a switch to run games with supported drivers, it'd be different. I won't be surprised if people continue to tweak and get the systems running better until they can finally run some relatively recent games, but to be honest I'm not sure I see the point. If you really just have to play a particular game that isn't on the Mac yet, you'll probably buy a PS2 or 360 and play in the living room, or a secondary PC just for games. Buying a copy of Windows XP, having to hack around to get good video drivers, etc, isn't something the average consumer is going to do.
Tuncer: It really seems to me that we're in a bit of a slump as far as Mac gaming goes. The only commercial title that has been released recently is Civilization III Complete and that was back in early January. Do you think this slump will continue? Do you think the switch to Intel has anything to do with it?
Glenda: I think we're seeing the reality of the Mac gaming market in 2006. We plan to release about 8-10 Mac games, similar to last year. The market just isn't growing, shelf space is at a premium (if you have a local apple store, how much space did games used to take up that are now taken over by iPod accessories?), and increasingly complex games cost more and more to bring to the Mac.
I don't see a big change, unless Apple radically sells more Macs (double or triple the unit volume), starts advertising gaming as something 'cool' to do on the Mac, ala iLife, iTunes, etc., or we find some way to convince the millions of Mac owners out there who just aren't interested in buying games to try a game or two.
I see PC games come along that I'd just love to bring to the Mac, but we look at potential sales, costs, and time, and 90% of them just have to be passed over. Only the really big hits sell well enough.
Tuncer: When do you think we'll see Intel-only Mac versions of Aspyr's games?
Glenda: At the earliest Christmas 2006, but most likely 2007. It'd have to be a rare game with really high system requirements that just couldn't run on any G5 I think. We can't afford to shrink our potential market by going Intel only.
Tuncer: Has Aspyr considered selling games digitally?
Glenda: It's something we're very seriously looking into, but don't have any announcements yet. I hope that online distribution might be a great way to expand the market and take care of the shelf space problem. Not only could people who don't have an Apple store nearby get the games, but we could possibly do games that couldn't compete in a boxed software world. Games that are more niche, that we've had to stop doing, like Homeworld 2 or Splinter Cell. There is more flexibility with bringing a title to the Mac if you don't have to worry about the fact that releasing it knocks something else you are selling out of the stores.
Tuncer: I hear you're going to be running a Marathon soon. How's your training going? When is the Marathon?
Glenda: Actually the Austin Freescale Marathon was a few weeks ago. I had trained for about 5 months for it, it was my second marathon. It was a unusually cold day- 29 degrees with freezing rain, brrr! But I had a very good race, finished in just over 3 and a half hours, and qualified to run the Boston Marathon. That was one of my goals, so I was very excited I'll run Boston in 2007, it's a 'must do' race if you can qualify for it.