Lion Entertainment, responsible for countless Mac ports of some of the best games the PC had to offer, ceases operation.
While gaming has never been as big on the Mac as on the PC, Macintosh owners were dealt a major blow last week with the news that Lion Entertainment, the company responsible for the Mac ports of such titles as Doom, Duke Nukem, and Quake, has ceased operation. This comes on the heels of Macworld Expo in Boston last week and news that the Mac version of Quake was being delayed until later this month. Lion-developed games were distributed mainly by MacSoft, a division of GT Interactive.
The future of Lion's eleven full-time and two contract employees is not certain. But at least one game, Quake, will finally be coming to the Mac on August 22 (tentatively). Douglas Grounds, Lion's president, told GS News on Friday, "We are talking to all of our publishers in an effort to complete all the products that we had under development. At this time the negotiations are going well in some cases, but we won't know for sure until sometime next week or thereafter."
The big question that Mac gamers are asking is why Lion folded. "Combined with Apple's recent troubles, and the overall entertainment software market conditions, Lion found itself in a position of having more expenses than revenues, despite our high-profile projects such as Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, and Shadow Warrior," Grounds said. "Short-term prospects were questionable, and long-term prospects were even more hazy. As a result, the decision was made to close our doors and pursue business models that made sense. I'm not sure that the self-funding entertainment software developer model makes sense right now, and neither do a lot of others in our industry."
Mark Adams, a programmer on the Mac version of Duke Nukem 3D, gave us his opinion of the current Macintosh gaming market. "The market seems to be picking up, with Duke selling well and several good games about to hit the scene (Quake, Shadow Warrior, Deadlock). The problem for Lion was that the last six quarters were so dismal, the increased sales for Duke and future games came too late to help."
As Apple's future becomes ever more uncertain, the market for Mac games becomes ever more unsteady. Many publishers are ignoring the Mac as a viable gaming platform, mainly because it has been slow to catch up to PCs in terms of graphics.
"As recently as the Computer Game Developer's Conference, an Apple representative told me that there was a lot of hope that Virtual PC would go a long way toward allowing people to play games on the Mac OS," Grounds said. "I expressed my utter disbelief - after all, if we wanted to play Windows 95 games, why wouldn't we buy a Windows 95 machine in the first place? They would be faster, choices would be greater, and the compatibility higher. I was aghast!"
Hopefully, a new product from Insignia Solutions will give Mac players some relief. Real PC includes support for many of the PC's graphics capabilities and is made specifically for games. The company's previous Windows emulation product for the Mac, SoftWindows, has done well in bringing a cross-platform machine closer to reality.
However, as Douglas Grounds commented, if you want to play computer games, buying a Windows PC might just be the best option.
Avalanche Studios co-founder says developer's ambition is for action, not moments that make players cry; steampunk-style game on hold. Full Story
- Posted May 15, 2013 6:33 am PT
4A Games creative director Andrew Prokhorov thanks Jason Rubin for telling the studio's story, but says, "We deserve the ratings we get." Full Story
- Posted May 16, 2013 12:44 pm PT