EA, id take bite out of Apple

Megapublisher announces six Macintosh games; Doom-maker reveals new IP is coming to PC, PS3, 360, and Mac, promises new "Mac-related announcement."

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Today at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), CEO Steve Jobs touted the fact that his company's Macintosh computer line is getting a double-shot of support on the games front.

First, in the wake of its casual game push on iTunes, Electronic Arts revealed it will release several top-tier titles onto the Mac. After Apple CEO Steve Jobs talked up the number one third-party publisher, EA chief creative officer Bing Gordon took the WWDC stage.

"Starting in July, we're going to bring four of our biggest titles to run on [Macintosh] OS 10," Gordon told an enthusiastic crowd. The quartet in question includes favorites Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, Battlefield 2142, Need for Speed Carbon, and the as-yet unreleased Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Gordon also revealed that following Phoenix, EA will start releasing majors games "simultaneously on the Mac" when they ship for other platforms. The first two titles to be released on this platform will be Madden NFL 08 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08, both due in August.

"Who run Bartertown?"

After Gordon, id software cofounder and chief technical officer John Carmack stepped up to begin a technology demo. "We were able to put this together fairly quickly, which speaks highly of the Mac platform," said Carmack, sporting a black-on-black three-button suit. He then emceed the first public showing of the all-new engine that will power id's forthcoming game, which was first revealed in 2004.

Titled "id Tech 5," the demo began with a swooping pan through a desert canyon filled with a shantytown straight out of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Carmack talked up the fact the engine supported "a world that is entirely covered in unique textures." He said the sequence, which followed a MotorStorm-esque dune-buggy racetrack, had a whopping 20GB of texture information. He said that said information will allow designers to tweak any aspect of the textures "without affecting the stability of the game."

In his concluding statements, Carmack also revealed that id's as-yet unnamed new game will be formally unveiled to the public at the E3 Media & Business Summit next month. He also confirmed the game would be "running on the PC, PS3, Xbox [360], and Mac." Between E3's kick off and the 2007 QuakeCon convention, id will also "have another Mac-related announcement," Carmack promised.

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