Gears of War, Unreal Tournament 3 are Mac-bound

Gears of War, the hit third-person action game, is bound for the Mac along with Unreal Tournament 3, Epic Games vice president and co-founder Mark Rein revealed to Game Trailers.

In the interview with Geoff Keighley of Spike TV’s “Game Head” show (available for viewing in QuickTime format at Gametrailers.com ), Rein let the news of a Mac version of Gears of War slip out.

Gears of War is a third-person action game with elements of tactics and horror. The game puts you in the role of Marcus Fenix as he fights against the “Locust Horde,” a nightmarish horde of creatures. It’s powered by Epic’s Unreal Engine 3, which is being used to develop Unreal Tournament 3—formerly known as Unreal Tournament 2007—which is slated for a Christmas 2007 debut on some game platforms.

Gears of War has been, to date, an Xbox 360 exclusive. In the interview, after Keighley asked Rein if he had any misgivings about Epic’s decision to bring that game to Sony’s PlayStation 3, a competing platform, Rein emphasized Epic’s position as an independent developer of game technology. The company first showed Unreal Engine 3 running a PlayStation 3 development console in 2005, long before the console was available to the public.

Rein then added, “Don’t forget, we’re also doing Macintosh.”

“Gears of War is coming to the Mac?” asked Keighley.

“Yes, Gears is going to come to the Mac and so is UT,” said Rein, referring to Unreal Tournament 3.

Epic’s plans for Unreal Tournament 3 shouldn’t surprise Mac fans—Rein has mentioned it on Epic’s online discussion forums and elsewhere for months, and Epic founder Tim Sweeney has also mentioned the engine’s suitability for use on the Mac. The Gears of War disclosure is new, however, and its appearance on the Mac platform will be welcome news for action game enthusiasts.

The only thing missing from this is official confirmation from MacSoft, Epic’s de facto Macintosh business partner, about what role (if any) it will have in bringing these games to the Mac. Epic has long had a presence on the Mac platform thanks to MacSoft. In its early days Epic published games through GT Interactive Software, where Epic first developed a publishing relationship with GT subsidiary MacSoft that continues to today.

MacSoft, now a division of Destineer, has published Macintosh versions of Epic’s Unreal, Unreal Tournament and Unreal Tournament 2004 games. Several Unreal Engine-based games, including some of those published by MacSoft, have been ported to the Mac by Ryan Gordon, a developer with extensive experience with Mac OS X and Linux game conversions. As Macworld posted this article, MacSoft had not yet confirmed plans to release either Gears of War or Unreal Tournament 3 for the Macintosh.

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