MacPlay used the Apple Game Theatre to give Mac gamers not just one, but two sizable surprises: first, Aliens Vs. Predator 2 will be headed to the Mac in 2002, and second, going forward all games released by MacPlay will exclusively support Mac OS X.
Henry Price, MacPlay’s Director of Sales, took the stage first. After commenting that MacPlay had “an absolutely stellar 2001” he announced that MacPlay would release between 12 and 18 Triple-A titles for the Mac in 2002. First up will be the previously announced farce-infused spy action of The Operative: No One Lives Forever (NOLF), and Icewind Dale, another chapter in the Forgotten Realms AD&D role-playing series that includes the Baldur’s Gate games. Both NOLF and Baldur’s Gate will ship this March.
Aliens Vs. Predator 2 was the next topic discussed; Price announced that the sequel to Aliens Vs. Predator Gold would be released for Mac OS X in the summer of 2002. The first Aliens Vs. Predator was highly praised for its immersive, highly atmospheric settings and frenetic gameplay, giving Mac gamers the option to engage in first-person combat as either a US Marine, an Alien, or a Predator from the popular feature film franchises. In spite of various delays on its way to the Mac, Aliens Vs. Predator was very well received and snagged Macworld magazine’s 2001 Game Hall of Fame “Best First-Person Action Game” award.
The sequel seeks to improve on the original by not only offering new weapons and abilities, but also by introducing a completely new story-based mission mode. The 21 single-player missions take place in 3 distinct but interlocking story lines, adding a new layer of depth to the gameplay. Aliens Vs. Predator 2 was originally designed and developed by Monolith, whose LithTech engine lies at the game’s core.
MacPlay President Mark Cottam then took the microphone to announce a fundamental change in how MacPlay was approaching Mac gaming. Seeking to underscore just how committed MacPlay is to the Macintosh platform, Cottam followed in the footsteps of Apple’s announcement that Mac OS X would now be the default boot operating systems for all new Macs by announcing that “all [MacPlay] products from this point will run exclusively on OS X.”
Yesterday’s announcement does not affect any of the games currently under development that already support Mac OS 9, including The Operative: No One Lives Forever. New MacPlay titles from this point forward, however, will support Mac OS X exclusively.
Mark Dochtermann, MacPlay’s Technical Director, briefly followed up Cottam’s announcement by saying that the shift to exclusively supporting Mac OS X would result in games shipping faster, and that OS X-only support would make a “world of difference” to MacPlay’s development process.