Epic Games vice president Mark Rein was recently the guest of honor at an IRC-based online chat to talk about the company’s forthcoming action game Unreal Tournament 2003. The results of the chat have been reposted to Infogrames’
own Web site bulletin board. The news may be a bit worrisome to Mac users who were looking for reassurances that the new game will come to the Mac.
Set for release by Infogrames this fall for Windows PCs, Unreal Tournament 2003 has been the subject of intense interest from gamers both in the Windows and Mac markets. After all, the game series is more than just a successful franchise: Its graphics technology has been licensed far and wide by third party developers, serving as the core for a multitude of 3D action games that made it to the Mac.
UT 2003’s predecessors, Unreal and Unreal Tournament, were both ported to the Macintosh via Infogrames’ Mac subsidiary,
MacSoft. Rein said that the future of the Mac franchise remains uncertain at this hour, though he expressed optimism that a deal would be reached.
When asked by one participant if there were plans for a Mac version of the game, Rein said that there were “No specific plans for Mac yet.” He later added that “the fractured situation” caused by the division of Mac users between Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X makes it hard for him to see such work “as being worth the effort.”
All is not lost, however. Regardless of Rein’s own personal views, he added that “Macsoft seems interested” in cutting a publishing deal for UT 2003. MacSoft has not, as of this writing, announced plans to publish UT 2003 for the Macintosh.
Rein also said he is confident that Epic Games would get something “done down the road.” He also said that he found it interesting to see how much effort Epic’s principle competitor, Id software, “devotes to Mac.”
Epic’s attention to the client portion of the game has been on the Windows version, according to Rein, who added that the game’s dependency on Microsoft’s proprietary Direct3D technology would make the development team “have to work really hard to get OpenGL to be as fast.” OpenGL is the 3D technology preferred by Mac OS X and Linux-based operating systems. OpenGL, Rein said, “is not a priority and probably won’t be ready and debugged well enough in time for retail release.”