has announced that its Macintosh conversion of the epic space-based strategy game Master of Orion III will be released on March 19 — only about three weeks after Infogrames shipped its PC counterpart.
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In development by Quicksilver Software since 2000, Master of Orion III is the sequel to the legendary space strategy game Master of Orion II. The game’s predecessor was also a MacSoft production. In Master of Orion III, you vie for control as the power behind an entire galactic civilization. QuickSilver was also responsible for the game’s Macintosh conversion, which explains how the Mac version was turned around so fast.
Master of Orion III doesn’t just put you in charge of resource management and fleet battles in interstellar space: You must also manage the political machinations of your mighty empire as you manipulate dictators, presidents, councils and others. It’s a turn-based strategy game that also employs real-time space battles. You can design ships and steer the development of new technology, explore solar systems, use espionage and subterfuge on your enemies, and wage full-scale war when necessary.
With this announcement, it appears that Master of Orion III will be the first title to ship by MacSoft under its new ownership. MacSoft recently traded hands from Infogrames to Destineer — Destineer is the game developer responsible for the Bold brand, which has already brought Microsoft-branded games to the Mac including Links Championship Edition and Age of Empires II. Destineer was founded by Peter Tamte, the ex-Apple and ex-Bungie executive who founded MacSoft itself in the early 90s.
Noting that the Windows version of Master of Orion III is selling “spectacularly well,” MacSoft general manager Al Schilling added, “We’re also thrilled to see this same level of excitement for the Mac version, as one of the best games ever available for the Macintosh gets its long-awaited sequel.”
The game extends play online as well, supporting simultaneous turn-based moves for up to eight players. And what’s more, Mac and Windows players can play online together.
System requirements for Master of Orion III call for a G3/350MHz or faster, 128MB RAM (256MB recommended), Mac OS 9.1 or Mac OS X 10.1.5 or higher, 800×600 resolution with thousands of colors, and 400MB hard disk space.