Earlier this week MacCentral brought readers news about game developer and publisher
announcement of support for Mac OS X with one of its most popular titles. The company plans to release
Mac OS X-compatible patches
for the real-time strategy game StarCraft and its accompanying expansion pack, called StarCraft: Brood War. MacCentral consulted with Blizzard Mac producer Jason Hutchins to find out more about his company’s plans for OS X support.
StarCraft for OS X is anxiously anticipated by many Mac gamers, but the company’s most recent major release is Diablo II, and its official expansion pack which was released earlier this year, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Presently these titles aren’t native for Mac OS X, either. MacCentral asked about Blizzard’s plans for these titles.
“Moving titles to OSX 10.1 is based on user demand and technical considerations, [Diablo 2] is still under evaluation at this time,” said Hutchins.
Blizzard’s original comments regarding StarCraft indicated that the patch would be released this Autumn. MacCentral asked if a more specific release schedule was available. Hutchins is sticking to his guns. “No, that is why we said fall,” he said.
Blizzard usually makes its patches and updates to games available first as automatic updates distributed through Battle.net, Blizzard’s in-house online game service. Hutchins explained that the OS X patches for StarCraft and Brood War will be available as separately available drop in files that users can manually download from Blizzard’s servers, instead. “As it stands, you cannot run StarCraft at all under OSX until you use this patch. Therefore there is no way to get on to Battle.net in order to patch,” said Hutchins.
Finally, MacCentral queried Hutchins about system requirements. Is 10.1 the absolute requirement for the new patches, or will users of 10.0.x also be able to play?
“Yes [10.1] is a hard and fast rule,” said Hutchins. “10.1 will be the minimum for all OS X compatible games from Blizzard.”
For Blizzard, it’s all about providing users with good performance, and OS X 10.1 enables them to offer that, according to Hutchins. “In general we shoot for equal or better performance under OSX, than on the same machine with OS9 (assuming enough RAM, OSX is just plain bigger),” he said.