Famed game designer Peter Molyneux recently called for Apple “to get behind games.” He explained this company — Lionhead Studios — has always supported the Mac and claims not to understand why more game developers don’t.
an interview posted on Joystiq , Molyneux talked about his own experience designing games like the RPG Fable (coming to the Mac from Feral Interactive in its subsequent incarnation, “Fable: The Lost Chapters”), and trends in the business that worry him — such as the de-emphasis on creativity in game design and consumers’ ever-increasing expectations.
Molyneux’s Lionhead Studios was recently acquired by Microsoft, but the company has a long track record of supporting the Mac — at least indirectly, thanks to publishing deals with Feral. All of Lionhead’s games have made their way to the Mac, and Feral has announced a publishing arrangement which will ultimately net Mac users three more Lionhead-developed games: Black & White 2, The Movies and Fable: The Lost Chapters. Feral has said that The Movies will be the first game of this batch out of the gate — it’s coming sometime this summer.
Molyneux professes a great deal of admiration for Apple’s products, pointing to the interviewer’s MacBook and calling it “a perfect thing.”
The interviewer outlined the basic conundrum — not enough Mac game developers or people buying games — and Molyneux said, “I think it would need Apple to get behind games. There’s nothing in their operating system that panders to games at all and I take my hats off to Microsoft. I think they’ve realized that games are important.”
While Apple’s operating system technology is certainly accessible to game developers — OpenGL controls graphics, for example, and OpenAL can support surround sound, HID Manager can support input devices, and so on — Molyneux speaks of the absence of a unified API, or Application Programming Interface, that game developers can use to create software for the Mac.
By comparison, Microsoft heavily leverages DirectX, technology it’s specifically designed and optimized for game developers. The absence of a DirectX-like interface for Mac OS X has been voiced by other developers as a shortcoming, as well.