The Mac platform doesn’t attract too many game developers these days. Although the latest Macs do have at least decent integrated graphics, their ability to dual-boot Windows makes the value of ports somewhat dubious. Still, it looks like Mac gamers are about to get some OS X-specific content from an unlikely source: Valve Software.
MacNN says it has received confirmation from Doug Lombardi, the studio-cum-distributor’s marketing VP, that Valve will port “some of its most popular games to the Mac.” Valve has been letting loose a handful of not-so-cryptic images to tease the announcement. One of them, included in the MacNN post, features turret guns from Team Fortress 2 and Portal as PC and Mac from the Apple “Switch” ads.
Another teaser image, this time posted by Shacknews, shows TF2’s Heavy character holding a sandwich in the same silhouetted art style as iPod ads. Both images seem like pretty strong hints that at least TF2 and Portal will make it over to Mac OS X.
Porting those games will likely involve porting Steam, Valve’s content delivery platform, as well. And wouldn’t you know it, AppleInsider recently wrote about some Mac-specific widgets and icons lurking in resource files from the new Steam front end. Considering Steam acts as a strong vehicle for game distribution in general on the PC, perhaps the arrival of Steam on Mac OS X might encourage other game developers to embrace the reality distortion field.
Valve seems like an odd candidate for a Mac gaming push, though. The company canned a port of Half-Life for Mac OS 9 over 10 years ago and has shunned the platform ever since. If I recall correctly, the Mac version of Half-Life was intended to ship without support for cross-platform multiplayer, despite rumors that Valve had gotten the functionality working internally. Negative response from the small Mac gaming community at the time may well have contributed to the cancellation.