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Valve: Mac gaming renaissance in 2011?

Holtman: Publishers taking OSX seriously, "a very different map than a year ago on a Mac port"

Valve claims the first real fruits of publishers' new attitude towards the Mac may arrive next year, its own OSX version of Steam having paved the way.

"It's obviously going to take time," business boss Jason Holtman told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview published today.

"Nobody's fighting it, but everybody's wondering what they do over the next year or two with their titles. It takes time to play a title and to fund a title, so they're thinking about it and they're incorporating this new data and this new way of thinking into these plans they're making for a year or two."

Marketing VP Doug Lombardi claimed that a new wave of Mac-compatible games was in development.

"People are looking at their titles for this holiday and saying 'a Mac version would screw with my schedule, or I'd have to ship it late. Neither of those is super-desirable. But the titles that I have in Spring of 2011 or in Holiday of 2011, let's have a discussion and let's see those numbers and start to figure it out.'"

Comparing the current lull in releases on Steam for Mac to the trajectory of the download service's release on PC in 2004, he claimed "There's the launch period, things get proven and then you can feel this revving up for the second wave, and that's really where the big momentum hit happens."

Holtman also believed that Mac titles would be of higher technical quality once this new wave hit, with Valve's own Portal 2 the herald. "The other interesting thing we're seeing from publishers and developers alike is people aren't thinking about... porting their games to Mac. They're thinking 'wow, I need to write for a Mac. I'm not going to do a port six months later or maybe a year later, I should do that now.'

"There's a renaissance in the Mac space and games should be part of that. The reaction that we've got from the development community is that this could be a big ingredient towards that renaissance."

The first part of the interview with Holtman and Lombardi can be found here; a second half, focusing on digital distribution in general and marketing in an online, multi-format age will follow soon.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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