So you wanna release your game on Mac

In one of my older posts I made a joke about the tiny amount of hipsters who still play games on mac, so now that we have *some* sales data from our release, it might be worth asking, how accurate is the joke?

Mind you, this is only the launch day’s worth of sales data so things might change. Furthermore, the nature of the game can skew the results either way. You could argue that the programmer/engineering nature of the game skews it towards PC players. Conversely you could argue that its synthesizer/electronic music nature skews it towards Mac players. Maybe it just balances out?

Of all the copies sold so far, 5% were bought by Mac users.

Now, some of the copies tagged as PC buyers could also own it on Mac, but either way 5% doesnt look like a lot. Does it make it worth the hassle to release on Mac? It obviously depends! If you’re working on Unity/Unreal a Mac build is probably pretty trivial to make without much changes to your codebase.

That said the financial impact is still worth considering, especially as a small-scale indie dev. You’ll need Macbook/iMac/cloud virtual machine to test and notarize your Mac Builds (newer Mac OS X versions will not run un-notarized apps), which is a sunk cost if you don’t already own one. Obviously this is a negligible cost if your expected revenue is in the millions of dollars, but if its in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars this is a cost to consider.

Mac support still also means another OS to support. If you are using a custom engine or your game involves a lot of lower level code, then the change in OS may mean more complications during development and post-release. Maybe the money isn’t worth a headache. One instance of this we experienced was the GIF recorder in The Signal State. This feature involved pulling frames of the game from the frame buffer and encoding them into a GIF. This broke on newer Macs due to the new Apple Metal graphics API. Fortunately for us the fix was to simply force Mac builds to use OpenGL, but I can imagine this potentially being an issue for more graphically sophisticated games.