Before we discuss the recent events surrounding Apple’s news for Mac users, I’d like to reassure our MidBoss players and Lore Finder backers on Mac that MidBoss will continue to be playable on Macs going forward, and Lore Finder will get a Mac release simultaneously with Windows and Linux.
As you may have heard, Apple’s new OS Catalina will require all applications to be notarized by Apple in order to run on end user machines. There will, for now, be ways to work around Gatekeeper in order to run non-notarized apps, although these methods will likely not be user friendly.
Additionally, Steam has announced that as of October 14, all new applications will need to be notarized by Apple. There’s some debate in developer communities as to whether or not Steam will simply disallow—or be unable to run—unsigned games after that date, or not.
Kitsune Games is committed to having our games available on as many operating systems as possible. However, Mac sales account for only 2% of our sales. Notarizing our software for Mac creates additional cost to maintain a developer account, but also to upgrade to more modern (and expensive) Mac hardware so we can notarize apps at all. Right now that math doesn’t add up for us.
To make matters worse, Apple has deprecated support for OpenGL, which all our games are based on. While OpenGL will continue to work, it’s possible the stability of OpenGL on Mac could degrade over the years. Third parties will likely come up with an OpenGL over Metal backend that we can use before that happens, but it’s just one more way Apple is being increasingly hostile to small independent developers and trying to push them off their platform.
What does this mean for our games?
MidBoss has already been released on Mac, and Lore Finder had Mac and Linux support as a stretch goal during its Kickstarter. We feel a responsibility towards our community, and so will continue supporting Mac for these two games. Unfortunately, while we hope to be able to create Mac ports for our other games such as Cat Slime, Ultra Hat Dimension, and other games we’ll create in the future; we just don’t know if we will be able to.
We take our promises seriously, which is why we’ll continue to evaluate the viability of putting our games on Mac on a case-by-case basis, but the way things stand now Mac support is not something we can promise beyond MidBoss and Lore Finder.
Apple’s consistently anti-developer attitude is making it harder and harder to be able to make our games accessible to fans who use Macs. We want our games to be playable on Macs, but increasingly, it seems that Apple doesn’t want us—or other small developers with limited resources—in their ecosystem.