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Wednesday, March 10, 2010, 05:25 am PT (08:25 am ET)

Game developers eye the Mac after Steam's jump to Apple

The announcement that the Steam gaming service and Valve's line of games — including Half-Life 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 — are being ported to the Mac has convinced major developers like DICE and Gas Powered Games to consider the jump as well.

Gas Powered Games just released its latest title, "Supreme Commander 2," for Steam, and founder Chris Taylor told The Escapist that as a result of Steam's move to the Mac, his development studio hopes to release future games for Mac OS X.

"We, as a developer, will include a Mac platform option in all of our proposals moving forward," Taylor reportedly said. "We're in 100 percent support of it, absolutely."

He noted that because Macs use Intel processors and rely on ATI and Nvidia for graphics, Apple machines are "very easy" to port PC games to. He also said the tremendous growth of the Mac platform in the last year has made it an attractive opportunity. In the last quarter alone, Apple sold a record 3.36 million Macs.

"It shows that the OS X platform is really picking up speed," he told author Greg Tito. "That's super exciting, we need that in the world. We need that kind of balance in our market."

In addition to Gas Powered Games, developer DICE — maker of the recently released "Battlefield: Bad Company 2" — is considering bringing its blockbuster title to the Mac. The developer last supported Apple hardware in 2007, when it released "Battlefield 2142."

Karl-Magnus Troedsson, lead developer with DICE, wrote on his Twitter account this week that "Bad Company 2" could find its way to the Mac at some point. "We're currently investigating the possibility of making BFBC2 available on Mac," he wrote.

On Monday, developer Valve revealed that it was bringing its Steam game downloading service to the Mac in April. In addition, its popular titles powered by the Source engine, including Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life 2, will be available for OS X. Future Valve games will also ship simultaneously on the Mac.

Steam users who own games for the PC will be able to download and play the same games available on the Mac for free, and the new "Steam Play" feature will allow gamers on both Windows and Mac OS X to play online, with or against each other, cross-platform.

Jason Holtman, director of business development at Valve, said partners who sell games through the Steam service are "very excited" about embracing the Mac, implying that even more top-tier titles could be ported. The company has made its tools, in the form of Steamworks for the Mac, available to its partners to make the transition easier.

"Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac," Holtman said. "We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play."