Can I Get Some MMO with my Mac?

With the sudden influx of popularity for Macintosh computers it has begun to become economically viable for companies to start releasing games onto Macs, right? Think again. Despite Macintosh gaining quite a bit of momentum against our Windows-wielding PC overlords the release list for video games on the Mac are still surprisingly low. This holds especially true for MMORPGs. In fact, I can actually count every relevant MMORPG on one hand:

  • World of Warcraft
  • Everquest 1
  • Lineage 1
  • Shadowbane
  • Myst Online URU

Five games. . . well those are just the major ones, there are also a bunch of smaller freebie ones like Oberim (a Mac-only MMO) as well as Graal, Dofus, etc. mostly not-so-good stuff. I’ve also heard murmurings that EVE Online is available for Macintosh computers, but after looking through the technical FAQs and the site, in general, I couldn’t find anything to back that claim up. Read below.

So when will all of this change? Not anytime soon, I’m afraid. A quick look at two of the most anticipated MMORPGs of the year shows that there is no planned Macintosh versions of either one. Of course I am talking about Warhammer Online, and Age of Conan. The lead developer of Warhammer Online has even gone on record as saying they will release the game for PC only. Harsh. . . looks like diehard Mac fans will be left out in the cold for at least a while longer.

Maybe this is why World of Warcraft is making so much money. Just a theory. . .

UPDATE: EVE Online is available for Macintosh Computers. This effectively brings up the total of relavant MMOs on Macs to 6. I did not include ToonTown due to it’s marketed audience.


  1. Great article! I have been working on and using Macs for years and have always disliked the lack of games for the Mac. The reason of market share is reason enough as developing for both platforms costs more money up front. Mac still only has a small market share and the fact that Intel macs can now run windows means that the reality of Mac MMOs just gets slimmer.

  2. I’m going to go out on a limb here, and possibly upset a few folks, but the reason there aren’t that many games for Macs is that Apple haven’t given the developers any support. The story I’ve heard is that all the advice given to Apple by the developers, even when it’s solicted by Apple, ends up being ignored.

    The game developer community has suggested gamedev toolkits (like DirectX), nothing gets done.

    MS on the other hand with its superior market share provides a lot of assistance to game developers. Apple needs to realise if it wants games on its platform it needs to provide support. Apple also needs to make it worthwhile for the developers to develop games.

  3. Just to comment to Stropp, Apple has Dev toolkits to create applications and uses OpenGL for its graphics, which is well documented. Microsoft has to create toolkits for DirectX because they are the ones that make it.
    On the other hand I can understand why some companies just dont want to deal with Apple, as they can be a brick wall sometimes (I deal with them daily).

  4. I am surprised nobody has chided you for either skipping EVE Online or declaring it “not relevant.” Runs on a Mac. I’ve played it on our iMac.

    And hey, ToonTown runs on a Mac as well, and that may not be relevant to the hard core end of the spectrum, but as the training ground for the next generation of MMO players, it is probably very relevant.

  5. I made mention of it in my post, but after looking through the website’s FAQs and general About pages I couldn’t find any hard evidence that it was available for the Mac.

    I’m not an EVE Online player so I wasn;’t 100% sure and thought to offer it as a sidenote instead of giving false hope. I’ll amend the post to include EVE.

  6. The Eve Mac download is right there on the download page for Eve and always has been. You click to download the client, and there is the Mac version right there, how could you miss that?

    Also, nobody is going to get rich making MMO’s on Mac. WoW isn’t popular because it’s on the Mac *rolls on floor laughing*. That’s a good one. You aren’t going to fool developers into thinking that’s true and running to make MMO’s on the Mac. The simple truth is Mac players are a small minority of WoW and don’t make a difference if they are playing or not. That is a fact, not just something I’m pulling out of my wishes or to try to manipulate someone’s thinking.

  7. Although Mac WoW players may be a very small minority, Blizzard still caters to them with OSX specific optimizations and features. I would bet that there are more WoW Mac players than there are total players of other smaller MMOs.

  8. The Mac platform will see a lot more games the day Game devs stop relying on MS DX so much and use OpenGL for their primary Graphics engine support.

    Why do you think ID software still uses OpenGL? To get their games on as many platforms as possible. I know they don’t make an MMO but I’m just using them as an example. When Blizzard decided to do WOW on an OpenGL engine that was the best decision they ever made for the game(I don’t play WOW btw). If other MMO makers want to be as successful cross platform then they better take heed and go OpenGL.

  9. I Agree with Alan 100%. If those crappy Dev’s move towards OpenGL they would get more customers. Put it this way most of them are chinese >.> they don’t know shit about Macs.

    MMORPG Chain
    Example Game ~ MapleStory

    Nexon Devs > Maplestory > Chinese gold farmers

  10. The recommended specs for AoC are so high that anyone wanting to play it has to have a fairly up to date computer. Since the Macs in that range are mostly Intel there’s nothing stopping you from booting over to Windows and playing it.

    Now both platforms can look equally stupid for giving $$$ to Failcom.

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