New Rumors of Overwatch on Mac Surface, but Blizzard Engineer Says Still 'No Plans' for Launch

New rumors surfaced this weekend suggesting Blizzard's first-person shooter Overwatch could be launching soon on Mac. A Reddit user on r/macgaming (via MacGamerHQ) managed to download an unlisted installer for Overwatch on Mac -- titled "Overwatch-Setup.zip" -- by apparently altering the download link for the PC version of the game available on the official Battle.net website.

The installer is properly signed by Blizzard and launches Battle.net -- an app that centralizes all of the player's Blizzard games into one place -- with Overwatch appearing in the "Games" tab. Redditor Heyoni shared a few images of Overwatch appearing in Battle.net on their Mac, but as of now the game is not able to launch and delivers an error message when "Play" is clicked.

Image via Heyoni on Reddit

The Reddit thread discussing the news theorized the potential for this being a bug, or that it could be a hint for an upcoming announcement related to Overwatch's debut on Mac. Blizzard just wrapped up its annual BlizzCon event, in which it unveiled a new support class for Overwatch named Moira, a new map called Blizzard World, and a new character cinematic focusing on Reinhardt. During the event, no news was given regarding Overwatch expanding to Macs.

Unfortunately, a comment made by an Overwatch engineer in a new interview suggests Blizzard is still not planning on launching the game for Mac anytime soon. Tim Ford, the lead software engineer for gameplay systems on Overwatch, told Gadgets 360 that Blizzard has "no plans" of launching Overwatch on Mac. Ford said this is due to "several technology decisions" Apple has made on Macs, which make it "a little difficult" for Blizzard to create a Mac version of the game.
With Overwatch being available on the PS4, Xbox One, and Windows PC, it’s one of the rare Blizzard games that’s not on the Mac. It's odd considering that every other Blizzard title has graced Apple’s line of computers. Ford explained why Overwatch will not be making it to the Mac.

“We have no plans of giving this game on the Mac," says Ford. "There are several technology decisions that Apple has made that has made it a little difficult for us to release Overwatch in the way we want it to be consumed, and that is why we haven't pursued it."
Before Overwatch launched in May 2016, Blizzard said a Mac version was not a priority because it was "just too challenging" at that point to support Apple's platform, due to the "technology behind Macs." Then, in May 2017, Blizzard vice president Jeff Kaplan said the company is keeping an "open mind" about bringing Overwatch to Mac gamers, it just needs the "priorities of our development process to line up with the capabilities of the platform."

As news of the Mac installer spread online, Polygon reached out to a Blizzard representative, who stated that the Overwatch development team has "nothing to announce at this time" regarding a Mac launch for the game. For now, Overwatch is available to play on Windows PCs, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.



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14 months ago
Overwatch is literally the only reason I ever boot into windows
Rating: 6 Votes
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14 months ago
That's ok, I still have "No Plans" for buying it.
[doublepost=1509915508][/doublepost]And they are full of **** anyway. Any Mac with Metal 2 support could run Overwatch no problem.
Rating: 5 Votes
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14 months ago

That's ok, I still have "No Plans" for buying it.
[doublepost=1509915508][/doublepost]And they are full of **** anyway. Any Mac with Metal 2 support could run Overwatch no problem.

Basically Blizzard is saying the time and talent investment is not worth it compared to the return on that investment. Hard to argue with that. With PC, Playstation, and XBox versions on the market, pretty much 95% of gamers are covered. 95% being a guestimate. Metal? None of the major houses care about Metal. Aspyr and Feral care about Metal and that's about it. Apple may want to invest some assets in Vulcan if they want to get serious about gaming. Either that or let Bootcamp continue to do the heavy lifting.
Rating: 4 Votes
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14 months ago
Who cares at this stage though tbh. Nearly 2018 already and mac is MAYBE getting a 2016 game. Lel.

Mac gaming is a joke, and when a game arrives, its trash compared to its pc counterpart.

Apple has betrayed the gaming community for years and some people are just not about them 2 year waits.

*ex owner of 8 core map pro, countless macbook pros and imacs. Long time user. Lack of serious gaming focus has always veered me back to windows hardware.
Rating: 4 Votes
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14 months ago

And they are full of **** anyway. Any Mac with Metal 2 support could run Overwatch no problem.


The engine probably doesn't support Metal. Given the time the game launched, odds are its engine was developed without knowledge of Metal, instead targeting Direct3D and OpenGL, which would've worked on macOS (but now isn't being optimized by Apple any more).
Rating: 4 Votes
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14 months ago

Who cares at this stage though tbh. Nearly 2018 already and mac is MAYBE getting a 2016 game. Lel.

Mac gaming is a joke, and when a game arrives, its trash compared to its pc counterpart.

It's a joke partly because of gaming companies that don't put the effort. It's just a market share thing. Technologically speaking, the Mac is good for gaming.
And if Overwatch is a 2016 game, Dota 2 is a 2012 game.
Rating: 3 Votes
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14 months ago

but it doesnt.

Yes it does. Go ask the developers who know their stuff.

EDIT: Take a look. This is from someone who probably knows more about Metal than anyone at blizzard.

Screenshot 2017-07-15 13.28.46.JPG ('https://d26dzxoao6i3hh.cloudfront.net/items/3n3N1c3e1C1F2J1c2J0Z/Screenshot%202017-07-15%2013.28.46.JPG?v=c86b5a06')
Rating: 2 Votes
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14 months ago

- Crysis can be played on integrated graphics. Im talking ultra at 100fps. Can Metal do that?

No reason why it wouldn't, given the same hardware required to do so that Windows requires. Again, 10-year-old tech.

still underperforms compared to boot camp on res and fps.

Except it evidently doesn't.

Metal doesnt have the resources and attention it needs to catch up to directX

That doesn't actually seem to be true, though. Remember that Metal isn't limited to macOS, it's also on iOS. Also there's been quite a bit of grumbling about DX12, though I don't know what the state of that is lately.

Edit: since Total War: Warhammer has a benchmark, I ran it with the 1920x1080 Ultra settings as detailed here ('https://us.hardware.info/reviews/7174/3/total-war-warhammer-directx-12-review-20-gpus-tested-test-results-full-hd-1920x1080'). I have a R9 280x; the DX12 fps for that card is 24.1fps. My Metal fps is...er, 37.4, ran it several times to be sure. Which makes me suspect that maybe they changed the benchmark at some point, since it doesn't seem possible that Metal could be that much faster, especially since they're using a much newer CPU. This is the "dwarfs vs. greenskins" built-in benchmark for what it's worth. Still, it suggests Metal is quite competitive.

--Eric
Rating: 2 Votes
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14 months ago
Heh, no. OpenGL is basically over now, at least as far as games go. From what I've seen, developers generally seem to like Metal the most out of the three current APIs focussed on performance: Vulkan (OpenGL successor), Metal, DX12 (albeit I don't know the current state of DX12; there certainly was a lot of complaining at first). It gets commended for being well-designed and thought out. The downside was missing features at first, but at this point in 2017 with Metal 2 it's got pretty much anything you'd want.

Vulkan can apparently be faster, but it's super low-level and harder to use. However it's also a cross-platform standard, running on all platforms aside from macOS and iOS. There is a project called MoltenVK which runs Vulkan on top of Metal, though I haven't heard of anything that uses it so far. If it works well, it seems like Vulkan would be the logical standard for cross-platform games, or at least ones that are built entirely from scratch, particularly since DX12 is Windows 10-only and there's still a substantial userbase on 7 and 8. Given that so many games these days are written in a third-party engine and will use DX12/Vulkan/Metal as appropriate anyway, it doesn't actually matter as much.

I don't get why this is an issue. They used OpenGL, right?

No, they did not.

--Eric
Rating: 2 Votes
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14 months ago
Yeah .... at some point, you have to ask why it's even worth trying to push for games on Mac anymore?

Ever since I first switched to Mac from Windows PCs in 2000-2001, I tried to get ahold of every single decent title that was released to run native in OS X. Felt like I had a duty to support the devs at the companies like Aspyr and Mac Play and Feral, even if they were selling 1-2 year old releases at full retail pricing. I really wanted to vote with my wallet, in the hopes it would help keep the Mac side of gaming alive.

In recent years though, it's just gotten hopeless. The companies are well aware that a modern Mac can boot into Windows via BootCamp and run whatever they write for Windows -- so why bother porting things? The die-hards who still do Mac versions are getting squeezed out because of Apple's reluctance to put decent graphics cards in anything but their most costly systems -- and even then, you're stuck a generation or more behind what's available for Windows counterparts.

My 2013 Mac Pro cylinder had the best graphics capabilities Apple *ever* put into a machine, even though I paid a huge price tag to get it. And now, a few years later? There's absolutely NO upgrade path for the GPUs in it, and they perform WAY below what comes in any respectable "gaming desktop PC" for Windows that you'd buy off the shelf today.

I don't like console games or controllers much, so I never accepted the often-given advice to just "buy a PS4 or XBox to game on". But I *did* finally buy an ASUS ROG gaming laptop w/Windows 10 Pro on it. Now, I can just buy/install/play anything that comes out that sounds good, without worrying about compatibility. PUBG, The Witcher, GTA V, Overwatch, Fallout 4, etc. etc. I still use my Mac as my primary computer to get work done or even to web surf on. But it's not bad having all the games sitting over on a dedicated machine where they don't run out my disk space or clutter things up on the machine I do all my real work on.

Gaming on the Mac is essentially dead to me. It was a good run, and I still play some Starcraft II on my Mac, since it runs well on it. But it's a fool's errand if you want to only own Macs but play recently released game titles.


Well it doesn't prevent other companies from saying it. For instance, those behind PUBG have recently said Mac and Linux weren't worth the effort (even though the game uses UE4, which already has Linux and Mac versions).
[doublepost=1509921546][/doublepost]
The same business case that justified the development of all their previous games maybe? Methinks the team developing overwatch is a different one and its manager doesn't care about Macs.

Rating: 2 Votes
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