Will Blizzard release Overwatch for the Mac?

Blizzard disappointed many Mac gamers when it failed to release Overwatch for macOS. Will the company change its mind and bring Overwatch to the Mac?

Overwatch

I’ve played World of Warcraft for years and years on my Macs, and I’ve always appreciated Blizzard’s longstanding commitment to releasing its games on the Mac. So I was quite unhappy when Blizzard opted not to release Overwatch for macOS.

But some recent comments by a vice president at Blizzard seem to indicate that the company is at least keeping the door open for a Mac release of Overwatch.

Mitchel Broussard reports for MacRumors:

In a new Q&A video from Wired, Blizzard vice president Jeff Kaplan responded to a list of user questions on Twitter, all centered around the company's popular first-person shooter Overwatch, which is currently available on PC, Xbox One, and Playstation 4. Ahead of the game's release, the company said that any development on Mac was not in the works and that focus would be on the other platforms.

Now, in response to a user asking if the game will ever be on Mac, Kaplan has said that Blizzard is "open minded" about bringing Overwatch to MacBooks and iMacs, although such development doesn't appear to be a priority.

Kaplan's answer: I will not say that it's definite...that we will never be on Mac. We are open minded to it, we just need the priorities of our development process to line up with the capabilities of the platform in order for it to become a reality.

Kaplan's response is a bit non-committal, neither confirming nor denying whether players will ever be able to purchase Overwatch for the Mac, but it is at least nice hearing that the team behind the game continues to consider all platform options moving forward. It remains unclear what specific Mac-related limitations might be preventing Blizzard from pushing forward in Mac development on Overwatch, but from Kaplan's comments it appears that the team wants to ensure the game's quality before it would publish it on Apple's computers.

More at MacRumors

Kaplan's comments are somewhat encouraging but also too little and far too late. Blizzard really should have had Overwatch ready for the Mac a long time ago. Teasing the possibility of a release just adds insult to injury in the eyes of some Mac gamers.

Blizzard has lost money from Mac gamers

I think it was quite foolish of Blizzard to not release Overwatch for the Mac. It should have been available the same day that the Windows version was released. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that Blizzard threw away some serious money by refusing to release Overwatch on the Mac.

Why? Well Mac users tend to have more cash to spend than Windows users. Apple is an aspirational brand, and it tends to attract folks with higher incomes when it comes to computers and phones. Mac users are often willing to spend more than Windows users on software related purchases.

By keeping Overwatch off the Mac platform, Blizzard made sure that it would not have access to the wallets of Mac users. This is quite strange considering that Blizzard has kept WOW running on macOS for so many years. If the Mac version of World of Warcraft wasn’t profitable, Blizzard probably would have dumped it a long time ago.

Blizzard has angered some Mac gamers

Blizzard has also foolishly angered some Mac users by not releasing Overwatch for the Mac. Many Mac gamers have long felt a sense of appreciation of Blizzard’s commitment to the Mac platform, and not getting Overwatch was like a big slap in the face to some of them.

This has resulted in some Mac gamers resenting Blizzard’s decision, and thus the company has generated some serious ill will among folks that previously were strong supporters of Blizzard. And the sad thing was that this all could have been avoided if Blizzard had just released Overwatch for the Mac.

Many Mac gamers used to feel a sense of loyalty to Blizzard given its past support of the Mac platform, but not releasing Overwatch on the Mac has damaged those feelings and caused some Mac users to feel a sense of alienation from Blizzard and its products.

To top it all off, Blizzard foolishly stuck an Overwatch tab on the Battle.net launcher that contains World of Warcraft and other games. But when Mac gamers click on the Overwatch tab, they see a message letting them know they can buy the game for PC, PS4 and XBox.

Gee, thanks for letting us know that you think our Macs suck and that we should play Overwatch on some other platform, Blizzard!

Yes, Macs can run Overwatch

One of the arguments used by Blizzard and others for not releasing Overwatch for the Mac is that Macs aren’t capable of running it well. What utter nonsense! Macs are quite capable of running Overwatch at one graphics setting or another.

For example, I have a 5K iMac and I have no doubt it could run Overwatch with these specs:

4 Ghz Intel Core i7

32 GB of RAM

AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4 GB of video ram

Could my 5K iMac run Overwatch at 5K on the highest settings? Nope, but it sure could run it at a different graphics setting. What does it matter to Blizzard if a Mac user toggles the video settings down a notch to run the game? Does Blizzard really think that every Windows computer out there is running Overwatch at maxed out graphics settings?

Blizzard’s attitude toward the graphics capabilities of Macs is both condescending and also quite nonsensical. You’d think that Macs were some second rate computers that grind to a halt when running games.

Macs can run Overwatch, and shame on Blizzard for acting like they can’t. It’s a disgraceful position for the company to take, and I utterly reject it.

We’re still waiting for Overwatch for the Mac, Blizzard

It remains to be seen if Blizzard will ever right this wrong and get Overwatch into the hands of Mac gamers. Kaplan’s comments were at least encouraging, but they aren’t an indication that Blizzard is actually developing a Mac version of Overwatch.

If Blizzard is smart it will get going on a version of Overwatch for the Mac as soon as possible. If it doesn’t then the company will simply forego the lucrative profits it could be earning from deep-pocketed Mac gamers.

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