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Mac Half-Life Cancelled

We've received lots of email lately from folks that have heard about incompatibilities between the upcoming Mac port of Half-Life and the PC version. Up until now, there has been no official response to our queries about these rumors, but the silence has been broken with the announcement that due to the fact that these incompatibilities between the Mac and PC versions were a reality (among other issues), the project has been cancelled. Here's the whole scoop (the initial part of the note is from Valve's Jenni Gant):

We recently had to make the difficult decision to cancel Half-Life Mac. Here's a note from Gabe that explains why we did this:

From: Gabe Newell

There's been a lot of speculation about Half-Life for the Macintosh - its feature set, its compatibility with the PC version, and so on. Andrew Meggs at Logicware has been doing a good job on the port, and it's mostly done. At this point we've spent a bunch of money on the Mac product and have spent a lot of time thinking about what we need to do to make sure Macintosh users are happy with it when it ships.

Which is why we are canceling the Macintosh version of Half-Life.

When we started Mac Half-Life, there was a lot of optimism about the opportunity for Macintosh games. As someone who worked on Macintosh software starting in 1983 before the 128K Mac had shipped, it was pretty exciting to think that there was going to be a resurgence in the Mac gaming market.

However, as we got closer to shipping the product and reality set in, it was increasingly obvious that in order for us to break even on the Mac version, much less be profitable, we were going to have to cut some corners. OK - I guess we won't have Team Fortress Classic available at shipment. Maybe people will accept it if we update them with TFC later. OK - I guess I understand why we don't have an automatic update facility. Maybe people will accept that they have to manually update. OK - I guess I understand why we might carve out a separate multiplayer space for Mac users from PC users because of the on-going interoperability issues. Maybe that won't be the disaster I think it will be.

But the more I thought about it, the more I felt that this was nonsense. Our existing Half-Life customers are really happy with us. They were happy with the original game, they were happy when we released TFC, they were happy with our on-going investment in Half-Life, and there's even more coming for them in the next couple of months. They are happy because we do our best for them, and that's what they expect from us in the future. Given the realities of the Mac gaming market, our Mac customers were always going to be mad at us. They were always going to be second-class customers where we couldn't invest to the same degree in the Mac version as we did elsewhere. I don't want to be in that business. I would much rather we just eat the money we've spent so far than take money from Mac customers and short-change them.

It's disappointing to me on a personal basis that we won't ship Half-Life for the Mac. Everyone here, and I'm sure the people at Logicware are disappointed. The Mac gamers who were looking forward to Half-Life are undoubtedly disappointed as well. However that's a lot less disappointment than what would have happened if we had tried to get Mac gamers to accept second-class treatment on an on-going basis.


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