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Steam and Valve Games Headed to the Mac

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Us Mac gamers are a much abused, much maligned lot. We get titles late, and most never at all. By the time most titles do come to the Mac, we’ve probably already broken down and played them using Boot Camp or that gaming PC we hide in the closet that we bought specifically for the purpose. Today, things are looking up.

PC game maker and distributor Valve is dropping all kinds of hints, which are by no means ambiguous, that Steam and many of its titles are headed to the Mac sometime in the near future. MacRumors and various other Mac news sites received teaser images direct from Valve themselves, all of which point to that very same conclusion.

The teaser received by MacRumors features Half-Life protagonist Gordon Freeman wielding a crowbar and wearing an Apple (s aapl) logo on his chest. The image was sent “in anticipation of an upcoming announcement from Valve.” No timeframe or additional details about this announcement were included, however, so we’re left to speculate about that, although next week sees the annual Game Developers Conference taking place in San Francisco, so that’s a good candidate for a potential date.

Other sites also received tantalizing teaser images in a similar vein, which, when you notice the iPhone-like selector control at the bottom of the images, gives a pretty good indication that all are from the same series and further evidence of a Mac connection. MacNN received one using turrets from Team Fortress 2 and Portal acting as Mac and PC from the Justin Long/John Hodgman series of ads:

Shacknews got this image of a Team Fortress 2 Heavy class character as an iPod silhouette:

Eurogamer received this one, featuring a Left 4 Dead character and the “Hate Different” twist on Apple’s longtime slogan:

Rock, Paper, Shotgun got another promo, which plays off of the ad for the first Mac and seems the most clear about Valve’s intentions:

Finally, Macworld received this picture of Half-Life 2’s Alyx Vance character reenacting Apple’s instantly recognizable 1984 commercial:

Additional evidence for the introduction of some kind of Mac version of Steam can be found in the inclusion of Mac elements in the latest beta builds of the game marketplace software. For Mac users who’ve maybe shut out all gaming news out of bitterness or jealousy, Steam is Valve’s digital game distribution software for the PC. It also provides digital rights management (DRM) services for developers, and multiplayer services for users. So far, only Mac Games Arcade provides a similar service for the Mac, but that’s honestly like comparing an aircraft carrier (Steam) to a dinghy (Mac Games Arcade).

9 Responses to “Steam and Valve Games Headed to the Mac”

  1. It seems like the question that comes up a lot is what non-casual games are on the Mac. Beyond the ports of AAA games that came to the Mac much later than their Windows counterparts, there have been some companies who do support Mac and PC right out of the box natively, Blizzard being one of the more notable.

    Utilizing the power of the Unity game engine, you can quite easily port a game to both platforms without much “tweaking” at all. With Unity gaining popularity ( you’re likely to see more cross platform titles being developed. For example, we are and indie developer, but we are making what we consider to be a AAA quality game that will be for Mac and PC right out of the box. You can check it out at or look us up on Facebook at

  2. Speaking as someone with a great collection of games in my steam account I don’t care how they do it I just want the best of these games to be playable on my 13″ MacBook Pro without me having to run windows on it. I have a Win7 beast wired into the wall so what do I need another PC for?

    It’s too much to hope that all steam games will work, but the valve games based on the HL2 engine? That would be sweet

  3. The real question is: are they really porting these games or just using something like Cider? Either way I might just have to jump on this if I can finally show my PC gaming friends Counter-Strike running on Mac OS.

    • Cider works really well… check out the Mac version of City of Heroes, for example. I was getting better framerates somehow under Mac OS than XP on the same hardware (my MacBoo Pro).

      Also note how the City of Heroes folks keep the client up to date on both platforms, unlike, say, Dragon Age: Origins. :-(