Origin for Mac now available but what next?
Origin today released a 66mb update to their Origin client for OSX after last week announcing that Origin would indeed be coming to OSX after a successful Alpha period of only two weeks. So what does the new update bring us? Well it now brings us the entirety of Origins back catalogue of Mac compatible games which currently isn’t huge but it’s a start. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any other major feature to write home about, just yet. A nice surprise though was to see the hugely successful Batman Arkham series which had been successfully ported by Feral Interactive. The only snagging point on this was the pricing for the games at £19.99 for Arkham Asylum and £29.99 for Arkham City considering currently on Steam in PC format for £9.99 and £19.99 respectively. Another case of Mac user’s having their pants pulled down? Surely with Origin coming to a new platform it would learn from what Steam does and offer us content at a fair price. It’s bad enough we generally have to wait well over 12 months for a port anyway.
I am aware that I am starting to sound overly negative, but let me state that I am thrilled to see Origin coming to OSX and all the potential it could bring with it. The obvious being EA titles such as the Mass Effect, Dead Space, Crysis and Battlefield series to name a few coming to our platform. Not to mention, Origin’s plans to release an updated client with Twitch TV streaming capability and it’s own Achievement system, similar to what Steam have. If EA do want to win over the Mac community, one thing they can do is make controller support native to their client, meaning no more 3rd party drivers to get your Xbox or PS3 controller to working with your Mac. It’s a total pain to be installing and uninstalling drivers for a device to play a certain game. Credit here goes to Aspyr who build into their code native controller support so there is no need for 3rd party drivers. Surely this is the way to go? Steam, Origin, App Store take notice of this, we want convenience also.
In anticipation of this I reached out to two of the biggest porters Feral Interactive and Aspyr. Feral Interactive declined to comment. Aspyr Media, were also unable to comment due to their PR person being “away on business”. I found the later very strange seeing as Aspyr have worked on previous EA titles before (The Sims). Adding more substance to the rumour mill I found a job listing on the Dice website listing for a Frostbite Engine OSX Engineer with experience of porting Windows applications to OSX. Now with the Frostbite engine being used on the next Mass Effect and Dragon Age games it looks extremely hopeful of seeing these titles on OSX.
I contacted EA asking them to make a comment about the possibility of EA titles coming to the platform but I have had no response. Either they are all playing their cards close to their chest or nothing is going to happen, and this is just the evolution of Origin whilst trying to pinch some of the App Stores and Steams sales.
With more spotlight being thrusted upon the Mac operating system surely we must now be heading towards being a recognised gaming platform?