The following is quoted from Gamasutra’s Paris GDC interview with Rob Pardo:
Finally, Jamil asked an extremely relevant question, given the state of the web game market – is it possible to get an ‘AAA game experience’ through the web interface?
Pardo was blunt: “I dunno, not until Microsoft, Intel, and Apple get their shit together. There’s such a dichotomy with hardware these days. With Microsoft, I think they have a bit of lip service with PC gaming. They have their own game system now, so I don’t think it’s really in their best interest to support [PC].”
However, he noted: “There’s been some Apple resurgence, so maybe Dell and Apple will get together and make a consumer box that has a decent graphics card in it, who knows? I do think it’s going to happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t happen with Microsoft.”
Without commenting at all about Apple‘s stance on this, it is obvious to me that if Apple continues to increase their market share as current public data indicates, there’s going to be a shift of mentality in game studios still interested in developing for the PC platform. They’re going to seriously start looking at those millions of Mac customers who may have an available budget for the games they make. Of course, part of those customers are already buying those games thanks to Boot Camp, but there is an economic and psychological argument to be made that Mac versions of those games would get you an even larger share of that growing market.
It’s also interesting to note that Apple’s market is closer to that of consoles, in the sense that hardware diversity is much lower and there is greater integration between the OS, the software that runs on that OS and the hardware on which those two run, while retaining some of the advantages of the PC, such as less control from the hardware manufacturer (which Pardo cites as a problem for WoW content patches), the ubiquity of a pointing device and keyboard, more storage space, more mature development tools and the ability to develop and test on the same hardware.