Why Is Steam On Mac?

Why Is Steam On Mac?

It’s because there’s money to be made there. Valve disclosed today that in the week since launching its Steam service on Mac computers, 11 per cent of all purchases on the digital shopfront have been made for Apple’s platform.

That’s a massive boost to the company’s bottom line, and also helps lend the Mac some credibility in the eyes of those who believed its install base was too small for Valve to bother releasing games for.

Sure, you could argue that it was a first-week rush, frustrated Mac gamers gorging themselves on quality titles, but this is Steam we’re talking about. New games will come. Old games will get bundled, and go on sale, sometimes for ridiculous prices. You’d think most people signing up, downloading and buying something will be in it for the long haul, just like most PC gamers seem to be these days.

While we’re on the subject, Valve also revealed that, while Portal is running a little slower on the Mac, the Apple version is also five times less likely to crash than its PC counterpart.


  • I’m still a bit miffed that the only Valve game is Portal. Sure, it’s free, and I love that, but when they hyped up Steam for Mac so much with L4D and Half Life, and haven’t even hinted when they might be available…

  • Are there any statistics as to which games are being bought? I can’t imagine many mac gamers would be downloading those more “hardcore” titles (I could be wrong of course). In a way, I guess Steam suits the mac quite a lot given it’s huge casual gaming stockpile.

  • Sure, theyll be in it for the long haul, they ARE human too. 11% is not that great, not as an opening week figure, especially when these gamers havent had another option.

    You also have to take into account the fact that PC gamers have probably already made buys, how many new games came out that week? How wanted were they?

    This is a pretty lame stat, at least without other variables factored in, and means nothing. I guess its nice advertising though, and gets the word out that Valve is Mac friendly, besides this though its a nice marketing ploy and no news.

    • “these gamers havent had another option.”

      I have been running a duel boot with XP on my Mac for years and have had no problem running TF2, Portal or L4D2 come to that.

  • Still doesn’t understand Valve’s shunning of the PS3 for portal 2, yet makes a port for mac

  • You actually can attribute the surge in downloads to first-week rush. Firstly, you break up demographics. There are PC users of steam, Bootcamp users (who run windows ON mac) and as of this week: Mac users.

    Since steam has been available to PC users AND Bootcamp users prior to this week, you can assume that the amount of shopping they did was unaffected by Steam’s release on the Mac.

    Yes people will be in it for the ‘long haul’, but the rate at which they buy the products will drop off. Any user who starts using steam is going to make initial purchases, because the motivation to get steam is a particular purchase. Subsequent transactions are not pre-meditated, and occur less frequently.

    In short, yes, it’s a first-week rush. You’ll see the percentage of sales swing back in favour of the PC market, probably at 92%-8% until the next big ‘Mac sale’.

    The new demographic, the Steam users, have had no prior access to the platform. So as soon as it launches, almost no one has any games. And because all the launch titles have been either VERY cheap, or VERY good, each new user would be making a (relatively) large number of transactions.

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