Heads up, Mac gamers: big-time PC game port studio to drop support for 32-bit

Image Credit: 2K Games

With Apple macOS Catalina's discontinuation of all support for 32-bit coded apps, one game publisher is pulling a lot of titles from its Mac game store, reports Apple Insider.

The publisher in question is Aspyr – a studio that redistributes, or 'ports', popular games on PC and consoles for macOS – which has posted a list of 24 games that it has removed from sale. The list includes some classic Call of Duty titles, Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Civilization IV, several older Star Wars games and more.

The recent history of gaming on Mac has not been a pretty story. Mac computers aren't given as much love from game developers, and it shows in the lack of modern, popular titles among the best Mac games. Some hits managed to land on Mac, but now their days of wide availability are numbered.

Currently, macOS 10.14 Mojave still supports these 32-bit games. While Aspyr is pulling the games from the store, owners will still be able to play them as long as they don't upgrade to Catalina when it launches later this year. They'll also be able to play them on a different machine running Steam using the SteamPlay feature, which Aspyr notes all of its Mac ports support.

And that's just one game store

Just 24 titles from one game store might not seem like much, but Aspyr is just being proactive about it. The company knows that any 32-bit games it sells to gamers now won't be playable if they upgrade to macOS Catalina later. Aspyr has some 32-bit games that will receive 64-bit support by September, and it will continue to sell those, but there are other game sellers and programs that won't be making the cut.

Steam has plenty of other games available for macOS, and Aspyr is certainly not the exclusive seller of 32-bit titles. And, it's not just games at stake. Anyone running some legacy software, perhaps old versions of the Adobe programs, will lose support for them if they upgrade their operating system to Catalina.

Apple has been giving warnings to users for some time about 32-bit apps, letting users know that they wouldn't be supported forever, and now we see just when that support is ending. It makes sense to see Apple shifting the focus to more modern 64-bit programs, but leaving behind legacy software entirely is sure to displease some users.

This is also an interesting difference between macOS 10.15 and Windows 10, as the latter continues to support 32-bit programs, and the OS even has a 32-bit version available.

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Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.