The M1 (Apple Silicon) Macs are powerful, both in terms of processor and graphics (especially for the Pro/Max/Ultra variants) and Feral Interactive believe that this will offer new “exciting opportunities”.
More power with M1 Macs for the best games
Feral Interactive is a studio that brings several games to Mac and Linux. Naturally, he is interested in switching Intel Macs with Apple Silicon Macs for the best performance. “Changes have been cyclical, but bringing games to the Mac during this time has been challenging”Feral confesses to MacRumors.
Apple’s move from PPC to Intel, from 32-bit to 64-bit and, more recently, from Intel processors to Apple Silicon — all of these changes require transition periods and considerable work, but in each case they facilitated a situation in which better games could be distributed to the Mac. What has remained constant is that there is a community of Mac users who want to play games on their computers. There is an audience for good games that are well optimized for the platform.
You should know that Apple has often crippled the graphics power of Macs by using Intel chips and mobile GPUs in its laptops and desktops. Feral Interactive notes that this point has been a problem, especially when it has failed to port AAA games.
“Before Apple Silicon, almost all of Apple’s most popular computers, especially their entry-level laptops, used integrated graphics from Intel. This posed a problem. We had to spend a lot of extended development cycles optimizing games to make sure they ran as well as possible on devices that weren’t intended or designed for gaming.”, Iron explains. The studio notes in particular that AAA games have the limits and it is necessary to ensure that the Mac can offer a good gaming experience.
Support for Intel Macs will continue but be limited
“The current transition to Apple Silicon opens up exciting opportunities. Compared to the previous generation of Intel-based Macs, there’s a huge boost in power, which translates to better performance and increased graphics fidelity for gaming.”, says the studio. He therefore intends to look into more demanding games in order to bring them to the Mac. He notes that the games in question should also run fine on entry-level M1 Macs.
Besides the hardware, there is the software part. Apple pushed developers to use its Metal API knowing that it abandoned OpenGL and OpenCL in 2018. Feral Interactive notes that the transition was not easy, but there has been progress, especially with Apple improving Metal. Today, the studio really thinks that Metal is a good thing for the best performances.
Feral Interactive discovered that it still offered games on Intel Macs. But he admits at the same time that he will give priority to Apple Silicon Macs. This is due to performance. For example, the studio recently released Total War: Warhammer 3 and this one is only available on M1 Macs. “Unfortunately, during testing, serious performance and stability issues were observed on Intel Macs with integrated Intel GPUs. This means that we cannot support them for this game and will not be able to do so in the future”he said.