Aspyr ending sales of 32-bit Mac games ahead of macOS Catalina launch

On Monday, Austin, Texas-based Aspyr announced it would stop sales on most of its 32-bit Mac games after today, June 17. The news comes ahead of the fall launch of Apple's macOS Catalina, which won't support 32-bit apps.

After today, Aspyr's remaining library of Mac games will be 64-bit, with some titles getting 64-bit updates by September.

Elizabeth Howard, vice president of publishing at Aspyr, explains:

Once Apple announced it was discontinuing support for 32-bit titles, we decided ending sales for those games was the right thing to do, and well before Apple's support ends later this year. Giving players fun, innovative games across all platforms is our focus, and we have some exciting new projects that we will reveal very soon."

Aspyr's current 190-game library includes popular franchises, including Borderlands, Call of Duty, and Sid Meier's Civilization. Besides macOS, Aspyr produces games for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Linux, iOS, and Android. For those who don't upgrade their Macs to macOS Catalina this fall, 32-bit Aspyr games will continue to work.

A complete list of 32-bit games Aspyr will stop selling is located on the company's Support Knowledge Base. If you've previously purchased these games for your Mac, you'll still be able to play them on your Mac as long as the version of macOS installed on it supports 32-bit apps (macOS Mojave and earlier).

First announced earlier this month, macOS Catalina offers dozens of new features, including Mac versions of Apple TV, Music, and Podcast apps. It also includes Sidecar, which allows you to work on your Mac through your iPad using an Apple Pencil.

The free update should arrive in September.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.

  • Apple's backward compatibility is depressingly terrible. Microsoft does a much better job: most existing Win32 apps work fine in Windows 10 and are expected to continue to do so in the future. If you like games, you are MUCH better off getting them on Windows or on a game console than on macOS or iOS, which tend to break things on a yearly basis. And since most PC games are written for Windows and DirectX first, the Mac ports tend to have inferior performance on the same hardware. Windows is a much better "game OS" than macOS for that reason, and fortunately Macs can run Windows via Boot Camp. Game consoles are particularly good as far as not breaking games you've already purchased; even though the 3DS has gone through many multiple hardware and firmware revisions across its 9-year history, all of its games still work fine, as do most games from its predecessors, the DSi and DS, going back to 2004. Apple's compatibility story is also terrible for developers, who constantly have to update their apps simply to keep them running. This passes a heavy compatibility burden from Apple onto developers, and it is one of the things driving them to the awful subscription pricing model, because it costs money just to keep an app running across Apple's continuous treadmill of app-breaking OS changes.
  • Backwards compatibility comes at a cost; Windows has loads of unused elements and bloat which makes it massive and sometimes slow, all it's really for is for backwards compatibility which is more for businesses than consumers. macOS is a very lean and fast OS due to them getting rid of the old and replacing it with the new, like their new Apple File System (Windows still uses the old fragmented NTFS). Not all videos games on Mac run inferior, it just depends on the game engine and porting process, many games are built with Unity now which runs natively on the Mac. Steam has a huge range of Mac games, and most of them are 64-bit aside from some older ones. Video game consoles are designed to do what they say on the tin, play video games. They're designed to be as easy as possible with little to zero-configuration, so backwards compatibilty (at least for the current gen of games) is paramount for a console. Software is constantly evolving, Windows developers have to update their apps too, and Linux developers. Yes, Apple might make more breaking changes, but regardless, a software developer's job is to create a piece of software and maintain it. I disagree that Apple is driving them to the subscription pricing model, Apple has always been like this whereas the subscription-pricing fad has only come about in the past few years, so nothing from Apple has caused this.