Two major developers back out of offering Catalyst apps amid developer concerns [Update]

What you need to know

  • The initial roll out of Catalyst apps has been shaky to say the least.
  • Developers continue to voice their concerns regarding the way creating Catalyst apps will work.
  • Two major developers, Asphanlt 9 and DC Universe, that were headlining the Catalyst release have backed out.

Updated 10:40 am PT: Gameloft provided Bloomberg with a comment on the story saying Asphalt 9 for Catalyst has been "slightly delayed."

Apple released macOS Catalina this week along with Catalyst. It was supposed to usher in a new era of app porting, but instead it has been a bumpy ride with two major developers already backing out of offering Catalyst apps.

According to Bloomberg, Asphalt 9 and DC Universe—two developers Apple said would headline the Catalyst app catalog during WWDC 2019—have backed out of offering Catalyst apps amid developer concerns. Apple has removed their names from its site.

Developer Steve Troughton-Smith notes that the focus of Catalyst isn't on gaming, so it makes it difficult for developers to port games without the proper features.

Netflix has confirmed it will not be making a Catalyst app.

Most of the concern relates to the process of porting apps over and its consequences, such as making customers pay twice for the same app.

Additionally, PCalc developer James Thompson said the process of creating a Catalyst version of his app was more complicated than he thought it would be.

James Thompson has had to work harder than he expected to get his popular PCalc calculator iPad app running well on Mac computers. Getting paid a second time for that extra work makes sense for developers, but consumers may not immediately understand that after Apple made the porting process sound as easy as checking a box, he said.

It's a rocky start for Catalyst, but its end goal still provides a bright future for the Mac. At least, it will once Apple fixes all of the initial hurdles that have come up.

Danny Zepeda