Just a couple of weeks after delivering an alpha client for a limited number of users, EA has now gone ahead and announced the full release of its Origin digital distribution service on OS X. The new client will include a similar feature set compared to its Windows counterpart, including cloud saves and social connectivity features, although the initial catalog of Mac-compatible games is naturally a bit limited.
Right now the store lists 48 Mac games available for download, most of them over a year old, including Batman: Arkham City, Dragon Age 2, Dirt 2, and several Lego titles. The company is also running a promotional offer with the The Sims 3, offering the base title and various expansion packs for $10 each. Similar to Valve’s SteamPlay, select EA titles on Origin will be available for dual-platform play -- players using both Windows and Mac can purchase a game once and download it for both systems, provided the game is compatible.
Origin’s expansion highlights the growing momentum of OS X as a platform fit for gaming. Sure, Macs still lag far behind Windows PCs in terms of game selection and high-end hardware, but the platform has come a long way in the last few years. EA Origin Vice President of Production, Mike Blank, had this to say about the move:
"We're seeing increased activity from our Mac gamers. In the past, we've brought games slower to market for Mac than for PC partly because the audience hasn't been at the same level. The growth of iOS and Mac devices, though, means we're starting to see gamers demand to play their games on devices that are becoming more prominent. I think, across the board, developers have focused on the PC platform, but I think you're going to start seeing some changes there. [Origin] is the first step in a strategy you're going to start seeing coming out of EA."
Unfortunately he wasn’t forthcoming about a firm release date for the highly anticipated SimCity reboot on the Mac. The new game is supposed to arrive a little after the March release of the PC version.
EA's Origin client for Mac is available as a free download and requires OS X 10.6.8 or higher and at least an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor -- anything released after ~2008 - 2009 should do.