It's no surprise that Apple really hasn't really made a big splash in the gaming scene on Mac. This hasn't stopped the bitten apple company from making some serious moves in that space with its M1 silicon-powered family of products, whose performance reportedly rivals enthusiast-class RTX 30-series GPUs (but not really where it matters).
Feral Interactive has ported dozens of games onto the Mac over the years: everything from Sid Meiers Railroads! and Tomb Raider to a bunch of Total War games. Feral has become a household name for gaming on the Mac and has high hopes for the future of gaming on the Max, according to a recent interview with MacRumors.
A spokesperson from Feral addressed the common issues that prevent big game releases on Mac. “The problem is that AAA games often push the limits on hardware, and we need to be confident that we can get a game to run well on a broad range of machines, often stretching back several years. However, the current transition to Apple Silicon opens up some exciting opportunities,” they said.
As Apple transitions away from Intel-based Macs, the developer explains that “[Apple's silicon] offers a big step up in power, and for games that translates to better performance and enhanced graphical fidelity.”
The developer cited severe performance and stability issues on Intel-powered Macs with iGPUs. “We had to spend a large part of extended development cycles optimizing games to make sure they ran as well as possible on devices which were not intended or designed for gaming.”
Ultimately, while Apple's claim of enthusiast-grade discrete GPU performance might not ring completely true, the new chips are much better than your average iGPU over the past decade.
What does this mean for the future of gaming on the Mac? Feral says that Apple Silicon gives it a “greater degree of freedom in looking at more demanding games.”
There's no denying that Apple's new M1 Silicon offers Mac users a big upgrade in performance, and Feral's latest release, Total War: Warhammer III, is only available on Macs with an M1 chip.