When the news broke at the end of April that the Mac version of Americais Army was no more, many gamers were surprised to learn that programmer Ryan Gordon had been maintaining it for free over the previous year. Chris Chambers, deputy director of the Americais Army project, told The Mac Observer via e-mail that the primary reason for dropping the Mac and Linux versions was "a simple cost vs. benefit analysis."
He continued: "For every platform that the Army supports for the Americais Army game, there is a significant amount of financial and development support that is taken into consideration. The Mac and Linux client player base is extremely small compared to Windows.
"With changes in prices from 3rd party developers who charge on a per-platform basis, it became evident that it was not financially feasible to continue supporting the project without sacrificing other important initiatives for the project and the Windows version, which saw significantly more traffic. We have always wanted to support alternative operating systems and we did as long as we possible could."
Mr. Chambers confirmed that official support for the Mac and Linux clients "was made shortly after the [May 16, 2005] release of Americais Army: Special Forces (Q-Course) v2.4.0." A thread on the gameis message boards conveyed some internal confusion on the matter, with one person stating last month: "I didnit know it until recently and I work on the project."
Mr. Chambers said that the team leads were aware of the decision, but an official announcement wasnit made because "Ryan planned to continue support of these clients on his own, so we felt it wasnit necessary to officially announce dropping support, only to then turn around and release the new clients." He reiterated what Mr. Gordon has said: Americais Army version 2.6 for Mac and Linux will still likely see release, but it will be the last one on those platforms.
Regarding the possibility of coming back to the Mac, Mr. Chambers said: "We will continue to develop Americais Army many generations into the future and nothing is completely off the table." He added that the team "look[s] forward to seeing how Boot Camp will affect Mac market share. Our main goal for the Americais Army game is to communicate messaging on all platforms where we can speak to the greatest number of Americans."