Previous versions of games to be available through App Store

Mac owners who are sticking to older versions of Mac OS need no longer worry that updates to their games will render them unplayable. The new Mac App Store policy, announced yesterday, means that everyone will be able to access previous versions of their games, notably if they want to maintain compatibility with older systems.

This is a really good move by Apple, as this is a feature that even Steam lacks (you can prevent automatic updates in Steam per game, but can’t rollback to a previous version), and companies such as Aspyr have publicly lamented. The system, is opt-out, meaning it will be available for all games, unless the publisher specifically disables the feature (such as to avoid legal and rights issues).

We contacted several publishers to find out if they plan to allow this feature. Some said they had no issue enabling the option, with others enthusiastically embracing the idea, whilst still others were still evaluating the implications and had not made a decision one way or the other. It seems it would be prudent then, to check games on a case-by-case basis, and not blindly assume that every game on the Mac App Store will have this feature, but that said, it’s good to see Apple showing this sort of initiative.