Due to some new information coming to light, mainly how Mac publishers get compensated for releasing Mac versions on Steam, we’re changing our policy on how we link to third-party stores.
Two of the biggest Mac publishers, Aspyr and Feral Interactive, have revealed how they get paid for SteamPlay titles (where you buy once and get access to the game on all supported platforms). On a recent Reddit AMA, AspyrBlair chimed in:
Aspyr gets paid on new or future purchases of the Linux and Mac versions of Civ V. If you purchases the game on Windows say…5 months ago…then the PC publisher/developer was paid for that transaction (as they should be). Essentially, Steam knows what platform you are on through the client and processes payment to the developer accordingly.
Lots of fans are worried that if they purchase through a browser or a PC at work for example, that we wont get compensated. As long as you play the game on your Linux or Mac in the first week or so and stay on that platform for your play, the payment will then shift over to us as the Linux publisher/developer.
Likewise, on MacRumors, Feral Interactive employee Edwin Smith had this to say (a while ago):
FYI if you buy a Steam key from a third party PC game site the sale goes to the PC even if the game is activated on the Mac.
Outside of the Steam store it is impossible to tell if the sale was activated on Mac or PC so the sale is credited to the OS you selected in the store. So if you buy a Mac key from a store by going via their Mac area then Feral get the sale, if you buy a key from the PC area of the Store then the sale goes to Square Enix as a PC sale.
If you buy the game on Steam they can see what OS you have been using and select the right platform to credit the sale to.
It’s extremely important to us that Mac publishers get compensated for the work that they do, and so for that reason, we will no longer be posting links to buy SteamPlay games that have ported by a third-party, except to that publisher’s store, the Mac Game Store, or to Steam itself. This also applies to the deals section on our forums, where we try to post about the biggest discount. Unfortunately it will be too much work for us to go through old posts and remove previous links to buy games (e.g. from Amazon and Green Man Gaming), but going forwards, you will only hear about the best deals that credit the companies that do the work.
I hope you will join me in being a bit more selective about where you buy your SteamPlay games, so that Mac publishers can continue to be in a position to bring the latest and greatest games to Mac OS.
Thanks to Al Valentyn for providing some of the information and the links.
(In other news, there will be no review this week because I got sucked into the fantastic, but Windows-only, Wolfenstein: The New Order all week).