Subnautica on Mac OSX – What’s the status?

Posted by acedude 9 years ago
Subnautica OSX

Hi everyone! Quite a few people at Unknown Worlds use Mac’s for development and day-to-day tasks. Charlie and Steve are probably the heaviest users, and Max develops on Mac hardware while often running Windows on it. We aren’t a Windows-only development team. However, our primary platform is definitely Windows.

When we first started testing Subnautica on Steam, we uploaded an OSX version of the game to what’s called a ‘depot.’ Depots are places where Steam stores game files – When you download a game from Steam, it comes out of the depot. At the same time, we kept Subnautica’s availability settings restricted to Windows only, and did not set Steam to release the OSX version.

Behind the scenes: Subnautica's Steam platform settings

Behind the scenes: Subnautica’s Steam platform settings

This meant Subnautica was in a situation where it did not have the Steam ‘Steamplay’ icon on the Steam store. It only had a ‘Windows’ icon. At the same time, there were OSX files lurking behind the scenes in an old depot. The OSX depot has never been updated – The contents are ancient, dating back to October 2014. Trust us – You don’t want to play that old version!

Recently, Subnautica’s sales have shot up. Consequently, we’ve started to receive proportionally more crash, bug, and other reports. We also started receiving reports that the ‘OSX version is out of date.’ At first we didn’t pay much attention to these reports, because in our heads we considered Subnautica to be a Windows-only game. We only ever advertised it as a Windows game on the Steam Store.

The reports have kept on coming though – So we did some investigation. It turns out that anyone that purchased Subnautica for Windows can run Subnautica on OSX, and access the ancient outdated depot. It gets worse – While running Steam on OSX, there’s no indication in the Store (other than the little Windows icon), that the game will not run on OSX. That means it has been possible for people to buy Subnautica on OSX, only to find they’ve got a crappy outdated version of it on their disk drive.

We don’t want anyone who buys an Unknown Worlds game to have a crappy outdated version. This isn’t a great situation. However, we cannot immediately devote resources to supporting a platform we haven’t advertised support for. We’re in the middle of trying to release the Crash Site update, and that’s tying up all available time.

We also don’t want new people to experience this problem – That is, we need to cut off the flow of new OSX customers. The only way we think we can do that is if we delete the old OSX depot – That’s what we’ve just done. If you own Subnautica, and try to run it on OSX, you should no longer receive any files from Steam. We’re not sure how this will effect people that already downloaded the old version of the game.

Looking to the future, we’ve started discussing the possibility of releasing OSX versions of Subnautica. We think this is the right thing to do, especially for customers who were able to purchase the game on OSX despite us setting the game as Windows-only on Steam. We can’t guarantee it though, and will keep you updated on our plans. If you have purchased Subnautica on OSX, you can run the game under Windows (there’s no separation of copies, despite Subnautica not being identified as a ‘Steamplay’ game on the Store), for example in Boot Camp.

We’re very sorry if this situation has caused you to have a bad experience with Subnautica, and will do our best to make it right.


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