With little fanfare and few details, Valve Corporation announced Friday is has ended SteamVR support for the Mac platform to concentrate its efforts on more financially viable platforms like Windows and Linux.
The news comes as recent multiple survey’s show the acceptance of the platform by MacOS users has been less than 5%.
The blunt, 14-word sentence on its Steam Community website simple read,
“SteamVR has ended OSX support so our team can focus on Windows and Linux.”
The statement went on to say, “We recommended that OSX users continue to opt into the SteamVR [macos] branches for access to legacy builds.”
Valve says legacy builds of the virtual reality platform will remain accessible for OSX users by right-clicking on SteamVR in Steam and selecting Properties, followed by Betas.
Apple announced SteamVR was coming to the Mac at WWDC 2017. Since then, Apple has done little to put its weight behind the platform. Late last year, there was a report that Apple was partnering with Valve to develop its first augmented reality headset. As of late, reports have been that Apple has been working to create its own AR/VR technology.
A recent Valve hardware survey found some 4% of Steam users were using macOS while more than 95% of Steam users are running Windows or Linux.
Inevitable, according to some
The inevitability of the relationship has apparently been on the path of abandonment for some time. Various VR programmers started giving signals in July of 2019 that developments were moving slowly. Oskar Groth, the founder of Swedish Mac OS software maker Cindori, then reported,
“SteamVR, the software that acts as the interface between games/apps and the VR headset, never got out of Beta stage … For 2 years, I worked on improving my app, hoping Valve would step up and come out with a major new update for SteamVR. It never happened. And it probably never will.”
It was then that Groth wrote, “To be fair, the writing was on the wall,” and blamed Valve’s leadership “for this major failure.” Groth went on to write,
“…to be fair, Valve is Valve. A gaming company that is so disorganized, it can’t even manage its game projects properly. (To be clear: I deeply respect the engineers over at Valve. They pioneered the VR space. It’s just very obvious that the company has some very serious internal issues.)”
A spokesperson for Valve and Apple has not responded to a request for comment from Cult of Mac.