Steam drops support for macOS Mojave, effectively ending the life of many 32-bit games – Ars Technica

Steam drops support for macOS Mojave, effectively ending the life of many 32-bit games – Ars Technica

MacOS Mojave wallpaper.
Zoom in / MacOS Mojave wallpaper.

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Valve Software’s Steam game marketplace and apps will drop support for macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) and 10.14 (Mojave), according to a support page post. The change will take effect on February 15, 2024.

What exactly will happen? Valve writes:

After that date, existing Steam Client installations on these operating systems will no longer receive updates of any kind including security updates. Steam Support will not be able to provide technical support to users for issues related to older operating systems, and Steam will not be able to guarantee continued Steam functionality on unsupported operating system versions.

macOS 10.14 (which Apple calls Mojave) was released more than five years ago, and time has a way of moving forward, so this may not seem like a big deal at first glance. But there’s a reason that’s especially noteworthy as these things stand: This change means the end of support for later versions of macOS that can run 32-bit games.

Although most of the Steam game library for Mac is 64-bit, there are many 32-bit Mac games that have never been updated. If you purchased and installed it via Steam, continued access is not guaranteed, even if you are still using High Sierra or Mojave.

“Steam will stop considering games that offer only 32-bit macOS binaries for Mac compatibility at the end of 2023,” Valve wrote. The post also notes that less than two percent of current Mac users on Steam are using macOS 10.14 or earlier, so this only affects the small number who maintain those older versions that support 32-bit apps.

To be clear, the lack of support for macOS 10.14 doesn’t necessarily mean that Steam won’t work at all on devices running that operating system. It just means that Valve won’t guarantee it will work, nor will it lift a finger to help if something breaks over time. This also means that users who continue to use outdated software may become vulnerable to security risks, discouraging continued use.

It seems Valve hasn’t taken the lead on this; It even responds to Google ending support for macOS 10.13 and 10.14 in Chrome. Several parts of the Steam user experience depend on Chrome.

Finally, running historical games on a Mac is complicated by waves of deprecation. PowerPC has given way to Intel, Intel Macs have moved from 32-bit to 64-bit, and more recently, Apple has moved the Mac from Intel to Apple Silicon with the M1 chip and its successors. Each of these changes made playing certain games natively before more difficult or even impossible, although Rosetta 2 allowed a much larger number of 64-bit Intel Mac games to be maintained on Apple Silicon than initially feared.

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