[NOTE: There are a lot of rumors floating around regarding
Pharaoh Mac. Not everything you read should be believed. This is
the full and only official statement from Impressions Games and Sierra
Studios on the subject.]
An open letter to Mac gamers,
After much consideration, Impressions Games(TM) must announce the cancellation of our Macintosh version of Pharaoh(TM). We know this will disappoint our loyal Mac fans, no more so than us, but sales of our Mac titles no longer justify the development costs of doing Mac games.
In June of 1999 we released our award-winning PC title, Caesar(TM) III, on the Macintosh. Caesar III has sold nearly 600,000 units world-wide on the PC. As of the end of 1999, the Mac version of Caesar III had sold around 12,000 units. With sales like this, the prospects for Pharaoh Mac did not look good, but we held out hope that the 1999 Christmas selling season would dramatically improve the overall picture. Unfortunately, it did not.
The disparity between Impressions' Mac and PC sales isn't proportionate to the difference between the Mac and PC home installed base. As Mac owners make up more than 5% of all computer owners, we realize that there is some other issue out there. It isn't an issue with quality -- Caesar III Mac was very well received by both press and players alike, garnering a number of awards and recognitions. It isn't an issue with machine viability. The Mac is a solid machine for our games. Our titles run well and trouble-free on it. It's not that we are new to the business. We've done Mac games since 1993. But when the Mac version of our last game sold about 2% of the volume of its PC counterpart, we knew that we had to re-evaluate our commitment to make games for the platform.
It is our sincerest hope that as the market grows and matures, the Macintosh will again become a popular platform for our games, as young and old alike take advantage of the entertainment powers of their machines. The entire Caesar series is available on the Mac, as well as some older titles like Lords of the Realm 2. When it makes sense again, we would like to see the rest of our titles available on the platform. We are a small developer; we are only able to focus on a few projects at a time. After much consideration, we arrived at the conclusion that our time must be spent on products with the greatest possible reach.
We want to thank our fans for their loyalty and patience. It is our sincere hope that someday soon it will once again make sense for us to create games for the Mac, and that once again Mac gamers can claim Impressions Games among their favorite Mac developers. In the meantime, make yourself heard at retailers where you buy your favorite products, and among other gamers, who need to support this platform to make it viable. And us? We will continue to make great strategy games.