The Circuitous Reasons Why Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Is No Longer Playable On Macs
If you have never played PlatinumGames' Raiden-focused Metal Gear Solid spinoff, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, then you are missing out. The parry-heavy action game featured a number of cool moments, great gameplay, and some impressive audio innovations during boss fights. The game was ported to PC in 2014 and Mac OSX later that same year, but it seems like the Mac version no longer works due to a DRM issue and what appears to be a pivot to real estate financing.
When Metal Gear Rising was released on PC, Konami tapped Canadian studio TransGaming to port the game to Mac, as well. TransGaming, which had partnered with paid WINE variation Cider to bring Windows games to Mac, ported the game over within the year. The way Steam works, Mac and PC versions don't have separate store pages, meaning whatever version of Metal Gear Rising someone bought was agnostic, and the store page stated for years that the game had both PC and Mac compatibility.
A recent post on Reddit, which involved a player downloading, installing, and attempting to boot the game on their Macbook Pro, ended with a consistent error message. The poster, tryingtowakeupnow, came to the conclusion that TransGaming included DRM that now renders the game unplayable. And they're absolutely right.
In 2008, TransGaming issued a press release stating that they would be including Sony Digital Audio Disc Corporation's SecuROM protection in every single Cider-partnered game they ported. This meant that every Mac port they touched, whether the Windows version had it or not, included SecuROM digital rights management, or DRM, that phoned home to launch any game. TransGaming CEO Vikas Gupta categorized it as a major win for publishers.
“Our ability to offer Sony DADC’s security solution is imparting substantial comfort to our publishers and developers interested in the Mac gaming market and demonstrates a clear advantage as to why Cider is the leading solution for Mac games enablement," Gupta stated in the 2008 press release.
An interesting if perhaps irrelevant note at this point is that, on the day of release, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance on PC included DRM that required an online connection. A day after release, it was patched out, with PlatinumGames handling the PC port internally and explaining the online connection requirement was a bug.
The SecuROM issue on the Mac version was an annoying issue, but did not stir up much controversy. While Valve has not released details about the percentage of games that get downloaded on Apple's operating system, it was likely a smaller percentage in 2014 than it is now.
In 2016, TransGaming announced an intention to divest from the gaming business and spin off their gaming services into various frontends. A final patch for Metal Gear Rising was pushed to Steam in January 2017 with the DRM going offline in March of last year. Since then, whenever the game has tried to launch and call home, it has simply produced an error message and closed. For whatever reason, SecuROM does not call original developers PlatinumGames, nor publisher Konami, but instead TransGaming, which is now defunct.
TransGaming, it turns out, pivoted to real estate financing under the name FinDev. They did not respond to our emails asking about the various Mac ports that were produced under the TransGaming banner. It is not clear what the January patch did, but it did not remove the DRM. It is again important to note at this point that neither the developers nor the publisher seemingly asked TransGaming to include SecuROM in the Mac port and it was, by their own admission, just a matter of company policy.
We contacted Valve, who have now removed the Mac compatibility from Metal Gear Rising's store page, what the protocol is for refunds in situations like this, but we did not hear back by the time of writing.
At the end of the Reddit post, tryingtowakeupnow has a solution, but it's one they feel is unnecessary.
"Yeah, I'll install it onto my Bootcamp partition," the post ends. "But the fact is I shouldn't have to fix a problem purely of Konami's and Transgaming's making."