Letter from Matt—ESO’s Future Mac Support

17/11/2020

Read a letter from Matt Firor, ZOS’s Studio Director, on how we’re changing the way we support ESO on Macs moving forward.


As most Mac users know, last summer Apple announced that new Macs will no longer be built with Intel CPUs. Instead, new Macs will utilize a new custom-built ARM CPU going forward. The first of these devices was announced earlier this month at an Apple event.

Please be aware that these new ARM-based Macs cannot run software created for Intel-based computers. Additionally, these new machines will not support Boot Camp either, so you cannot dual boot an ARM-based Mac into Windows. This means that all software running on the new Macs must either be re-written for ARM or must run through an emulator. X86 emulation comes with a significant performance impact—in general, emulation is okay for software like office productivity apps, but not for gaming.

All of this puts a burden on software developers like ZOS to port their products to the new architecture. It is a huge undertaking to port a product as old, large, and complex as ESO to a new CPU, with no certain outcome of success. Because of these factors, we will not be porting ESO to run on the new ARM-based Macs. ESO will continue to run on Intel-based Macs, and we will support it as long as there is a large enough Mac user base to warrant it. While it will be technically possible to run ESO via x86 emulation on the new Macs, expect a subpar gaming experience that we will not officially support.

If you purchase a new ARM-based Mac, you will still have some options to play ESO. The most obvious one is that you can log into your account from any PC (or Intel-based Mac) and still be able to play with all of your account and character data. You also have the option of playing (with your current account and characters) on Stadia, a cloud-streaming service that uses the same servers as your current Mac-based accounts—so if you do use Stadia, you can continue to play uninterrupted with your existing account and character data.

Matt


If you have any questions regarding ESO running on Macs with Intel CPUs, please feel free to visit the Elder Scrolls Online Help Portal or contact the help team. 

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