Blizzard announces World of Warcraft will run natively on Apple Silicon from day one

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Gamers and Mac fans, rejoice! Blizzard has announced that World of Warcraft will run natively on Apple Silicon from day one.

This update was delivered to the world on Blizzard’s forum. In it, the company stated that support will be arriving coming in this week’s patch, specifically 9.0.2. The post goes on to say that World of Warcraft will run natively on ARM64 architecture, rather than operating under emulation on Rosetta.

What this means for you, the Mac-toting WoW lover, is that your MMORPG of choice should run slickly and smoothly on Apple’s new machines. Of course, there are likely to be some teething issues, but the fact World of Warcraft will run natively on Apple Silicon is music to the ears of macOS gamers. Even if you’re probably quite a small bunch.

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Apple machines and macOS aren’t known for being gaming powerhouses, but WoW is one of the few AAA titles that has had long term support on the platform.

Since its announcement last week, Apple Silicon has been the talk of the tech industry. Whether it is people doing deep dives into the project’s first chip, the M1, or its first benchmarks coming out, the whole sector is paying close attention to the Cupertino giant.

This is the first time in almost 15 years that Apple has changed its processors, and this time round is different: because it’s making the chipsets itself.

There are touted to be a shedload of improvements over the previous Intel processors — including a better power to battery consumption ratio — but the majority of the performance enhancements of the M1 chip are not game-focused. Which isn’t a huge surprise.

Although gaming is something Apple is pursuing aggressively on its mobile devices, it is comparatively quiet about this on its notebooks and desktops.

This is why Blizzard announcing that World of Warcraft will run natively on Apple Silicon from day one is interesting for the wider industry. This not only allows continuity for players, but also could give a clue to other game publishers about whether the M1 chip and Apple’s new machines will be easy to develop for. And, perhaps more importantly, port existing titles to.

If this is a success, one would hope to see other Blizzard titles (such as Overwatch or Starcraft) get native support, as well as games from other companies too.

Currently, it’s impossible to even know if the new Macs with the M1 chip will function well in the real world, let alone for gaming. But, the fact the WoW port has happened so quickly and (presumably) smoothly, has to be seen as good news for Mac gamers in general.

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Published November 17, 2020 — 11:05 UTC

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