Computer users often hate having to have a CD or DVD in their drive to run a game. To circumvent this, images are often burned to hard drives or cracks used. Cracks are rapidly found for Windows, but it can be an extreme chore to find them for Macs.
EA use a product called Cider to power many of their Mac games. Cider basically adds a wrapper around the original PC game, and translates it on-the-fly to Mac. The recent release of 'The Sims 3', for example, works on OS X and Windows due to Cider.
Cider is likely to become more wide-spread. It saves game developers from having to develop ports, allows Mac and PC games to be released at the same time and ultimately little extra work must be put in to reach a larger market.
But Cider also allows certain Windows cracks to be implemented on Macs.
On OS X, Applications are actually just packages. If you have The Sims 3, for example, and go to the App and right click on 'Show Package Contents', and then choose 'transgaming', you will see a Windows folder structure. In there, all the files you'd expect to see are there. Basically, there's a 'The Sims 3.app>Contents>Resources>transgaming>c_drive>program files>Electronic Arts>The Sims 3' folder.
The benefit of there being a hidden Windows folder structure in these apps is simple. If there's a No-CD crack where you just have to replace a .exe, you find that .exe inside the Package and replace it. And then it works just like it does under Windows.
This won't work on the other hand if you need to run a Windows program to modify game files as they are not designed for the Mac operating system and won't work because of this.
Cider is not only used by EA but also by 2K, Rockstar, Disney and Sony to name a few companies.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.