Thanks to Rosetta 2, the transition from Intel to Apple Silicon is seamless for users. Regardless, an application optimized for the new architecture benefits from better performance, which is particularly important for the most greedy and especially for games. The first optimized titles begin to arrive, but there are still a priori a great stumbling block: Steam.
This heavyweight for PC gaming is not yet optimized for the Mac M1 and the macOS app relies on Rosetta 2 to run. Your role as an intermediary can, at the same time, block games purchased from this store. When they run, they should stay in the emulation layer built into macOS for now, even if their designers offer an optimized version of Apple Silicon as well.
In any case, this is what Feral explains in the FAQ of the Game Total War: Rome Remastered. While this title will be powered by Apple Silicon at the time of its launch, scheduled for April 29, and will be delivered directly as a universal binary, the version distributed and run through Steam will continue to be reserved for Intel Mac. will work in both cases on Mac M1, but via Rosetta 2 on going through steam while the game offered on the Mac App Store will be optimized for both architectures.
Feral explicitly states that the issue is on Steam, but this is the first time we’ve heard of it. Apple Silicon Optimized Games are still very rare and one of the first, World of warcraft, it is not distributed by Steam. As to Baldur’s Gate 3, highlighted by Apple during the presentation of the new Macs, the optimized version is not yet distributed and the game is still based on Rosetta 2 at the moment.
While it is true that Steam limits macOS games to Rosetta, we can also deduce that the Apple Silicon optimized version of the store is not planned quickly. One can imagine that Feral would not have communicated about it if the company had known that the update would arrive in the next few weeks. It seems that patience is needed and perhaps it is necessary to privilege the games sold in the Mac App Store or through other channels for the moment.