Id Software has announced that Quake Live will become a standalone downloadable game by the end of the year, but Mac and Linux users will have to work a little harder to keep playing.
Big changes are coming to Quake Live, the browser-based, free-to-play version of Quake III: Arena that Id rolled out back in 2009. Because of coming changes to how Chrome and Firefox handle plugins like Quake Live, the decision has been made to transition it to a standalone game.
"This change will allow us to have greater control over the game environment, and more tightly integrate the game with the online components going forward," Associate Producer "SyncError" explained on the Quake Live forums. "Some of these benefits will be apparent from day one: getting in and out of games is a smoother experience, and you will be able to view server pings from the match browser before joining the game to better judge connection quality."
The good news is that "the transition will be quick" for anyone who already has Quake Live installed, and player stats will be maintained during the changeover. The bad news, however, is that Mac and Linux gamers will be left out in the cold - officially, at least.
"We will be unable to support Mac and Linux clients with this transition. While we have reports from our testers that the game works through emulation or virtualization software, we are unable to support native Mac and Linux versions," an FAQ states. "If you're using Mac and Linux and have a paid subscription, you will only be able to access the game using emulation or virtualization software."
A release date for the standalone version of Quake Live hasn't been announced, but it's expected to be ready by the end of the year.
Source: Quake Live