Thursday, May 22, 2008

What exactly is the PC Gaming Alliance?

Welcome to the PC Gaming Alliance and our new Blog. The PC Gaming Alliance, formed earlier this year, is a non-profit, open consortium of companies that have joined forces to promote PC Gaming. We firmly believe that PC gaming is a large, vibrant and growing industry, one that we hope to become the authority voice for world wide. Our desire is to use this Blog to have an interactive dialog with the PC gaming community of developers, publishers, consumers, and media. In this entry, I will update on the overall happenings of the PC Gaming Alliance and let you know what you can expect to see from us as we progress towards our goals and deliverables.

On a personal note, the PC Gaming Alliance is one of the more exciting things I have done in my working life. Having the opportunity to work with the biggest and best companies in the PC Gaming Industry is a real treat. Since announcing our little consortium, we have been hard at work to make progress on a number of fronts. The head of each of these efforts has been asked to comment on status of these efforts in their own Blog entries to follow. However, I will briefly update you now on where the PCGA is today and where we will be going over the next several months.

  • Our Charter is to provide an industry voice to PC Gaming. The members of the PC Gaming Alliance are undertaking an effort to tell gamers (and the World) how big PC Gaming is. We expect to have the first of this data available in the 3rd Quarter of this year (sometime in August or September). This data will show that PC Gaming is by far the largest of any gaming platform in the world. By largest I am referring to both revenues and total number of gamers.

  • A second key effort is to provide a set of minimum systems requirements, or stable starting point, for game developers and system builders. After 2 months of organizing, we are starting to move into SMU Guildhall lab (thanks Guildhall for all of your support). The testing will begin soon to find out how to get a list of popular PC games running @ an acceptable frame rate and @ an acceptable quality level. Members of the PC Gaming Alliance are donating equipment and manpower to help facilitate the testing efforts of this lab. When this effort concludes we should be able to announce a starting point and an adjacent marketing program to promote this starting point. The PC Gaming Alliance is looking forward to clearing up minimum systems requirements for gamers. We know that this issue has created problems for the PC Gaming Industry in the past and hope that our efforts, as an industry consortium, will resolve this.

  • Piracy… If you pirate games you need to know that you are stealing. The PC Gaming Alliance believes that gamers should be able to enjoy gaming on the PC without annoying DRM solutions from multiple different vendors getting mixed with different hardware and operating systems to create a confusing and untested environment. If you open a PC Game that you have purchased and don’t want to have to worry about the DRM solution invading your privacy while still protecting the intellectual property of the game developers and publishers then we are going to wind up on the same page. If you believe in stealing games then we want you to know that the PC as a gaming platform is going to suffer as a result. If game developers cannot make money on the PC because of piracy they won’t make PC Games. This year we will attempt to quantify how big PC Game Piracy is. We intend to provide industry recommendations based on the results of this research.

Please provide your feedback. We really enjoy getting suggestions from the community at-large and want to hear from you. Do you believe we are doing enough for the PC Gaming Industry? Is there something you think the PC Gaming Alliance should be doing that it is not?

Regards,

Randy Stude
President, PC Gaming Alliance

10 comments:

Aaron said...

First off I would like to thank the PCGA for its efforts so far to get the real figures out there. However there needs to be more activity on this site, several news sources questioned if PCGA was doing anything because of the inactivity. Even if it is just to comment on industry news, more frequent updates will help remove the impression that everything is at a standstill.

I realise the forum will take a while to open because it has to be managed and moderated correctly, it would be a bad idea to just open the forum and leave it to the mercy of the Internet. With the PCGamer forum recently closing down and being merged with a cross platform site there hasn’t really been a central meeting place for PC gamers, I’m hoping the PCGA forum could become that.

With that said I would like to comment on the recent activity of AMD, more specifically the game programme were PC’s are rated based on their hardware. Like the Windows Vista hardware rating system, it is a good idea to come up with some sort of standard to rate the gaming performance of retail machines. Hardware is always changing so I am sure creating a reliable system consumers can refer to is difficult, whatever it is I am sure it will be better than the confusion caused now.

Regarding piracy, I am concerned on how reliable figures can be measured. I am not sure if figures can be measured; not every download can be considered a potential purchase and there are some gamers who use downloads as a sort of demo, I hope you are not just counting torrent downloads or something. I know piracy is a big issue but I’m just hoping the figures you get back are reliable; no one wants to scare developers away.

vargasnet said...

I think the PC Gaming Alliance is an amazing idea. We need to rescue PC Gaming. We need to think why is console gaming outperforming PC gaming. Is it only the hardware? No.
There are many reasons and they all need to be analyzed carefully. Count me in to help out with ideas or anything I can!

- Daniel Vargas, CRC

Feran said...

Its good to see you guys pushing things forward :).. couple of things though.
Firstly you need to promote your self a bit more within the gaming comunity perhaps on sites like IGN,Gamespot 1UP and all the others.
Your 2nd point about minimum computer stats, if you have not already done so then I think you should include steam/valve in your research as the survey results represents a wide base of PC users, too many to ignor..

lastly when will the forums be back again?

István said...

I'm really eager to get Your figures of the sales, hope You will inculde Your sources too.

What do you guys think of the tpm chip?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusted_Platform_Module
Former Atari president stated, that this could solve the piracy problem. I'm not sure of that, mainly because of what aaron already pointed out.

It would be nice to get other publishers/developers like Ea and Valve to join.
http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,645178/News/Valves_PR-Chef_spricht_ueber_den_PC-Markt_und_dessen_angeblichen_Tod/

Hope the forum will be online soon.

Kibosh said...

I'm a PC Gamer of course and I'm just wondering something.

I was a big fan of the Rainbow Six series. But since the coming of the consoles and Ubisoft bying up Red Storm Entertainment things only got bad. Now with there latest Rainbow Six Vegas 2 all real PC gamers hate Ubisoft for what it has done to their favorite game. Here is a link to clear up what I'm talking about: http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/1991064316/m/9421057756/p/14

I really hope the PC Gaming Alliance succeed in saving the PC games, but things look bad at this time. But what is your guy's stand on the example?

Shawn said...

It's great to see some life on the PCGA website. I've added the RSS feed, and have been checking for updates. It's vital for PR and building a healthy community to maintain this site and try to stay on top of the latest issues and news.

I would love to see more activity on this site, perhaps hire a blogger or editorial staff to create a central news site related to PC gaming, similar to joystiq or kotaku. Both of those sites are great for console news/editorial, and although they have PC news too, it's lacking a proper PC staff like most sites. You essentially have many sites that report on PC gaming, but aren't PC gamers, and don't give a PC perspective on the subject. It would be nice to get reactions from those who actually have a vested interest in the platform.

Glad to see numbers will be coming out later this year, Q3 as you say. I'm also looking forward to seeing what kind of report there is on piracy as well. But, there needs to be clarification of the numbers, a correlation of how sales are affected in comparison to when games are pirated. Are games with higher system reqs being pirated more often? Are games lacking demos being pirated more frequently? Games with DRM, are they more pirated? etc..etc..Basically, I would like to see some real meaning behind the numbers, not just "hey, here's game X, it was downloaded illegally X amount of times in July..etc...".

Exploring different economic solutions for developers would be another great analysis. Ad based gaming(in and out of game), Monthly Fees, Usage Fees, Microtransaction based fees, etc..

How about getting Valve/Blizzard on board as a partner to give their take on the current situation under the PCGA voice. Seems like missing them from the alliance is not a good thing, as they are two of the most respected Developers on PC, ever. Many PC gamers were scratching their head concerning their membership. STEAM is a huge part of PC Gaming, and needs to be part of this coalition.

Rohit said...

While reiterating aaron's thoughts on piracy, i would also like to add ; to put it frankly, the PCGA is a body that represents the industry, so any piracy related studies they do might not be considered to be 'disinterested research' by everyone.
Industry bodies are known to
1)exaggerate the threat of piracy to profits
2) not realise that large-file sharing is simply going to increase as the internet evolves and they cannot possibly monitor all of it.

Its the same as what happened when you had VCR's and tape recorders.
However the critical point is that only a small fraction of 'illegal' downloads is a 'potential purchase'

István said...

@shawn

Blizzard is involved in some way, Vivendi/Activision(the owner of Blizzard) is a part of the alliance.

banish said...

mann...i hope you guys will work your magic and bring us on the PC games like Gears od war 2,Fable 2,Final Fantasy XIII...

banish said...

mann i hope in the begining of 2009 or maybe later on i don't realy care about how much i have to wait...i hope that Epic will bring us Gears of war 2 for the PC,Microsoft will bring us Fable 2 to the PC FF XIII,CAPCOM Rezident Evil 5 for the PC...i am a hardcore PC GAMER and i WILL DIE A PC GAMER...i don't own a XBOX and don't intend on buynd one either..so...either i Play a good game on the PC or i won't play that game at all.I am sick and tired of us buying the best PC components and spending a lot of money and never be the same as the consoles and we hear all the time:ITS THE PIRACI....yeah wright...HELLO!!!THE XBOX can be pirated as well...i know that you guys don't have an easy job but you are smart guys you will sort it out...i am not the only one that thinks this way...we don't want to be special we just want to be equal with the consoles