By Alice O'Connor on July 23rd, 2014 at 11:00 am.
“To advance the PC as a worldwide gaming platform” was the mission statement of the PC Gaming Alliance upon formation in 2008. Microsoft, Intel, Epic, AMD, Nvidia, Activision, and other big names were dedicated to the exciting but vague cause. It’s now even vaguer, as the PC Gaming Alliance has embraced mobile gaming and branded itself as the Open Gaming Alliance.
All we’ve really seen from the nonprofit over the years is reports telling us people spend money on PC games. One big goal it stated was assuaging system requirement confusion through certifying gaming PCs, but it’s never come together. That particular plan’s seemed futile since Microsoft and Nvidia left in 2011. Many others have left over the years too.
The change comes, in the Open Gaming Alliance’s own words, “as the market for digital games grows on a variety of mobile platforms and as the PC is no longer the most dominant gaming form factor.” They still welcome PCs, but now it seems they’re broadly in favour of any video game not on a console. They’re awfully keen on multiplatform gaming and all that. Good for them. It’s probably sensible for the Alliance to not focus on something which never needed it in the first place.
It was puzzling. The name Alliance implied PC gaming was under attack, needing defenders and advocates. The lineup of big names was bold and intimidating, suggesting action. They spoke of providing a unified voice for PC gaming. Meanwhile, PC gaming was somehow managing to enter its most exciting period yet, without them.
They were trying to speak for things they didn’t understand. One PCGA report even seemed surprised that PC gaming was doing so well. The PCGA was born of old ways–retail releases and the rat race of endless PC upgrades–and membership skews heavily towards hardware rather than games. They could only observe the indie bloom afterwards from afar, and a body trying to speak for PC gaming without Valve (and Steam) was always daft.
A big fancy report stating there was money in that there PC gaming might conceivably have helped nudge a few investors into supporting a hypothetical game, I guess I can imagine, but the visible effects of the PC Gaming Alliance are few and far between.
While the Open Gaming Alliance may still express interest in PC gaming, it never needed them.