Microsoft and NVIDIA exit PC Gaming Alliance

Founding members depart for unknown reasons

Current PC Gaming Alliance head Matt Ployhar has confirmed rumours that founding members Microsoft and NVIDIA have left the platform advocacy industry collective.

The two gaming tech giants' logos were discovered as having disappeared from the PCGA's site last week, with Ployhar eventually addressing the speculation to Big Download.

While the site indirectly quotes Ployhar as claiming the two heavy-hitters' departure would not affect the not-for-profit group, he would not give reasons for their exit - maintaining that should be done by Microsoft and NVIDIA themselves.

Activision Blizzard, another of the group's founders, departed the PCGA in 2009. Another major member, AMD has apparently now downscaled its status with the group from 'Promoter' to 'Contributor.' Still remaining as Promoters are Dell, Intel, Epic Games, Capcom, Razer and Sony DADC.

In a recent blog post, Ployhar set out his plans for the PCGA and defended its purpose and achievements to date. "A large majority of our members want to continue moving towards exploring ways to provide better leadership to the PC Gaming Ecosystem at large and use the data we've accumulated to make informed decisions to help ship better games."

While he claimed it would be "premature to speculate" on the group's next objectives, he suggested areas of focus should be streamlining gaming hardware requirements, tackling piracy and attitudes towards DRM, and ease of use issues.

In terms of the PCGA's ultimate agenda, he claimed that "We simply want to ship better games, which are more fun, more profitable to the ISVs so they can hopefully keep feeding us more games, but also providing more value back to the consumers."

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Latest comments (10)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
Well, that's quite surprising considering MS made a renewed commitment to PC gaming a handful of months ago, and are (were?) planning on releasing Fable III on PC.

I also find it a little odd that Activision Blizzard are no longer part of the group, considering their main revenue stream is a PC exclusive, and while Blizzard might expand to incorporate consoles in the future, PCs will obviously remain their focus for the foreseeable future.
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 8 years ago
The PC Gaming Alliance was always a joke anyway. Epic, Sony and MS were never big "PC" gaming advocates over the last five years (despite their talking they never walked the walk) and Activision's main focus is on consoles with the exception of Blizzard who's focus is purely PC (as far as i can see). MS' promises on PC gaming were always hollow and, while graphics and physics are no longer pushing the boundaries on PC due to console development focus, both NVidia and ATI are pretty much not selling their cards based on this premise at the moment. I mean, when a 8800GTS or a 4870pro will suffice for 90% of the games on the market what do we need the latest and greatest for? No, if i were either graphics company my focus would be on low-cost "integrated" rivals for the bulk PC business and the new tablet/netbook space. Console chipset licences are also nice too!!

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James Landi Web Journalists | PC Gaming Advocate 8 years ago
Interesting, as most "PC gamers" see Microsoft as PC gaming's biggest hurdle. As Terence said, where is Microsoft and their renewed commitment when it comes to PC gaming? All we see are more exclusive Xbox Live content from them.

The year before last, I stopped by the PCGA's 10x20 booth at CES and asked them about Microsoft's involvement. All they could say was they are a cornerstone to their efforts. I told them, the PCGA would benefit more by having the end user (customers) active in their efforts to improve PC gaming.

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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
I just checked out the PCGA website to look at the members, it seems a bit weird that Capcom, a company who in my perception were always primarily concole centric are promonent on the members list, but Valve arn't on there, despite how much they have shaped PC gaming in the last decade.
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Microsoft is killing pc gaming with XBox development.
They made it so close that now almost every "PC game" is actually a tremendously horrid port of an XBox game. "Games for Windows Live!" only makes it worse as it ties this all into a redundant system that ends up only causing grief to the players. As an example, last week I bought Arkham Asylum for 3,75 on steam and it has caused me nothing but outrage. Even a game as acclaimed as that can and DOES suffer horribly from these problems.

After half an hour trying to sort GfWL out, I finally got in the game and decided to give it a go. Picked up my joypad and went to the controls. As usual the game assumes you have an XBox controller and there are no configurations available. I brush this yet another bit of irritation aside and enter the game. As I press up batman moves backward. Alt-F4. Haven't managed to play a whole minute of that game yet

This would be certainly directed to the developers of that specific game, but the problem is that AA is NOT an exception on this. Certainly we have some ports that are least are done with some respect, and Overlord comes to mind here, but THESE are becoming exceptions and crap ports are everywhere. It's as if PC has completely lost its dignity as a platform and gets no respect "Throw them a banana, that'll shut the pc crowd up long enough for them to go back to wow"

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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 8 years ago
@ Jehferson Wohllerz Curupana da Rocha e Mello (fabulous name) :)

You might be right about MS killing PC-gaming with xbox development, but on the otherhand I wouldnt completely point my finger at MS. Its not like they are a huge publisher nowadays. Most games for the xbox are thirdparty titles so the reason might mostly lie on their lap aswell.

Regarding Arkham, Its a stretch to call that particular title on the PC as a "tremendously horrid port of an XBox game". It was a fabulous game on X360 and PS3 and an excellent port to the PC.
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Agreed that it's not their fault directly. What I feel is that it's leading to complacence and we get progressively worse ports. I believe that a large part of the fault lies with something actually very beautiful that MS tried to do, approach XBox and Windows game development to the point where a software developed for one can be almost readily-deployed to the other. The problem is that the PC has a whole other set of constraints, it's a much more demanding world, and games are then being made for XBox and ported to windows in an afternoon (or at least that's the feeling), leading to worse and worse results that, for some reason, still get released.

And about AA, that game needs to make me play enough to leave the first room in order to be anything other than an "horrid port". So far, a full week and no such luck. I know I could use the programming software on my controller to map and axis to another axis and so and forth, but this is a full release "AAA Game", not a piece of defective demo I coded in an afternoon. Having to do this to try and play the game is completely unacceptable.
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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 8 years ago
@ Jehferson

I played AA on my PC aswell just with the difference that I used a mouse and keyboard.
I acknowledge that it should be just as usable with a pad but some concessions need to be made when a good game is in question. I actually found the Mouse+keyboard combo to be very well implemented.
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I think it's the opposite. Because we're talking about a game that's so "top-quality" and such a multi-millionaire production, we do NOT have to make any concessions. I don't even think we should. A Topic that's constantly resurfacing lately is the economic sustainability of such productions. If serious people are spending that much money to make half-finished games then truly the situation looks dire.
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Adam Campbell Studying Games Technology, City University London8 years ago
As I said before, I think the organisation is pretentious and unnecessary. I see no value in companies sinking money into it, when it doesn't benefit PC gaming at all. Most people just want great products for their platform, not promises of how a few will support the biggest platform in the world and make money on it..

I'm not surprised by the announcements at all. We need to come back to reality, and see the platform is doing just fine without a little exclusive club, the more that defect the merrier, I think Activision-Blizzard, Microsoft and nVIDIA are making a strong statement on their own.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 22nd February 2011 3:19am

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