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As mobile takes hold, PC Gaming Alliance changes its name
As mobile takes hold, PC Gaming Alliance changes its name
July 23, 2014 | By Kris Graft

The PC Gaming Alliance was founded in 2009 with the purpose of advocating the growth and standardization of games on PC. Now, the non-profitís mission becomes broader.

The group announced this week that it is changing its name to Open Gaming Alliance, or "OGA."

The name change comes after shipments in the traditional PC market fell nearly 10 percent in 2013, according to a March report from market research firm IDC.

OGA noted the need to recognize the rise of mobile games and how "the PC is no longer the dominant gaming form factor."

The group said its mission is to "keep the gaming ecosystem 'open'" and profitable for platforms including traditional desktop computers, laptops, tablets and 2-in-1s.

OGA president and Intel analyst Matt Ployhar said, "Most of the current and future members of the OGA will design their products to be increasingly cross platform, and the definition of 'Personal Computer' also continues to evolve."

OGA members listed on the groupís website include Alienware, Capcom, Intel, Logitech, and Razer.

The OGA also provides research on the video game market, and has an indie developer program.

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Rob Wright
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Hmmm. I agree a name change was in order, but not sure I like this one. "Open" has an air of superiority to it. We know that consoles are propreitary (aka closed) platforms, so saying all non-console gaming platforms are "open" doesn't really sell or communicate what the group is about.

Alan Barton
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"The group said its mission is to "keep the gaming ecosystem 'open'""

That's a good goal and we need all platforms to be open, and more platforms could be more open, so they have more work to do.

E Zachary Knight
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I think that the real reason they dropped the whole PC schtick is that all the real PC players refused to sign up as members. Valve and Blizzard, arguably the two biggest names in PC gaming, never once joined up. Microsoft, while a member at one time, dropped membership a while ago. The group has been nothing much at all since its founding. It sent out a press release once or twice a year and that was it.

The biggest problem with the PCGA was that it was focused on Windows exclusively and most of its work, by that I mean press releases, was focused on promoting DRM and other anti-piracy efforts rather than actually promoting where PC gaming was going. PC is moving to inclusivity of alternative platforms like Linux, Mac and Web. It is moving to a primarily indie dominated sphere. THe PCGA was nothing more than a relic.

I hope that this change works out for them. Unfortunately, their history doesn't bode much confidence in their future work. They will probably retain the tone deaf attitudes they have held for years, just on a larger scale.

This article I wrote a while back really expands on what I just said, and it also alludes to this change in the PCGA.

Kyle Redd
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Yeah I don't think any PC gamers will care much about their new, broader focus. I doubt anyone could name a single concrete benefit for us that was a direct result of the PCGA's advocacy. They seemed to care about PC gaming in the same way Microsoft has over the years.

Organizations like the EFF have probably done more for the platform than the PCGA ever has or will, and the EFF doesn't even care about gaming at all.

Matt Ployhar
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I've followed your comments/criticisms before, and 'tone deaf' isn't accurate by any stretch.

If you actually were to reach out to me & discuss this offline I'd be happy to explain & provide some additional insights wrt to the likes of Blizzard & Valve. Your posts, like this, and on other forums I've read, actually loses you credibility. Not sure why you'd do that to yourself. Feel free to add me on LinkedIn & reach out.

No.. the #1 problem has, and likely always will be, getting everyone on the same page. That's simply the reality of being in an open ecosystem. Several companies continue to believe they can do it 'on their own' - 'don't see the value' of joining etc. It's always been a reap what you sow condition. Most of the bigger ISVs simply don't have time, feel they already have what's necessary for success & so forth. Ironically... they always come back; but I often see pride get in the way.

As for history... there's what everyone see's on the web, which is next to nothing for what we do as a B2B (Business to Business). We invite, and get participation, from every major ISV, & OEM, when we invite them to the table. Joining is not always a requirement for when we're scoping out what to work on next or getting inputs/feedback.

As for the name change - as the Press Release indicates - We went with what we could get our hands on & best matched a cross-open-platform charter. Our members have wanted this for years. A few big fish member prospects have specifically *not* joined because "PC" was in the original name. (It's what I/we inherited). Which on a personal level I feel is sad & a missed opportunity by the industry to grock what a PC is. We were never called the "Windows Gaming Alliance"... So in order to capture the essence of any "Personal Computing" game in an open ecosystem - we went with the OGA namesake.

I for one really don't care what OS (Windows, SteamOS, MacOSX, Android x86, etc) is powering my game, or what the hardware looks like (Laptop, Desktop, AiO, Tablet/Phablet, Phone, SmartTV, etc). What I DO care about is that PC gamers are not being force fed, manipulated, and given limited options for games, upgrades, business models, peripherals, etc.

Let me end it this way: The PCGA has had plenty of people in/outside of the industry poison the well for long enough. I don't see that as constructive. The OGA has its work cut out for it. We'll need all the positive help we can get. It's NOT easy. We do listen. We're not 'tone deaf'. We do need to prioritize. Let's try to work together - that makes far more sense to me.

Jennis Kartens
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What have you actually achieved then? Something that has had a direct or indirect, but notabel, effect on any game... I truly wonder, if you speak of "B2B" and "getting people togehter"

When all this started, there were very little PC or PC exclusive games with high quality. Nowadays, we have thousands of indie titles every week and additionally console game manufactures learned a bit about porting games. Additionally to that, crowdfunding so far works quite good like the recent Divinity has proven once more.

Bart Stewart
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After some thought, I believe I don't mind this change.

It creates room for a new organization that will more actively advocate for the PC -- possibly including sufficiently burly laptops but excluding mobile devices -- as a platform for deeper and more varied games than are typically built to run on other platforms.

Many people make "PCs" so there's no point in having an advocacy group for it on the basis of specific hardware. What matter are the kinds of games that can be made for that caliber of general-purpose computing hardware... and I'd still like to see an industry group actively promoting that.

Benjamin Quintero
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Call me cynical but I've never understood the validity of these types of organizations... Seriously, people get paid to raise awareness of PC and open platforms? Seems pretty impotent to me. There is no enforcement, no certifications or credibility with users. There is no value in slapping a sticker on your product that says you have been approved by this alliance or committee or organization. I might as well put a sticker that says, "50% more fiber" on my game cover; it holds about as much weight to the end user...

I think the IDEA of a group like this is nice, but the reality of it seems without purpose.

Matt Ployhar
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Wrt to "Validity".. not understating the "Value".. "What has the PCGA done for us" type of questions. These are valid criticisms from an external perspective. These questions tell me that we're clearly not articulating what our mission is & what we do.

The 2 main missions of the PCGA when it was originally founded:

1) Was to commission a body of research around what exactly was going on in PC Gaming & then educate the world about it. NO one was doing this diligently. No one had a clear idea of how healthy or unhealthy PC gaming was or wasn't. When we started digging into it there were a *ton* of epiphanies that helped CEOs, Key Decision makers, PC gaming companies trying to determine if they should IPO or not, & so forth. There was no ammunition helping the business case for PC gaming. What did exist was very piecemeal. The PCGA very much helped turn the messaging around that "PC Gaming" was in fact - not dying like everyone was saying prior to its formation. The few exceptions that knew this of course being Valve, Blizzard, etc. Can we track & back this up? Absolutely.

2) Specs & Certs: The idea here was to come up with a baseline developer target to make it easier for Developers to develop PC Games that had a quality bar akin to what Consoles do. Console achieve this in 2 ways. 1) They have a locked down chunk of hardware, and 2) They have a Cert Program. They go hand in hand.

Between just those 2 things - neither of which are trivial - are full time jobs for several people. Try pulling that off in a 501 & getting everyone to come to the table & agree. Believe me.. it's not easy.. nor is it possible to make everyone happy. However; there are 'smart' ways to do it... and 'smart' lines to put in the sand. We actually have achieved this & are slowly rolling it out. There's no 'instant' success to these things. It's start

It's a fun challenge... stay tuned. We have a bunch of other cool news brewing now that some of the foundational pieces are starting to take shape.