PC Gaming Alliance Will Bring the Noise in 2011

PC Gaming Alliance Will Bring the Noise in 2011

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The new president of the PC Gaming Alliance says one of his priorities for 2011 is to make the historically low-profile organization "a lot more public and vocal."

The PC Gaming Alliance was founded three years ago by numerous industry heavyweights as a way to promote the mouse and keyboard in an increasingly console-centric world. Or so it seemed, anyway; the reality has been considerably different. Since its founding, the organization has put out a grand total of ten - yes, ten - press releases (including one announcing its formation), most of which were simply notifications of new members joining the group.

It's not what you'd call gripping stuff (although the March 2010 announcement that PC gaming software revenue had grown by three percent year-over-year had the hair on the back of my neck standing straight up) and while the PCGA may be an industry-focused group, it's tough to be seen as the champion of a cause if nobody knows you exist. That's one issue that Matt Ployhar, who succeeded Randy Stude as PCGA President in December 2010, wants to address right away.

"The PCGA was founded for two reasons. What they did, is they went into the mode, if you will, where they felt like instead of, 'OK, it's better going loud and proud and being really vocal and visible,' it was kind of like, 'OK, let's build out a body of research so we've got kind of a belated backup to what we're saying here'," Ployhar explained in an interview with Gamasutra. "And you can't really do that overnight. People know that you're a real entity, and you're data-driven, and it's not opinions and emotions-based."

Ployhar said the PCGA has done a great job at assembling statistics to show that the condition of the PC gaming industry isn't nearly as dire as some people think, but hasn't been as effective in communicating that information to the public. "That was one of the things I'm looking at and going, 'You guys got all these software best practices, all this stuff, but you don't talk about it'," he said.

"We've got a ton of things to talk about, and a ton of things that we are already working on. So, better communication, level-setting expectations, outlining what we're going to be doing for 2011. We've got a pretty big announcement coming up for GDC," he continued. "The way I look at it or articulate internally, is taking this organization from crawl to walk. This is a marathon, not a sprint. That's where we are today. It's helping and gathering, building things out, so that we can be a lot more public and vocal, and vociferous."

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Didn't they say that last year? I certainly remember them saying something similar before, and then proceeding to do pretty much nothing since.

Well, hopefully he's successful at it. I didn't really know these guys existed beyond a couple articles here on Escapist.

Moar power to ya'll I guess.
Now will you please tell me when Heart of the Swarm is coming out?

well i prefer not using the mouse and keyboard if at all possible, but hey it's good something like this exists, they really need more media though as i have only heard of them once before =\

...I didn't even know they existed, so I don't think they are doing their job well :/

Who is in the group?

I hope they point out the dispargy between some companies raising costs for pc games to console levels. Some new games are costing 60 dollars for pc, now that is fine and dandy except, on consoles you can rent games and you can resell games. But pc game with drm and the like that that now costs 60 dollars cannot be rented and it has 0 resale value. Why should pc gamers be expected to pay the same as a ps3 game? ps3 games lest had the excuse the blu ray disks cost more to make and therefore that extra 10 dollars went towards something.

Add to that why are not console games rising in price since sony and microsoft get a cut of that price on console? WHere pc games the publisher and the retailer get a cut minus the exclusive fee to sell that game on a console that is added.

Not G. Ivingname:
...I didn't even know they existed, so I don't think they are doing their job well :/

Who is in the group?

Microsoft, the SecuROM developers, Epic...

I'll believe it when I see it. But I would like to once again see some "mature" games that require more logic skills than a four-year-old possesses. Achieving that will require the de-consolization of the industry, so hopefully these guys can get started on that.

Delusibeta:
Didn't they say that last year? I certainly remember them saying something similar before, and then proceeding to do pretty much nothing since.

That was my exact thoughts reading the article. Thought it was just deja-vu at first. :D

Were they all too busy playing TF2 or something? IVE put out more press releases in that time! And im just a Hunter S. Thompson Avatar connected to a british nerd!

Delusibeta:
Epic...

if only it was really true

Xzi:
I'll believe it when I see it. But I would like to once again see some "mature" games that require more logic skills than a four-year-old possesses. Achieving that will require the de-consolization of the industry, so hopefully these guys can get started on that.

They need to get started on doing pretty much anything at all before they can start reshaping PC Gaming as a whole. They started this PC Gaming Alliance thing two or three years ago, the first year they released the "PC Gaming Bill of Rights", which people took seriously for all about a week and they've been a joke ever since.

Every year it's pretty much the same press release, "The PC Gaming Alliance is here to reshape the state of PC Gaming and revitalize and make it a viable platform for games...blah blah blah." And then...nothing...at all...ever. It's really quite disappointing.

Unfortunately this is one of those ideas that looks good on paper but in practice it will never work. The barrier to making something like this work is that you need to get every company that makes PC games to cooperate and set some basic standards for PC games and that's never gonna happen. Nobody will agree to standardize certain aspects of their games like they're forced to do to get their games on the consoles.

I only knew of their existence because of the Escapist.

I laugh at this group. Plenty of GOOD and PROPER PC games are being made.

I finally got an HDTV so one of the first things I did was hook my PC up and play some Oblivion. I first played Oblivion on the 360 and when I finally did get it on PC, I wished I could use the 360 controller. I thought that with the HDTV and wireless keyboard and mouse, I could just sit back and relax while playing (like I could on the 360). Nope, as it turns out the mouse and keyboard are hard to use on the couch and I spend a lot of time repositioning them. I really only use a few buttons to play Oblivion, I could easily map them to the 360 controller if the game would allow it (I know I can download software to do it and I might just do that).

So if they are going to promote PC gaming, they could promote the other features like improved graphics, custom-ability, that PC's can use controllers as well as the standard keyboard and mouse.

Well, as an exclusive PC gamer I'm completely behind them. Although this is the first time even hearing of such an alliance.

It seems, and as said, they've been very bland, as publicity and noise is pretty much the single most important thing they can do. That research better be worth the three years of time used on it. Let's just hope they'll change something.

The consolization, if you will, has brought: so straightforward and ports that I wouldn't be surprised to see an X360 or a PS3 logo forgotten in the menu, keymappings for controllers so you have to walk/use/shoot/duck from the same key and ignore 70% of the keyboard and the accuracy of the mouse, dead simple games that fall short from the level of complexity of Amiga for example...

Anyways, if it took them three years to realize what they are going to do, I hope it takes less time to take action.

teh_Canape:

Delusibeta:
Epic...

if only it was really true

It is true. AMD, CAPCOM, EPIC, INTEL, RAZER, DELL are the members. Too bad that M$ owns the rights to all things Gears of War.

€dit:

Holy shit! Nvidia, Intel, Microsoft, Acer, Activision are apparently in it too - still M$ and Activison fuck us over constantly. So it looks like just being a member doesn't mean jack all.

The Imp:

It is true. AMD, CAPCOM, EPIC, INTEL, RAZER, DELL are the members. Too bad that M$ owns the rights to all things Gears of War.

I was talking about PC and Epic

apparently, Epic has forgotten about us little folk in the recent time

Fasckira:

Delusibeta:
Didn't they say that last year? I certainly remember them saying something similar before, and then proceeding to do pretty much nothing since.

That was my exact thoughts reading the article. Thought it was just deja-vu at first. :D

You're probably thinking of Microsoft.

Andy Chalk:

Fasckira:

Delusibeta:
Didn't they say that last year? I certainly remember them saying something similar before, and then proceeding to do pretty much nothing since.

That was my exact thoughts reading the article. Thought it was just deja-vu at first. :D

You're probably thinking of Microsoft.

No, he's right, the PC Gaming Alliance has in the past come forward and made all these claims on how they're going to change PC gaming for the better...then they do nothing, until the next year when they roll out the grand claims yet again...only to do nothing to back them up.

So... It's a bunch of elitists going on about how the PC community is better than everyone? Bleh, next please.

Garak73:
I finally got an HDTV so one of the first things I did was hook my PC up and play some Oblivion. I first played Oblivion on the 360 and when I finally did get it on PC, I wished I could use the 360 controller. I thought that with the HDTV and wireless keyboard and mouse, I could just sit back and relax while playing (like I could on the 360). Nope, as it turns out the mouse and keyboard are hard to use on the couch and I spend a lot of time repositioning them. I really only use a few buttons to play Oblivion, I could easily map them to the 360 controller if the game would allow it (I know I can download software to do it and I might just do that).

So if they are going to promote PC gaming, they could promote the other features like improved graphics, custom-ability, that PC's can use controllers as well as the standard keyboard and mouse.

You're kind of new to this huh? The things that you listed can already be accomplished on the PC. In fact it's the reason I went to PC gaming. All it really takes is a bit of research and some cash every now and then. I guess the idea of being able to use a controller for all games could be something that would possibly get worked out. However, many of the games that you have the ability to play (even most console ports) greatly benefit from the keyboard/ mouse control scheme, because for the most part you have greater control over the character and camera (especially the camera). It takes a while to get used to using this method of control, but once you get used to it you'll have a hard time going back to a controller.

I have a similar setup as you do and play games on my couch all the time with a wireless keyboard and mouse. If you have an optical mouse it might be easier to set it directly on the couch cushion, if not use a book with the mouse pad. There are also certain computer trays that you can put on your lap. These are relatively inexpensive and make it so you can have your keyboard at a comfortable angle no matter where you sit in your living room.

OT: It's kind of funny that PC gaming kind of takes a dip a couple years back, due to the fact that everyone is blinded by the simplicity of consoles nowadays. I am seeing that more people are getting into pc gaming as of recent. I suspect that either consoles are going to more and more PC-like (a trend that we are already starting to see), or there are going to be enough PC gamers that come out of this gen that the PC will be a substantial platform again market-wise.

Jeffro Tull:

Garak73:
I finally got an HDTV so one of the first things I did was hook my PC up and play some Oblivion. I first played Oblivion on the 360 and when I finally did get it on PC, I wished I could use the 360 controller. I thought that with the HDTV and wireless keyboard and mouse, I could just sit back and relax while playing (like I could on the 360). Nope, as it turns out the mouse and keyboard are hard to use on the couch and I spend a lot of time repositioning them. I really only use a few buttons to play Oblivion, I could easily map them to the 360 controller if the game would allow it (I know I can download software to do it and I might just do that).

So if they are going to promote PC gaming, they could promote the other features like improved graphics, custom-ability, that PC's can use controllers as well as the standard keyboard and mouse.

You're kind of new to this huh? The things that you listed can already be accomplished on the PC. In fact it's the reason I went to PC gaming. All it really takes is a bit of research and some cash every now and then. I guess the idea of being able to use a controller for all games could be something that would possibly get worked out. However, many of the games that you have the ability to play (even most console ports) greatly benefit from the keyboard/ mouse control scheme, because for the most part you have greater control over the character and camera (especially the camera). It takes a while to get used to using this method of control, but once you get used to it you'll have a hard time going back to a controller.

I have a similar setup as you do and play games on my couch all the time with a wireless keyboard and mouse. If you have an optical mouse it might be easier to set it directly on the couch cushion, if not use a book with the mouse pad. There are also certain computer trays that you can put on your lap. These are relatively inexpensive and make it so you can have your keyboard at a comfortable angle no matter where you sit in your living room.

OT: It's kind of funny that PC gaming kind of takes a dip a couple years back, due to the fact that everyone is blinded by the simplicity of consoles nowadays. I am seeing that more people are getting into pc gaming as of recent. I suspect that either consoles are going to more and more PC-like (a trend that we are already starting to see), or there are going to be enough PC gamers that come out of this gen that the PC will be a substantial platform again market-wise.

Me? New to computers? LOL, I have been using computers for 20 years and gaming on computers just as long. I have been gaming with controllers for longer though, dating back to the Atari 2600. I had a C64 and played with joysticks on there too. It isn't that I am new to this, it's that the keyboard mouse combo is not my preferred control scheme except in RTS games.

I have a laser mouse and it works fine on the couch but when I let go of it, it slides into my leg and I have to reposition it. I use a pillow to allow the keyboard to sit flat on my legs but when I let go of it, it slides towards me. It's better than sitting at a desk for hours playing a game but it is not better than a controller.

I already know the strengths of the PC. I play a superior version of Oblivion on the PC because of mods, improved graphics and faster loading but I would still prefer to use my 360 controller. Luckily a lot of new games are coming with controller support. Fallout 3 did for example.

I do think though that k/m controls should be implemented better than they did in Oblivion. This is something the PC Gaming Alliance can get behind.

@Garak you need a better chair if you can't sit in it for that long...

Anyway, from what I can tell (I don't remember seeing anything about them before), it looks like they've been collecting facts so they can have hard evidence for their pronouncements.

Hi Everyone -

Great discussion thread. These are the types of comments I've been following on a few different forums these past three months. (Rough crowd!) <-- However; I like that! Honestly; this is the kind of feedback, both negative, & positive, that helps guide my decision making process.
I'm a long time PC Gamer. I'm extremely passionate about it. I'll do my best to ensure that I give the PCGA the best shot I can.

I really believe the PCGA is better served by being more transparent. So yes.. we will be a little more outspoken moving forward. I don't want to bring 'Noise' though. We've had enough of that in our ecosystem in the last decade. I'd rather work towards inserting a little more sanity if at all possible. This may seem a bit insurmountable; and frankly some if it likely will prove to be just that. However; there are definitely some low hanging fruit things that I think we can all start addressing that hopefully we can get some traction on. Just understand though that these things do take time. I don't have a magic wand. (Wish I did)

This leads to what's our vision? Honestly I just want to make PC Games better & more ubiquitous than they are today. If we do the right things & execute then we'll rise to the top; and hopefully start seeing more AAA content on our favorite gaming platform!

What's new for 2011? This is going to be a big year of change for us. As I've mentioned in other posts being quiet on most things hasn't served us well. So it's time to do the opposite. (When appropriate). I'm going to be forming a 'Tech Advisory Board' comprised of very key architects in the PC Gaming Ecosystem. <-- This group will help flesh out our organization from being really what it is today - the PC Gaming Research Alliance - to the PC Gaming Alliance. This is likely to create some churn in our org. Some members want to call it 'mission accomplished'; I believe we're far from that. IF that churn overwhelms us then at least I know I gave it my best shot. The sentiments on this forum; and others like it, echo very similar sentiments. It's time to take a stance and be bold. It'll be interesting to see if that works or not. The vast majority of current members, & those we have coming on board support my new vision.

All the best to my fellow PC Gamers!!! [Please wish me luck!]

Sincerely
Matt Ployhar (Pres - PCGA)
PS: Advance apologies but I likely won't get time to come back to this forum for awhile. Next 3 weeks... with GDC etc are going to be nutty for me.

Garak73:

Jeffro Tull:

Garak73:
I finally got an HDTV so one of the first things I did was hook my PC up and play some Oblivion. I first played Oblivion on the 360 and when I finally did get it on PC, I wished I could use the 360 controller. I thought that with the HDTV and wireless keyboard and mouse, I could just sit back and relax while playing (like I could on the 360). Nope, as it turns out the mouse and keyboard are hard to use on the couch and I spend a lot of time repositioning them. I really only use a few buttons to play Oblivion, I could easily map them to the 360 controller if the game would allow it (I know I can download software to do it and I might just do that).

So if they are going to promote PC gaming, they could promote the other features like improved graphics, custom-ability, that PC's can use controllers as well as the standard keyboard and mouse.

You're kind of new to this huh? The things that you listed can already be accomplished on the PC. In fact it's the reason I went to PC gaming. All it really takes is a bit of research and some cash every now and then. I guess the idea of being able to use a controller for all games could be something that would possibly get worked out. However, many of the games that you have the ability to play (even most console ports) greatly benefit from the keyboard/ mouse control scheme, because for the most part you have greater control over the character and camera (especially the camera). It takes a while to get used to using this method of control, but once you get used to it you'll have a hard time going back to a controller.

I have a similar setup as you do and play games on my couch all the time with a wireless keyboard and mouse. If you have an optical mouse it might be easier to set it directly on the couch cushion, if not use a book with the mouse pad. There are also certain computer trays that you can put on your lap. These are relatively inexpensive and make it so you can have your keyboard at a comfortable angle no matter where you sit in your living room.

OT: It's kind of funny that PC gaming kind of takes a dip a couple years back, due to the fact that everyone is blinded by the simplicity of consoles nowadays. I am seeing that more people are getting into pc gaming as of recent. I suspect that either consoles are going to more and more PC-like (a trend that we are already starting to see), or there are going to be enough PC gamers that come out of this gen that the PC will be a substantial platform again market-wise.

Me? New to computers? LOL, I have been using computers for 20 years and gaming on computers just as long. I have been gaming with controllers for longer though, dating back to the Atari 2600. I had a C64 and played with joysticks on there too. It isn't that I am new to this, it's that the keyboard mouse combo is not my preferred control scheme except in RTS games.

I have a laser mouse and it works fine on the couch but when I let go of it, it slides into my leg and I have to reposition it. I use a pillow to allow the keyboard to sit flat on my legs but when I let go of it, it slides towards me. It's better than sitting at a desk for hours playing a game but it is not better than a controller.

I already know the strengths of the PC. I play a superior version of Oblivion on the PC because of mods, improved graphics and faster loading but I would still prefer to use my 360 controller. Luckily a lot of new games are coming with controller support. Fallout 3 did for example.

I do think though that k/m controls should be implemented better than they did in Oblivion. This is something the PC Gaming Alliance can get behind.

Oh, I see what your sayin' now. Sorry I must have misread your original post. Controller V. K/M is a debate I have with my friends a lot. I don't really see how they could necessarily be implemented any better than they are right now. For the most part game developers tend to use many of the same commands for similar actions. You do get those games every once in a while that map the keys in a way that doesn't really make much sense(GTA:SA was one of those games, so was Shank), but I have yet to find a game that's unplayable. I will admit that controller do work really well for racing games though ( I'm not into racing games enough to spend the cash on one of those steering wheel sets).

I'm hoping their research will counteract companies tendencies the pull a PC version from their development plan. Honestly, It's getting damned annoying to get excited over a title and find out about a month before it drops that the PC version will not be released. I am getting so sick of that bullshit.

 

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