Ever since Microsoft turned its back on Windows gaming in favour of the closed Xbox Ecosystem, the platform has been crying out for a champion. The company occasionally gives nods towards a revived focus upon PC gaming, most recently with yet another relaunch for Games for Windows Live and a trio of upcoming PC games, but when it comes to throwing cash around the Xbox is the beneficiary.
One could argue that Valve software has become a de-facto platform champion both with its Steam marketplace and its relentless innovation when it comes to its own games. What can definitely be said is that the one group that should be championing the PC, the PC Gaming Alliance, is going backwards. In 2009 the group lost the biggest PC game developer/publisher Activision-Blizzard, and now it seems that both Microsoft and Nvidia have bid the alliance farewell.
This leaves the ‘promoter’ lineup for the industry body looking decidedly lame. Besides the high profile departures, AMD has dropped down to member. The list of promoters now reads Capcom, Dell, Epic Games, Intel, Razer and Sony DADC. That means that the list of supposed champions includes two cross platform publishers, one CPU builder, one peripheral maker, one system builder and a CD manufacturer.
This sounds pretty unimpressive considering the operating system developer, both major graphics manufacturers and the publisher of the biggest PC game have departed the alliance. And the biggest online retailer of games has never been part of it.
This actually appears to be a much bigger issue than it actually is. The PC gaming alliance has been pretty uninspiring to date, with PC gaming’s renewed vigor coming almost despite its efforts. We do wonder just what Microsoft in particular is up to though – leaving the alliance seems to fly in the face of its renewed development of PC games and the hiring of former HP gaming PC guy Rahul Sood to its entertainment division as GM of System Experience.