Activision Blizzard exits PC Gaming Alliance

Publisher of world's most popular PC MMORPG abruptly leaves Windows-focused organization it helped cofound in February 2008; Capcom, Epic, Microsoft still on board.

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With nearly 12 million subscribers worldwide, World of Warcraft is the planet's most popular PC massively multiplayer game. So popular, in fact, that its publisher's parent company, Activision Blizzard, no longer feels the need to be part of the PC Gaming Alliance (PCGA), the pro-Windows gaming organization it helped found just over a year ago.

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Once a prominent part of the organization, the Blizzard Entertainment owner is now completely absent from the member's roster on the PC Gaming Alliance site. In response to inquires from GameSpot, PCGA reps confirmed the following statement from president Randy Stude "regarding the Activision situation."

"The PC Gaming Alliance is an industry consortium that relies on membership dues to perform its research," said Stude. "Membership turnover is a fact of life in any industry consortium, [and] particularly so in the current economy. Recently, a few members have decided they cannot justify the budget (membership and staff) required to maintain an active role in the PC Gaming Alliance at this time. However, we have also added several new members yielding a net gain for 2009."

As of press time, Activision Blizzard had not responded to requests for comment as to why it had left the PCGA, which was announced with great fanfare during the 2008 Game Developers Conference. Then, the body was touted as a nonprofit organization dedicated to "driving coordinated marketing and promotion of PC gaming...and creating forums for member companies to cooperate on solutions to challenges facing the PC gaming industry, such as hardware requirements and anti-piracy."

Remaining members of the PCGA include hardware manufacturers AMD, Antec, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Logitech, and Nvidia. Game publisher, Windows-maker, and Xbox 360 manufacturer Microsoft is also a member, as is PlayStation 3-maker Sony. Despite recent comments expressing skepticism about the PC market, Japanese developer-publisher Capcom remains part of the organization along with self-declared multiplatform developer and middleware-maker Epic Games. Sony DADC, developer of the controversial SecuROM DRM software, is also a member, as is game retailer and Game Informer publisher GameStop.

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