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.

131 Comments

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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Nodashi

The fact the biggest softwarehouse of PC titles leaving that "aliance" says a lot about the aliance, not PC gaming. A aliance leaded by microsoft and their "xbox 360 exclusives" is really ridiculous.

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Fed__X

The Alliance of Noobs

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RitterXplode

Haha Valve, that's nice ac3upmyslee

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ac3upmysleeve

I don't think PC gaming is dying, and if it did die I'd never buy another version of windows, I'd go pure linux. There should be a new PC gaming alliance headed up by Valve, or this existing group should at least give some sign of union with actual PC gamers.

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Humorguy_basic

I don't think the games industry believes in PC gaming any more.

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Welshmun

ive been doing at ad bit of research on software piracy and the China and vietnam are the biggest offenders. Piracy is also very common in the west, with USA worst hit by piracy costing her 10's of billions of dollars every year i wasnt impressed when people thumbed me down over my steam/onlive comment. In a recent interview, Valve's VP of marketing, Doug Lombardi was asked about the effect of PC games' piracy on their business, and here is his response in full: "Well, Steam allows us to eliminate 'Day Zero' piracy - which is between gold and when the game's on the store shelves - and that's when all the real piracy, the damaging piracy happens." "Gamers are generally good people, right? They're pretty intelligent, you know, they usually have a job. They're not derelicts out on the street, looting and robbing all of the time. But when they've been hyped up on a project and they really want to play this game and they can't wait to play it... Maybe they bought a new computer or console just to play it, and it shows up on a torrent site and it's not at the store... Temptation's going to come into play." But with Steam you can't, right? We tell you to pre-load the game, regardless of where you're going to buy it. Download it now so you're ready to play it the day it comes out. The disc that we send out is useless until we turn it on launch day. So we don't have the problem of sending the disc to replication and having some punk grab it and put it on a bit torrent site and take the sales away from us." We saw that in 2004 when we released Half-Life 2. Doom 3, Halo 2 and whichever version of GTA came out that year were all available on the pirate network before they came out at stores. The final version of the games. Half-Life 2 wasn't. The only difference was that Half-Life 2 had Steam anti-piracy stuff in place." so you see u cant stop piracy but u can give it a good kick in the bollacks.

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darkhunterix

Never heard of this alliance... the same amount of pc games have been released at one time for 20 years. Don't really care about this. -_-

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Inconnux

Good for activision/blizzard... no PC game developers should be part of a group that includes Securom.

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razgriz_101

Not trying to be funny but piracy will never die no matter how hard companies try its just common sense tbh. I mean it can be slowed but at the same time they penalize the consumer with systems like SecuROM.Hopefully a company developes a fool-proof anti piracy system that doesnt hurt the consumer soon.I mean steam does it to an extent but its not completely fool proof as you can crack steam as far as i know. But a thing like an Anti-virus in these systems where it updates itself to change and adapt to new threats or bypasses would work i think...which if the software is attempted to be cracked it deletes a critical file. GTA4 is the only game i have seen recently that can give pirates a bit of a headache.

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morgos15

@AnarchyRising: No kidding. Case in point - Spore. EA blamed used piracy as a scapegoat for laying off employees because their revenues fell as a result of Spores poor sales. Sure they may have had to lay off employees - but don't make excuses because you released an overhyped second rate game...

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baal46

Just call it the DRM Alliance.

Avatar image for AnarchyRising
AnarchyRising

@kojo31 - Piracy will always be an excuse. Why not blame something viral and illegal for not being able to sell a crap game? It's pathetic. Game sucks? Piracy! Game broken? Damn pirates! Can't write descent shader code? Usenet! Torrents! Arrrr matey! SecuROM does nothing but induce rage in the buyer. It does'nt stop piracy... it might slow it down, but nothing stops it. It's the end users that suffer. I think ALL DRM games, especially SR should have a requirement that it be forged on the box, in huge red letters, "SECUROM, Buy at own Risk!". And that's what grinds my gears; back to you Tom.

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nurse_tsunami

Ugh, securROM :( I'd leave too if that is the future they are pushing. I am glad that it seems EA may have seen the light and is going to start putting out DRM-free games (Sims 3) instead of all that DRM crap.

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dannyatkinson

It almost seems that the PC gaming alliance is trying to kill PC gaming on purpose. Idiots. All they care about is stupid SecuROM.

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monlosez

Soon all the PC-only companies will go multiplatform. or MMORPG?

Avatar image for monlosez
monlosez

@chechak7 "i love pc gaming ....it's free ....lol....world just love torrents ...it's free world lol" True, most free cheats don't work online, you'll have to pay. I'll stick with consoles for coop play, achievements and trophies, party games, and online.

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MatzeEdend

I have always preferred PC games to their console counterparts. It has been proven that even ports of console games onto PCs have improved the game dramatically in performance, graphics, and often even the overall gameplay, simply because computers don't need a complete developer overhaul to the design when a part of it becomes obsolete. My computer is about five years old now, and it is STILL capable of better performance than any of the consoles out there with only one or two upgrades I've made over the years that cost me less than half of what these consoles are going for these days.

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svaargod

wow...this ''group'' sucks bad...

Avatar image for kojo31
kojo31

Sony and Microsoft are in this just so they can control the flow of game developing, thus making their consoles primary platforms...The PCGA is a farse....a mask pulled over our eyes to cover up the intentions of Microsoft and Sony. They could change the name into Anti PC Gaming Alliance. Matter of fact, they are so focused on pc games, that we have to wait, 2-3 (or even more) months, so that we can play games, that the console players are already sick and tired of. First we have to wait so that they can set the release date back 3 or 4 times, and than we get a chance to play a pc game which is nothing else than a crappy port, which you cant even play anymore if you dont own a 360 controller for pc! Thanks a lot for that....furthermore...in these times, people cant afford to update their computer every 6 months, so its easier to buy a console for 300 € than a computer for 600+€ which you have to upgrade...each and everyone of them realise that, and that is why they are so focused on their consoles. Piracy is just an excuse!!!

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TehEliteElite

This "PC Gaming Alliance" was a joke to begin with. Epic? They hardly care about the PC anymore. Just read some of the stuff Cliffy's said about it. Also note, no GoW 2 for PC. Capcom!? Are you kidding me!? They've made like 5 games for PC's, and almost all of them have been horrible, HORRIBLE craptastic ports. Microsoft? Yeah, thanks a bunch for Games for Windows Live. Way to "help" PC gaming. Oh, and also thx a bunch for KILLING ENSEMBLE! THAT WAS A GREAT IDEA, AS WAS HAVING THEM MAKE CONSOLE RTS'S LIKE HALO WARS. SECUROM. Do I even need to say anything about the heaps of benefit this one gives to the PC? I hardly blame Blizzard for leaving the company of these *******. The only people with a real interest in the future of the PC are the hardware manufacturers! If PC gaming dies, and I fully expect that it will NOT, then **** YOU MICROSOFT, I'M SWITCHING TO MACS.

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montana

Being part of a group is only worthwhile if the group provides something worthwhile to the individual members... if not, well guess what?

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Khalathwyr

Programexpert nailed it. The article also references Gamestop as being apart of the alliance and I challenge everyone here to visit a couple of the Gamestops near you and (if you are old enough to remember) compare their selection of PC games to how it was 5-6 years ago. In just about every store it's dropped from having a WALL section to just a little two-sided pushcart rack. The PCGA is lip service at best. The hardware companies make their money by creating bigger/better/faster hardware and the PC software developers know that if they don't make their games scaleable to a larger variety of machines they lose a large amount of profit. Overall people don't upgrade their machines that regularly so you find a large percentage of PC gamers with 4+ year old rigs that can't run say, Crysis or Age of Conan graphics intense games. A/B knows this and, evidence WoW, keeps making their software scaleable a key point. They probably truly got tired of hereing the primarily hardware company heavy and Microsoft talking in their ear to make games that take advantage of the newest gadetry they (HW companies and M$) are developing. PC gaming is in a bad spot in my opinion as there are very few entities that actually have its well-being and longevity as interests.

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Khalathwyr

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

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moh_sakhaii

Well, obviously it's because of recession. It's not a big deal. less staff more money :D

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Darkreaper_1

I'd never even heard of the "PC gaming Alliance" before today!

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maven_zer09

em, maybe they just realized how ANTI pc gaming the alliance was, lol? I do agree with programexpert long live Blizzard! (hell with EA clone, Activision, though!) :D

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Generalmojo

Pc v Consoles thats gota hurt for teh PC now lolz :P

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enoslives7

Blizzard is evil

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xXFr34k_0uTXx

Good.

Avatar image for LancerVI
LancerVI

I will always be, primarily, a PC Gamer. I have all the consoles, but a majority of my time is spent on the PC. The PC is a open platform with, generally, deeper and, in my opinion, more compelling game play. Long live the PC!!!! Lancer VI

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Nerkcon

You have to pay to be part of the alliance, what kind of team is that then? :| I like console style games more but I want to be a PC developer because it's a open platform (a free country if you will). If they change that I'll develop for Linux and Nintendo instead.

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Dixteel

haha... programexpert got that right...what kind of alliance is this?

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dannyatkinson

I generally agree with PrimeLazarus but unlike him I despise Valve and Steam. Without Steam Valve might be ok but YOU DON'T HAVE THE CHOICE.

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programexpert

Can someone tell me why the three remaining members are really not into PC Gaming at all? That alliance is a joke... Epic? They *were* PC-centric at first, but recently they've been focused on their Unreal Engine and Gears of War just about exclusively. UT3 was poor and was their sole release on the PC in a while (excluding the late GoW ports). Microsoft? To hell with them. They've killed all their successful PC gaming branches (kill Flight Sim, kill Ensemble), twisted formerly PC-centric devs (Lionhead) and released an OS that appears to be the antithesis of a gaming OS. Their Games for Windows initiative is also pathetic and seems to HINDER PC gaming more than it helps. Capcom? I don't even recall what they released on the PC...

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dannyatkinson

If PC gaming companies keep up stuff like Starforce and Securom before long the only PC games played will be the pirated ones. No one will be willing to risk buying retail because they will be afraid of what it will do to your PC.

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Dante2710

pc gaming alliance without valve :x what blasphemy is this

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dannyatkinson

<< LINK REMOVED >>

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dannyatkinson

Hyperion_1400 is completely right.

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jmmijo

Hey, don't you have a wait a week before leaving your alliance ;)

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morgos15

It doesn't matter. AB will still make PC games - they just won't do it while being part of an "alliance" that has console publishers as members. I'm actually for this - start a new alliance with some of the more respected PC focused companies. Pirating will never be fully solved - it's far too easy to pirate games, both console and PC. The best defense against pirates is and always has been releasing good games - often with solid online content - something which AB seems to be at the forefront of.

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aura_enchanted

you get a no spill coffee mug, some free t-shirts, 1/2 off a netflix membership, and a discount at seven eleven

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atopp399

Why join an alliance or club of any sort? All they do is charge fees and don't really get you anything.

Avatar image for deactivated-59d995040c2ae

Blizzard should start up a new alliance with Valve, id, Raven, Crytek, and Relic---think of it as the PC Justice League. They could set out to shame the console puppies with the wrath of righteous PC holiness. Consoles have a place in my heart--but I have to say good PC games like Starcraft, HL & HL2 (taking into account TF2 and CS:S) just bash everything else to death. The 360 has had some really good titles (some of which were also on the PC) but I don't know how long lasting some of them are. I still play Diablo 2 and Starcraft from time to time. Halo and Gears of War are great fun, but I can hop on my PC and game online for free on equally excellent (if not superior) CS:S or TF2. Heck even Gears of War has made it onto the PC in enhanced form, but I haven't checked it out so I don't know where multiplayer stands on that one. With games like Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 soon to join the fold, I'm finding it difficult to invest in an Xbox Live renewal---and I've become far more picky about games I purchase for my console. I'd love to play MGS4 & FF13, so a PS3 might also be in my future--but for all the love in those game series' as well---I'm still more excited for Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3. This isn't big news. The PC Gaming Alliance is just an industry club so all the financial powerhouses can sit at a big table together and scheme against all of us while secretly scheming against each other and ironically, themselves. Activision Blizzard probably couldn't justify membership in a club that they just flat-out didn't need. The writing is on the wall with things like 12 million WoW subscribers and the obvious conflicts of interest when it comes to Microsoft and Sony membership. Not to say MS or Sony want to destroy PC gaming, it's another revenue stream--but they sure don't want it to overshadow their respective consoles. Maybe they'll just try to smother it with a pillow. Blizzard just figured they'd go around the speed bumps. If Valve wasn't apart of this alliance I don't see how this could be a very progressive or useful group. Steam was bumpy at first and they had to shove it down our throats to get us to take it, but it's good medicine. Nevermind Steam though, Valve just releases kick ass games. A true PC alliance might rise from this and tear the imposters asunder. I guess Microsoft would still have to join. They are too loaded financially and too integrated into the PC culture to not have them there, but they should have to raise their hand before speaking to Blizzard or Valve. Or at least hold a finger over their lips and speak when spoken to.

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Hyperion_1400

@ Eldar: Sony owns the company that makes Securom .../sigh We are all doomed...

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lukemularczyk

I'm sure blizzard was part of the PCGA, but not activision are part of it blizz will be forced into multiplatform, so except blizzard games to start to go downhill a bit due to that :(

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Humorguy_basic

With so few game publishers in this group, it's not worth much. I have severe doubts about the games industry believing there is a future in PC gaming, even if an ever smaller group of PC gamers are.

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method115

@isahunt I think MS has been great to PC gaming. A little while after the 360 came out I noticed that a lot of it's games were being ported to the PC. It's how I got my first taste of GOW which is one of my favorite games of all times, as well as Mass Effect another favorite of all time. In fact if it wasn't for these games being ported I probably never would have got a 360.

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Eldar_Avatar

I find it strange that companies like Epic and Capcom are in this considering they are predominately console developers and I'm confused as too why Sony is part of it. But honestly this isn't that big of a deal, Blizzard make good games and not being apart of the alliance won't affect their ability to make great games.

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Stalker700

Well...at least Capcom and Epic are still in.

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isahunt

Any so-called PC-gaming "alliance" that has Microsoft and Sony as their members, don't really have the well being of PC-gaming crowds on their mind - they're only there to keep their corporate iron boot on the throat of PC-gaming industry so they can peddle their own consoles. It's called "conflict of interest".