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PC Gaming Alliance becomes the Open Gaming Alliance, welcomes tablets into its loving embrace

Formed in 2008, the PC Gaming Alliance is—or was—an organization dedicated to promoting the PC as a viable gaming platform for the future. But it recently renamed itself to the " Open Gaming Alliance ," a change it said was made because "the PC is no longer the most dominant gaming form factor."

It's a bit of a confusing point. After all, if the PCGA was formed to promote the PC, why change the name if it still needs promoting? But as OGA President Matt Ployhar explained, the change isn't driven by a move away from the PC so much as by the evolving definition of what a PC is in the first place.

"PC form factors continue to evolve, as do the OSes that power them. Increasingly we're seeing companies' game engines, tools, games, ports, peripherals, etc., become more OS cross-platform," he said. "One of the biggest issues plaguing PCs, and the definition of PCs, is that marketing and analyst groups continue trying to distance the tablet form factor from being included in the PC family."

"I believe they've missed the mark. What they should have been articulating is that the tablet has become the most popular form factor choice amongst PC buyers who are okay with more of a consumption device [rather] than a productivity/consumption device," he continued. "Ultimately, I don't care what OS powers a PC, or even what it looks like. Just as long as it plays the games I know and love, remains open enough so that we're not being force-fed or given limited options, and plays nicely with other devices. We want to ensure that PCs stay open and innovative at all costs."

It's an interesting position to take. I'm not sure I agree with the idea that PCs and tablets are essentially the same thing, or even that one is an extension of the other, but cross-platform development for PC and mobiles is becoming increasingly common. It does strike me as a step away from the hardcore PC gaming segment, but that's a market that's in pretty good shape already; so even though the PC is no longer "dominant," it may well be secure enough that the OGA feels its efforts will be better directed elsewhere.

Andy Chalk
Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.