As a longtime computer gamer, I was cheered earlier this year to learn of the formation of the PC Gaming Alliance, a group of industry types who have banded together to promote the PC as a game platform.
Last week, Cnet's Crave blog posted a terrific interview with Intel's Randy Stude, president of the PCGA. Among Stude's comments:
You have [a PC gaming] industry that's being beat up in the Western press in terms of... its perceived lack of health, so we in the industry... didn't really like the perception that we were hearing that PC gaming is on a decline. When in fact while certain markets of the PC gaming industry might be in a decline, others are sky-rocketing like never before.
The PCGA chief also downplayed discouraging NPD numbers:
I chuckle when I read through the articles or opinion that say that PC gaming is in a decline and they continue to quote NPD's North American retail sales figures... NPD decided in the first quarter of 2008 to attempt to quantify North American MMO subscription revenues. And lo and behold... they found--under a rock that they hadn't looked at before--a billion dollars...
In fact, Stude says that PC gaming generates a quarter of all video game revenues:
So if you add the billion dollars [NPD] claim to have found in annual subscription revenues on top of the $920 million that they were previously reporting in retail, suddenly the PC game piece of the pie is closer to a quarter of all software revenues generated in North America. That's one platform out of eight that's generating a quarter of all the revenues. There isn't another platform generating that big of a share of the pie. And that is woefully underreported at a billion dollars. That's why we're here.
Stude also mentioned that the PCGA is looking into piracy issues:
We're collecting research on PC game piracy... trying to have some understanding of how big it is, and then hopefully quantify the economic impact... We don't intend to become the police force for PC game piracy. We're not the RIAA, we're not going to become the RIAA. Rather we're a group that's trying to look out for PC gaming, and if there's a problem with it, we're going to make industry recommendations...