The PC Gaming Alliance announced today that it plans to officially launch its games certification program in March of next year. The group's PC Gaming Certification Program will support a number of platforms including Mac, PC, Linux, etc. The program has already had a soft launch through an early adopters program, though PCGA president Matt Ployhar tells Gamasutra that March of 2014 is the target date to finalize specs and other requirements for the program. The program, which is opt-in and OS-agnostic, is an attempt to create and maintain a standard level of quality and optimization for games played on the PC.
While the PCGA specs have not been finalized, the cost of certification looks to be in the neighborhood of $500 per title if non-PCGA member applicants test the game themselves, or $2,500 if they want the PCGA to help test it. PCGA-certified games would bear the group's official logo showing compliance with the standards, though PCGA members will be able to use it at no extra charge as long as they meet the requirements. These logos are designed to be used on physical retail and digital products.
Ployha says he's keeping issues related to standards and costs in mind while crafting the PCGA's final requirements – though the costs currently being floated are a lot less than getting certified on a console system.
"We don't need to have it completely locked down and so restrictive," says Ployhar. "We don't need to tell people, 'This is your minimum configuration.' But, you still need to hit a certain quality bar."
Some examples of requirements might include offering 720p resolutions on medium settings, 30 frames per second and controller support if there's an equivalent console SKU.
The PCGA will have more information on the program leading up to its official launch next spring. For more information, check out www.pcgamingalliance.org. It would be nice if one of those specs would be "DRM-Free."