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PC Gaming Alliance president gives update on membership

On Monday, Big Download first broke the news of possible changes to the membership of the PC Gaming Alliance. Today, we got a chance to chat briefly on the phone with the non-profit organization's president Randy Stute to discuss the changes. Stude confirmed what we first reported on Monday that game publisher Activision Blizzard, one of the group's founding members, has officially left the organization. Stude said that the reason was that the company felt it could not justify the expense in both money and staff to continue to be a member of the group. However, Stude added that it's possible that Activision Blizzard could rejoin the PC Gaming Alliance at some point.

With the company's departure, the PC Gaming Alliance now has only three game developers and/or publishers on the board (Epic Games, Capcom and Microsoft). Stude admitted to Big Download that having so few game developers and publishers in the group was a bit of a concern. However he added that he was confident that a number of game publisher will join the PC Gaming Alliance and there may be announcements to that effect before E3 begins in June

Stude also confirmed that PC maker Acer, who joined the PC Gaming Alliance as it was officially announced in February 2008, has also left the group. The reasons were basically the same as Activision Blizzard's. However Stude also confirmed that gaming retailer Gamestop has just joined the organization on the less expensive "Contributors" level of membership. At the moment Gamestop's membership is not listed on the PC Gaming Alliance's official web site.

The most interesting new member, however, is Sony DADC which is the parent company for the SecuROM software solution that several PC game publishers use for their digital rights management set-ups. Stude said that Sony DADC wanted to join the PC Gaming Alliance to give their input on the organization's sub-committee on PC game piracy. While some PC game consumers feel that any DRM set-ups, no matter how non-intrusive they are, are not needed, Stude told us that having Sony DADC's input on the piracy sub-committee will help to give the group the necessary ideas for its final report. Stude expects that the sub-committee's PC game piracy report and their recommendations on how to fight and deal with such matters, will be released before the end of the year.

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