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Interview: We get a new update from PC Gaming Alliance's Matt Ployhar

pc gaming alliance
Last December we were the first web site to conduct an interview with the new head of the non-profit PC Gaming Alliance Matt Ployhar. Since that interview we discovered that two of the organization's founding members, Microsoft and Nvidia, decided to depart the organization (the companies have both not revealed their reasons for their departure).

Last week as part of GDC 2011, the PC Gaming Alliance revealed some details of its latest Horizons report, claiming that PC gaming as a whole generated $16.2 billion in worldwide revenue in 2010, up 20 percent from 2009. Big Download decided to get back in touch with Ployar to find out more on the status of the organization including hints about its upcoming Technical Advisory Board.

First, the PCGA recently lost two of its founding members. How will this affect the organization going forward?

The mission stays the same. We'll continue to remain focused on scoping out ways to help and assist the PC Gaming Ecosystem. Ultimately we're a nonprofit (501 C3) volunteer organization; so members will come and go periodically, contribute at what levels they're able too; and or participate based on our overall mission and alignment.

You have spoken a lot about getting the PCGA to start walking with more active participation rather than just research. How do you plan to go about doing this?

Forming the Technical Advisory Board will play a big part in helping the PCGA ensure we're making the most technically informed decisions possible. We've got several other great ideas on the table for 2011 and beyond but need to take everything one step at a time.

In a recent blog on the Intel site you said there would be an announcement about a new "technical based advisory board". What can you now tell us about this new division?

I'm viewing the Technical Advisory Board as a sort of child organization that we're helping to launch. So the PCGA will take every step necessary as the parent org to nurture and grow this over time.

Why did you want to launch such a board now?

The idea of doing this board has been around for quite some time. When I came on board I did a quick member survey to validate what this would look like, who would run it, that sort of thing; and am just focusing on doing what I can to facilitate it & bring it to life.

Who are the members of this new technical advisory board?

Too early to announce. Some members may wish to remain anonymous. Suffice it to say we've got some very key Architect/Fellow/CTO types that will be participating. The more important thing isn't what company they belong too but who they are.

Ultimately what will be the goal of this new board?

Early goals are still TBA. We have a long laundry list of things that we'd like to tackle. So I think 2011 will largely be prioritizing that list & with any luck we'll have 1-2 big things we can present & cover at say GDC this time next year.

PC gaming seems to be gaining more and more attention, particularly as small game developers release games via download that can make money even with a relatively small amount of sales. Is this part of PC gaming's future?

I, and most analysts I talk too, largely believe that most games are moving towards some type of a service model. This isn't just the future of PC Gaming; but likely impacts all Gaming formats. In that future, PCs at least by my definitions, have by far the most flexibility to evolve and survive. The form factors and the way we interact with PCs in the future I suspect are going to change over time.

Online also is becoming more and more important. Do you see the PC gaming industry competely moving away from single player only games at some point?

I think there will always be a place for single player; and or standalone games. Online though will likely continue to play a bigger role in some fashion for that style of game play.

What other aspects of PC gaming with the PCGA concentrate its efforts on in the coming year?

We just released our preliminary findings for the year end 2010 PC Gaming Market via the Software Horizon's Report. Research will continue to be one of our bread and butter deliverables. The Tech Advisory Board is another big one. I have two other things I'd like to get in place for 2011 but will have to save that for a later conversation.

Finally is there anything else you wish to say about the PCGA?

We're staying committed and passionate towards PC Gaming. 2011 will obviously be a very big year for us as we start tackling some of the other things that have been on our to do list for the past couple of years. So stay tuned.

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