It seems to have become an unfortunate trend in the last half decade, where games often release with either giant glaring bugs, or huge swathes of minute problems that when added together, make the game almost unplayable. Whether developers/publishers are doing this deliberately to use the first batch of adopters as unofficial beta testers is unclear, but either way, the PCGamingAlliance wants to put a stop to it, by offering a minimum-standard of playability certification for new games.
The PCGA has been around for over five years already, but until now its main job has been to promote the PC platform. Now it’s looking to make it better, with plans to test games on any operating system to provide a level of quality to the consumer that doesn’t exist at the moment.
Announcing its intentions via a message to the gaming community and developers, the PCGA said that it wants to maintain the current openness of the PC platform, but also improve the quality of game launches and better the end experience for the consumer. It plans to offer developers the chance to add a logo to their game packaging (virtual and retail), if their game passes thee PCGA review process. That process can be automated, or done manually (with extra hardware tests and feedback from the alliance) depending on the depth of the review that the developer wants.
If your game is approved, the PCGA will give you access to its logo thumbs up system, as well as potentially provide you with box quotes. It can also give you approval of your game’s support for varied hardware, such as making medium settings achievable at a reasonable standard.
You might be thinking, who are these guys to judge games? Industry veterans, that’s who. There’s AMD division manager Ritchie Corpus; Rick Carini, director of technology at Razer; Matt Ployhar, senior graphic planner at Intel; Mark Rein of Epic Games and many more gaming and gaming hardware higher ups.
Kitguru Says: It may take a while for the system to catch on enough that gamers can make purchasing decisions based on it, but it’s a great idea. Hopefully this paves the way for relatively bug-free launches.[Cheers Gamasutra]