PC Gaming Alliance president Matt Ployhar recently told Gamasutra that a PC game certification program will likely launch with finalized specs by March 2014. This program aims to give consumers a better idea of what to expect from their PC game purchases by introducing a quality bar.
According to Gamasutra, the program is completely opt-in and OS-agnostic. The group wants to achieve standardization across games within the open PC market, which in turn is expected to encourage more consumer confidence and put more cash in developers' pockets.
The group is currently looking for more developers to partake in the program. The rate for certification is reportedly cheaper than what developers shell out for console certification programs: $500 per title if non-PCGA applicants test the game themselves, or $2500 if they need the PCGA to help test the game. Members of the alliance get their games certified for free.
"We don't need to have it completely locked down and so restrictive," Ployhar told Gamasutra. "We don't need to tell people, 'This is your minimum configuration.' But, you still need to hit a certain quality bar."
He provided an example, saying that games would need to hit 720p resolutions on medium settings, 30 frames per second, and support a game controller if the PC game has a console counterpart.
In addition to better consumer expectations using the new system, Ployhar also pointed out that there will likely be a reduction of product support service calls for publishers and developers, which can be an expansive issue in the PC game space. The "platform-agnostic" nature of PCGA's program should also make it future-proof and not take the same path as Microsoft's Games for Windows certification.
"As various gaming cert programs come and go, we future-proofed this one by accommodating the flux and future directions of OSes and form-factors that comprise the spectrum of the PC ecosystem," he told Gamasutra.
Additional new information regarding the certification program will be revealed in the coming months.