Nvidia have announced the cancellation of their deeply unpopular GeForce Partner Program, it seems with immediate effect. That’s bound to go down as a win for AMD, who have championed the ensuing negativity which accompanied its announcement.
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The announcement has come via a blog post from John Teeple, the man responsible for GeForce Partner Marketing at Nvidia. It’s tragically comical that the only posts listed on his author page are the ones announcing the launch and subsequent cancellation of GPP.
He explains that with the GPP the “rumors, conjecture and mistruths go far beyond its intent. Rather than battling misinformation, we have decided to cancel the program.”
Teeple goes on to maintain that the only goal of the GPP was for “partners to brand their products in a way that would be crystal clear. The choice of GPU greatly defines a gaming platform. So, the GPU brand should be clearly transparent – no substitute GPUs hidden behind a pile of techno-jargon.”
AMD, however, maintained that the program was anti-competitive, and anti-choice. In their own combative blog post on the subject of ‘A Gamer’s Choice’ Scott Herkelman made various thinly veiled references to GPP, explaining AMD’s stance on freedom.
“The freedom,” he explains, “to tell others in the industry that they won’t be boxed in to choosing proprietary solutions that come bundled with “gamer taxes” just to enjoy great experiences they should rightfully have access to. The freedom to support a brand that actively works to advance the art and science of PC gaming while expanding its reach.”
This all came after AMD encouraged HardOCP to publish an investigation into the prospective program, which itself alleged the program was borderline illegal and anti-consumer.
The crux of the matter seemed to be based around a document Kyle Bennett had seen which said partners signing up to the program would have to have their “Gaming Brand Aligned Exclusively With GeForce.”
That seemed to suggest that no AMD cards could be sold as gaming cards while part of GPP. That would be massively dodgy and very anti-consumer. Nvidia did counter that, however, explaining to us that while they were indeed looking for Nvidia-based gaming brands to only carry Nvidia GPUs, they weren’t stopping partners from creating alternative gaming brands.
That’s been proved true with Asus all set to launch their AMD-exclusive Arez brand of gaming-centric graphics cards. Oh god… Asus.
The GPU partners are going to be screwing at this latest announcement. Having chosen to take the step of separating out their Republic of Gamers and Arez brands to cater for Nvidia and AMD exclusively, they’re now being told they don’t have to.
Too late, they’ve already peeled the RoG badges off their existing cards and stuck shiny new Arez ones on the coolers.
So, in the end nothing needs to change, brands can co-exist with different GPU silicon at their hearts and still sit under the same name. To be honest, it’s not really that confusing for most us, and who even buys on brand either?
No matter how it all played out, however, Nvidia can’t come out of this looking good. There hasn’t really been any real proof given out either way regarding the allegations against the GPP, but by simply cancelling the program rather than explaining, or countering “the misinformation” thrown up around it there’s always going to be a feeling that there was something to it.
Though it may have simply been a case of a battle not worth fighting.
Nvidia already have a stranglehold over the graphics card market simply by having both the fastest, and currently the most affordable, gaming GPUs. With potential GTX 2080 or GTX 1180 cards coming out before the end of the year they’re only likely to stretch their lead even further, GPP or no.