Nvidia is pulling the plug on the controversial GeForce Partner Program

Polycount

Posts: 2,954   +589
Staff member

The years-long video card rivalry between AMD and Nvidia has largely been a positive thing for customers. The constant attempts at one-upmanship from both companies have resulted in better products and more options for PC enthusiasts.

However, Nvidia may have taken things a step too far back in March with the launch of the "GeForce Partner Program." According to the company, the GPP was intended to give gamers "full transparency into the GPU platform" they were being sold. As HardOCP discovered in an in-depth investigation though, there may have been a much less savory side to the program Nvidia hadn't revealed.

In short, Nvidia appeared to be pushing their OEM partners -- such as Gigabyte, MSI, and Asus -- to attach their gaming brands exclusively to Nvidia products as a condition for joining the program.

Nvidia reportedly planned to offer GPP partners marketing development funds and "launch partner status" as incentives for joining. Naturally, choosing not to join the GPP would put a company in a disadvantageous position in relation to their competitors.

As an example of the situation, if Asus wanted to join the GPP, they could only use their well-known and trusted Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand on Nvidia cards. The company's AMD cards would need to receive different, lesser-known branding.

Interestingly, that's precisely what happened in April: Asus slapped new "AREZ" branding on their AMD GPUs. This move prompted many, including AMD, to believe Asus had opted to follow Nvidia's rules.

It now seems the controversy surrounding the GPP has become too much of a headache for Nvidia to deal with.

In a blog post released today, Nvidia's Director of Partner Marketing John Teeple announced they are officially pulling the plug on the GPP. In the following blog post excerpt, Teeple briefly explains Nvidia's original intentions with the program and the company's decision to cancel it:

With GPP, we asked our 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.

Most partners agreed. They own their brands and GPP didn’t change that. They decide how they want to convey their product promise to gamers. Still, today we are pulling the plug on GPP to avoid any distraction from the super exciting work we’re doing to bring amazing advances to PC gaming.

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Lounds

Posts: 988   +889
So glad they did this, tbf it's anti freemarket and is worse for consumers. Intel have been doing this for years with HP and Dell.
 

GeforcerFX

Posts: 1,029   +493
Sucks for the Tawniese companies that all agreed to do it and already setup the new product lines and names. I best Dell and HP saying no was a big factor. Dell seems to be the largest now in OEM gaming devices, lots of choice and they drive pricing across certain segments, losing all of that to AMD would hurt Nvidia more than Dell. HP's Omen line seems to be picking up some steam as well.
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,468   +6,152
I think it was pretty certain what Nvidia was doing when we saw ASUS pull their STRIX branding from their AMD gaming GPUs and give AMD a different brand and when Gigabyte released a generic AMD gaming box while the Nvidia box had the AORUS branding.

It's ironic, as the damage has already been done to MSI, ASUS, and Gigabyte who were the first announced signees of the GPP from Kyle Bennett's article.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,166   +4,030
TechSpot Elite
People seem to be celebrating a lot, but I still have a lot of questions.
1. If they canceled the program then what about the companies that already signed up?
2. Are they just stopping from accepting new applicantions to the program?
3. Is the damage already done and AMD will continue to be relegated to unknown gaming brands (like Arez instead of ROG)?

I guess we'll have to see how things change.
 
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Polycount

Posts: 2,954   +589
Staff member
People seem to be celebrating a lot, but I still have a lot of questions.
1. If they canceled the program then what about the companies that already signed up?
2. Are they just stopping from accepting new applicantions to the program?
3. Is the damage already done and AMD will continue to be relegated to unknown gaming brands (like Arez instead of ROG)?

I guess we'll have to see how things change.
These are my concerns as well. I imagine Asus backtracking on AREZ, even if they were "allowed" to, might give off too many red flags.

We will indeed just have to wait and see where things go.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 400   +429
They're big enough to get attention from the regulators now. The EU competition authority has teeth, and they caught the scent.

What isn't clear is why specific people in Nvidia seem to be stupid enough to expose them to risk of regulatory discipline.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,245   +587
At the end of the day, average consumers n gamers could careless. Nvidia will get their way in the end anyways cause AMD has crap cards n likely always will.
As someone has pointed out, Intel has been doing this to several companies. Hasnt stopped them from doing business as usual.
Im sure nvidia will either just reach a new deal with its partners, they may penalize them if they decide to revert back or even just drop them all together. World knows Nvidia has the best cards and companies like Asus know gamers arent buying $1500 with AMD cards in them.
I go into a Best Buy store n see AMD cards on the shelf n then see Nvidias cards but most sell out as soon as stock is in. Even saw a 1070 ti sell for $700. The Vega 56 was over $800.
 

Puiu

Posts: 5,166   +4,030
TechSpot Elite
They're big enough to get attention from the regulators now. The EU competition authority has teeth, and they caught the scent.

What isn't clear is why specific people in Nvidia seem to be stupid enough to expose them to risk of regulatory discipline.
It's because the fines don't matter at all, ruining the competition will help their business a lot more.
 

merikafyeah

Posts: 268   +219
Consider this the market's vaccine for future sh!t that's likely to happen. AMD has been burned so badly by Intel over the decades that they weren't going to just roll over and let Ngreedia rip them a new one without a fight.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 994   +797
At the end of the day, average consumers n gamers could careless. Nvidia will get their way in the end anyways cause AMD has crap cards n likely always will.
As someone has pointed out, Intel has been doing this to several companies. Hasnt stopped them from doing business as usual.
Im sure nvidia will either just reach a new deal with its partners, they may penalize them if they decide to revert back or even just drop them all together. World knows Nvidia has the best cards and companies like Asus know gamers arent buying $1500 with AMD cards in them.
I go into a Best Buy store n see AMD cards on the shelf n then see Nvidias cards but most sell out as soon as stock is in. Even saw a 1070 ti sell for $700. The Vega 56 was over $800.

Ignorant comment. I bet you're the person that claims everyday AMD will go out of business. Has history ever taught you two things in the tech industry? 1.) No one stay's number one forever. 2.) AMD always finds a way to survive.
 

Angga B

Posts: 163   +135
At the end of the day, average consumers n gamers could careless. Nvidia will get their way in the end anyways cause AMD has crap cards n likely always will.
As someone has pointed out, Intel has been doing this to several companies. Hasnt stopped them from doing business as usual.
Im sure nvidia will either just reach a new deal with its partners, they may penalize them if they decide to revert back or even just drop them all together. World knows Nvidia has the best cards and companies like Asus know gamers arent buying $1500 with AMD cards in them.
I go into a Best Buy store n see AMD cards on the shelf n then see Nvidias cards but most sell out as soon as stock is in. Even saw a 1070 ti sell for $700. The Vega 56 was over $800.
Of course it won't affect the performance of the goods.

We are talking about brands here. For long brands has been one of the determinant factor in consumer purchase and the way many industry is consolidating its players, there are only few players left for each kind of product. In graphic chip industry practically only two.

This condition had entrenched more brand cultism behavior, almost akin to religious dogma. People just hold their brand/belief so deep inside their heart they expect divinity aspects from the brand.

What nvidia just did clearly not a winner trait as they currently are, nor divine. It's such a loser paradigm instilled from insecurity complex. You know what happen when people "feel" this insecurity from their worshipped idol? Right, either they grow apathy or they simply jump ship. Damage has been done, the green team is no longer invincible.
 

pcnthuziast

Posts: 1,243   +1,009
Baseline prices are going to be higher than any previous generation and it's not a trend, it's the new norm.
 

texasrattler

Posts: 1,245   +587
Ignorant comment. I bet you're the person that claims everyday AMD will go out of business. Has history ever taught you two things in the tech industry? 1.) No one stay's number one forever. 2.) AMD always finds a way to survive.
It also takes another company to beat another. Whos beating Nvidia, oh wait no one.

now your talking out your a** as no said anything about anyone going out of business. AMD just dont do great cards, this is factual.

Last I checked, surviving aint winning.
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,468   +6,152
Meanwhile, AMD is blocking Asrock from selling Radeon cards in EU and the US....

Yes, because they are a brand new partner. Did you report when Nvidia prevented Galax from selling in Europe? Nope. It is common to start new partners off with limited coverage.