Nvidia axes its predatory GeForce Partner Program

Rather than claiming its is not the way its meant to be played, Nvidia claims misinformation

As many would call it, this is a victory. Nvidia made a blog post saying that it has ended its controversial GeForce Partnership Program. The program originally published by HardOCP. The article indicated its practice will force GPU manufacturers to have its existing gaming-centric series exclusive for Nvidia GeForce cards. This involved Republic of Gamers from Asus, AORUS from Gigabyte and Gaming series from MSI. As a result, not only AMD Radeon cards will not be included in long-running gaming series brands but also created a fear that companies can be arm twisted in Nvidia’s favour, therefore assuming near-ownership privileges over them. In exchange for unhinged loyalty, Nvidia makes sure its GeForce chips supplies are not stifled in favour for its exclusive partners. While this wasn’t on paper, the situation to do so that was in practice.

The after-effects of the GPP conditions

The effect of the GPP already started with ASUS who axed AMD Radeon graphics cards from its brand and its series names, repurposing them as ‘AREZ’ brands. Other brands such as Gigabyte/AORUS and MSI didn’t show any signs, except a minor slip of keyboards incidents in one of its Facebook page interactions. Many users didn’t appreciate company’s effort to formally reject Nvidia’s program in public. To be fair, its easier said than done seeing as graphics card sales even from top-tier manufacturers is a very big chunk of its business. Therefore other avenues were needed to end the GPP. Regardless, this isn’t the way its meant to be played. Manufacturers benefit from Nvidia the same way Nvidia benefits from manufacturers. Marketing and RnD for a sub-brand is an expensive affair. This does affect AMD Radeon as it excludes them, but more so it affects the consumers because of the trust they had on a gaming sub-brand.

Why axe the program now?

There seem to be many speculations why Nvidia may have done so, disregarding the company’s official and ridiculous reasoning. The company blames misinformation and decides to cancel the program. The company also made a claim of helping buyers to make a clear decision. Clearly, the end users were not very happy about it.  Many manufacturers confidentially spoke to Kyle Benett about their concerns with supply if they did not sign up with GPP.

There were stories of a possible class-action lawsuit by government trade authorities as many people started filing complaints. It wouldn’t be the first time happening in the world of tech, quite recently with DRAM pricing. Other speculations involving HP and Dell with its gaming-centric brands, Omen and Alienware. As one would believe, PC system makers refused to sign the GeForce Partnership Program as they benefit from AMD’s offerings.

Who pays for all the work?

Will brands follow the essence of GPP unofficially or if it will work with both brands using existing and well-established gaming series? And who will pay for expenses incurred by the manufactures like ASUS for rebranding? Time will tell.

Not so clean on the side of the fence, either!

While AMD Radeon may consider this as a victory, they’re also a part of the problem. The article was published because of the predatory nature which was implied in practice. AMD Radeon graphics card range is not consistent in performance, price and availability. If the tables were turned, it will still be a wrong thing to do. AMD has such notorious reputation as they’ve tried to control the flow of information to its consumers with a handful of reviewers, journalists and social media influencers. Obviously, the intentions behind such practices are not consumer friendly. The poor choice of words defending such actions usually creates a Streisand effect.

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