NVIDIA late Friday announced that it is ending the controversial GeForce Partner Program (GPP). The “program” was a revision in the terms of sale of NVIDIA graphics processors to AIC (add in card) partners (such as EVGA, ASUS, GIGABYTE, etc.), which in regulator-baiting language, called for AIC partners to keep their gaming-centric brands (such as ASUS ROG, GIGABYTE Aorus, MSI Gaming, etc.) exclusive to NVIDIA GeForce GPUs, thereby de-listing AMD Radeon GPUs. Companies like ASUS went as far as stripping its AMD Radeon products of even the “ASUS” brand, relegating them to a new “AREZ” brand.
Apparently the blow-back was harder than expected, and NVIDIA buckled. The main forces behind NVIDIA withdrawing GPP may not be fear of government regulators, but OEMs, such as Dell and HP, refusing to sign up. AMD is known in the OEM circles for great pricing, which is what scores it design wins with giants such as Apple. That’s something big OEMs would never want to let go of. Had Dell, for example, signed up for GPP, it would have meant the end of AMD Radeon GPUs in Alienware desktops.
Far from sounding apologetic, NVIDIA’s announcement of “pulling the plug” on GPP reads of the company begrudgingly ending the program, defending its “benefits to gamers” to the very end. NVIDIA didn’t even give the announcement the dignity of a formal press-release, but a blog post, pasted verbatim:
A lot has been said recently about our GeForce Partner Program. The rumors, conjecture and mistruths go far beyond its intent. Rather than battling misinformation, we have decided to cancel the program.
GPP had a simple goal – ensuring that gamers know what they are buying and can make a clear choice.
NVIDIA creates cutting-edge technologies for gamers. We have dedicated our lives to it. We do our work at a crazy intense level – investing billions to invent the future and ensure that amazing NVIDIA tech keeps coming. We do this work because we know gamers love it and appreciate it. Gamers want the best GPU tech. GPP was about making sure gamers who want NVIDIA tech get NVIDIA tech.
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.
This is a great time to be a GeForce partner and be part of the fastest growing gaming platform in the world. The GeForce gaming platform is rich with the most advanced technology. And with GeForce Experience, it is “the way it’s meant to be played.”