Late Friday NVIDIA announced that it would be ending its GeForce Partner Program (GPP). The program was said to help gamers make the best choice when it came to their graphics card, but basically was a revision of the terms of the sale of NVIDIA graphics processors to AIC (add in card) partners. The language of the program called for AIC partners to keep their gaming-centric brands (ASUS ROG, Gigabyte AORUS, MSI Gaming, etc) exclusive to NVIDIA GPUs, so if you were part of the program you could not sell AMD-based graphics cards under those brands. This caused many brands to de-list AMD cards from their websites and even ASUS went as far as creating the new “AREZ” brand to sell AMD graphics cards.
It seems the public blow-back from gamers seemed to be too much and NVIDIA has decided to end the program. Kyle Bennet at HardOCP was one of the first to point out the anti-competitive nature of the GPP, and the possible fear of government regulators getting involved is what caused NVIDIA to cancel the program. Also large OEM’s like Dell and HP refused to sign up for the GPP. You wouldn’t think that Dell would only sell Alienware Desktops with GeForce GPUs in them.
NVIDIA announced “pulling the plug” on the GPP in a blog post, which we have copied below…
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.”