Is Nvidia’s GeForce affiliate program hurting customers?

Nvidia is being accused of pushing a new affiliate program that could ultimately hurt consumers but is that really true? The news coming from HardOCP and there are several opened question in the original story.


Drama or not?

Nvidia stated in a blog post last week that in an “effort to better serve gamers,” there changing several rules for their partners. “The GeForce Partner Program is designed to ensure that gamers have full transparency into the GPU platform and software they’re being sold, and can confidently select products that carry the NVIDIA GeForce promise,” Nvidia wrote in their original blog post. What this means for graphics card manufacturers and the known OEM’s that decide to participate is early access to products, enhanced marketing efforts, social media ‘benefits’ and other little perks. Nvidia points explicit out that participation is not mandatory and that its partners can drop out of the program whenever they want – No problem so far.

The crux of the issue with NVIDIA GPP comes down to a single requirement in order to be part of GPP. In order to have access to the GPP program, its partners must have its “Gaming Brand Aligned Exclusively With GeForce.” I have read documents with this requirement spelled out on it.

If it chooses not to be part of GPP, it will lose the benefits of GPP which include: high-effort engineering engagements — early tech engagement — launch partner status — game bundling — sales rebate programs — social media and PR support — marketing reports — Marketing Development Funds (MDF).

One of the main issues Bennett (HardOCP) raises is that one of the requirements calls for partners to align their gaming brands exclusively with GeForce. To use Asus as an example – and it’s not clear if Asus is going to participate – it would no longer be able to sell both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards under its Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand, in this case only GeForce cards.

Communication between Bennett and Nvidia is non-existent at this point and the blog post leaves several questions opened if that is speculation or if there are really sources behind which can confirm his claims or not.

Reaction from Nvidia

Forbes asked Nvidia about the situation, Nvidia referred back to its original blog post and in particular the part that says “the program isn’t exclusive. Partners continue to have the ability to sell and promote products from anyone.” Nvidia also told Forbes that “the program is transparent and beneficial to gamers, and we have nothing further to add at this time.”

My Comment

Personally I don’t know much about marketing strategies at Nvidia or other big players because I’m not really interested in such things except if it could have an impact on us, like this story however, I think Nvidia or any other provider can make their own rules and people can decide to join in or not. I don’t see how this ‘hurts’ customers since they more care about other things like the performance, price and not marketing related things. Nvidia clearly said in their post what they offer and people starting to interpret something too it which is pointless and only guessing on a high level, these claims can’t be proven without any trustable source and there is none.

I think to see things like they really are are not not add something more into it, I’m also sure this will soon or later revealed or rejected with a confirmation from another OEM which is really involved into all of this – the rest are rumours only and I can’t say more about this because we have no other ‘story’ to compare with. I know several exclusive games doing similar things are there is no drama like EA with their Fifa series to buy the exclusive player names – other popular examples are Intel or Nintendo.

I think if you analyze others you find similar tactics because at the end there all playing the same game – to gain money. Only thing I can say here is that Asus would still be able to sell AMD graphics cards. They just wouldn’t have “Republic of Gamers” in the SKU name.