May 8, 2018 // 10:25 a.m.
Nvidia has announced the closure of its controversial GeForce Partner Programme (GPP), just two months after it went live, following concerns that it was attempting to strangle competition in the marketplace.
Concerns about the new GeForce Partner Programme were raised shortly after its launch, following the discovery of a clause which prevented members from marketing rival graphics card products - read AMD cards - under the same core branding, such as Asus' Republic of Gamers (ROG), as Nvidia cards. AMD, unsurprisingly, was unimpressed, and in April announced a rival partner programme along with new Nvidia GPP-compliant branding which saw Asus' AMD graphics products relaunched under the Arez brand.
Following consumer and critic backlash, though, Nvidia has walked back on the branding terms and is closing down the GeForce Partner Programme in its current form. 'A lot has been said recently about our GeForce Partner Programme. The rumors, conjecture and mistruths go far beyond its intent. Rather than battling misinformation, we have decided to cancel the programme,' claims Nvidia's John Teeple in the announcement. 'GPP had a simple goal – ensuring that gamers know what they are buying and can make a clear choice. 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.'
AMD has not commented on the closure of the programme nor how it affects its own partner programme, and thus far the companies which had announced new brands for their AMD graphics cards have not confirmed whether the re-branding exercise will still go ahead.