Just as quickly as it came into being, NVIDIA’s GeForce Partner Program has come to an end.

In a short article posted to their website today, NVIDIA’s Director of Product Marketing, John Teeple, announced that the program has been cancelled. In making the unexpected decision, Teeple stated “The rumors, conjecture and mistruths go far beyond its [the GeForce Partner Program’s] intent. Rather than battling misinformation, we have decided to cancel the program” and that “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.” No further information was provided on just what canceled entails, and what this means for existing program partners.

NVIDIA’s GeForce Partner Program is been divisive, to put it lightly. After news of it broke in March and was confirmed by NVIDIA, the program quickly attracted a good deal of negative attention out of concerns over what it meant for the competitive market, and a general degree of mean spiritedness. Adding fuel to the fire, few details of the program were ever confirmed by NVIDIA – with the company seeing little benefit in doing so – which left a great void open for rumors and unsourced reports of all kinds.

Ultimately NVIDIA’s goal with the program was to more thoroughly isolate its partner ecosystem, in the process ensuring that GeForce-aligned brands were just that: GeForce aligned, and that non-GeForce products weren’t sold under the same brand. NVIDIA cited this as a means of transparency so that consumers could be confident that they were buying GeForce products. In practice, the program left NVIDIA with a credibility problem, and the lack of details means that we’ll likely never know for sure the true extent of NVIDIA’s motivations with the program.

Even with this change, NVIDIA is looking to portray it as a positive (or at least neutral) change, noting that “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.” Still, the lack of transparency means that it’s not clear what happens next for NVIDIA, or for that matter their partners who were already participating.

Some partners, particularly industry juggernaut ASUS, had already realigned their brands and had launched their AMD-specific brands, in ASUS’s case the new-yet-old Arez brand. The termination of the GeForce Partner Program presumably leaves the door open to ASUS folding these products back into their existing brands. However what they’ll actually do remains to be seen. It does no doubt bring a sigh of relief to AMD themselves, as AMD stood to be the biggest (corporate) loser as a result of the program, and has been ramping up their own “Freedom of Choice” advertising program.

Ultimately at the end of the day this means that the video card market returns to a state of status quo, at least for however long the newly revived status quo lasts.

Pulling the Plug on GPP, Leaning into GeForce

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.”

Source: NVIDIA

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  • stanleyipkiss - Saturday, May 5, 2018 - link

    Poor Kyle Bennett at HardOCP. Most tech press ignored the issue until the absolute breaking point. And even then mostly just glanced over it. Not to say that nVidia pays them all, but they sure didn't want their relationship with nVidia damaged so they all kept their distance. Which is a sad state of affairs for any press -- this inter-dependence on one of the big manufacturers make them incapable of keeping objective. Imagine if the Washington Post felt like they had to skirt the White House for fear of retribution. Hell, it might even happen with some multi-billion dollar companies who own the news outlets but it really shouldn't. The tech press should know better, be better funded as to not care about nVidia's potential blacklisting and they should have better... judgement. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Monday, May 7, 2018 - link

    HardOCP and other tech review sites make it a priority to publish reviews on the day the NDA is lifted because they depend on advertisement revenue (and referral purchase links to resellers) from visitors to continue to operate. Tech journalists depend on getting access to sample hardware ahead of the release date in order to have a review ready to go as early as possible. They also have limited budgets that make it difficult or impractical to purchase hardware and manufacturers aren't inclined to send free samples to companies that paint their products in a negative light. There's inherent bias in the system as a result of that compulsion which makes it difficult for sites like HardOCP to do anything but kowtow to the various OEMs out there. Reply
  • AZDougness - Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - link

    Incorrect. HardOCP often releases it's reviews after NDAs are lifted. They frequently purchase several brands' hardware through retailers as they are no longer included in "sampling" due to past negative reviews. It makes me wonder about how other review sites are eligible to review those brands still... I personally take [H]'s reviews to be more accurate because of this. Reply
  • jjj - Saturday, May 5, 2018 - link

    You are portraying the program in a hugely misleading way.

    The clear goal was to capture all the marketing dollars invested in those brands over many years by forcing their partners to join GPP and exclusivity.
    This was unethical and illegal in multiple ways and your attitude is appalling.
    The question now is, did they actually cancel it, if any exclusive brands stay alive, it will mean that they did not.
    Reply
  • 0siris - Saturday, May 5, 2018 - link

    I like how they're now pretending that they're the victims of false information being spread, because even if that is true, it's their own fault for creating a contract which no-one can verify. In the same vein, the very reason for the "rumours and conjecture" is their own shady behind-closed-doors operation which is leaving everyone guessing.

    "ensuring that gamers know what they are buying and can make a clear choice"
    "the GPU brand should be clearly transparent"
    Give me a break. If you wanted to do that you would just put for example "ASUS with nvidia 1070" on the box instead of "ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce GTX 1070". Speaking of ensuring that gamers know what they are buying, notice how that doesn't even say nvidia in the product name? So much for "making sure gamers who want NVIDIA tech get NVIDIA tech".

    The only reason they're coming back on this is because it backfired and created a load of negative PR and possibly an avenue for litigation, let's not pretend like any of this is to benefit their consumers. Simply disgusting.
    Reply
  • Lord of the Bored - Saturday, May 5, 2018 - link

    Seriously. I mean, who was accidentally buying Radeons when they meant to get GeForces? nVidia's argument seems to be "we thought you had the brains of turnips".
    ...
    Actually, given they expected everyone to be okay with this, they probably DID.
    Reply
  • SaturnusDK - Saturday, May 5, 2018 - link

    There's an old saying: "You can't unring that bell".
    Nvidia showed their true colours and told gamers; "we couldn't give a rats arse about you as long as we rake in cash".
    Don't give a company like Nvidia that treats you, the costumer, as worthless trash any of your money.
    Reply
  • benedict - Saturday, May 5, 2018 - link

    Kudos to Anandtech and all Purch sites for voicing their concerns with GPP so loudly and constantly being so critical of it. GPP is over thanks to you guys. Reply
  • willis936 - Saturday, May 5, 2018 - link

    Not a single word of “sorry” or “oops” or “we won’t do it again”? They basically just said they’d rail us in the ass if it weren’t illegal and care about nothing. And this is supposed to be someone selling us the idea that nvidia is a company people want to support? Reply
  • boozed - Saturday, May 5, 2018 - link

    "Rather than battling the inevitable anti-trust charges, we have decided to cancel the program”

    FIFH
    Reply

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