Although game bundles are nothing new for the video card industry, in the last couple of years they’ve come back into vogue in a way we haven’t seen in at least a decade. With digital distribution becoming the de facto distribution method for PC games it has transformed video game bundling by supplanting the need to include physical copies of games with video cards.  This has allowed GPU manufacturers and their partners to get a lot more creative in what games are bundled, particularly by allowing them to bundle newly released (or even yet to be released games) instead of months-old games that the logistics of physical distribution require.

At the same time of course we wouldn’t be talking about this had bundles not also proven to be successful for GPU manufacturers, with both NVIDIA and AMD having found a great deal of success in this new wave of video game bundling. By bundling games AMD and NVIDIA can not only latch on to the attention and the hype that goes with the launch of a new AAA game, but it helps their financial sides too. Through bundling they can add value to the product and prop up prices by including something that is valuable to the consumer (but relatively cheap for the manufacturer), rather than having to slash prices and repeat the bloody price wars that marked the start of this decade.

With that in mind, following the success of AMD’s most recent video game bundles – Gaming Evolved (summer) and Never Settle (holiday) – AMD will be orchestrating another bundle for the winter/spring timeframe, to coincide with the forthcoming launch of several Gaming Evolved sponsored titles. The new bundle, dubbed the Never Settle Reloaded bundle, will see AMD putting together a couple different bundles at different price points with a mix of old and new games.

This time around the 7700 series will be left out (no doubt due to the sub-$100 prices those cards now fetch), but the 7800 series and up will now come with at least two games. For most buyers the 7800 series will be bundled with Bioshock: Infinite (launch date March 26th) and Tomb Raider (March 5th), while for Asia-Pacific region buyers will get Devil May Cry (February 28th) in place of Tomb Raider. Meanwhile the 7900 series swaps out Tomb Raider for Crysis 3 (February 19th), an unlikely (and unexpected) addition to the Gaming Evolved stable. Finally, for buyers picking up a pair of 7900s (or a single 7990), AMD has a six-game bundle composed of the three new games (Crysis, Tomb Raider, and Bioshock), along with Far Cry 3, Sleeping Dogs, and Hitman: Absolution from their previous bundle.

Q: What the heck is an “ultimate reload?” A: Well, it’s like IDKFA.

As always, these bundles are being offered in conjunction with AMD’s major retail/e-tail partners, who will be distributing vouchers for any qualifying purchases. So anyone looking to partake in this bundle will want to make sure their retailer of choice is participating. The vouchers themselves are redeemable through AMD’s website, which will be distributing Origin keys for Crysis, and Steam keys for the other games.

On a final, more speculative note note, in the past we’ve seen NVIDIA run their own bundles opposite AMD bundles most of the time. Consequently we wouldn’t be surprised to see NVIDIA fire back sometime in the next couple of weeks. Their traditional partners Ubisoft, Gearbox, and Capcom all have AAA games due out in the next two months, giving NVIDIA several options if they do decide to run a bundle offer of their own.

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  • HisDivineOrder - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Far Cry 3, I bet, will continue to be Uplay. That'd only affect people buying two 7900's though. But Uplay is nothing but trouble. It won't even accept a CD serial key.
  • JarredWalton - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Even better, Far Cry 3 is available on Steam, but then it launches a special version of UPlay. Whee! Fun! Ubisoft's anti-piracy approach is anti-consumer, and the pirates can still download and play Ubisoft games through the usual channels.
  • Fiercé - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    You're mistaken in that you think this is AMDs/Steams/Origins fault.

    Far Cry 3 has always been uPlay and will continue to be uPlay, as will their Splinter Cell, Watchdog and Rainbow Six games. That's their DRM technique and has nothing to do with Valve, EA, AMD or NVIDIA.

    If you were to buy Far Cry 3 on Steam right now, it would download and install uPlay. Launching the game through Steam would launch uPlay, which launches the actual game EXE.

    So this doesn't affect "only people getting Bundle Codes from buying AMD GPUs". This affects everyone who purchases a Ubisoft game whatsoever.

    Regarding the new Bundle, I'm ecstatic that AMD is finally taking game bundles seriously as I know about least 4 people who bought entry level NVIDIA cards simply because they came with Arkham Asylum. I am VERY disappointed however that they're making me choose between Crysis 3 or Tomb Raider, as I'm interested in both and don't appreciate having to blow $700+ in order to get them.

    If they were really smart, they'd have a website based redemption scheme where the customer would have to register/trade their email address for getting the codes emailed to them, with the website allowing selectable combinations of games based on the customers value motives. I'd happily give up the older 3 games for the newer 3 alone in exchange for purchasing a single 7900 series, and that capability in itself generates immense brand value for every customer being able to get exactly what they want from the Bundle Buffet.

    FYI, I'm looking for work AMD. Just saying.
  • JanieMartin - Thursday, February 7, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)
  • Fiercé - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Actually HisDivineOrder, on a quick second read through, maybe I replied prematurely.

    If the games from the prior bundle were not Steam/Origin, then what were they? Physical DVDs? Some sort of mail-in redemption of a physical copy? If they weren't actually digital distribution codes, then it could be looked at one of two ways.

    Either AMD is losing out on possible cost savings by still shipping physical media in the bundles rather than providing digital distribution codes, or they're providing gamers exactly what they want as there has be a recent rise of vocal minority gamers shouting they'd much prefer physical copies of the game data rather than being dependent upon download servers that remain online only at the whim of bandwidth costs and functioning internet backbones.

    Whichever way, apologies if I've jumped the gun.
  • xdeadzx - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    They ship a never settle bundle key related to what you bought, which you redeem online. They then send you CD keys for each game that your bundle entitles you to. Uplay DOES redeem CD keys, or rather, coupon codes (100% discount code). Games that can be redeemed on other platforms are sent as game CD keys for steam/origin.

    No, they don't send physical media. Source: The Never settle coupon paper sitting on my desk.
  • Fiercé - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Oh, so you're basically saying that HisDivineOrder is incorrect? And that all codes/keys provided by these AMD bundles are in fact digital distribution codes and redeemable by submitting them over the internet and getting GBs of game data in return?
  • Paulman - Sunday, February 3, 2013 - link

    I don't think HisDivineOrder meant an actual physical CD. I think he just meant a serial code (when he said "CD key").
  • This Guy - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Nvidia don't need game bundles right now. They have Shield. And if there has ever been a time to wait six months, Oculus Rift may be the cause of it.
  • GiantPandaMan - Saturday, February 2, 2013 - link

    Huh? Oculus will work with either video card. Shield is in a whole other category and has nothing to do with high end video cards or their bundles.

    It's like me saying that you shouldn't buy a new phone because a new version of Office is coming out.

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