NVIDIA Terminates GeForce Partner Program
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.