Thursday, February 2nd 2017

NVIDIA Makes it Tougher to Trade Bundled Games

NVIDIA and AMD have, over the past five years, innovated giving away AAA game releases with their graphics cards, through game codes that can be redeemed on DRM platforms such as Steam. The two have their own internal pricing with game publishers, which makes giving away $60 (retail value) games with $400 graphics cards tolerable to their bean counters. To consumers, these games made for great tradable commodities, a sort of "discount coupons," even. Say you don't want to play the included games, already have them, or bought two graphics cards and have one game to spare; you had the ability to give away, trade, or even sell those game codes. NVIDIA is about to change that.

With its latest game bundle that lets you choose from "For Honor" and Tom Clancy's "Ghost Recon: Wildlands," on purchase of new GeForce GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 graphics cards, NVIDIA changed the game redemption method. You first need NVIDIA's GeForce Experience app installed and logged in. The app then one-time redeems the game of your choice on verifying that you have the graphics card participating in the offer (i.e. a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080). The app doesn't appear to be checking serial-numbers of the cards, but rather if the right GPU is installed in the machine. After redeeming the game, however, you are free to uninstall GeForce Experience, or even change your graphics card. The game is handled by the DRM platform its developers intended (Steam, UPlay, Origin, etc.). We tested how game code trading works under the new system.

One of our US-based friends gave us a coupon to Tom Clancy's "Ghost Recon: Wildlands" beta, which we redeemed using GeForce Experience. In order to use the key, we first had to install GeForce Experience. When we tried to redeem the key with the app, it sprung up a "region mismatch" error. We then had to use a VPN to trick the activation service into thinking we're trying to redeem from the US. It then wanted to link our UPlay account to GeForce Experience, so we had to create a new UPlay account, too. From our experience, we conclude that bundled game key trading has certainly become many notches tougher though not impossible.
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35 Comments on NVIDIA Makes it Tougher to Trade Bundled Games

#1
TheGuruStud
LOL, so now they're REMOVING an incentive for people to purchase the cards. Bravo, nGreedia.
Posted on Reply
#2
evernessince
In other words, this completely negates the ability to sell your code. So now if you don't want the game or already have it Nvidia just gave you a reason to not buy their cards. Dumb move given that the RX 480 4 GB is already on par with the GTX 1060 and will only improve as more and more DX 12 and Vulcan games come out. Not to mention Nvidia doesn't really have a response to the RX 470, which is only a bit more than a GTX 1050 Ti for a lot more performance.
Posted on Reply
#3
renz496
people are quick to blame this on nvidia but i'm sure this is game publisher request to prevent the game code resell. just look at EA. they no longer give their triple A games free with gpu purchase anymore. the BF1 promo they did with AMD? at best they give you upgrade codes. to use it you still need to buy the game at full price first. EA did this because they don't want cheap game codes to affect their potential sales on game launch.
Posted on Reply
#4
Wark0
evernessince said:
In other words, this completely negates the ability to sell your code.
Not at all ?!

The only difference is that before the buyer could redeem the Steam/Origin/Uplay directly from Nvidia, now you have to do it for him.
Posted on Reply
#5
AsRock
TPU addict
renz496 said:
people are quick to blame this on nvidia but i'm sure this is game publisher request to prevent the game code resell. just look at EA. they no longer give their triple A games free with gpu purchase anymore. the BF1 promo they did with AMD? at best they give you upgrade codes. to use it you still need to buy the game at full price first. EA did this because they don't want cheap game codes to affect their potential sales on game launch.
Solution to that is to sell their cards cheaper without the game(s).
Posted on Reply
#6
the54thvoid
Ah yes, the old "how dare you offer something for free" complaints. How typically first world.
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#7
BorgOvermind
That GeForce Experience thing is a pathetic attempt at copying RAPTR.

While RAPTR by itself only caused crashes sometimes when the video recording overlay was activated, in the case of GeForce Experience (which btw uses subliminals) there are so many issues you will not be able to keep it installed and active as a gamer that uses too many games. There are different levels and type of incompatibilities, some which have no fix whatsoever.
I've intensively tested this on an Acer Predator with GTX1070 and the verdict is quite clear: uninstall.
Maybe it will be improved in the future, but I won't use an app that causes excessive game crashes no matter the enforcement methods.
Posted on Reply
#8
sno.lcn
So you can now only sell your free game to people running nvidia graphics cards. Is that like me only being able to sell my free Xbox games to people that already own an Xbox? I wish I got free Xbox games. Anyway...

Easy to see things from their point of view. It's like offering a gift card rebate. Most people aren't going to use it, either because they forget about it, lose it, or don't see anything they want to buy, and the thing expires, returning that money to the seller. I've gotten lots of free games with video card purchases, but that's never factored into my decision to go with a certain product. I always know what I'm after ahead of time, and I'll take whichever is priced lower between my three or four preferred manufacturers. The only time the free game would sway my buying decision is if I'm planning to buy the game anyway, and the lowest price for a graphics card and that game cost more than the bundle. Otherwise, for me anyway, the game code gets thrown in a drawer and is never redeemed. And that's better for everyone's bottom line, except mine, but like I said, the free game almost never affects my buying decision. That being said, I'm far from a typical GPU buyer, since I buy almost zero PC games anyway (that's what consoles are for!), and I don't really know what the market looks like for reselling free game codes. Like has been mentioned already, it's either pressure from the game publishers, or some desperate product manager trying to push their app.

I wonder how strict they'll be on having a specific nvidia card.
Posted on Reply
#9
bug
Online DRM has always been a means to keep the game prices up. Since people don't seen to have a problem with online DRM, I fail to see why they have a problem with this.
Sure, it's a lousy move to make, but it's not surprising in the least.
Posted on Reply
#10
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
BorgOvermind said:
That GeForce Experience thing is a pathetic attempt at copying RAPTR.

While RAPTR by itself only caused crashes sometimes when the video recording overlay was activated, in the case of GeForce Experience (which btw uses subliminals) there are so many issues you will not be able to keep it installed and active as a gamer that uses too many games. There are different levels and type of incompatibilities, some which have no fix whatsoever.
I've intensively tested this on an Acer Predator with GTX1070 and the verdict is quite clear: uninstall.
Maybe it will be improved in the future, but I won't use an app that causes excessive game crashes no matter the enforcement methods.
Um, just no. The (now) abandoned RAPTR was an attempt to do what NVIDIA had already been doing for several years with GeForce Experience.

Your testing is totally borked. There may be alot of people that dont like having to have GeFE installed, but it is not because of instability. I have used it for years because of Shadow Play, and not had one game crash due to it. You've obviously got other issues going on in your unstable system,
Posted on Reply
#11
Chaitanya
Anyways nvidia always bundles crappy games with their gpus when compared to AMD bundles.
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#12
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Chaitanya said:
Anyways nvidia always bundles crappy games with their gpus when compared to AMD bundles.
Apparently you've been asleep the last two years, because you've got it backwards.
Posted on Reply
#13
Chaitanya
rtwjunkie said:
Apparently you've been asleep the last two years, because you've got it backwards.
true, last Gpu I purchases was a GTX 970(open box from ebay, just after the whole memory fiasco came to light). Back then AMD bundles were a lot better than nVidia, even today AMD is bundling Hitman with 470 while 1050Ti costing same doesn't come with a free game.
Posted on Reply
#14
P4-630
The Way It's Meant to be Played
No free game for me with my Pre-ordered MSI GTX1070 Gaming X....:ohwell:
Posted on Reply
#15
renz496
Chaitanya said:
true, last Gpu I purchases was a GTX 970(open box from ebay, just after the whole memory fiasco came to light). Back then AMD bundles were a lot better than nVidia, even today AMD is bundling Hitman with 470 while 1050Ti costing same doesn't come with a free game.
after never settle bundle 2 it is becoming rare to see AMD bundling latest triple A games with their card. true AMD bundle 470 with Hitman but that is considered as old game at this point. with x50 series nvidia usually did not give free games. instead they tied the promotion with free to play games. only recently i think nvidia give free games to x50 class of card (indie games).
Posted on Reply
#16
TheGuruStud
Wark0 said:
Not at all ?!

The only difference is that before the buyer could redeem the Steam/Origin/Uplay directly from Nvidia, now you have to do it for him.
No, now you have a lesser chance or have to price your key even cheaper to sell. Who is going to buy a naked key from a random person? There's so much fraud with 3rd party keys it's absurd.
Posted on Reply
#17
TheGuruStud
the54thvoid said:
Ah yes, the old "how dare you offer something for free" complaints. How typically first world.
Nothing is free. You're very naive if you actually think that. Instead of dropping prices by a larger margin to push cards they bundle games that cost less.
Posted on Reply
#18
AsRock
TPU addict
TheGuruStud said:
Nothing is free. You're very naive if you actually think that. Instead of dropping prices by a larger margin to push cards they bundle games that cost less.
OOh i am to aware of what they doing as they get super deals. but IF i was after 2 cards to put in SLI this limitation is not tempting me any more in fact makes me want to say f*ck you too.
Posted on Reply
#19
TheGuruStud
AsRock said:
OOh i am to aware of what they doing as they get super deals. but IF i was after 2 cards to put in SLI this limitation is not tempting me any more in fact makes me want to say f*ck you too.
Shit, I replied to wrong comment. Will edit.
Posted on Reply
#20
ADHDGAMING
so they want to make sure that the person who redeems the game is using Nvidia and Not AMD lol. But, u can simply uninstall the Nvida stuff and plug your AMD card back in bwahahah .. nice try Nvidia .. nice try
Posted on Reply
#21
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
ADHDGAMING said:
so they want to make sure that the person who redeems the game is using Nvidia and Not AMD lol. But, u can simply uninstall the Nvida stuff and plug your AMD card back in bwahahah .. nice try Nvidia .. nice try
No. Just no. It's about them paying a game publisher already for the game. It's not right that it would get resold.
Posted on Reply
#22
TheGuruStud
rtwjunkie said:
No. Just no. It's about them paying a game publisher already for the game. It's not right that it would get resold.
The dildos think they're losing the sale of a full price game just like pirating costs them "tons" of money. They're delusional.
Posted on Reply
#23
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
So did anyone happen to notice that AMD just recently put up this page for redeeming their game bundles. One of the steps being to download the "AMD Product Verification Tool". I'll let you all guess what that does.
Posted on Reply
#24
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
newtekie1 said:
So did anyone happen to notice that AMD just recently put up this page for redeeming their game bundles. One of the steps being to download the "AMD Product Verification Tool". I'll let you all guess what that does.
Sounds like this is a publisher-driven initiative, rather than just those Nvidia mean a-holes. :p
Posted on Reply
#25
TheGuruStud
newtekie1 said:
So did anyone happen to notice that AMD just recently put up this page for redeeming their game bundles. One of the steps being to download the "AMD Product Verification Tool". I'll let you all guess what that does.
Thanks nvidia. One bows and the rest have to follow, eh.
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