Friday, April 28th 2017

AMD Backpedals on Quake Champions Promo Link with Radeon 17.4.4 Drivers

AMD made headlines yesterday (27th April), when AMD Radeon users discovered that their GPU driver update places a promotional link to a "Quake Champions" beta signup on their desktops. The Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.4.4 drivers leave a shortcut on your desktop which reads "Quake Champions," and has the official icon. The shortcut, however, points to a URL, which leads to a "Quake Champions" beta signup on publisher Bethesda's website. You can't opt not to see this icon during the driver setup's "custom setup" component selection page. The URL contains a referral extension, which made some people accuse AMD of trying to make money off it, a charge the company denies.

This caused major uproar in social media, with some comments calling it "adware" and AMD losing the moral high ground over NVIDIA, which marketed games through its GeForce Experience app. Sensing a PR fumble on its hands, AMD updated Radeon Software 17.4.4 drivers on its downloads page, which no longer plants the "Quake Champions" shortcut on your desktop. AMD could be testing the waters with how it could monetize its driver updates further. The company, like NVIDIA, already has game banner advertisements in the driver installer. AMD denied that it is making any money off the referral link, and that it is only using referral data to gauge activity.
Could the "Quake Champions" beta signup desktop shortcut be part of a deal AMD struck with Bethesda earlier this year, which sees Bethesda optimize its games for AMD Ryzen and Vega in return for promotions from AMD? This isn't new, as most NVIDIA "The Way it's Meant to be Played" titles work on a similar model of hardware-optimization in exchange for marketing (through driver installers, GeForce.com content, GeForce Experience, and more).

In a statement posted on Twitter, Terry "Catalyst Maker" Makedon, director of software at AMD, apologized for this incident. "Some of you didnt like game icons installed so we just updated the Radeon Software package without one. We heard you. Sorry," he stated. He added that AMD only intended to earn goodwill by giving gamers access to "Quake Champions" closed beta. He then stated that AMD isn't making any money off this, and that it only wanted to gauge consumer interest in Quake Champions and to test if AMD could pursue similar beta offerings in the future.
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66 Comments on AMD Backpedals on Quake Champions Promo Link with Radeon 17.4.4 Drivers

#2
RejZoR
A desktop shortcut one can delete in half a second? OH MY GOD, WORLD HAS ENDED!!!!!111111 Granted, such practices are generally not welcome, but c'mon, "massive uproar"? Seriously?
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#3
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
People need to find better things to do with their time...
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#4
bug
Gone are the days when you went to download a driver and you downloaded a driver :(
Almost makes you let Microsoft update the drivers for you. Almost.
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#5
ADHDGAMING
Love how the one guys Pic is a OverWatch logo that hes likely not being paid to advertise, yet he seems to have an issue with 3rd parties making money off him/her. *scratches head
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#6
ZeppMan217
RejZoR said:
A desktop shortcut one can delete in half a second? OH MY GOD, WORLD HAS ENDED!!!!!111111 Granted, such practices are generally not welcome, but c'mon, "massive uproar"? Seriously?
Yeah, let's let ALL drivers put some 3rd party shit on your system. That's gonna work out swell.
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#7
Brusfantomet
It is a fault that there was no choice to disable the extra icon, but compared other its not the worst.

IT also helps that they saw their fault and have fixed it.
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#8
wiak
people are missing using the word "adware" and "spyware" alot lately, wtf :cry:
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#9
Fluffmeister
I guess Terry and the gang have found out how successful this would be.

AMD users are easily outraged after all. :P
Posted on Reply
#10
ShurikN
Oh no... that's awful.
If only there was a way to remove the shortcut from desktop. A man can hope tho... a man can hope.
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#11
64K
ShurikN said:
Oh no... that's awful.
If only there was a way to remove the shortcut from desktop. A man can hope tho... a man can hope.
Fortunately there is a YouTube video that tells us how to delete desktop icons :p

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#12
Dj-ElectriC
RejZoR said:
A desktop shortcut one can delete in half a second? OH MY GOD, WORLD HAS ENDED!!!!!111111 Granted, such practices are generally not welcome, but c'mon, "massive uproar"? Seriously?
Fight over the little things now, so you won't have to fight for bigger ones in the future.
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#13
xkm1948
Did i start this? Dont care. Quake is awesome.
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#15
hojnikb
RejZoR said:
A desktop shortcut one can delete in half a second? OH MY GOD, WORLD HAS ENDED!!!!!111111 Granted, such practices are generally not welcome, but c'mon, "massive uproar"? Seriously?
When Nvidia does it, "BURN THE WITCHES!!!!!!!!111"
When AMD does it, "They mean good"

Such hypocrisy.
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#16
Solidstate89
RejZoR said:
A desktop shortcut one can delete in half a second? OH MY GOD, WORLD HAS ENDED!!!!!111111 Granted, such practices are generally not welcome, but c'mon, "massive uproar"? Seriously?
Keep defending the indefensible because it's your favorite company. It's a real good look.
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#17
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Isn't it a closed beta? I mean I don't remember nvidia ever handing out beta keys..
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#18
RejZoR
Solidstate89 said:
Keep defending the indefensible because it's your favorite company. It's a real good look.
Go on, keep on pushing the "you're just an AMD fanboy" narrative. It ain't gonna work because I'm no fanboy of anything. But a bloody shortcut? How often do you forget to uncheck "Create shortcut on desktop" in installers. Better start barking at all those companies pre-checking that option in installers! Dem spywarez!!!!!!!
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#19
NdMk2o1o
hojnikb said:
When Nvidia does it, "BURN THE WITCHES!!!!!!!!111"
When AMD does it, "They mean good"

Such hypocrisy.
Have you quited RejZor slating Nvidia for the same thing? you will have people from both camps saying the same regardless then you get the butthurt people who say things like this and try to make out it's unfair.... :p

And as pointed out its a link, I wouldnt care here nor there but.... BUT it's QUAKE CHAMPIONSSSSSSSSSSS :rockout::pimp::roll:
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#20
Gundem
People can be so pathetic... ooh an icon, run for your lives!
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#21
medi01
In other news:



I guess one normally brings to life, something that isn't alive.
So Zombies confirmed in HL3!


RejZoR said:
But a bloody shortcut?
I expect AMD to respect my arse and not push bloody shortcuts to my desktop, thank you very much.

Good that they've quickly removed it, after major reddit outcry.


hojnikb said:
When
Needs to come from the same users.
Being cool with both is as consistent as opposing both.
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#22
TheinsanegamerN
RejZoR said:
Go on, keep on pushing the "you're just an AMD fanboy" narrative. It ain't gonna work because I'm no fanboy of anything. But a bloody shortcut? How often do you forget to uncheck "Create shortcut on desktop" in installers. Better start barking at all those companies pre-checking that option in installers! Dem spywarez!!!!!!!
You seem intentionally fired up over this.

If you let any company get away with something, they will push the limit further and further. First it's harmless links, next thing you know, you end up with telemetry baked into your drivers ALA nvidia. It's important to let them know how unacceptable these things are before they get out of hand, especially an underdog like AMD that depends on being better then nvidia just to survive.

Also, LOL you still use individual installers? Ninite has been a thing for years.
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#23
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Gundem said:
People can be so pathetic... ooh an icon, run for your lives!
Classic software rule, if you are bundling something 3rd party with your software install, you tell the user about it and give them the option to opt out. Even the garbageware crap does that now.

It isn't that it is an icon, it is that they don't give the option anywhere to not put it on your system, or even warn you that it will happen.

That being said, I don't think it is something they should be raked over the coals for. It isn't a piece of software that actually gets installed on the system. If it was, then I could see the outrage. This is just more of a blunder that they deserve a little push back on, but not anything I would consider "outrage".
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#24
hyp36rmax
Yea the outrage was stupid. It's a freaking link. Although it's totally possible AMD was monetizing on the per clicks, but did anyone think that you can use those bit links to measure performance? It's not any different from Genius links that we use at our company to measure total number of clicks to gauge how successful our marketing campaigns are.

I wish AMD would have stood their ground and added additional confirmation to opt in during installation instead.
Posted on Reply
#25
hyp36rmax
TheinsanegamerN said:
You seem intentionally fired up over this.

If you let any company get away with something, they will push the limit further and further. First it's harmless links, next thing you know, you end up with telemetry baked into your drivers ALA nvidia. It's important to let them know how unacceptable these things are before they get out of hand, especially an underdog like AMD that depends on being better then nvidia just to survive.

Also, LOL you still use individual installers? Ninite has been a thing for years.
That's pretty deep... Sounds malicious... It's more like these companies had good intentions despite not thinking it through all the way. In the case of AMD, execution was mishandled. At the very least they were reactive.
Posted on Reply
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