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NVIDIA Responds to AMD Accusations

NVIDIA has responded to accusations from AMD that NVIDIA's GameWorks program was "deliberately crippling performance on AMD products to widen the margin in favor of NVIDIA products," because it "precludes the developer from accepting AMD suggestions that would improve performance directly in the game code." There was a quote from an ex-NVIDIA developer in our earlier story on this, but The Tech Report spoke with Cem Cebenoyan, Director of Engineering for Developer Technology at NVIDIA about the claim. "It's definitely not true. We've never done anything like that, where we preclude people from working with our competition or taking suggestions from our competition or getting access to builds," Cebenoyan told them. "I don't know the specifics, because it's not really our business as to who has access to our games developers partners' builds. That's up to them, right? But my assumption is . . . all the competitors have equal access in terms of getting builds." They do, however, note the GameWorks license agreement does indeed make it possible that AMD is denied access to portions of a game's source code that contains proprietary NVIDIA middleware, though Cebenoyan says. "In general, most game developers don't really give people source code, anyway." The article also includes his thoughts on why AMD has had trouble with NVIDIA sponsored titles along with an counter accusation about the same sort of shenanigans:

Cebenoyan then chimed in, "We spend a lot of energy on those titles. We really look at them carefully and try to make the experience as good as possible for Nvidia customers. Maybe in the process of doing that, that makes it so that it's noticeably better than on AMD. I don't know. But it's not a functional way to work with developers where you suggest things to them that hurt a significant portion of their user base. That's just not gonna fly with any competent developer. So that's not something that we ever do."

Somewhat contradictorily, Cebenoyan went on to tell me that, in "at least" two instances, AMD's own developer relations efforts impeded Nvidia's work with game developers. "We know of real examples where we have actually explicitly been forbidden from seeing builds—forget source code, even just binary builds—of games that include high-end effects," Cebenoyan said. "The full game with all of the effects, the important PC ultra quality settings, [was] hidden from us until say a few weeks before launch, something like that. These were things that were contractually obligated."

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