Nvidia denies AMD boycott

Nvidia has denied AMD’s claims that its GameWorks program prevents AMD from working with game developers on GPU optimisations.

The allegations were made in a Forbes article yesterday. Tech report asked Cem Cebenoyan, Director of Engineering for Developer Technology at Nvidia if the story was true and he said it was total rubbish.

Cebenoyan said that Nvidia had never precluded people from working with its competition or taking suggestions from its competition or getting access to builds.

He said that it was not really Nvidia’s business as to who has access to its games developers partners’ builds. His assumption was that all the competitors have equal access in terms of getting pre-release game builds.

Pre-release game builds are normally shared with GPU manufacturers prior to launch and nothing in the GameWorks licensing terms precludes that type of collaboration, Cebenoyan said.

Developers are not allowed to share Nvidia’s GameWorks middleware code, hich, when that code is integrated into a game engine, may mean AMD doesn’t get access to that portion of a game’s source code.

Cebenoyan conceded that AMD was “concerned” about not having the code for Nvidia’s GameWorks modules. However, he seems to believe that shouldn’t hinder AMD’s optimisation efforts.

He said that in all the games Nvidia worked with, it did not need the source code to a game to optimise for it. Nvidia driver engineers almost never have looked game source code. So that’s not really the operating model.

Prior to the establishment of the GameWorks licensing model, AMD would not have had access to the code for games with Nvidia middleware anyway.

AMD moaned about code samples disappearing from Nvidia’s website, Cebenoyan pointed out that the samples were still there, but someone just failed in navigating the website. Nvidia doesn’t intend to remove them –  indeed, the company says it wants to add more of them.

However the question then is why do certain Nvidia-backed titles, such as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Arkham Asylum, and Watch Dogs, perform so comparatively poorly on AMD gear. Cebenoyan said that Nvidia spent shedloads of time on those titles.

However Cebenoyan hinted that AMD’s claims were all projection and that its 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,” Cebenoyan said.