Nvidia Stops Promotional Game Resales by Tying Codes to Hardware

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Creig

    Creig Gawd

    Messages:
    786
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
    Or... if Nvidia simply didn't do things like this, they wouldn't get blamed either.

    Crazy thought, I know!
     
    Stimpy88 likes this.
  2. MrCaffeineX

    MrCaffeineX [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,420
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    They get a bulk discount by buying a large number of codes from the publisher at one time. Your statement does not account for that discount. The publisher had to agree to sell the codes to nVIDIA in the first place or to come up with some other agreement whereby the publisher gets paid. Each key sold to nVIDIA is not a lost sale, it was a sale at a discounted price.

    When the person purchasing the card gets the key, they can opt to install it for themselves or sell it. As far as I understand it, selling the key violates the terms of service under which the key was provided in the first place. Publishers can make the argument that they would like an enforcement mechanism for this and nVIDIA is providing that via the GeForce Experience check/validation prior to activation of the key.

    You cannot assume from any of this that the person purchasing the key, even though it is in violation of the ToS under which the key was provided, was a lost sale from the perspective of the publisher. The motives driving people to purchase secondhand keys are myriad and because they purchased a secondhand key does not infer that they would have purchased a key directly from the publisher or another authorized distributor.

    The key could have been gifted by the purchaser of the card to another person as well. Again, this is in violation of the ToS under which the card purchaser acquired the key, but there is no guarantee that the recipient of the gifted key would have purchased the key directly had it not been gifted to them.

    Just because something is produced does not mean that consumers have an obligation to purchase it and assuming that anyone that chose not to purchase what you produced is a lost sale is a mischaracterization, though it is a missed opportunity.
     
    Spartacus likes this.
  3. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,509
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Well Nvidia has pretty much been in bed with Ubisoft for the last like what? 10 years? I'm sure they can work together to make it so their GFE can activate the game on UPlay. I mean, every bundled game I've gotten with a video card over the past like decade has been an Ubisoft title. HAWX 2, R6 Vegas 2, The Division, Watchdogs, etc. I think the last bundle was what? Watchdogs 2? Now it's For Honor or Ghost Recon. More Ubisoft titles.
     
  4. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,615
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    The Internet has also taught me that everything AMD does is complete and utter incompetence. If they have a success, it is only because of dumb luck, or a complete misstep by the competition.
     
  5. krotch

    krotch [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,509
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    The games that Nvidia has bundled have been games I wanted to try out, but I didn't want to buy. My last bundled game, The Division, was a game I wasn't willing to buy. I knew it'd be similiar to Destiny and I felt I already wasted my money on that. So I didn't want to blow money on The Division, but wanted to try it out. Luckily it came bundled with my 970 when I upgraded. Otherwise, I probably would have waited for until the price dropped and probably simply forgotten about it by then.

    Ubisoft is hit or miss company for me. They're games I'd like to try, but never enough that I'd actually buy them. I bought R6 Seige and walked away disappointed. Now that Ghost Recon is in the bundle, I may upgrade to a 1070. I'd like a bit more eye candy when playing at 1440p. Whether there's a bundle or not, it's not like the price is any different.


    Edit:

    Just read the update. I hope I don't get locked out of redeeming the game. I order my card from Newegg from the US and sent to my address in Germany. I'm a US government contractor.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  6. canmanone

    canmanone Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    255
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    i guess i wont be buying nvidia products in the future then. its my game my choice to do what i want with my game.
     
  7. WorldExclusive

    WorldExclusive [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,870
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    For clarity purposes:

    Once the game is activated with a qualifying GPU that's apart of the bundle i.e. 1070/1080 on GFE. The game can be used with any hardware, including AMD.

    So, you can't have a game code for a GTX 1070/1080 and activate it with a GTX 970. You will need ANY 1070/1080 with GFE to activate it.
    If I already own a GTX 1070/1080, and a new owner of a 1070/1080 has a game code, I can still use that code because we share the same GPU that was apart of the bundle.
     
  8. tviceman

    tviceman Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    396
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    So much rage for what is possibly only a minor inconvenience. Again, how can and Nvidia and GeForce Experience can access to your steam, origin, or Uplay account? It can't.

    My money is on that GFE runs the card and region check and spits out a game key. What you do with that game key is up to you.
     
  9. nvgrim

    nvgrim [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,654
    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    AMD doesnt pull this shit. and this is coming from a Nvidia fan, after the GFE 3.0 update ive been hating Nvidia more and more.
     
    Stimpy88 and Stryker7314 like this.
  10. Stryker7314

    Stryker7314 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    217
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    I moved on to Ati a while back due to these tactics and glad I did because I found something very interesting, games look significantly better on Ati. I chalked it up to nvidia looking like shit because they just want higher fps at the expense of image quality, go figure.

    Keep your tactics and shit iq nvidia, and shove them where the sun don't shine.
     
  11. WorldExclusive

    WorldExclusive [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,870
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    AMD already has their own verification:
    https://www.amd4u.com/amdgamepromo/

    Both AMD and Nvidia verifications aren't tied to the hardware after activation.

    Awaiting the forums boycott of both companies...
     
    Semantics, Shintai and nvgrim like this.
  12. kinjo

    kinjo [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,053
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Wait and correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like once you "activate" the Nvidia promo code it spits you out a steam/uplay/origin code that you can activate on that service. So other than it being a bit more inconvenient and forcing you to install the Geforce experience (which admittedly is terrible garbage bloatware) the processes hasn't really changed you still get a steam/uplay/origin key... so if you want to sell the game because you don't need/want it, now instead of selling the Nivida code to the buyer you just redeem the Nvidia code yourself and the sell them the corresponding steam code... so yeah one more hoop to jump through sucks but in the end nothing has changed.

    Maybe I am just reading it wrong but that's what it looks like to me.
     
    tviceman likes this.
  13. nvgrim

    nvgrim [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,654
    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    I was not aware of that. Well fuck them both, and fuck nvidia especially for thinking they can install telemetry software on my computer. Thank god for autoruns.exe
     
    Stryker7314 likes this.
  14. Vader1975

    Vader1975 Gawd

    Messages:
    816
    Joined:
    May 11, 2016
    Ah then it doesn't really matter.
     
  15. [L]imey

    [L]imey [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    You should probably read the whole thread, you're incorrect.
     
  16. tviceman

    tviceman Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    396
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    I have read the whole thread. No one has said how GFE ties itself to Steam, Uplay, etc. to force activation of the game key on a specific account. A game key has to be redeemed through the game service itself.

    Until someone 100% verifies GFE manipulates Steam or other gaming clients, I believe GFE only gives out the game key after the GPU and region check and directs the user to where the key can be activated.
     
    Shintai likes this.
  17. [L]imey

    [L]imey [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    2,006
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Since Tviceman has read the whole thread and everything...
     
    Meeho and File like this.
  18. tviceman

    tviceman Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    396
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    I read the whole thread.... except for that post. ;)
     
  19. polonyc2

    polonyc2 [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    16,522
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    so you can still sell your codes but it has to be to a person who also owns the GPU the game(s) comes bundled with
     
  20. Semantics

    Semantics 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,766
    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    What's the moral argument against doing this?
     
  21. Semantics

    Semantics 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,766
    Joined:
    May 18, 2010
    True
    Why? I just don't use it.

    Given I don't use shadowplay, i'd probably get slightly annoyed if i really like and used shadowplay or used a shield. So i just don't use it, download drivers from the website uncheck the boxes I don't need and be on my way, game optimization isn't something i desire so really I don't have a use for GFE so i don't install it on my nvidia machines.
    So i'm guessing you own 0 steam games given you can't do what you want with those games and resell them either?
    You redeem though GFE it goes, okay you have the card that you say you have by redeeming this code, then it takes you to login steam/origin/uplay and tells them to give a game to account xxx. This is a built in function of steam/origin/uplay how could this be against TOS if the game distro services built it into their service.
     
    nvgrim likes this.
  22. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,586
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    Its not an attitude, its the truth. Does AMD produce a card that can game at maximum settings, 1440p to 4k, on the majority of current titles?

    Simple answer is no.

    So what your saying is I should pick my GPU based on the bundled game and my ability to resell it, rather than the specs of my system and hardware, and my personal wants and demands.

    Or

    That I should pick one company over another because there is a perception of fair practices, despite the FACT that the provider (AMD) does not make a product for my segment. Thus I should make due with an inferior product and hang up my 3440x1440 Monitor and my 4k Samsung tv that I invested in.

    Attitudes like yours is something I cannot understand. nVidia has done nothing illegal, nor is it really morally wrong. They closed the door on something you used to be able to do, but it was their door to close. If they made GFE mandatory I'd reconsider, but again I invested a lot of cash into my system and without a competing offering I have no choice. At the end of the day, attitudes like yours is why AMD continues to get away with mediocrity.
     
  23. nvgrim

    nvgrim [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,654
    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    I was under the assumption that its mandatory now....looks like i know what im uninstalling now.
     
  24. -=SOF=-WID99

    -=SOF=-WID99 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    221
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    it beats the hell i had to go thru to get my Witcher 3 code from AMAZON when i bought my GTX 960
    i did i bought a Strix gtx 960 ..but had to wait for AMAZON to send me a code

    the game Newegg (alien isolation) screwed me on i bought an ASUS AMD R 9 270 X ..never got the code

    bought both those GPU's after they were reviewed on [H]ardocp

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2014/08/11/asus_radeon_r9_270x_directcu_ii_top_video_card_review

    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2015/03/23/asus_strix_gtx_960_directcu_ii_oc_video_card_review/1
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
  25. mope54

    mope54 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,437
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    This seems more about getting GFE on our computers than limiting reselling of game codes. I couldn't care about whether the games are tied to my account somehow, but I don't want GFE on my computer.
     
  26. Lizard Testes

    Lizard Testes Gawd

    Messages:
    524
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Yeah they just make crossfire that doesn't work worth a shit for years.
     
  27. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,196
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    If you enter the code in GFE, won't it just burp out another code that you can still resell? Or the actual platform for these games will be GFE itself?
     
  28. ghostwich

    ghostwich [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,723
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Yeah that's the big thing - you log in w/ Steam or Uplay or whatever, and there is no discrete code, the game is activated in your account.
     
  29. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,196
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    The more I think of it the stupider this idea sounds.

    Another issue is presumably until now they just slammed a code in the box of the card, but now they have to make sure that a specific code gets shipped with a specific card. That seems to be a boatload of extra logistics to me.
     
  30. ghostwich

    ghostwich [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,723
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2014
    Stupid for who, though? Nvidia is closing off the ability to (easily*) sell the games that get bundled in.

    (*Unless you've got the same card the game is bundled with.)
     
  31. Azphira

    Azphira [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,822
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    I unsubscribed from nVidia emails. I got tired of them telling me all the games I could get buying their 1080 gtx, when I received nothing buying two of them.
     
  32. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    9,196
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    I assumed they tie the game to the serial number of the card, not just the model.
     
  33. Spartacus

    Spartacus [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,915
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    So Nvidia emailed me a game code last week and today I jump through all the hoops to try to redeem it.
    I installed the newest driver for my GTX 1070, let it install GFE, reset my forgotten Nvidia password, etc.

    I get through all of that and then it tells me the code is expired already!

    Hey, not like I have a job or family or other things to worry about besides redeeming the game code before
    it expires in 10 seconds.

    Gee uhh..... thanks for the big gift there Nvidia.

    GFE now uninstalled.

    lol.... wtf?

    .
     
  34. bigstusexy

    bigstusexy 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,146
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Oh wow, I'm six pages in. Anywho, I saw something like this coming when I had to sign into the new experience. I don't want to sign in to anything just for optimized settings and new driver notices/installs. This is all I use it for and all I care to.
     
  35. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,984
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    This is a major, egregious blow to customer rights and if we don't protest it now, things will only get worse. W
    The pack-in title is all ready subsidized/paid for and is there to help encourage players to pick up new GPUs. Furthermore, making the damn thing obtuse through the use of GeForce Experience is even worse. I am so bloody sick of the amount of privacy destroying "apps/platforms/stores" that are crammed into every bloody use case. Its the second plague of the big-data marketing era, just like how the first plague was the removal of simple email address registration for various contests, accounts etc....compared to the current push for "log into an app and then you need to Tweet, Like, Follow etc..." garbage. You just know that they COULD have even run this stupid plan without forcing it through GFE - simply having a webpage for redemption as always, but just coding a small hash function into their driver packages on the "About" page, so users of Nvidia cards could go there, have it spit out a code, and you use said code on the webpage to prove you're using a "qualifying family" GPU. But no, Nvidia decided they needed to push yet another constantly running, monitoring service that sits around collecting as many metrics as possible, constantly marketing, and opening up a litany of "offers" because hey - you are signed into their app so you must be giving your consent!!

    The original issue itself however is bad enough. There is zero reason why players should not be able to give the code to a friend or sell it to offset the cost of the GPU regardless of whatever card family the recipient currently uses. Making it obtuse like this won't even necessarily prevent sales, but at most mean that the "marketplace" for those titles will be limited to existing owners etc. We absolutely need to push back against this now, forcing bad press and inundating Nvidia and their partners in the industry with objections, from OEMs like Asus and EVGA down to vendors like Amazon and Newegg who at times provide the codes. We as enthusiasts are part of Nvidia's biggest market for higher end cards that include desirable pack-in titles so perhaps if every major tech review site writes an open letter/op-ed trashing the practice and users individually email complaints to Nvidia and their partners, we can get them to roll back this policy in the face of backlash and bad press. Make no mistake, this kind of anti-consumer nonsense is emboldened every time users do nothing/just put up with it. I would say that if an initial campaign of showcasing grievances in a reasonable matter as described above doesn't work, there are other steps that can be taken such as calling for a boycott . However, if we just accept this encroachment and deem it the reasonable new normal, it will simply allow them to push things even further in the future.

    Disgusting and shameful.
     
    Zuul likes this.
  36. Aireoth

    Aireoth 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,586
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    this is where you draw the line? Sorry Xaeos, this ship has already sailed.

    If consumers would have been capable of organizing it would have happened with buy american and keep our jorbs, not over a bundled product with a GPU...
     
  37. RanceJustice

    RanceJustice [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,984
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Its important to try and object to every single step over the line. Yes, the line has been crossed long, long ago and we have a significant inertia to overcome, but we can't be defeatist either and assume it isn't possible. Europeans for instance were able to have better privacy regulations because they pushed for them. There are lots of organizations out there pushing for change in various areas (EFF and FSF from the tech sector, ACLU for lots of important elements including restoring 4th amendment privacy protections, Organic Consumers Association for agriculture and health etc..) and lots of people taking direct action, from boycotts to campaigns to marches over various issues or just plain old letters to elected officials and regulatory agencies asking them to investigate/do their job.. The GPU issue described here is a minor symptom of a much, much larger problem and we need to galvanize ourselves to fight for better protections for consumers, privacy, and changes in economic, legal, and electoral policy that allows financial and corporate interests to pretty much get away with anything they wish at the cost of the public good, individually and collectively.

    Every step in the right direction is a good one. If there's backlash against Nvidia's decision sufficient that they don't want to take the PR hit, want to stop people advising boycotts and to buy AMD instead, and choose to roll it back, that's one small step
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
    Spartacus and Zuul like this.
  38. ElementDave

    ElementDave [H]Lite

    Messages:
    64
    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    I do the same when updating Nvidia drivers. One of the problems, however, is that even when opting out of GFE and selecting only the base drivers, the installer surreptitiously adds "telemetry" (a euphemism for spyware -- let's call what it is) in the form of several task scheduler entries and corresponding files to the user's machine. I carefully audit all software I install and that stunt did not help Nvidia earn my trust to put it mildly. Sadly, it didn't surprise me either, but my disillusionment concerning their business practices is another topic.

    This new policy doesn't affect me personally, because I'm incompatible with Uplay. But that doesn't make GFE any less ridiculous as a prerequisite for game redemption when there are much simpler and straightforward methods of verifying hardware. Others are probably correct that publisher terms are what drove AMD and Nvidia to tie the games to hardware, and the latter's use of GFE is opportunistic.
     
  39. SlayVus

    SlayVus Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    193
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    The code is tied specifically to whether the card you have installed in your system is a card that is eligible for the code. This means that if the codes are sold with 1070/1080, the codes will only activate on a system that has a 1070/1080 installed. The codes are not tied to the SN of the product itself, only whether it is 10XX or not. So say DOTA gave away codes with 1050, they would only activate on systems with 1050s.

    The code is added to your Origin/Uplay/Steam account after you've input your GFE game code. The game is now tied to your O/U/S account and doesn't matter if you change your video card afterwards.
     
  40. polonyc2

    polonyc2 [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    16,522
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    wasn't there a way of tricking the software into believing you have a different GPU??