Nvidia responds to AMD's Watch Dogs claims

"The deals we do, and the GameWorks agreements, don't have anything to do with restricting access to builds"

Nvidia's director of engineering and developer technology has responded to accusations from its rival, AMD, regarding its GameWorks toolset. Accusations that suggested GameWorks was "crippling performance" for its competition and that Watch Dogs was the latest example.

"I've heard that before from AMD and it's a little mysterious to me. We don't and we never have restricted anyone from getting access as part of our agreements. Not with Watch Dogs and not with any other titles," Cem Cebenoyan told Forbes.

"Our agreements focus on interesting things we're going to do together to improve the experience for all PC gamers and of course for Nvidia customers. We don't have anything in there restricting anyone from accessing source code or binaries. Developers are free to give builds out to whoever they want. It's their product."

It was Robert Hallock, AMD's head of technical communications, software and technologies who first made the allegations in regard to Watch Dogs.

"Gameworks represents a clear and present threat to gamers by deliberately crippling performance on AMD products (40 per cent of the market) to widen the margin in favour of NVIDIA products," Hallock told Forbes last week.

"Participation in the Gameworks program often precludes the developer from accepting AMD suggestions that would improve performance directly in the game code-the most desirable form of optimisation."

Cebenoyan rebuffed this idea and made clear that nothing in the GameWorks tools limit AMD performance, and Nvidia would never stop a company like Ubisoft from making changes that would allow a title to work better with AMD hardware.

"I can tell you that the deals that we do, and the GameWorks agreements, don't have anything to do with restricting anyone's access to builds."

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Latest comments (6)

Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee5 years ago
Ok, but I'm wondering when graphical features in my mobile games will stop being restricted to Tegra devices when I know full well other (more powerful, more flexible) chipsets should be able to run them too.

Its not hard to see why there's a lot of suspicion surrounding these programs. Nobody wants to feel they have a situation where the very performance of their games can be bought (either with cash or incentives).

As it stands, we do have a game that's not performing well on AMD hardware. Whilst Nvidia are getting the blame here, it is possible that Ubisoft or even AMD may be at fault themselves.
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Mihai Cozma Indie Games Developer 5 years ago
@Adam Campbell - Well, I think you should blame developers for not implementing specific features of other chipsets too, or just restricting themselves to the common standard supported by all chipsets.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Mihai Cozma on 29th May 2014 4:25pm

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Julian Beck HR Consultant 5 years ago
Honestly Nvidia and AMD making accusations about each other's game projects...that's old and repeats like every two months.
It's a Kindergarden, if they have something substantial, gather material of proof and go to court (but for that they both lack convincement).
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Adam Campbell Product Manager, Azoomee5 years ago

Not really. With games marketed with "Tegra", high graphics options or other settings are purposely locked, despite the fact they're just OpenGLES 2.0 features.

The proof is shown if you install a special app to pretend that you're using a Tegra, the effects and options are magically unlocked and the performance tends to be even better on a PowerVR or Snapdragon of the same generation.

Its simply unnecessary to make special features for other chipsets. The effects and graphics settings are only being locked in the first place due to the Tegra Zone partnership. As I mentioned earlier, its a good example of purposefully showing worst output on other devices - but to be fair, the developers involved are complicit.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 5 years ago
I find it hard to develop for multiple platforms and chipsets. One can also blame chip developers for not finding a common ground in which developers can work on. We see this now with all 3 console game platform holders. In which they built their hardware using PC components and similar specs in order to provide developers with easier ways to build a game for multiple platforms. Inevitably if it means keeping the costs down, developers are going to choose one platform over the other. Smaller developers dont have the finacial capacity to develope for many platforms.

But Ill give UbiSoft kudos for putting Watchdogs in as many platforms as they did (XB360, XB1, PS3, PS4, WiiU, PC). Which include the WiiU (if it doesnt get cancelled). And they also extended its features to mobile apps.

And for what its worth, PC games arent really set in a stable standard enviroment. Many things involving hardware and software configurations can go awry and cause complications in games. Its pretty much impossible to cover every possible PC configuration. So these things all though unfortunate, cant be helped sometimes. Back in the day running Crysis even on a high end PC was a pain.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 5 years ago
i think most people did not bother to check what Gameworks is. It is meant to work better on Nvidia hardware, and its up to the developer how to deal with non-NV configurations. The problem is most likely with the games in question : the devs chose the free sdk that gives them a lot of functionality, and ignored that it might perform less than optimal on other GPUS.
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