Report: AMD to extend game bundling to APUs

AMD’s Never Settle game bundles have been great for graphics card buyers. The first iteration involved free copies of Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution, and Sleeping Dogs. (Let’s just pretend Medal of Honor: Warfighter never existed, shall we?) For round two, AMD is offering combinations of Crysis 3, BioShock Infinite, and Tomb Raider. Both of those deals have applied exclusively to Radeon graphics cards, but it looks like there could be one in store for APU buyers, as well.

German site Hardware Luxx has published presentation slides revealing a SimCity bundle for select A8 and A10 APUs. It’s unclear which APUs will be eligible, but other slides from the presentation discuss AMD’s latest Richland APU silicon. The deal could be restricted to those newer chips, which are arriving first in notebooks before making their way to the desktop.

According to the site, AMD has confirmed that folks can look forward to copies of SimCity starting April 18. They’ll apparently get an Origin code good for a free download of the game.

SimCity seems like the sort of title that will resonate with casual gamers equipped with integrated graphics. It apparently runs well on AMD APUs, too. One of the presentation slides quotes a frame rate of 71 FPS for the A8-5600K running at 1080p resolution with "low lighting." That’s not bad for a Trinity-based chip that costs just $110, although the FPS figure obviously doesn’t tell the full story.

We can’t mention SimCity without discussing its disastrous launch, which was plagued by server issues that limited folks’ ability to play. The game requires an always-on Internet connection even though modders have proven that it works just fine offline. That said, SimCity‘s issues might not faze people who are getting the game for free—and the initial server problems have reportedly been ironed out. We’re certainly not going to complain about AMD bundling such a recent game with its processors. Thanks to Fudzilla for the tip.

Comments closed
    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    No thanks. Giving hits to the village idiot at S!A is not in my “to do” list in any day.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    You know, the reasons for the past complaints don’t go way because it’s “free”. No one complained about the quality of the game. They complained about the problems to play single player offline (a very valid complaint) and that it was an EA game and used Origin (absolutely idiotic complaints). So given that:

    Can you explain how the “evil” Origin will not be as bad to have installed when the game is “free”, but was very much “evil” when the game wasn’t “free” ? The Origin that people will install now that the game is “free” with this bundle is the EXACT same Origin that people would install if the game wasn’t “free”.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    You have no idea of how business is conducted then. No doubt that AMD gets a discount, because it has to buy a bulk of games, but I doubt it’s 50% or more. Point is AMD pays up front for bundled non free to play games (something that both AMD, ATI and NVIDIA have already done in the past). This is nothing new.

    SimCity is a brand new game and development costs have to be recouped. EA/the game developers are not in the business of “helping” AMD. They’re in business, period.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    My analysis is based on something factual unlike yours, such as the many reports of how low or below average sales for AMD’s hardware were before the bundle was announced and also reports of how the bundle helped boost those sales.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    Fair call.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    So I guess sales of nVidia’s top cards must be selling like freshly warmed shite as well, then? Otherwise why, by your reading, would they have released competing bundles?

    Your analysis is rudimentary.

    • Spunjji
    • 10 years ago

    I very much doubt AMD is paying anything like that for what amounts to a brand cross-promotion. Especially not as it’s Sim City we’re talking about here…

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    Yup, as long as you plan to buy the system and pretty much leave it as it is for like 2 – 3 years, those FM1 chips and boards should do just fine. Not everyone is a computer enthusiast and is concerned about being able to swap out parts and put in new ones.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    People that wanted SimCity…bought it. The early adopters are not mysticals that are few in numbers. They are many and are the reason why the sales of any game are most important in the first month.

    Plus, most people in here never complained about SimCity (the game), they complained about EA and Origin, because in their narrow minded ideas the game doesn’t even matter…what matters is the digital distribution system it uses!
    But somehow being “free” makes all those gripes go away ? Yeah…I’m no hypocrite. Being free or not, doesn’t make something I criticized in the past, “better”.

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    No, it will not take much longer. Any bundled game with hardware comes at a cost to the hardware’s manufacturer. Since they are bought in bulk, I’m sure the publisher of the game will make a discount, but it’s still an expense for the hardware manufacturer.
    So you will see reflections of this and other bundles in the next AMD financial results, is it by direct payment or by increasing their debt (i.e. requesting another loan to pay for the bundled games)

    Note that these bundles come much later than when AMD’s graphics cards were actually released. These bundles were obviously intended to add value, simply because sales of the particular hardware they were selling without bundled games, were quite poor. The only “strategy” here is trying to recoup the investment that without the bundles, wasn’t paying off.

    • sarahmarshallpsu230
    • 10 years ago
    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    I think this is good PR for games in general. Handing out a casual ‘starter’ game with casual hardware. It’ll make some people install it just because it’s included and Simcity really is a fun game, putting aside the bugs and the poor launch. It’s a good introductory game for people that have never played PC games besides farmville.

    Props to AMD for this.

    • Bensam123
    • 10 years ago

    Yup, I build FM1 rigs for the low end for friends and family and FM2 for slightly better variants. All relatively cheap, all come with decent graphics. They’re definitely a good goto right now for casual gamers and general all around productivity. You sacrifice almost nothing by going AMD and you get a lot better graphics to boot.

    When you start getting into the territory of a dedicated graphics card, that’s a bit different though.

    • NeelyCam
    • 10 years ago

    [quote<]Fortunately, it is good value to the end user....unless the game is SimCity.[/quote<] That's kind of my point. IF the game is something the buyer doesn't care about, they'd prefer a discount on the hardware instead. (And if the "other guy" offers something better at the same price but without bundled crap, that might become the better option)

    • superjawes
    • 10 years ago

    IF that’s the complaint…I am sure some people would still not want it because of Origin, which is a fair position to have.

    • superjawes
    • 10 years ago

    Because it nets more income for the manufacturer. Bulk licenses are always cheaper and can be negotiated down, not to mention the fact that the license actually must be redeemed by the end user.

    Still, games can sweeten the deal on hardware because said hardware purchase is probably being made for gaming purposes. Buy a shiny new GPU and get a shiny new game to go with it! Fortunately, it [i<]is[/i<] good value to the end user....unless the game is SimCity.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    Speaking of AMD APUs, anyone looking for a very basic friends and family build ought to check out some FM1 systems. The dual core CPUs are under $50 and Newegg has a basic Gigabyte FM1 board for $40 after MIR and promo code. $80 for CPU+motherboard could be a very worthwhile upgrade for someone using an early Core 2 or older CPU, just need to add memory…2x2GB of lower speed DDR3 is around $35.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    Strange. I got a coupon code with my GTX 660 I purchased in December. On the coupon it said ‘expires 11/30/12 or until supplies last’ and I didn’t redeem it until the end of March and it worked. The redemption process was pretty convoluted but there were on-screen instructions for every step.

    • dpaus
    • 10 years ago

    They’re already the price/performance leader by far; lowering their prices would be so unfair to Intel it’d likely result in a Trade Commission inquiry.

    • NeelyCam
    • 10 years ago

    How about not bundling, and lowering the price of the hardware..?

    • odizzido
    • 10 years ago

    This is the perfect bundle. Give people using a mobile system a copy of a game requiring you to be tied to an internet connection.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 10 years ago

    Well, EA had all these copies of Simcity just sitting around. No one buying them. AMD had all these APU’s just sitting around, no one buying them.

    Looking across the empty corner of the busy restaurant at one another, some 80’s music began to swell up around them.

    “Waiting for a star to fall
    “And carry your heart into my arms
    “That’s where you belong
    “In my arms baby, yeah!”

    And even as Intel laughed with their snowboards on the side and nVidia is busy showering people in useless credits, AMD is dancing as the saxophone starts up. AMD and EA, dancing to 80’s music that apparently EA licensed for all their trailers (like Dead Space 3, Crysis 3, and Battlefield 4).

    • drfish
    • 10 years ago

    I’ll probably buy a Richland APU and get a copy of SimCity. I won’t play SimCity unless [url=http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2013/04/01/the-saddest-talk-at-this-years-gdc/<]it's patched beyond recognition.[/url<]

    • spigzone
    • 10 years ago

    So … how much is EA paying AMD for each new Origin suck…err … customer?

    • willyolio
    • 10 years ago

    free is roughly what SimCity’s worth, so no complaints.

    • clone
    • 10 years ago

    why are you complaining about a free game?… when it’s free you can find out for yourself instead of what other ppl have said with no risk…. cause it’s free.

    no double standard.

    personally I wouldn’t try it because it’s a SimCity game and doesn’t hold my interest beyond the news that it had a bad launch but for prospective SimCity buyers who held back…. WOW, Wonderful, Stupendous…. it’s now free.

    • NeelyCam
    • 10 years ago

    If you wanna see a double standard, go visit S|A

    • Forge
    • 10 years ago

    I still wouldn’t take Simcity.

    I tried to enjoy Assassin’s Creed III with my 660 Ti around Xmas, but the code on the coupon was invalid or something.

    Screw uPlay anyways.

    • HTarlek
    • 10 years ago

    Meh – they started their APU strategy long before the design wins, but other than that, I think you’re right.

    Especially about Deanjo

    • dpaus
    • 10 years ago

    I think it’ll take much longer; AMD seems to be laying the foundation for a longer-term, slightly niche strategy, with the PS4 and XBox architecture wins key to the strategy (or, quite possibly, the othjer way around: taking the wins and letting them determine the strategy).

    I’d guess this bundle will be the first of many for their APUs, and AMD will go on to establish themselves as the defacto platform of choice for the majority of PC gamers (obviously not the extreme-top-end lunatic fringe like Deanjo, but, you know, normal people).

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    You’ll see when their next results show up. Those PS4 chips either turn into a good profit or it won’t be rosy…

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    Being free somehow makes all the bad things said about it, go away ? Is a free turd a good turd ?

    • ronch
    • 10 years ago

    I know these game bundles are good for consumers and I certainly won’t complain about getting a free copy of one of these games when I buy an AMD graphics card, but isn’t AMD being a little reckless here? I mean, it’s not like their ATI division is making boatloads of money, and their CPU division is even in a far less desirable position in terms of profitability. I hope their bean counters know what they’re doing.

    Edit – Last time I heard, AMD had just $1.7B left in the bank, plus a lot of debt left to be paid. So, bundling games that can cost something like $20 – $50 (not sure how much those games actually are through the Net), which effectively mean they’re giving $20 – $50 discounts on products that only cost something like $100 – $300, is kinda worrisome for a company that’s been sailing through heavy storms lately.

    • forumics
    • 10 years ago

    dude what double standards are you talking about? you are comparing something that costs vs something that is free!

    • superjawes
    • 10 years ago

    Judging by the comments, no one here is giving SimCity a free pass…

    And Geoff does spend an entire paragraph summarizing SimCity’s “disastrous launch.”

    • Silus
    • 10 years ago

    So SimCity got people outraged with comments of EA being evil, Origin sucking, etc, but suddenly when AMD bundles it with hardware, there’s no reason to complain ? What ?!

    Is this yet another manifestation of the usual double standards ?

    • Shambles
    • 10 years ago

    More like once the SimCity offer ends the value of the bundle will increase.

    • superjawes
    • 10 years ago

    Good: bundling your hardware with a game
    Bad: bundling your hardware with in-game currency
    Ugly: bundling your hardware with SimCity

    • Voldenuit
    • 10 years ago

    My first concern would be about sneaking Origin into people’s PCs.

    EDIT: It would certainly give me second thoughts.

    • flip-mode
    • 10 years ago

    This is a smart move – anything AMD can do to bring more value to customers and to move more product.

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