Due to insane demand from cryptocurrency miners, it's been hard to even find gaming graphics cards lately, much less buy them at a reasonable price. Nvidia is one of many entities that isn't entirely pleased with the situation, and the company has confirmed to German hardware site ComputerBase (Google translation) that it has requested retailers to focus sales on gamers rather than miners.
Ultimately, whether a card is bought by a gamer or a miner, Nvidia gets paid. However, Nvidia has a vested interest in a thriving PC gaming market. The company says "For Nvidia, gamers come first […] all activites related to our GeForce product line are targeted at our main audience." While high demand and rapid graphics card sales are good in the short term, GeForces being gobbled up by miners might not contribute to the long-term growth of the company's business.
Nvidia is careful to note that the measure is a request, not a directive. The company says it would never interfere with the free market by telling retailers what to do with its products. For their part, sellers have mostly responded by placing per-order limits on graphics cards. Late last year, Micro Center started adding huge surcharges to orders of multiple graphics cards, for example.
Those measures seem unlikely to be effective in a market where crypto miners are eagerly ordering graphics cards in double and triple-digit quantities. It's difficult to say where the real solution to these problems lays, but we're glad to see Nvidia and the retailers taking these steps, at least.