ATI: Nvidia Bribes Game Developers to Promote PhysX

AMD Accuses Nvidia of Making Marketing Deals with Game Developers

by Anton Shilov
03/08/2010 | 10:57 PM

FOLLOW UP: Nvidia Denies Bribing Game Developers for Implementation of PhysX.


ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices, accused its arch-rival Nvidia Corp. of making marketing deals with video game designers to promote GPU-accelerated physics effects processing using PhysX application programming interface.

“What I have seen with physics, or PhysX rather, is that Nvidia create a marketing deal with a title, and then as part of that marketing deal, they have the right to go in and implement PhysX in the game. The problem with that is obviously that the game developer doesn’t actually want it. They are not doing it because they want it; they’re doing it because they are paid to do it,” said Richard Huddy, AMD’s senior manager of developer relations in Europe, in an interview with web-site.

Earlier this year AMD already accused Nvidia of modifying PhysX API in a way to not let it use all available cores on multi-core central processing units (CPUs) when processing physics effects in games. The company claimed that Nvidia did this in order to look performance of GeForce-accelerated physics effects processing higher compared to CPU-accelerated processing. However, later on Nvidia denied any modifications of PhysX API.

AMD and ATI have always been strong proponents of open industry standards. PhysX is a proprietary standard of Nvidia that it got when it acquired Ageia back in 2008. There are not a lot of PhysX-based game titles on the market, but they do exist. Still, according to Mr. Huddy, with the exception of Epic, game developers do not use PhysX because they want to do it, but rather as a part of marketing deal with Nvidia.

“I am not aware of any GPU-accelerated PhysX code which is there because the games developer wanted it with the exception of the Unreal stuff. I don’t know of any games company that’s actually said ‘you know what, I really want GPU-accelerated PhysX, I’d like to tie myself to Nvidia and that sounds like a great plan’,” said Mr. Huddy.

AMD’s senior manager of developer relations in Europe is sure that eventually PhysX will share its fate with 3dfx Glide API thanks to development of open standards.

“I think the proprietary stuff will eventually go away. If you go back ten years or so to when Glide was there as a proprietary 3D graphics API, it could have coexisted, but instead of putting their effort into getting D3D to go well, 3dfx focused on Glide. As a result, they found themselves competing with a proprietary standard against an open standard, and they lost. It’s the way it is with many of the standards we work with,” said Mr. Huddy.