AMD’s Graphics Executive Richard Huddy is a well respected figure in the industry. Huddy has worked for ATI, AMD, Nvidia, Intel and is now back at AMD. He is also considered one of the pioneers of the DirectX API so it’s fair to say that his opinion matters. Huddy had some pretty critical things to say about Nvidia’s Gameworks program, claiming that Nvidia are using exclusivity contracts with game developers, hidden by NDAs, to disadvantage AMD. Furthermore, he claims he has evidence from various independent software vendors that those NDA-bound contracts are the reason why many game developers, particularly those in the Gameworks program, cannot work with AMD to optimise the game engines for AMD hardware. The most recent example of this is obviously the whole saga of AMD graphics cards running WatchDogs poorly.
Huddy thinks Gameworks is bad news for the industry because it is closed source, game developers receive code from Nvidia in a pre-compiled DLL forms whereas with Mantle the entire code is open source for game developers. Huddy claims the idea of using pre-compiled DLLs is a foreign idea to the games industry and is significantly more inefficient than allowing game developers build what they want from the ground up with the source code of an API. The heart of the concern is that Nvidia-written DLLs are being used for games that consumers with AMD graphics cards will play, as well as games that review sites will use to benchmark AMD hardware. All in all Nvidia’s Gameworks program is accused of locking down and fragmenting the gaming industry. It would be interesting to hear Nvidia go on record and rebut some of AMD’s claims.
What are your opinions on Nvidia Gameworks?
Image courtesy of Nvidia