Both AMD and Nvidia have traditionally offered “bundles” of free games with their graphics cards, a carrot to lure buyers to their hardware. Now, AMD plans a similar strategy with its Gaming Evolved app, powered by Raptr.
In the future, users who downloadthe app from the Raptr Web site will be able to sign up for a “loyalty program” that will reward those who use it. The entire premise of the Raptr app is to provide optimized settings, based on AMD hardware, for a number of games. Since Raptr bases its recommendations on anonymized data plucked from gamer PCs, there’s an obvious benefit to expanding its data net as wide as possible.
Peter Ross, the ISV relations manager for AMD, said that about $250,000 in hardware and games had already been given away in the fourth quarter, and that would apparently be added to over time. All told, 20 million users have adopted the app, he said.
So far, about 1 million gamers have installed the Gaming Evolved app, said Dennis Fong, the chief executive of Raptr, in a teleconference. While Raptr can track who’s playing what game on over 2,000 games, the actual optimizations only cover 65 games, he said. About 91 percent of gamers keep the recommended settings, Fong said. (Fong himself is an ex-professional gamer, who dominated during the days of “Quake”.)
When you launch a game like Battlefield 4, the Gaming Evolved app scans your hardware and can make recommendations on how to adjust the game’s settings to provide the highest frames-per-second throughput based on conditions that you, the gamer, specify. Raptr runs to create FPS histograms based on your setup and adds them to its database, tossing out cutscenes that run at capped frame rates. (It also gathers data from beta testers, so that it can provide a fairly accurate recommendation on a game’s launch day.
Finally, Raptr also provides a Steam-like visual overlay, allowing users to run YouTube, a Web browser, broadcast gameplay via Twitch.tv, or, presumably, work on a spreadsheet.
Raptr may not be an aid for productivity in the workplace—in fact, Fong said that it’s anything but—but the app and the loyalty program helps cement AMD’s relationship with its customers, building loyalty and keeping it on the path of profitability. And that’s important, especially as AMD’s latest bundles haven’t gone so well.