Nvidia’s Game Code Redemption Process Checks Hardware, Stifles Reselling/Sharing

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Jan 21, 2010
I see another issue. Say you upgrade your GPU at a later date... and say you show customer loyalty and buy another NVidia card, or yours bites the dust, and the replacement obviously has a different serial. (OR you just upgrade to AMD 'cause they had a card that was better for you this time around.)

I guess you're screwed if you have to reinstall the game for some reason in this scenario as the lockdown has other repercussions beyond just making it so you can only have one copy.


Sep 9, 2012

It doesn't work like that. Once you redeem the game, it will be in the library of whatever game platform it's on. Also, it's not a continuous verification, so if you upgrade at a later time, it won't affect it so long as you redeemed it when it was valid.

i think they only made that hardware check when redeeming the code for the first time. after that the game will be tied to you steam or uplay account (in this case it will be uplay). people upgrade gpu all the time. nvidia knows that. tied the game to the specific hardware is simply dumb because that would prevent people from upgrading even to their own future card.

but on another forum i see people get angry because they cannot sell those free stuff that they get when purchasing the product.


Mar 18, 2014
That's pretty unfortunate. Christmas 2015, I bought a lot of hardware and wound up with three free codes for Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. I sold all three keys and made a cool $100. 10/10 GOTY


May 15, 2008
I don't know if this is pure win Nvidia . I am sure some people like my self have justified a extra 60-70 dollars for a video card! cause of the free game. They would have bought and played anyway!

Looking at that from a bit of a modified point of view its really not to big of a stretch. To see someone drop the 650 dollars for a GTX 1080 with the thought process they can sell there 980Ti + a game code and recoup a large chunk of there value!. By locking the game codes to the hardware. These people might be less adept to upgrade. Wouldn't those be the people nvidia wants upgrading the most? The ones upgrading ever 1-2 years when the newest hardware comes out!? I would assume the largest profit margins are on the early bleeding edge adopters.
AMD should announce that you can still sell/gift unused codes. This can help push more people to the AMD platform. When they are deciding between similar cards. Only the relatively low sales volume GTX 1070/1080 and Titan X would be unaffected.


Dec 13, 2011
This is just stupid!!

When I buy new hardware I always sell the codes and games because I don't want them or play them. On top of that it help offset the ridiculous price I paid for the hardware that I will not use to play the included bonus items.

How fast before this blows up in their faces like DRM?

i doubt AMD can really do this as a bullet marketing point to go against nvidia. they do this then no game publisher will want to do "free game promotion" with AMD anymore. as others point out in other forum nvidia most likely did not care what you actually do with the game. because once you bought the hardware they get the sale. the problem is with game publisher. it's okay if the promo code used by the one purchase the hardware. but when they resell the code game publisher lose potential customer that will be buying the game directly from them regardless it is being full price or not. if anything this is most likely game publisher request to nvidia to ensure the game code to be used only by the one that purchasing the hardware or else there is no game bundle at all.

just look at EA. if you aware about it EA no longer give free games with graphic card purchase. battlefield 4 for example EA was doing promotion with AMD 290X. but the game are not free. there are 290X Battlefield 4 edition that was priced $30 more than regular 290X back then. it is half the price of full game but at least it is not free. and then recently with BF1 they only give AMD upgrade codes. to use that code you still need to buy the game at full price.

it is bad for consumer but i think people should not get angry when they can't sell the free item that comes with the purchase.


Oct 4, 2011
That GeForce Experience thing is a pathetic attempt at copying RAPTR.

While RAPTR by itself only caused crashes sometimes when the video recording overlay was activated, in the case of GeForce Experience (which btw uses subliminals) there are so many issues you will not be able to keep it installed and active as a gamer that uses too many games. There are different levels and type of incompatibilities, some which have no fix whatsoever.
I've intensively tested this on an Acer Predator with GTX1070 and the verdict is quite clear: uninstall.
Maybe it will be improved in the future, but I won't use an app that causes excessive game crashes no matter the enforcement methods.


It seems a bit unfortunate. Maybe it will stop theft of free game codes for the intent of selling them. Some may not agree with selling their legitimately obtained game code they got through a bundle package but not sure what difference it makes. The game co was paid in some fashion for the code, even if it was under bulk discount to nvidia (or whichever gpu oem bundles the offer).

Whether the end user who gets the bundle wants to play the game, sell the game, give it away to friends or whatever the case may be, it should be theirs to do with as they like. Bundled or not, they paid for it. If it was part of a bundle, even if it's said to be 'free', it's still something the gpu vendor opted to do. An arrangement they were content with. Selling xyz merchandise for xyz price, adverts not withstanding.

If they don't wish to include a free game then stop doing so and just charge a fair price for the gpu or put it on sale rather than 'added value' components. It's not as if the game code permits multiple people to use the game, it permits one use which is what's being offered in a bundle package. It shouldn't matter who uses it.


Dec 17, 2009
I really hope Vega will deliver... nvidias steady course away from its customers is just proof how we are taken for granted. I today own 2x 980ti's and the more nvidia is pushing me away with things like this, gf experience & telemetry the less chance i will but a new card(s) from them!


Oct 11, 2015
Why does nVidia care what I do with my free games? The studio got publicity/cash, Nvidia sold their green goo, consumer gets a couple of bucks for a game they already had or didn't want to play. Problem? Oh, look...shiny 1080! GO TEAM GREEN!
Wow, a lot of hate for nVidia here... First, let it be known that AMD also requires an account to activate games and an executable to verify. Not the same as having it within the driver software suite, but similar in requirements.

I don't like GFE, but I know nVidia doesn't make it a mandatory component, just like AMD never made Raptr mandatory. As long as they keep it that way, fair game. The only thing I'd like nVidia doing though, is upgrading their drivers (not GFE). The interface is kind of old in terms of usability and could provide more options. Well, I still like that better than the new Crimson though. How can I compare? My notebook uses nVidia and my desktop uses a Radeon.



Oct 8, 2012
Publishers and Devs be damned. Gaming is the biggest it's ever been and they still cry piracy like that's not why. They still think $60 is appropriate for 7 levels and there are still 1000 titles on Steam that are $25 half-finished vaporware... but that's fine cos they are alpha! Stuck it to GameStop and tried to stop them reselling but failed, so now lets go for the copies we already sold to Nv and claim them invalidat the customer end as if a resale is not a resale and protected by law.

This is quite mean spirited and anti-consumer. As someone who's owned pretty much every other NV GPU design since the 8800 series (I had a single slot GT, GTS and Ultra at different times) one must understand that the price premium that Geforce commands has never been about the hardware, which we've known for a long time is gimped severely by low RAM and thus needs regular upgrades. It's always been about the "as close to perfect as is currently offered" driver support, free games, great software offerings featurewise (like GameStream, 4K-1080p downsampling, special AA modes) and low power consumption. This fire-and-forget behavior with buying Nv cards unfortunately fell off a cliff with Maxwell, and as one of the many users that bought it for 4K, I was flabberghasted to hear about the 3.5GB RAM issue (especially knowing that all competing AMD 4K cards were 6 to 8GB and the old 560ti in my legacy room could run GTA5 30fps at max DX11 settings 1080p if not for GDDR limits... oh and the 1060 is pretty much the same card). I was flabberghasted more to have to wipe my Windows twice due to Geforce Experience updates borking the driver and refusing to completely uninstall. I was flabberghasted more to have to RMA that card within 5 months and buy a bunch of new DP cables because my original use miniDP after paying a premium on the RMA due to the prices rising against the weak £. But what really blew me away was the fact that today, the card is mid-range.

Maxwell failed on software support badly. GTX 1XXX is still very young. GF Experience is getting worse with every update and now Nvidia is using DRM to reduce the amount of free product bundles in the wild, despite those product bundles not actually being free copies EA or etc etc decided to give to Nvidia, but promotional tools bought and paid for in bulk to attempt to sway the consumer on the fence about whether to buy AMD and get that game he wants or spend the extra on Nvidia and get said game bundled? What, you think they picked AAA titles because CoD was having trouble with brand awareness? Puhleeze, they paid for it.

Maybe Nv don't understand that if the consumer can get a rebate, that's often when they start thinking about buying the bigger card with the extra money. Look at EVGA that even offer trade-ups. That's what builds loyalty.... understanding.



Feb 21, 2016
the comments are super funny, you think nvidia got those codes for free ? obviously not and they are promotion codes and they can restrict them as they want

no more selling codes for offset the price of their video cards, plus those codes were never for sales "not for sale" labels were printer back in the days on game media cd/dvds :)

Of course they did not get them for free. The point is the value of the game is being used to entice buyers. Only people who don't already own the game or are only buying one card get any value out of it. Making it as if nVidia is not treating all buyers as equal and is giving special treatment to small buyers not big buyers (those whom buy multiple cards). If they gave the option of a $20 rebate or Steam/Origin gift card for those who do not want the game or already own it. It would not be so bad.

Luckily the only time I bought a card during a promo I was aware of. Happened to include the game I was buying the card for. Otherwise, I ignore promos and mail in rebates.

people pin this a lot to nvidia only but this promotion is done together with game publisher. this promotion was valid around the same time of game launch. this is most likely done at the request of game publisher so no cheap codes during the initial launch. nvdia for their part must also have their term & condition they must follow when they make this deal with ubisoft. maybe nvidia should do it like AMD. instead of offering new upcoming game they should give old game or even if they want to give new game only start the bundle a few weeks after launch. take civ 6 for example. the game launch in late october but AMD only start bundling RX480 with civ 6 a month later. there is still verification and stuff to redeem the code but you will still get the code regardless.


Sep 13, 2013
Issues.. HA.. I bought my 980 used over a year ago.. I have never been given a free game from Nvidia.. or any coupons.. there updating drivers does not waver.. I get them as soon as they are out.. Upgrading and replacing has to go on.. Old cards just collect dust just sitting around unused.. make no sense in not reselling.. but the freebies.. you only wish to receive them..


Apr 14, 2014
Nvidigarbage playing the same old tune again. I wonder if they'll nerf the 1000 series cards with driver updates to make their next garbage cards look better in benchmarks again... Whatever it takes to screw over the end users and get the cash I suppose. Same as Intel, they can both go to hell.
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