Following AMD’s Never Settle Reloaded game bundle, NVIDIA has announced their own bundle that uses currency in three popular Free to Play games. AMD went with large blockbuster titles, while NVIDA went with the opposite approach, offering in game currency for the most popular, PC exclusive, F2P titles. All of these games feature NVIDIA exclusive technology including PhysX and 3D Vision.
Free to Play games rely on in game currency/purchases to make their profits versus paying $59.99 up front for their games. This model has proven extremely profitable for many games such as DC Universe and DDO. Sony Online Entertainment adopted this model with one of the most anticipated MMO first person shooter/vehicular combat games in years, Planetside 2. NVIDIA’s bundle works in a pretty simple fashion, the more expensive the card you purchase is, the more in game currency you receive in World of Tanks, Hawken and Planetside 2. All GeForce cards from the GTX 650 up are eligible for this bundle. Some people will look at this and assume NVIDIA has taken the cheap way out this time around on their bundle, but in reality they are offering up to $150 worth of free in game currency. This is roughly equal to 3 blockbuster titles and for people who buy a GTX 650, you will get 75% of your hardware purchase back in game currency. If you are planning a SLI configuration you can obviously double these amounts listed above, as the bundle is as always, per card.
The other silver lining of this game bundle versus bundles of the past is these games will actually run on the hardware you buy. There were many bundles or free games included with the purchase of low to mid-range cards that simply would not run on those cards at an acceptable frame rate. This always puzzled me as to why the manufacturer would include a game they know you can’t run on the hardware it was included with. Now I can tell you without a doubt a GTX 650/650 Ti is going to struggle in PS2 at anything but the lowest settings, but the rest of the games will easily run on that hardware. You can call Planetside 2 the “blockbuster” title out of the three, although all three games are extremely popular in the PC gaming community. We will have to see if this new F2P gaming currency bundle is as successful as the free to play model has been for game developers.