Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and NVIDIA have always been known as companies heavily focused on improving the gaming experience for their customers. This includes offering some of the fastest GPUs as well as the quality software to make using them even better. Both companies spend untold amounts of money on helping developers build better games with their own developer support programs. NVIDIA’s Game Works and AMD’s GPUOpen are designed to improve the quality and experience in games. However, programs like Game Works and GPUOpen are technical assistance and generally only help the game from a technical and visual sense. While some independent developers can use things like Game Works and GPUOpen, there are other ways that both companies can help indie game developers.
NVIDIA’s Indie Spotlight Program is designed to help extend NVIDIA’s support to the company’s marketing outlets and social networks audience. As a result, GeForce gamers get the benefit of discovering new and interesting games, because NVIDIA hand picks the best indie games and shares them with the public. NVIDIA is kicking off their Indie Spotlight Program with two games: Hard Reset Redux from Gambitious and Dead by Daylight from Starbreeze Studios. NVIDIA’s program is already having the intended effect…I hadn’t heard of either games but am seriously considering both after watching the trailers.
In addition to making these games publicly visible through PR channels and blog, NVIDIA is also bundling a free game for some indie titles with the purchase of a participating GeForce GTX 950 or 960 desktop graphics card or a notebook powered by a GeForce GTX 950M or 960M. In addition to the blogs, promotion in the press, bundles and associated ads, they are also going to do live Twitch broadcasts and social media marketing. In some cases, NVIDIA will even push these indie titles on GeForce Now which is the company’s cloud streaming service.
What this program means for the industry is that NVIDIA is helping game developers have an alternative channel for promoting their games. To me, this stands out as a huge opportunity for VR games and VR game developers because right now most VR games are being developed by indie game developers. Many of these game developers have limited resources and like most indie game developers are pouring all of them into getting the game made.
Right now, it is important to have something like NVIDIA’s Indie Spotlight Program because there is already a sea of mediocre VR titles on the Steam Store with minimal curation from Valve. NVIDIA has already been working with indie game developers like Survios on their game RAW DATA and heavily promoting it, so the company is already committed to VR and indie VR game development. But there are even more great game developers that could use NVIDIA’s or AMD’s help to bring the killer app for VR we’ve been waiting for.