As we wrote a couple of days ago, NVIDIA rolled out a new game bundle for the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 video cards that allows buyers to download For Honor and Ghost Recon: Wildlands for free. What we did not know at the time is that NVIDIA made some changes to the way it distribute its gaming bundles.
So the bad news is that from now on, the gaming bundle coupon codes will need to be retrieved via the NVIDIA GeForce Experience software, which requires a log-in. The new system requires you to link your Steam or Uplay account with the GeForce Experience app, which will perform a hardware verification step to ensure the coupon code is redeemed on a system with the qualifying GPU.
Previously, buyers of video cards with free game bundles or nefarious retailers could resell these codes online. The new system puts a stop to this but NVIDIA stresses that after activation, these games are permanently added to the appropriate third-party service so they will continue to work if you switch to another video card or a completely new system.
Nvidia has confirmed that while GFE checks to ensure a user has installed a qualifying graphics card like a GTX 1070 or GTX 1080, the game itself is not permanently linked to the hardware. GFE's hardware check is based only on the wider product range, and not on a specific serial number.
The company has also confirmed that the redemption process permanently adds the game to the appropriate third-party service. For example, if users redeems a promotional game key through to Steam, that game will be useable on any other device, just like normal Steam games. Users can also opt to uninstall GFE, or install a different graphics card, once the promotional code has been redeemed and still retain full ownership of the game. A full set of instructions for redeeming codes is now available on Nvidia's website.
It's a move that will infuriate some people, but to be honest, the no resale policy is the way it used to be. Back when free games were still physically bundled with the cards, they always had a marking saying something like "for promotional use only - not for resale".