As retail video card prices slide back to more normal prices after 18 months of cryptocurrency-fueled frenzy, AMD and its partners are quickly coming up with a new concern: AMD video card prices are falling at loads of. As the profitability of Ethereum mining has fallen, so has the price of video cards, especially the highest margin cards at the top of AMD’s product stack. As a result, the company is making a quick bid to increase video card prices by bringing back game bundles with a new Raise The Game campaign.
The proven tool for increasing the value of video cards in slower times, game bundles are a favorite tactic of video card makers to improve the value of their product, allowing them to improve their competitiveness or consumer value without changing the hardware itself. With the street value of a new AAA PC game for $60 — and video card makers paying far less than that through bulk purchases and in-kind advertising — video game bundles are a relatively inexpensive way to increase or otherwise increase the value of a product. more painful price cut. And while game bundles are common in more normal times, there was no need for them last year as video cards sold out quickly without the extra help.
Profitability of Ethereum mining over the past 36 months (BitInfoCharts.com)
But as normality returns to the video card market and demand for new cards from miners has nearly dried up (Ethereum mining profitability is now back at pre-2021 levels), video card sales have dropped significantly. And so are their prices: in the last 2 days alone, the cheapest Radeon RX 6900 XT on Newegg has dropped from $949 to $849, now putting it a good $150 below AMD’s original MSRP.
|AMD Radeon RX 6000 Series Product Stack|
|Recommended retail price||Lowest selling price
|RX 6950 XT||$1099||$1099|
|RX 6900 XT||$999||$849|
|RX 6800 XT||$649||$799|
|RX 6750 XT||$549||$549|
|RX 6700 XT||$479||$484|
|RX 6650 XT||$399||$399|
|RX 6500 XT||$199||$199|
And while lower prices are a boon for consumers, they potentially pose a real problem for AMD and their partners. In short, prices are falling, but production costs are rising. Since the Radeon RX 6000 series launched in late 2020, TSMC has increased their 7nm wafer prices at least once, shipping costs have exploded, parts prices are still high due to ongoing shortages there, and inflation is on the rise in the US. since early 2021 at 10 a.m.%. So low video card prices not only threaten profit margins for AMD and its board partners, but if left unchecked, they risk flooding video card production itself.
So the bottom line is that, as a result of falling prices, AMD is bringing back bundles of video games to increase the value of their video cards and avoid further price cuts. And while the first graphics card video game bundle in nearly a year would be newsworthy on its own, the speed at which AMD is putting together their latest bundle adds a whole new twist to things. The rapid drop in cryptocurrency and video card prices means AMD is taking the unprecedented step of launching the new video card bundle program before it’s completely ready. Simply put, AMD hasn’t quite figured out what games they’re giving away yet — or even developed the promotional materials for the campaign.
AMD’s new/upcoming game bundle is another round of their Raise The Game campaign, which has been AMD’s tagline for video card game bundles for the past few years. Kicking off Tuesday, the campaign coincided with the launch of the new Radeon RX 6×50 XT cards, and is expanding across the entire RX 6000 series product stack, from the $170 RX 6400 to the new RX 6950 XT. As a result, at this point, all current-generation AMD graphics cards come with a coupon code that can be redeemed for games once the campaign kicks off.
But as mentioned before, AMD isn’t quite clear on which games they’re giving away in this promotion, or which games come with which cards. So far, the company has confirmed that the upcoming Saints Row match (expected on August 23)rd) will be part of the campaign, just like the next one Sniper Elite 5 (expires on May 26e† And while AMD won’t state whether one or both games will ship with a particular video card, it’s very interesting to note that the program’s official terms and conditions state that the “minimum ARV of the offering is $60.00 USD” , meaning AMD is going to give away at least $60 worth of games for even their low-end cards like the RX 6500 XT and RX 6400. $60, in turn, is enough to cover one AAA game, although that doesn’t rule out AMD in instead, bundling several cheaper games, if they were allowed to add them to the pool of games for the campaign.
|AMD 2022 “Raise the Game” Bundle|
|Radeon RX 6400||
At least $60 in games (ARV)
Includes (but not guaranteed for every level):
|Radeon RX 6500 XT|
|Radeon RX 6600|
|Radeon RX 6600 XT|
|Radeon RX 6650 XT|
|Radeon RX 6700 XT|
|Radeon RX 6750 XT|
|Radeon RX 6800|
|Radeon RX 6800 XT|
|Radeon RX 6900 XT|
|Radeon RX 6950 XT|
Finally, AMD is not currently specifying when the new Raise the Game bundle will formally launch. Since they are generous, chances are they don’t know it themselves. What is known in any case is that the current campaign will end in three months, on August 13the† Which, if anything like previous game bundle offers, will likely be extended if video card prices still need support.
It goes without saying that AMD’s new game bundle effort is unprecedented. Neither AMD nor NVIDIA have previously launched a game bundle without explicitly and accurately disclosing which games come with which products. Which in turn underscores how strange the current video card market is coming up with and how fast AMD has to act to jack up video card prices amid the rapid drop in cryptocurrency prices. And just to make an editorial, while we don’t have a problem with video card companies using game bundles as a value-add item for their video cards, it’s very much in demand from the gaming community right now to blindly join this program. Which could very well undermine its effectiveness in driving up video card prices, at least until AMD launches the campaign in full and details the games included.
Anyway, as the madness of the past 18 months has come to an end and video cards are once again becoming abundant, it’s clear that the strange times aren’t quite over yet. As always, we’ll have more once AMD launches the new Raise The Game bundle in full.