One common marketing practice in the GPU industry is to include bundled games with the higher end GPUs. These games are usually on the cutting edge, showcasing the graphical prowess of the new chips. Many times these manufacturers offer a choice of different games as well. The current promotion features the up and coming games, For Honor and Ghost Recon Wildlands. As soon as a new GPU is purchased, the retailer gives you a key to redeem on NVidias’ website. This key then reveals another key which is the actual game key. Previously, people who were not interested in the game would simply give away, trade or sell their spare key on the open market. Now however, it is tied to the GPU it was purchased with. The system will verify it is the correct GPU.
It is unfortunate for the consumer simply because these promotional games were in a very high supply when they are released. Surprisingly, a lot of people are not interested in these offerings so they put it on the open market. This drives the price down for these new games to stunningly low levels. Normal half-life for game pricing on the PC is about 6 months, (game becoming half priced) but it common for these promotional games to be selling for $30 on the open market after only a week or two after release. While this was very convenient for the consumer, (risk associated with purchasing keys from third parties aside) the publishers picked up on this trend rather quickly. The publishers bottom line was being affected due to people just opting for the less expensive, third party key.
While it certainly is a bummer for PC gamers who purchased or were given these keys,(my payment for building a few of my friends PCs were these codes) it is in-fact NVidia’s decision with how to handle the assignment of these keys. For myself and a lot of these PC gamers patience is the best virtue now.