AMD CEO promises the firm’s ‘first priority is to gamers’ for GPUs

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64

As we saw earlier today, AMD has just revealed some impressive financial results, driven primarily by Ryzen and Ryzen 2nd Generation processors, but the firm is understandably keen to keep pushing ahead on the graphics card front as well, with assurances from the CEO that gamers are AMD’s priority – as opposed to cryptocurrency miners.

There is a growing demand for AMD hardware from those mining virtual coins, as we’ve seen in recent times, with graphics cards becoming thin on the ground – for both AMD and Nvidia – and prices spiraling upwards as supply fails to meet demand.

And while AMD is obviously still going to sell products to cryptocurrency miners, in her post-results conference call chatter, CEO Lisa Su stress that gamers come first.

As the Register reports, Su said: “Our first priority is to gamers, that’s through OEM and system integrators and key e-tailers, and we're going to continue to do that.

“We'll also work with commercial miners; we've talked and see what their forecasts are, so we have good visibility on the market. The blockchain infrastructure is here to stay, there are numerous currencies and apps that will keep things going there.”

What’s interesting is that this comes hot on the heels of AMD’s thinly veiled attack on Nvidia’s new GeForce Partner Program last week, which has been criticized in some quarters for being anti-competitive, and a move which could result in less consumer choice when it comes to purchasing a GPU.

Mainly because Nvidia’s program is alleged to offer serious benefits – including marketing funds – to GPU manufacturers who sign up, but they can only sell GeForce cards in their gaming brand, and not rival products. And we’ve already seen Asus’ ROG brand become an Nvidia-only affair, with AMD products having been rebranded as Arez.

GPUs in the hands of gamers

All this led to AMD’s Corporate VP of Radeon Gaming, Scott Herkelman, stating last week: “We pledge to put premium, high-performance graphics cards in the hands of as many gamers as possible and give our partners the support they need without anti-competitive conditions.”

And Su’s comments following the revelation of these financial results certainly underline that statement. Broadly, then, it would seem AMD feels the time is right to make a big deal about a ‘pro-gamer’ stance, in an effort to get GPU numbers to grow in line with Ryzen’s major success.

As we’ve discussed before, there’s certainly no reason why AMD’s new alternative brands – like Arez – can’t work well for the company in the longer run. Particularly if its promises of openness, freedom of choice and ‘no anti-gamer strings attached’ can be associated with those new brands, and made to stick in the consumer’s mind.