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Game devs reaction
Brian Sullivan: CEO Iron Lore Studios (Titan Quest)
I am in Japan on vacation right now, but my quick thought is it is probably not a good idea - it seems like there will be less competition since you may not be able to select the CPU / GPU combination you might really want, as they may make some of thier CPUs only work with thier GPU, or vise versa. I would also expect a closer alignment of Intel and nVidea.
The bigger questions might be how will their support of the console industry in the future influence the PC industry, and how will Dell and other PC manufacturers deal with the merger.
Morten Brodersen: CEO Third Wave Games (War World: Tactical Combat) PC hardware industry: If AMD-ATI decides to build high-speed extensions to the AMD CPU's (or support chips) that enables ATI GPU's to run much faster using AMD CPU's then it may give AMD-ATI a strategic advantage in the high-end PC games hardware space. And it may force NVIDIA to work with Intel to create a competitive alternative. This would basically split the market into two camps: AMD-ATI and Intel-NVIDIA (even if Intel and NVIDIA doesn't merge).
PC game industry: I don't think it will make any difference. Developers use the DirectX/OpenGL API's to program the graphics chips and ATI/NVIDIA will have to support these API's no matter what they do.
Eric Peterson: President Vicious Cycle Software (Vicious Engine) Since we barely do PC product anymore, I am probably not the best guy to ask. We develop on PCs for all of our games, but I don’t see this merger really affecting that. Hopefully, ATI still manufactures the high end cards, and doesn’t go the Intel way by putting lower end spec chips into machines. People still need the option of being able to go high end if they want to.
Randy Pitchford: President Geabox Software (Brothers In Arms) ATi makes the kinds of video parts that video gamers like – including powerful high-end graphics processors and options ranging from lower-cost varieties to linking GPU cards together. If AMD can offer integrated graphics that are as cost-effective, but higher performance than Intel’s offerings, there is a great opportunity for AMD to earn some market share. My hope is that this consolidation will help introduce better competition in the integrated graphics market (which currently is what most GPU’s are!). Better competition with integrated GPU’s could motivate an improvement of performance and features on all the integrated video parts that, in today’s market, most computer customers find themselves owning. One can fear the flip side, of course – that in order to compete, the integrated graphics offered by AMD and ATi will be forced to become as low-end as their competitor. I tend to be optimistic – I like to think that the competition will improve the quality of integrated graphics.
Feagus Urquhart: Co-founder Obsidian Entertainment (Neverwinter Nights 2) It has seemed over the past couple of years that the PC Processor market has moved much more slowly. I am pretty sure we bought a Dell computer that had a 3.6GHz processor in it about two years ago. Processors with higher clocks are available and Dual Core of course, but the impact on playing a game doesn't seem to be huge. Now leaps have occured on the graphic card side over the last 2 years. Back then we were just buying NVidia 6800 GT's and were still using a lot of ATI 9800 pro's. Now with the ATI X1900 and the NVidia 7900 series, the graphics cards are doing way more.
So with my limited understanding of the the semi-processor industry, it would seem that AMD is buying a company that has been showing growth in technological power which could help the semi-stagnating PC processor market.
As for making games, I think the win could be if an AMD/ATI merger could create motherboards or graphic cards that give the average person more graphical power. One of our challenges is when we have to make our games work on a ATI X300 or NVidia 6200 and then look amazing on AtI X1900 XT's and NVidia 7900GTXs. The breadth of the difference in power is huge and it makes us not only just figure out ways to reduce the quanity of things that the cards have to process, but have art creation pipelines that spit out entirely different versions of the same assets so they can work on a wide variety of cards. If we could focus that energy just on the creation of things rather than the using of it, our games could have that much more in them.