AMD clarifies Battlefield 4 bundle wording

How can you not read this story with such an exciting title?

AMD Radeon Logo 2013A few days ago AMD announced that Battlefield 4 would be bundled with all Radeon R9 cards but an update clarifies things by changing “would” to “could”. Because the initial messaging could easily be misinterpreted like SemiAccurate did, AMD has released an update to clear things up.

When we heard about the update the first thing we did was to go back and look at the original slides we were given about a week ago to see exactly what was said. Allegations of unethical behavior and denials of the same are usually quickly cleared up with a re-reading of the originals. In this case I do see how it could easily be interpreted in at least two ways. All of the relevant wording could be found on one slide and it contained the four bullet points pictured below.

AMD BF4 bundle update wording

This was the entirety of the statement

Skipping the middle two as they aren’t relevant to the ‘controversy’, it isn’t nearly at that level but it seems to be the most appropriate phrase, we have all of two remaining lines. “Available on AMD Radeon R9 Series” and, “Coupon in shipping Box”. Both of these provide a very clear view of AMD’s intent but also leave a lot of room to misinterpret it as the author did here.

A casual reading of slides like the one pictured in the above link shows that all R9 cards have Battlefield 4 right? Well if you really parse the slide pictured above it becomes clear that the deal is a physical item in the boxes of the cards, not a blanket item for all R9s sold from the second the deal went live onward. Some boxes will have it, others will not. The word “available” also makes it clear that it is optional but the wording is clear as mud if you aren’t paying very close attention.

As a result what most of the world interpreted as “Included with every R9 card until the deal ends” should really be parsed as, “Some versions will have it, others will not”. Strictly speaking bullet point #1 does not preclude either reading but #4 does actually preclude the first interpretation. To me anyway this precludes any ill intent on AMD’s part but the following update AMD just put out was still sorely needed.

An email sent by an AMD PR representative to press last Friday that provided details on AMD’s Battlefield 4 promotion was not clear and has led to come confusion in the marketplace. It suggested that all customers who purchased an AMD Radeon R9 series graphics cards on or after November 13, 2013 would receive a complimentary copy of Battlefield 4. While all AMD Radeon R9 series cards are theoretically eligible for the promotion (which is administered by AMD’s channel partners), retailers and add-in-board partners ultimately decide which select AMD Radeon R9 SKUs will include a copy of BF4.

As with all limited promotions, it’s important that customers ensure that the specific product they’re purchasing qualifies for the promotion, and that they’re buying from a participating retailer during the promotion period. Also, it is critical to note that this promotion is only valid while supplies last.

To make it easier for our community to identify bundled products, BF4-qualifying SKUs and promotions of which AMD is aware will be posted on the portal below over the coming days and weeks, as soon as AMD is advised of their activation by its channel partners. Check http://www.amd.com/battlefield4 for more details and for full promotion terms and conditions.

We’ve also received many inquires via email and through Facebook and Twitter from customers who have already purchased an AMD Radeon R9 series graphics card, and are inquiring if the BF4 bundle will be made retroactive. Due to contractual agreements with EA/Dice, AMD was unable to make the BF4 promotion available before November 13th. However, as a gesture of goodwill towards our loyal fans, AMD will be giving away 1000 BF4 codes through our social media channels over the coming weeks. Details will be available soon at www.facebook.com/amdgaming and on www.twitter.com/amdradeon.

So in the end the story is pretty short, all Radeon R9 cards are eligible for the Battlefield 4 bundle package but it is up to the individual AIBs to participate in the program. The decision can be very granular with some SKUs of a card getting the bundle and others not. The coupon probably costs the AIB a few dollars so you will probably see it on the higher end and enthusiast/overclocking models more often than the bottom end R9 270s.

How can you tell what cards from what AIB have the bundle? This page has links to the list but as of this writing the links are not functional, something AMD says will be live in short order or you can just look on the box in a store. If you already bought an R9 card while you don’t retroactively get a copy you likely still paid less for your card than the same thing with the bundle but that is not exactly joyous tidings. AMD realized this and for those customers there is a 1000 copy Battlefield 4 giveaway coming up shortly as linked above. AMD being proactive about this issue is a good thing, we missed the intent too and we were actually looking at the details.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate