UPDATE: 28/04/2017 - Drop the flaming pitcforks ladies and gents, AMD has moved swiftly to calm the outrage that popped up when an advert for Quake Champions was installed on users' desktops as part of the latest Radeon 17.4.4 driver. Since yesterday, AMD has updated the 17.4.4 Dawn of War of Drivers and removed the Quake Champions URL shortcut from appearing on the desktop.
In a statement, AMD said “We're very excited to be working with Bethesda and we wanted to make it easy for Radeon users to sign up for the Quake Champions beta program. Our installer placed a shortcut on gamers’ desktops – we've updated our 17.4.4 release and this shortcut install has been removed. We apologize if this has caused any inconvenience for anyone.”
Original Story - Latest AMD Radeon Driver Installs Deceptive Advertisement for Quake Champions on the Desktop
AMD has landed itself in a bit of hot water with its latest Radeon Software Crimson Edition 17.4.4 driver. Released yesterday to coincide with the launch of Dawn of War 3, the driver surreptitiously installs an ad for Quake Champions directly onto your desktop.
In what is probably a new low in subversive advertising, the drive adds a Quake Champions Beta shortcut to your desktop. Only when you click on it, it isn’t an opportunity to play id Software’s latest arena shooter, but rather a bit.ly referral tracking link directly to the official Quake Champions website.
Discovered by users over on the AMD subreddit, this is a move which is sure to end in major consumer backlash. There is allegedly no opt-out for the shortcut during the installation of the drivers, so this Quake Champions fake shortcut is going to be installed on your desktop whether you like it or not. Fortunately getting rid of the thing is as simple as deleting the shortcut.
It was only yesterday that Id Software and AMD jointly published a video espousing the benefits of AMD Ryzen and the upcoming Vega, claiming “Ryzen’s additional threads and cores allow us to turn up a lot of things: better frame rates, more AI, more things happening in the game space, more simulations running, more realistic worlds.” At the time I said “It’s safe to say id Software is in love with AMD Ryzen and Vega, or at the very least it’s in love with AMD’s marketing dollars,” and this latest driver update appears to be major case of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
Now it's fairly public knowledge that AMD has a few deals going on behind the scenes with id Software, this is evident in the DOOM Vega benchmarks, however it's not too dissimilar to Nvidia's own deals. Where this differs is the stealthy nature of the marketing, effectively tricking AMD owners into visiting the Quake Champions website under the assumption they think they have the game installed.
Now, I'd love to know what the GD community's take on this is? Is a simple shortcut you can just delete not an issue? Or do you find it a breach of trust between yourself and AMD? Let us know your thoughts!