Updated: Comments from Ben on published article.
(Citizen Star News) - 2014-10-14 - We talked with community manager Ben Lesnick about a question that was asked for me to take to CIG at Citizen Con 2014. This one is both a little bit on the paranoid side and very valid:
How does CIG plan on preventing preferential treatment to gpu and cpu companies? We have seen alot of AMD in the past and recently such as mantle being adopted but not physX. AMD sending computers to CIG and being publicized but not NVidia computers that were sent. Finally and most recent the AMD ship. It is understood that these are AMD giving and approaching CIG, but accepting free gifts is a step away from accepting a bribe.
N[ot to] accuse them of [actually accepting] bribes. There are also other low level api such as intel accelerated processing, NVAPI and more. There is more tech out there than just mantle, mantle was lucky enough to get the boulder moving. I like mantle though I wi[s]h they would change the rules of how to acquire mantle on products.
My question is how doe[s] CIG know it has crossed the line with a company, and why hasn't any other tech company been so spotlighted. Is AMD more involved, or have NVidia or Intel just waiting their time for another ship that hasn't been released like Intel wanting to sponsor a electronic combat ship and NVidia wanting a heavy fighter. ~ Seta8967
Freebies and swag are a part of life, really not much of question. I know Logitech, AMD, Nvidia, Saitek, and probably many more have sent over equipment for use in the development of Star Citizen. Both in the sense of just for general use, and for specific equipment evaluation to insure compatibility with the game. We as backers benefit here by not having our money spent on such things but instead on actual work done, and we certainly want wide device compatibility. It becomes payola or bribes when specific terms and privileges are granted in exchange. What has recently gotten people a bit more paranoid about the issue is the co-marketing being done with AMD in the "never settle" campaign, resulting in the Mustang R9 Omega, custom made ship that introduces a Company with AMD name and logo into the official game lore. The CitizenCon event started out with giveaway featuring AMD graphic cards as well.
When talking to Ben (not on camera, sorry the club atmosphere was a difficult venue to get any real usable recordings) he made it clear that CIG is only interested in what's best for the game, and not going to allow any company to hijack them into supporting one CPU/GPU over the other. Individual technology initiatives and marketing opportunities are looked at on a case-by-basis. The AMD project was a case were a confluence of mutual best interests came together and the were able to build a win-win scenario with no sacrifice of integritry for either side.