Bethesda Signs Deal With AMD, Promises “Unprecedented Performance”

As part of its Game Developers' Conference announcements this week, Bethesda Softworks revealed via its Twitter a "long-term strategic partnership" with chipmaker and GPU heavyweight AMD. Per Bethesda's 140 characters, the collaboration "will produce unprecedented performance for our fans," presumably seen in upcoming and future Bethesda Softworks titles across the spectrum of its IP.

AMD's own press release digs a bit deeper, offering details on the two companies' multi-game partnership. The agreement will see the two companies "collaborate to develop and accelerate the implementation of new technologies, including the full potential of low-level APIs, such as Vulkan, and the computing and graphics power of AMD Ryzen CPUs, Radeon GPUs, and AMD server solutions across existing Bethesda franchises." Per the release, the end result should be "extraordinary experiences on upcoming hardware architectures."

While the language above does admittedly read a bit like marketing-speak, Bethesda president Vlatko Andonov was able to break the agreement down into simpler terms.


AMD Radeon graphics architectures represent a true commitment to developers, inviting them to use the hardware as a blank canvas through low-level access to the silicon, and empowering them with architectural advancements that enable them to bring their gaming visions to life without compromise. AMD Ryzen represents one of the most important disruptions to the CPU market in a long time. Our relationship with AMD represents an exciting and powerful opportunity for Bethesda to further advance game experiences for our fans, significantly expand our presence in gaming and VR, and engage with new generations of gamers around the world.

Ironically, the upcoming Nintendo Switch features an Nvidia GPU as a result of an exclusive agreement between the dominant GPU company and Nintendo's top folks in Kyoto. Beyond that, a version of Bethesda's Skyrim is slated to release on the device, albeit with an unspecified Fall 2017 release date. Regardless, it will be interesting to see what both partnerships yield in the months and years ahead.