Nvidia Offers New Call of Duty Game Free to Anyone Lucky Enough to Buy an RTX 3080, 3090

Call of Duty RTX bundle
(Image credit: Nvidia)

As if you needed more incentive to buy an RTX 30-series card, Nvidia announced today that it’s now bundling Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War with select RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 GPUs. A game being packed in with a GPU isn't unusual. But the RTX 3070 launch earlier this week proved that demand for Ampere is still high enough to make the some of the best graphics cards almost impossible to find without resorting to the secondhand market. So we have to wonder -- why run this deal when most won't be able to redeem it?

Snagging the bundle won’t just get you the gam, but also a few in-game goodies too, like the Woods operator and a weapon blueprint. That’s a nice touch of extra incentive, but casually browsing through RTX 3080 and 3090 listings on most sites shows that actually claiming this deal might be hard enough to make it more of a thought experiment than a tangible possibility.

Wen browsing stores in the hopes of discovering where to buy an RTX 3080 or 3090, you'll find they're universally sold-out when buying new.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang even acknowledged earlier this month that RTX cards will probably be hard to find into 2021. “I believe demand will outstrip all of our supply through the year," the exec said.

This means that unless you’re very lucky and able to pounce on cards as they restock -- which has proven difficult, thanks to bots -- you’re likely not going to be able to get this deal.

So why offer a deal that’s theoretical for most people, especially so soon after launch and when demand is high enough for people to buy the cards without extra incentive? A possible answer: AMD.

AMD finally unveiled Big Navi to the public earlier this week, revealing three new cards that are poised to be competitive with the RTX 30-series while beating it on price. For instance, the Radeon RX 6800 XT is currently set to be $120 less than the RTX 3080, while the RX 6900 XT is set to be $500 less than the RTX 3090. And since AMD is launching its RX 6000 cards after the Ampere release, it also has a chance to beat Nvidia on supply.

All of those points come together to give AMD a serious chance at taking the GPU lead in the coming generation. So even with RTX 30-series demand higher than Nvidia can satisfy, it makes sense to announce a deal that might take back some of the spotlight.

It's all possible that Nvidia and Activision were already working on this deal for a while. That’s not as fun to picture, though.

Michelle Ehrhardt

Michelle Ehrhardt is an editor at Tom's Hardware. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.

  • spongiemaster
    Ok, now Nvidia is just trolling us. Adding additional incentives to a product nobody can find in the first place?
  • Giroro
    Spending $1500 on a graphics card "lucky"?
    I'm sure most people would be just fine upgrading every-other component in their computer combined while they wait, or buying a used car instead.
  • gg83
    So they have 4 redemption codes to give out?
  • purple_dragon
    "For instance, the Radeon RX 6800 XT is currently set to be $120 less than the RTX 3080, while the RX 6900 XT is set to be $500 less than the RTX 3090." The 6800 XT is $50 less than RTX 3080.
  • XxDarkMario20xX
    I was lucky to get my hands on 3090 Yesterday but guess I wont be getting this deal due fact there it started on 30th and bought mine on 29th
  • Shadowclash10
    The AMD rational is the only reasoning I can think of that remotely makes sense, since like the article said, why try to further incentivize these cards? However, it still doesn't make complete sense because i think for most people, they're gonna take whichever card they can get: their desired Nvidia Ampere GPU, or it's rough AMD equivalent.

    Also, why is the 3070 not part of this?? If anything, that should be the card out of the 3 already out Ampere cards because the cheaper the card, the more someone is likely gonna care about a free game (although this probably doesn't really make a difference until <$400 IMHO)
  • Conahl
    eh, most of the time the games that are bundled with hardware, i wouldnt play any way:ROFLMAO: