The original developer of graphics card overclocking utility MSI Afterburner has warned that the software is "semi abandoned" and "probably dead". The dev, Russian national Alexey 'Unwinder' Nicolaychuk, posted on the Guru3D forums (good spot by TechPowerUp) that due to economic sanctions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, MSI haven’t paid him for his work on Afterburner in nearly a year.
"I tried to continue performing my obligations and worked on the project on my own during the last 11 months, but it resulted in nothing but disappointment", writes Nicolaychuk. "I have a feeling that I’m just beating a dead horse and waste energy on something that is no longer needed by company. Anyway I’ll try to continue supporting it myself while I have some free time, but will probably need to drop it and switch to something else, allowing me to pay my bills."
In a statement to PC Gamer, MSI confirmed that “economic regulations” had scuppered past attempts to pay into Nicolaychuk’s bank account, and that they intend for Afterburner’s development to continue. "MSI have been working on a solution and expect it to be resolved soon", the statement reads.
Afterburner is a great tool as it is. I use it regularly for benchmarking, and for my money (zero pounds, it’s free), it’s the best utility available for easily overclocking a GPU. However, like most software, it will need updates to stay both useful and safe to use, with support for new graphics cards like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 40 series and AMD Radeon RX 7000 series needing to be added with each launch.
Despite MSI’s optimism, it does seem that such updates might not come anytime soon. It's not like it’s easy to jump to a competitor either: Afterburner’s closest rival, EVGA Precision X1, also faces an uncertain future after EVGA quit the graphics card business late last year. Though at least that was just down to business disagreements with Nvidia and not, well, a war.
Nicolaychuk also clarified that he will continue working on RivaTuner Statistics Server (RTSS), another project that’s technically separate from MSI Afterburner, though is vital to the latter’s overlay feature.