February 24, 2020 Nvidia has announced Bethesda games will be leaving its game streaming platform, following Activision Blizzard’s decision to pull its games from the service.
Bethesda has joined Activision Blizzard in removing (most) of its game library from Nvidia’s game streaming service, GeForce Now. Only Wolfenstein: Youngblood will remain on the platform for all members, with optional ray tracing for Founders members.
There’s no word as to why Bethesda removed its library of games (via Gamasutra) from the streaming service, but we know that Activision Blizzard’s decision may not have been entirely down to the game publisher’s own actions. Soon after quietly removing all Activision Blizzard titles from its streaming service, Nvidia confirmed that this was due to a “misunderstanding” on its part in securing the publisher’s library post-beta.
Nvidia’s GeForce Now game streaming service launched out of beta on Tuesday, February 4. Connecting to most digital stores and libraries on PC, GeForce Now verifies your existing game purchases to offer a cloud experience free of proprietary digital storefronts on select titles. Only a week after launch, however, Nvidia announced it was pulling all Battle.net game support – and offered no reason as to why.
However, it would now appear that the move was not entirely the sole decision of Activision Blizzard (via Bloomberg). Nvidia reportedly failed to comply with the pesky small print in the existing beta contract between the two companies, and perhaps should’ve pulled the publisher’s games prior to the services official launch. Activision Blizzard, in turn, is said to be taking the time to reevaluate its potential agreement with the streaming service.
“Activision Blizzard has been a fantastic partner during the GeForce Now beta, which we took to include the free trial period for our Founders membership,” Nvidia’s statement says. “Recognising the misunderstanding, we removed their games from our service, with hope we can work with them to re-enable these, and more, in the future.”
Whether Activision Blizzard, and now Bethesda, will come to an agreement with Nvidia to allow their games on the service remains unclear. Many publishers, including Rockstar and Capcom, have similarly halted their titles on the service. Nvidia is convinced many will return.
“As we approach a paid service,” Nvidia’s Phil Eisler says, “some publishers may choose to remove games before the trial period ends. Ultimately, they maintain control over their content and decide whether the game you purchase includes streaming on GeForce NOW. Meanwhile, others will bring games back as they continue to realize GeForce NOW’s value (stay tuned for more on that).”
It’s a shame that Nvidia’s ‘open’ streaming service is under threat from a lack of publisher support. Unlike Blade Shadow, it requires some degree of publisher cooperation to keep it afloat. If GeForce Now is to compete with streaming services such as Google Stadia, which it outperforms technically by quite a leap, then it requires key publisher support to keep its open PC-friendly ecosystem ticking over. Let’s hope it can square up these launch-day jitters swiftly.