The seven-year beta testing phase is a very long period of time for a digital service, but that is what GeForce Now has endured before it was officially launched recently. Unfortunately, the launch of cloud gaming services owned by Nvidia was even tinged with unpleasant news.
Suddenly and for no apparent reason, Activision Blizzard pulled all of its games from the GeForce Now catalog. Even worse, now it was Bethesda Softworks’s turn to join in. All games they publish, from the Fallout series, The Elder Scrolls, to Doom, will also be withdrawn from GeForce Now. The only Bethesda property left and that can be played by GeForce Now customers is Wolfenstein: Youngblood.
Obviously this news sparked the question, “what’s wrong with Nvidia to the point that it seems to be shunned by big names in the gaming industry?” In the Activision Blizzard case, the problem turns out to be rooted in a misunderstanding between the two parties, as reported by Bloomberg.
It was explained that Activision Blizzard actually wanted a new agreement after the release of GeForce Now from the beta phase and became a commercial service. On the reverse side, Nvidia thinks its approval has been around since GeForce Now is still in beta testing, because Activision Blizzard is indeed allowing GeForce Now testers to play the games they publish.
In the case of Bethesda, so far there has been no explanation from Nvidia or Bethesda, but I suspect the root of the problem is not much different. Before this (during the beta phase), GeForce Now can be enjoyed free of charge. Now, Nvidia sets a GeForce Now subscription rate of $ 5 per month.
It could be that Activision Blizzard and Bethesda crave a new agreement where they can share a few percent of their GeForce Now revenue. On the other hand, Nvidia might think that they don’t need to pay royalties or the like because GeForce Now doesn’t have its own game store.
This is different from Google Stadia, which requires its customers to buy games in their own specialty store (Stadia Store). GeForce Now on the other hand invites customers to buy their games on mainstream platforms such as Steam and Epic Games Store. The $ 5-a-month rate is basically limited to the high-end gaming PC rental fees available in Nvidia’s datacenter.
Does this mean I defend Nvidia and accuse Activision Blizzard and Bethesda of being greedy? Basically, but don’t forget that this is only a matter of speculation. Nvidia itself will continue to strive so that publishers who run away are willing to provide the game back at GeForce Now. They also stressed that in the future the cases of games that were pulled from the GeForce Now catalog would be reduced.
Apart from that, GeForce Now still has a high appeal, especially if you idolize the developer of The Witcher series, Projekt Red CD. Their latest game which will be released on September 17, Cyberpunk 2077, will be played directly via GeForce Now on the day of its release.