Nvidia announced a new policy for its GeForce Now cloud gaming service on Wednesday that means publishers and developers will have to opt into the platform to have titles remotely playable via Nvidia servers.
“Response has been strong with over 200 publishers committing to streaming on the service,” reads a blog post from Phil Eisler, Nvidia’s GeForce Now vice president. “Going forward, only the games that are opted in will be available on the service, providing confidence in the GeForce Now game library. Yet some publishers are still figuring out their cloud strategies. Those that haven’t opted in as of May 31 will be removed.”
The shift is meant to address disputes over licensing, as Nvidia was including games on the platform without the express permission of some game developers and publishers and then removing the software later, apparently after complaints in private negotiations arose.
Unlike Google Stadia, which requires you purchase a separate license to play a game in the cloud, Nvidia’s GeForce Now allows subscribers to access their existing library of games bought from storefronts like Epic and Steam. That approach has proved controversial because it raises important, largely unanswered questions about digital ownership and the underlying business models of cloud gaming. For now, it appears Nvidia would like to remain in amicable negotiation with its game publisher partners, many of which it works closely with on its PC graphics cards.
One positive note for subscribers is that the change should mean we see far less abrupt removals, as was the case when big publishers like Activision Blizzard and Bethesda yanked entire libraries earlier this year, after GeForce Now exited beta and became a paid service. As of today, publishers that do not opt in GeForce Now by May 31st will have their games removed. Nvidia also shared a list of currently playable titles that will no longer be accessible later this week, including titles in Sega-published franchises like Sonic and Yakuza.
GeForce Now already has lost or will soon lose games from these major publishers: Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Capcom, Crytek, Konami, Xbox Game Studios, Rockstar, Sega, Square Enix, Take-Two / 2K Games, and Warner Bros. But Nvidia says its platform offers access to more than 2,000 titles, and it does include games from major publishers like Bandai Namco, Bungie, CCP Games, Electronic Arts, Epic, Riot, Ubisoft, and Valve.