Nvidia’s GeForce Now is losing all Activision Blizzard games, a bad sign for cloud gaming (see threadmark for Nvidia statement)

Hobbes

Incident Manager
Verified
Oct 27, 2017
4,739
United States
Nvidia’s GeForce Now feels like one of the very best ways to get a free taste of cloud gaming, but it’s got a gigantic catch — it lets you play PC games you already own only if the game publisher allows it. Today, Nvidia is revealing that Activision Blizzard is no longer playing ball, pulling down its catalog of games including Overwatch, WoW, and the Call of Duty series.

That means one of the service’s biggest publishers, as well as its Battle.net catalog of games, will no longer be available just a week after the service’s formal launch — a launch that was already missing many games from Capcom, EA, Konami, Remedy, Rockstar and Square Enix, all of which seemed to have pulled out after Nvidia’s beta period ended.

Nvidia wouldn’t tell us why this is happening now, but it’s strange, because Nvidia previously told us it was contacting every publisher ahead of launch to make sure they were OK with their games staying available with the service. Did Activision Blizzard reneg on a deal, or did Nvidia fail to get permission? We’re waiting to hear back on that from Nvidia; Activision Blizzard didn’t respond to a request for comment.
 

Aesthet1c

Member
Oct 27, 2017
519
I have a feeling that cloud gaming is going to be like movie/TV streaming, where every company is going to want their slice of the pie and try to release their own cloud gaming service. Hopefully Nvidia can work out some deals to get these publishers back.
 

LewieP

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,360
Yeah I tried to make the point that existing license agreements did not allow for this situation, and that Nvidia would be potentially opening themselves up to litigation if they let people stream games on Geforce Now without explicit permission to do so from publishers. I very much expect other publishers (especially those with existing/announced plans for game streaming like Ubisoft, EA, Bethesda, Square Enix and probably some others) to seek to get their games removed from this service.

Maybe if Nvidia offered these publishers a portion of the revenue from the streaming subscription they could secure permission to support these games, but I would imagine that they'd have to pass that cost on to users.

Dunno why people thought it would just be a free for all and major publishers would turn a blind eye to it. I did see Valve staff promoting this service too, dunno if they just didn't think through the ramifications or what.
 

chrominance

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,782
I can't wait to sign up to fourteen different cloud services to play the games I want to play. Let's do it, I'm ready.

(probably what will actually happen is what's already starting to happen with video streaming: people subscribe for a month, binge the shit out of the service, then leave)
 

JohnnyMoses

Member
Oct 27, 2017
814
Wouldn’t it benefit them to have it available on GeForce Now? I mean, the user still has to buy the game. If anything, it should make the game available to more people.
 

Real

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,411
It begins! Oh man, the same fragmentation that's happening with visual media is going to happen with interactive.
 

Kschreck

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Oct 27, 2017
2,207
Pennsylvania
I have a feeling that cloud gaming is going to be like movie/TV streaming, where every company is going to want their slice of the pie and try to release their own cloud gaming service. Hopefully Nvidia can work out some deals to get these publishers back.
This is exactly what will happen. I won't be surprised if this happens to Gamepass as well.
 

SolidJaum

Member
Jun 2, 2019
775
I have a feeling that cloud gaming is going to be like movie/TV streaming, where every company is going to want their slice of the pie and try to release their own cloud gaming service. Hopefully Nvidia can work out some deals to get these publishers back.
That's obvious. That's why MS said that their biggest competitors now are Amazon and Google. Cloud Providers.
 

Fadewise

Member
Nov 5, 2017
868
This is the big advantage that Microsoft will have with xCloud, as their licensing agreements for the next generation of Xbox will likely include a clause for inclusion in the streaming service. Potentially, if Valve stood up a first party solution they could make that part of the Steam agreements as well (in fact, there were rumors of such last year).
 

Theswweet

RPG Site
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
2,635
California
What's especially frustrating is that GeForce Now only works with your already existing purchases, so it's especially odd that companies are barring folks from streaming games that they already own a license for.
 

TeenageFBI

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,103
They apparently see cloud gaming as akin to video streaming than media ownership so it makes sense that this would happen. Publishers love eroding consumer features for their own benefit.

I’m glad that digital game “ownership” doesn’t have the same problem, at least on the major sites. If I own a game on Steam and the publisher decides to remove it from the store, I can still redownload my copy five years later.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,846
Everyone wants their own cloud streaming service, just like how everyone wants their own streaming network for television shows and movies. It's going in that direction for the gaming industry rather quickly.
 

Chandler

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,327
I have a feeling that cloud gaming is going to be like movie/TV streaming, where every company is going to want their slice of the pie and try to release their own cloud gaming service. Hopefully Nvidia can work out some deals to get these publishers back.
Anime and TV show services are already saturated as hell to the point of basically advocating for piracy, It's almost like they want people to pirate their shit instead of making it easy to give them money. I'm absolutely bowing out of game streaming if there's gonna be all kinds of subscriptions for games too.
 

Maxey

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,680
Portugal
Sigh...

Activision I understand. But Capcom? The same Capcom that released a streaming-only version of RE7 on the Switch? Why?
 

mordecaii83

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
1,560
Yeah I tried to make the point that existing license agreements did not allow for this situation, and that Nvidia would be potentially opening themselves up to litigation if they let people stream games on Geforce Now without explicit permission to do so from publishers. I very much expect other publishers (especially those with existing/announced plans for game streaming like Ubisoft, EA, Bethesda, Square Enix and probably some others) to seek to get their games removed from this service.

Maybe if Nvidia offered these publishers a portion of the revenue from the streaming subscription they could secure permission to support these games, but I would imagine that they'd have to pass that cost on to users.

Dunno why people thought it would just be a free for all and major publishers would turn a blind eye to it. I did see Valve staff promoting this service too, dunno if they just didn't think through the ramifications or what.
That doesn't make any sense, you have to own the game already to play it on Geforce Now, why would Nvidia share any of the streaming revenue? The game publishers should be happy with having their game needing to be purchased.

This just seems so bizarre to me, I would think most companies would be happy to have more people buying their games because they suddenly have access to hardware good enough to run it.
 

FrakEarth

Member
Oct 25, 2017
910
Liverpool, UK
I have a feeling that cloud gaming is going to be like movie/TV streaming, where every company is going to want their slice of the pie and try to release their own cloud gaming service. Hopefully Nvidia can work out some deals to get these publishers back.
Potentially very possible. Microsoft, Sony, Google on the heavyweight side, but I can easily see publishers trying to establish their own stream content delivery networks too. Valve, Epic, EA, Activision, maybe even Ubi?

Competition could stifle it right when it's ready to grow as well, if people start pulling content off competing services.

As mordecaii83 says, you'd think they'd be happy to have a hardware barrier to software sales removed.. there has to be something more to this.
 

zedox

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,542
It was a beta...it didn't get approval for when they went out of beta. Nvidia and Activision will have to come to terms for the agreement. Pretty cut and dry.
 

InsaneTiger

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
5,411
I can't wait to sign up to fourteen different cloud services to play the games I want to play. Let's do it, I'm ready.

(probably what will actually happen is what's already starting to happen with video streaming: people subscribe for a month, binge the shit out of the service, then leave)
Just like with TV, the future is awful.
 

LukarWuff

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,395
This just means I won't be spending money on Modern Warfare this season, which I would have since I was planning on playing it with some friends. Activision's loss.
 

Walken

Member
Nov 25, 2019
701
What's especially frustrating is that GeForce Now only works with your already existing purchases, so it's especially odd that companies are barring folks from streaming games that they already own a license for.
This is Activision we are talking about. If they can squeeze a nickel somewhere they will.
 

tuxfool

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,425
TV and movie piracy is on the rise again. You'd think that publishers would learn some lessons from that.

They do have some advantages in that all that gassy shit makes validation of legitimate copies more feasible, but still.
 

LewieP

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,360
That doesn't make any sense, you have to own the game already to play it on Geforce Now, why would Nvidia share any of the streaming revenue? The game publishers should be happy with having their game needing to be purchased.

This just seems so bizarre to me, I would think most companies would be happy to have more people buying their games because they suddenly have access to hardware good enough to run it.
Where when you bought those games did the license agreement grant you permission to stream them via Geforce Now or similar services?

Why would they not seek to charge you to do so when they are entirely within their legal rights to do so?

I don't like this outcome, but it's an extremely obvious one. Corporations are gonna corporate.

It still doesn’t make sense to me. The publisher could still have a subscription service for access to their games. GeForce Now is just for the ability to stream it.
The publishers I mentioned are specifically already implementing or at least planning their own streaming service from which they would get all the revenue. Why would they want to allow Geforce to undermine such services? Especially when they have not granted Nvidia or users the rights to do it.

Why remove it so early though? Shutting off access without having any way to capture that revenue seems like a premature move.
Imo it is better than turning a blind eye temporarily then revoking access later down the line after people get used to using the service more. Also from a legal perspective they are probably far better off taking immediate action.
 

Dozer

Member
May 30, 2019
123
Orlando, FL
Activision Blizzard just signed a huge deal with Google transferring all their server hosting to Google, and exclusive eSports broadcasting deal for YouTube gaming.

I wouldn't be surprised if Google is behind this, pending some sort of Stadia deal.
 

asmith906

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,382
I legitimately do not understand people to want their entire game library to be tied to a streaming service.
 

xmonkeyofevil

Member
Jun 9, 2019
38
Well geez, I was actually considering hopping back into Black Ops 4 with this. I just don't play it enough to warrant the amount of space it takes up nowadays.
 

elenarie

Developer at DICE
Verified
Jun 10, 2018
3,256
Parts of this remind me when some older cloud infrastructure providers were providing their customers with provisioned Windows experiences... for which Microsoft was not paid. Let's just say, those servers don't exist anymore. :p

I'm curious to know how this exactly works in terms of licensing, must be a "fun" thing to have to deal with. :D
 

LukarWuff

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,395
I legitimately do not understand people to want their entire game library to be tied to a streaming service.
The entire point of GeForce Now is that it doesn't tie your entire game library to a streaming service. Instead, it lets you stream games you already own from Steam, Uplay, Origin, etc. It's meant to be a complementary service to PC gaming, not a replacement for it.
 

badnewsbeers

Member
Dec 10, 2017
321
Ontario, Canada
I have a feeling that cloud gaming is going to be like movie/TV streaming, where every company is going to want their slice of the pie and try to release their own cloud gaming service. Hopefully Nvidia can work out some deals to get these publishers back.
fuck it’s infuriating. Then we have to sift through the detritus and wait for the majority to fail before amalgamating again. The number of subscriptions I have is already out of hand.
 

LewieP

Member
Oct 26, 2017
10,360
The entire point of GeForce Now is that it doesn't tie your entire game library to a streaming service. Instead, it lets you stream games you already own from Steam, Uplay, Origin, etc. It's meant to be a complementary service to PC gaming, not a replacement for it.
This except instead of "own" substitute in "have a license to play on your local device".
 

fuchsdh

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,921
I have a feeling that cloud gaming is going to be like movie/TV streaming, where every company is going to want their slice of the pie and try to release their own cloud gaming service. Hopefully Nvidia can work out some deals to get these publishers back.
Probably. Like with movie/TV streaming, if you've already started getting into the nuts and bolts of distribution you'd be a fool to put your games in someone else's hands.

And like with movie/TV streaming, it remains to be seen whether having a dozen streaming platforms is actually viable.
 

jwk94

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,131
I can't wait to sign up to fourteen different cloud services to play the games I want to play. Let's do it, I'm ready.

(probably what will actually happen is what's already starting to happen with video streaming: people subscribe for a month, binge the shit out of the service, then leave)
Sounds like xcloud might be our plex-like solution for this.
 

Shoichi

Member
Jan 10, 2018
3,766
Hopefully Nvidia works out the agreements and gets the games back on.

In a way it helps the developers and Nvidia. Developers can have another source of revenue from those that wouldn't consider getting the games due to too weak hardware. That those developers don't have the resources to launch a streaming service of their own. Nvidia gets the revenue from the streaming ability.

It's not like Nvidia is siphoning money away from the devs
 

Reinhard

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,679
I was going to buy that Switch-like controller for my phone for Geforce Now, but not anymore. Every publisher will have their own streaming service or be exclusive to Stadia or some BS....
 

Visuwell

Member
Jan 22, 2019
62
So how does GeForce now differ from shadow then? Why can shadow stream anygame but GeForce now can't?
 

Conkerkid11

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
6,534
Seems dumb as hell to me that the devs / pubs of these games even have a say in the matter. It's Nvidia's backend that's running it.

It'd be like if they arbitrarily decided that certain hardware wasn't allowed to launch their games, and everybody had to go out and buy new hardware. Not talking about a new console or something. Something with the same OS. Just literally them saying, "hey, you can't use that motherboard."

They don't have anything that competes with it yet. They shouldn't be allowed to pull their games from it until they offer an alternative.

So how does GeForce now differ from shadow then? Why can shadow stream anygame but GeForce now can't?
I take it that's their free service that allows streaming from your own hardware? The difference is that the devs / pubs can't monetize that. They see Nvidia making money from GeForce Now, and they say, "no, we want some of that even though we're not doing anything on our end to obtain it".
 

JohnnyMoses

Member
Oct 27, 2017
814
Where when you bought those games did the license agreement grant you permission to stream them via Geforce Now or similar services?

Why would they not seek to charge you to do so when they are entirely within their legal rights to do so?

I don't like this outcome, but it's an extremely obvious one. Corporations are gonna corporate.


The publishers I mentioned are specifically already implementing or at least planning their own streaming service from which they would get all the revenue. Why would they want to allow Geforce to undermine such services? Especially when they have not granted Nvidia or users the rights to do it.



Imo it is better than turning a blind eye temporarily then revoking access later down the line after people get used to using the service more. Also from a legal perspective they are probably far better off taking immediate action.
Are you sure you’re not confusing streaming and subscription? Where have those companies said they’re planning a streaming service? Either way, it’s too bad. I like GeForce Now.