Activision-Blizzard has apparently yanked its games from GeForce NOW

    
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If you were subbing to NVIDIA GeForce Now for your streamed games, we genuinely hope it wasn’t for Activision-Blizzard’s games. That’s because yesterday Activision-Blizzard surreptitiously removed all its games from the platform, with no announcement, leaving NVIDIA itself to explain what was happening to confused gamers. Here’s the key bit from the message on the NVIDIA site:

“Per their request, please be advised Activision Blizzard games will be removed from the service. While unfortunate, we hope to work together with Activision Blizzard to reenable these games and more in the future.”

GeForce NOW fans are pretty dang miffed, as anyone who recently renewed a sub hoping to play those games is now out of luck – and money. That includes Call of Duty, Overwatch, and StarCraft 2.

The platform’s only been live for a week, and gamers were already heralding it as what Stadia ought to have been. For Blizzard to be suddenly snubbing it right after launch? Yeah, there’s something else going on. Either way, bad show from the company.

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Jake Dunnegan

So, why did Activision pull the games? Probably b/c they may be going all “in” for phone games. (CoD Mobile was massive for them.) Or, for all we know, it’s because Destiny 2 (Bungie) left the Activision playground and since they’re over on GeForce Now, Activision’s being all petty about it.

Scmidt.Capaela mentions it below, but a point that should be remembered here is that (and I can’t believe I’m defending nVidia here, but…) – nVidia isn’t exactly making a killing here. They aren’t selling the games. They are taking the cost of rolling out a bunch of virtual servers, the technology, the bandwidth, all of that, and it’s costing users $5/monthly (or free if you’re cool with 1 hour play sessions…).

The Publishers are already making the money from the sale of their games. You bring your game libraries with you to nVidia. I’ve used the service. It’s pretty frickin’ sweet. And during the Beta, it cost me nothing, and right now, it’s $5/month. For that, I can use my phone, a laptop while on the road, a tablet as long as it has 2GB of RAM in it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Amazon allowed the app on their store (for Kindle Fire usage. (They should, but who knows? It’s not like they have a similar service, and they certainly want to compete with Google.) Sides, there are ways around the Amazon store anyway…

I imagine it’s anyone’s guess what nVidia’s play here is, but it’s probably simply to get folks using it, build a large customer base and hope to squelch Stadia.

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Sray

It’s not just ActivisionBlizzard pulling their games from Geforce Now: the majority of triple A publishers have pulled their catalogs from Geforce Now; it just happened the others did it during the dying days of the beta. Many of these companies were okay with Nvidia’s plans for the service when it was meant to be a competitor to Alienware and other gaming laptop manufacturers; but now that Nvidia seems to be looking to compete with Google, Microsoft, and Sony, the big publishers are a little (a lot) less inclined to share their valuable catalogs for free.

It’s not really surprising if you reflect on what GFN costs triple A publishers: the chance to resell their games on another platform. If you look at game streaming as a third platform, consoles and PCs being first and second, then a service like Geforce Now robs these companies of the ability to sell these games again to people who want them on their new gaming home.

It’s a relatively common occurrence for people to swap gaming platforms during generational changes (like upgrading from the Xbox 360 to the PS4) and then end up repurchasing favorite games on the new platform. GTA V is perhaps the most famous example of this: PS3 and Xbox 360 owners had to buy it again for the PS4/Xbone, not to mention PC players who bought consoles just for that game before it was ultimately ported to the PC over a year later. If we’re looking at a sizable number of players ditching their in house game boxes (be it PC or console) for a streaming service over the next few years, it makes sense that the largest publishers would want to be able to sell from their back catalog on the new platforms. Remember: when Sony and Microsoft announced the current gen consoles wouldn’t have backwards compatibility, game publishers weren’t the ones upset about that; and for all the noise Microsoft made about Xbox Play Anywhere games, virtually no publishers got on board with the initiative.

It’s not just publishers either: with a few exceptions, whether or not you can play your supported game is based on the store you purchased from. Let’s say you purchased Darksiders 3 on Epic Games or GOG.com, well then you’re SOL when it comes to streaming it on GFN. Much like many IPTV services, a service like GFN is, in many ways, simply too good a deal for consumers; and locks too many others out of their share of the pie. If the major publishers and stores keep their catalogs away from Geforce Now, the future of the service looks even more bleak than Stadia’s.

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Jake Dunnegan

I guess that’s possible (about AAA developers leaving) but I haven’t heard anything about it. I’m looking at my library now, and Ubisoft, Epic, Bethesda ALL support it still. (As does Wargaming.net and I imagine of i

And where are you getting your info about not launching from GoG or Epic? Which I’m literally looking at games from publishers right now. Steam, too, for that matter.

And you have it exactly backwards. The Publishers NOT named Sony, MS or Google would WANT someone besides those three in the market place because they are competing with them directly now. Sony, Google and MS have all bought up studios over the past 18 months and are now looking to publish even more of their own titles. Where does that leave the Ubisofts, Epics, Steam, and Gog’s of the world?

Fact is, if you’re a PC gamer, cloud gaming is the kiss of death. There’s zero reason to use it, unless you want to play your games on your phone. At least with GeForce Now, you can play on a shield, on a laptop, an Android Phone with at least 2GB and the quality is amazing. And cheap!

Oh, and Activision is basically leaving the PC market entirely and focusing on Phone app development.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

With more info…it looks like nvidia has done goofed, hard.

Looks like they didn’t bother to get approval for all the games before they were added to the platform, and a number of publishers (Bandai, EA, Squeenix, Capcom and more) have pulled some or all of their catalogs either during the beta or around launch.

I’m still dumbfounded. I can’t believe nvidia wouldn’t have their legal team review this and flag as a major issue. I can’t believe nobody internally would have thought of this from the development side. I can’t believe they thought they’d be able to avoid being noticed by publishers.

This is all so confusing.

Techno Wizard
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Techno Wizard

Looks like Blizzard want to vendor lock-in the players to their platform exclusively. How very Activision.

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Aiun Tanks

“I feel like making a shitload of money shorting my company stock, and I want a golden parachute. Yes Men! How can we crater the company?”

“We could instigate an international incident, do the complete opposite of what the brand is known for in terms of quality and polish for a major release, and otherwise let all our IP stagnate for another year or two of the only new releases being cash shop content?”

“Mm, very good! But can we be more… petty?”

“Well, I guess instead of finding huge and spectacular ways to suck, we could make a series of little dick moves.”

“Hah. Title of your sex tape. I’m amazing.”

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dreamer

Gaming is increasing looking like the television and film space. And I hate it.

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Jokerchyld

What did you expect? The game streaming wars are about to heat up just like movie streaming.

Why would Activision let NVIDIA stream there games when they can either do it themselves or work out a better deal with someone else (like Google or Amazon).

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I don’t know… Maybe because they agreed to?

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memitim

Seems like they didn’t agree by signing on the dotted line though…I expect this shit from Actiblizz but apparently Nvidia didn’t…opps!

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McGuffn

Tough streaming moment/week.

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Utakata

What a bunch of boner heads. Just saying. /bleh

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Bruno Brito

boner heads

Ah…hum…ehr…*points finger, gets ready to say something*…*changes mind, and just keeps quiet*…

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Utakata

Okays…*scratches the left pigtail and wonders what this is all about*…*then decides not to ask because it doesn’t look like they’re really in the mood to answer*… /shrug?

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Bruno Brito

It’s the Castle speechless gif, Uta haha.

It’s because you said boner head, not bonehead, so…yeah it was just a unfunny tirade <3

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Utakata

And it went straight the head and pigtails. Which is surprising, since the said appendages are so large they should of pick that up. I guess the issue being of short or stature always throws me… :(

…but thanks for explaining that.

But yeah, I am entirely unfamiliar with that meme. And I thought I was being clever by playing on words. >.<

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Bruno Brito

Those pigtails need gnomish fine-tuning.

You can’t pick up my transcendent goblin humour.

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Utakata

My Goblins only see the humor in something if money is involved to which they benefit from. <3

Dantos
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Dantos

1 vote for an exclusivity deal in the works. Probably Stadia given that Overwatch League is exclusivly streaming on youtube now.

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Bruno Brito

Ah, yes. The glorious Overwatch League. An exclusivity deal that was the rage of dozens, DOZENS of people who still watch OW e-Sports.