Bethesda Softworks Pulls Its Games From Nvidia GeForce Now
Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service looks to be a hit among players, but publishers don’t seem to want to play ball. After losing access to Activision Blizzard games following a licensing dispute earlier this month, news has now broken that Bethesda Softworks has pulled nearly all of its games from Nvidia’s streaming service. Earlier this month, Activision pulled its games from Nvidia’s GeForce Now game streaming service, which was later attributed to a “misunderstanding”: Basically, Nvidia misunderstood the terms of the deal that granted it access to the games for the GeForce Now beta. Now it appears that another misunderstanding may have taken place, this one involving Bethesda Softworks.
What you need to know:
- Bethesda Softworks publishes multiple game franchises including Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and Wolfenstein.
- Bethesda Softworks is pulling most of its games from NVIDIA GeForce Now streaming, with the exception of Wolfenstein: Youngblood.
- Recently, Activision Blizzard also pulled its games from the service.
This announcement comes just a week after GeForce Now lost access to all Activision Blizzard titles due to a licensing dispute. Apparently, Nvidia had access to Activision Blizzard titles when GeForce Now was still in beta, but it never got full permission once the service became a commercial product and Nvidia started charging $4.99 a month for it. Prior to that, the service was free to use if you actually managed to get off the wait list.
This information was revealed in a forum post over on the official Nvidia website. According to the post, all but one Bethesda game has been removed from GeForce Now as of today. The full post reads:
“Please be advised most Bethesda Softworks titles will be removed from the GeForce NOW service today. Wolfenstein Youngblood will remain for all members. Founders members can continue to experience the game with RTX On.”
The issue can a little confusing, so here’s the synopsis: Nvidia failed to come to a new licensing agreement for Activision Blizzard games before its cloud gaming service went live. Without holding rights to stream the games, Nvidia was effectively charging players for access to Blizzard’s intellectual property. Of course, the most confusing part of this situation is that GeForce Now users have to already own these games in order to play them on Nvidia’s service.
It’s very likely that the same kind of situation has developed between Nvidia and Bethesda. Cloud gaming services are still relatively new, so wrinkles like this will certainly need to be ironed out over time. However, competitors like Google Stadia have an easier time with licensing since users can outright purchase games through the Stadia platform. Until Nvidia can sort out licensing concerns, we may start to see more and more developers shying away from GeForce Now.
The service managed to exit beta before its primary competitor, Google Stadia, launched its planned free tier, giving it an edge over the pricier Stadia Pro option that’s on the market now. Just yesterday, Nvidia also announced that GeForce Now would be getting CD Projekt Red’s much-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 on launch day come September, which is a huge win for Nvidia that brings one of the most-hyped upcoming releases of the year to its cloud gaming service.