Could the rather impressive GeForce Now service be experiencing death by 1000 cuts? After losing Grand Theft Auto 5 and Activision’s titles from the service without warning, the company has announced that Bethesda games have also been taken off.
“Please be advised most Bethesda Softworks titles will be removed from the GeForce Now service today,” a company spokesperson wrote on the official forums. This post, as you might expect, has gone down poorly with 179 downvotes at the time of writing.
“How about renaming the whole thing to ‘GeForce LATER…MAYBE’?”, wrote one irritated member.
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Although this means the service is now lighter of the likes of Elder Scrolls and Fallout games, there was one minor consolation: “Wolfenstein Youngblood will remain for all members,” the post added. “Founders members can continue to experience the game with RTX On.” Presumably Nvidia negotiated to keep the game as a good showcase of its fancy ray-tracing tech.
Unlike Google Stadia, with GeForce Now, you play your existing games library from Steam or the Epic Store on remote Nvidia computers, without needing to buy games especially to play them. This lack of extra revenue may be why publishers seem to be getting cold feet on the whole thing.
Whatever the reasoning, there’s no sugarcoating it: this is a big blow for a service that’s still very much in its infancy. And while Nvidia has always been clear that publishers maintain control, the company was saying just days ago that it expected game removals to become rarer as time went on.
“As we approach a paid service, some publishers may choose to remove games before the trial period ends,” wrote GeForce Now general manager Phil Eisler. “Ultimately, they maintain control over their content and decide whether the game you purchase includes streaming on GeForce Now. Meanwhile, others will bring games back as they continue to realise GeForce Now’s value (stay tuned for more on that).
“As the transition period comes to completion, game removals should be few and far between, with new games added to GeForce Now each week.”
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The company will be hoping that these new games start populating the service soon, or those who have signed up for the trial may start to abandon ship before the transition period completes.