Activision Blizzard Pull Out Of Nvidia’s GeForce Now Game Streaming Platform

Activision Blizzard Pull Out Of Nvidia’s GeForce Now Game Streaming Platform
Credit: Nvidia GeForce Now via Nvidia

Nvidia’s Geforce Now seemed like an easy win for everyone involved, bringing the technology of Google Stadia to bear for gamers around the world to play more games, as long as they owned the titles.  The entire idea was resoundingly simple and straightforward, and executed well enough to make it plausible; it knocks the Google Stadia out of the water, at least.

So it’s a bit puzzling when publishers are pulling titles out of it after the beta period expired; Grand Theft Auto 5 is nowhere to be seen on the list of supported titles, and Monster Hunter: World is also bizarrely missing.  These are publishers that pulled support after the beta period of Geforce Now, and the reasons are simply vacant as of now.

The titles play surprisingly well on Geforce Now as long as you have a solid in-home internet set-up that can handle the bandwidth, and these are publishers that have signed deals with Google Stadia that can’t even reliably maintain 720p with the titles.  It’s a bizarre precedent being set, and all parties are being rather secretive about what in the world is going on behind closed doors that is gimping the project before it even can gain popularity.

Activision Blizzard is the most recent to completely pull out of Nvidia’s Geforce Now, and the reasons are equally mystifying and covert.  Considering that you can play through the entirety of World of Warcraft using Steam’s Remote Play, it really isn’t too far of a jump to allow cloud gaming when Nvidia has already developed the back end and is ensuring that players legally own the game.

Considering Activision Blizzards recent performance in…well, almost everything, it’s even more befuddling that they aren’t jumping on the bandwagon just to recall the days when they were a bit more popular with gamers, internationally.

There are theories that are circulating, as is oft to occur when an explanation finds itself missing.  The consistent pull-outs of publishers from Nvidia’s Geforce Now program likely involves the concept of money, in terms of who gets what.

Which parties may be requesting what is unknown, but there are three plausible circumstances.  First, that Nvidia is requesting money from developers and publishers to offer their games on Geforce Now.  This is highly unlikely, as there has been a precedent crafted in terms of payouts from streaming services to creators, and it’s typically to the creators in order to offer the content.

The second possibility is the Netflix conundrum; when Netflix began doing well, everyone and their mother all began pulling out of Netflix to make their own streaming service.  What consumer doesn’t want to subscribe to thirty monthly services, right?  If Nvidia adequately figured out the backend for other companies to emulate, it’s plausible that they’re seeing more financial sense behind offering their own, competing service.

Finally, it could be that Nvidia isn’t offering the publishers a large enough slice of the pie.  However, Geforce is a bit different from Netflix when it comes to negotiating content fees; they’re only allowing players to play the titles they already own, rather than offering a multitude of titles for a low monthly fee.

More news is likely to eventually surface in regards to precisely what is going on behind closed doors, but it’s not a great look for Nvidia’s Geforce Now program.  More publishers pulling out of the service means less titles being available for streaming, which in turn results in less players willing to fork over the $5 a month to stream a lackluster library.  The truth will come to life, eventually.