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2K Games pull Borderlands, Bioshock and more from Nvidia GeForce Now

GeForce Now’s streaming catalogue is once again downsizing. Following Activision Blizzard and Bethesda Softworks’ lead, 2K Games has requested that their games be removed from Nvidia’s fancy new cloud gaming platform. Bye-bye, Bioshock and Borderlands. Seeya later, Sid Meier’s Civilisation. It’s the third time in less than a month a major publisher has pulled out of the service, leaving Nvidia’s streaming offerings thinner by the week.

Nvidia announced yesterday that, at the publishers’ request, all 20 of 2K’s Games previously available on GeForce Now have been removed from the service. That includes some notable removals, too – withdrawing all of the mainline Borderlands shooters, all three Bioshock games, Civilisation V and VI, and Mafia 3, among others listed in a more recent post from Nvidia.

But 2K are only the latest in a growing line of publishers retreating from GeForce Now. Things kicked off with Activision Blizzard’s withdrawal shortly after the service’s launch. A week or so later, Bethesda Softworks followed suit by removing their entire catalogue from Geforce Now, save for Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Even before launch, big players like Capcom, Konami, Rockstar, and Square Enix chose to give the streaming platform a miss.

It’s not just the big dogs Nvidia have riled up, either. This week, the devs behind wintry survive ’em up The Long Dark asked to have their game removed. But game director Raphael van Lierop also noted that Nvidia failed to get permission before adding the game in the first place.

“Nvidia didn’t ask for our permission to put the game on the platform so we asked them to remove it,” said van Lierop in a Tweet at the time. “Please take your complaints to them, not us. Devs should control where their games exist.”

That may be the most telling part of this month-long debacle. Rather than selling games through their own service and offering publishers a cut, Nvidia have made themselves middle-men between players and their games. It’s a wholly different situation to similar services like Google Stadia, which operate more like traditional platforms.

Many publishers and developers may be none too happy at a third-party making bank from streaming their games – especially if, as van Lierop suggests, they’re doing so without asking first.

As with previous withdrawals, Nvidia note that they’re working with 2K to re-enable their games in future. It’s an issue they’ll have to work out quickly, before GeForce Now runs out of games – or people to play them – entirely.

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Natalie Clayton

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