GeForce Now's streaming catalogue has shrunk even further since launch. Following Activision Blizzard's lead, now it appears Bethesda Softworks have backed away from Nvidia's cloud streaming service. All but one of the publisher's games on the service - from Doom to Dishonored - were pulled from GeForce now yesterday, leaving only Wolfenstein: Youngblood standing and streaming.
Nvidia announced the removals in an update post late last night. Eighteen games in total were pulled. That includes all three Dishonored games; Fallouts 3, New Vegas and 76; both Skyrim and the Special Edition, and every "modern" Wolfenstein save Youngblood. It's not exactly clear why Youngblood is the one left standing (especially given that it's uh, not great).
Neither Bethesda nor Nvidia have explained the removal at time of writing. If I had to guess, it's likely a similar situation to what happened with Activision Blizzard, which pulled their games over a "misunderstanding" around GeForce Now's beta period. As I understand, ActiBlizzion had particular agreements in mind for when GeForce Now became a paid service - agreements that seemingly never materialised.
They're not the only two publishers to pull out, either. Despite taking part in the beta, Capcom, Konami, Rockstar, and Square Enix likewise refused to list their catalogue in the full release of Geforce Now.
It may be that the business end of GeForce Now is just as confusing as the consumer end. Rather than selling stores from the platform, Now lets you play games you own by logging into a remote machine. But a game must be approved for streaming before use. In her rundown of the latest batch of cloud streaming services, Katherine found the whole thing "a lot fussier than it needs to be."
While optimistic, Nvidia aren't blind to these removals. From the sounds of a blog post published around the same time of Bethesda's withdrawal, they seem optimistic that publishers will come crawling back. It's just a matter of proving the system works.
"As we approach a paid service, some publishers may choose to remove games before the trial period ends. 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 realize GeForce Now’s value."
The post claims Nvidia currently have 1500 games in the pipeline for GeForce Now. They're also almost certainly banking on Cyberpunk 2020 pulling folk in, hitting the streaming service "the moment it's available" with all the RTX bells and whistles in tow.
In an attempt to placate jaded customers, an Nvidia staffer took to the forum to explain that yes - Nvidia are just as disappointed as its customers, but stressed patience.
"The reality of the situation is that this is a new area in gaming: cloud streaming. There are both technical and business hurdles that must be cleared when we're bringing a game to the service. We're working to clear those hurdles in the background, but you won't see every part of that process. Please be patient."
But it's undoubtedly a rough look - offering a bounty of blockbusters during beta, only to have them taken away for the release proper. Oh, well. Anyone for some co-op Nazi killing? No?