Tuesday, April 21st 2020

NVIDIA GeForce Now Loses More Publishers, Xbox Game Studios and WB Games Wave Goodbye

NVIDIA's GeForce Now game streaming service has been a bit of a hit and miss lately, with some of the bigger publishers like Activision-Blizzard, Bethesda, and 2K games revoking availability of their digital game libraries on NVIDIA's service. Possible reasons for those events were unknown and the platform did suffer from it. Some speculations were that the publishers were going to switch their preferred online streaming service platform or build their own. So far it is still a mystery. However, it seems like there is no end to the pain, as some very big publishers decided to revoke their digital libraries as well.

Big names like Microsoft Xbox Game Studios, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Codemasters, and Klei Entertainment have all decided to stop offering their games on the GeForce Now game streaming platform. This is very much a major disappointment and another big setback to the platform, as now you can not play any of the titles from these publishers. Titles from the games series like Halo, Gears of War, Forza, Dirt Rally, Batman and many more, are now not available. It remains to be seen if these publishers announce a move to another streaming service, so we have to wait.
NVIDIA GeForce Now
Source: The Verge
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42 Comments on NVIDIA GeForce Now Loses More Publishers, Xbox Game Studios and WB Games Wave Goodbye

#3
brutlern
Flanker
So... who's left?
I think Ubisoft is still on board I think.
Posted on Reply
#4
john_
I was not expecting a company like Nvidia with so strong influence in game publishers to lose so many of them.
Posted on Reply
#5
Vayra86
Data, guys... data and code ownership. Nvidia is telling publishers they can use their servers to handle the data that doesn't belong to them at all. Its a slippery slope and it also kills any commercial effort to market a streamed gaming service. These same publishers also market their games to other services now, for example Stadia.

And what do the publishers stand to gain? Just about nothing. Meanwhile Nvidia holds all the cards... And its going to hurt the publishers going back on it later when the service has matured and we have grown accustomed to it as part of a Geforce card purchase.
Posted on Reply
#6
R0H1T
john_
I was not expecting a company like Nvidia with so strong influence in game publishers to lose so many of them.
Why not? Google is much bigger than Nvidia, besides many of them have consoles or Steam to fall back on to.

Basically with "streaming" as the new fad content is king & publishers (or studios) the kingmakers ~ this is why the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Apple have also been bleeding billions on their platforms as well.
Posted on Reply
#7
ZoneDymo
john_
I was not expecting a company like Nvidia with so strong influence in game publishers to lose so many of them.
Honestly same
Posted on Reply
#8
notb
It's really hard to understand why game studios are doing this.
Does anyone know? Is there some financial aspect I miss?
Because Nvidia only provides infrastructure. Gamers still have to buy the game elsewhere.

The only 2 reasons I can think of are: game studios plan to run their own cloud gaming services or are already bound by some agreements (the Xbox Game Pass case).

Generally, it's really surprising... even worrying. I though game producers are more mature enterprises.
Imagine Microsoft, Oracle or Adobe banning companies from running their software on cloud...

The anti-cloud TPU group cheers on, but do you understand the consequences?
What if some game studio decided their game can't be run on your PC? Because you have the wrong brand of GPU or CPU or keyboard. Still fun? :)
Posted on Reply
#9
Vayra86
notb
What if some game studio decided their game can't be run on your PC? Because you have the wrong brand of GPU or CPU or keyboard. Still fun? :)
That is a completely different situation, in which you have the mechanics of the marketplace in full effect. If company says product X won't run on configs YZ and only on config X, they effectively killed off 66% of their target market. So that manages itself.

What Nvidia does here, is create a new market effect in that dynamic and it is one publishers don't benefit from. No benefit = no profit = no point. Why would they allow a third party to serve THEIR code to THEIR customers? And stand to gain...nothing? Meanwhile, Nvidia gains a USP for its GPUs by offering a streaming service alongside as added value. It fragments the userbase between haves and have nots per publisher, too.

I'm not seeing the negative consequences here, and I completely understand the publishers' stance in this. Only Nvidia and its customers benefit, which means, only Nvidia benefits. When they stop their service, we have nothing. The theme here is: Nvidia controls things it shouldn't. And that is the theme with ALL cloud services. Cloud is out of your hands and into another, which is the same thing as becoming dependant where you weren't before. Its a loss and cloud providers are desperately trying to make us feel its not, they even happily take financial losses to make us feel that way, until we accept it as a new norm.

Not in my world. Run locally, own your data. Its going to be a thing, and it really already is if you look at the privacy aspect, but also latency wise, and in terms of quality of service too. It also is a different reality than the one for enterprises where cloud offers only advantages, but also creates dependancy. Look at the Microsoft announcements regarding their update policy. Companies are left at its mercy, if you think of it. I'll happily stay far away from that grasp for control... but even Windows 10 is already a small move in that direction.
Posted on Reply
#10
renz496
john_
I was not expecting a company like Nvidia with so strong influence in game publishers to lose so many of them.
because publisher are thinking how they can actually monetize this instead letting people play the game they already purchase. right now people are renting nvidia service to play and publisher get nothing from that.
Posted on Reply
#11
notb
Vayra86
What Nvidia does here, is create a new market effect in that dynamic and it is one publishers don't benefit from.
Of course I absolutely understand Microsoft pulling out what they own or control (via Game Pass). Independent cloud service harms their Xbox and Windows sales.

But it's absolutely transparent to Bethesda or Blizzard whether I run in on a Windows, Linux or cloud service.
I still pay for the game.
No benefit = no profit = no point. Why would they allow a third party to serve THEIR code to THEIR customers?
But Nvidia isn't serving the software. It only provides infrastructure. You bring your own games.
Nvidia merely offers it in an optimized, deployable container, so you don't have to do any admin work.
They don't need the code and they don't recompile the games (although, obviously, that could make the system even more efficient).

And I don't agree with the no benefit part.
Cloud streaming would let more people play games (because they don't own the hardware).
So, by principle, there's no way this could lower game sales, while it could theoretically attract more consumers.
Not in my world. Run locally, own your data. Its going to be a thing, and it really already is if you look at the privacy aspect, but also latency wise, and in terms of quality of service too.
Of course I know you're anti-cloud. Well, it's your choice. Some people don't eat meat, some don't work on Sunday. I'm not trying to convince you to anything.

But you're making up arguments that are impossible to defent. You have to fall back to some "own the code" ideas. :)

And especially on this forum, with all the "competition is good", "pro-choice" and "freedom" nonsense - I find the anti-GeForceNow movement really disturbing.
I mean: I would expect the Nvidia haters to do this, but it goes further.
Game studios effectively FORBID you to play a game on a particular platform.

As I said earlier: if Mathworks said Matlab can't be run on servers, users would make a huge WTF.
renz496
because publisher are thinking how they can actually monetize this instead letting people play the game they already purchase. right now people are renting nvidia service to play and publisher get nothing from that.
Exactly. This is pure greed.

Paid streaming services are around the corner anyway. I'm 100% sure game studios won't pull their titles from xCloud and PS Now. Because MS and Sony will pay them.
And Nvidia will have to as well, which means the free option probably won't last. Hurray.

It makes me wonder... what if studios started billing us for gaming on local PCs. What do you think @Vayra86 ? Still great? :)
Posted on Reply
#12
TheLostSwede
Vayra86
Not in my world. Run locally, own your data. Its going to be a thing, and it really already is if you look at the privacy aspect, but also latency wise, and in terms of quality of service too. It also is a different reality than the one for enterprises where cloud offers only advantages, but also creates dependancy. Look at the Microsoft announcements regarding their update policy. Companies are left at its mercy, if you think of it. I'll happily stay far away from that grasp for control... but even Windows 10 is already a small move in that direction.
Sorry, but when did you last "buy" a game? Anything you buy today, you don't own. In fact, if the publishers/developers servers are down, you can't even play it, even if it's a game that can be played locally. A lot of games become unplayable after the developer drops support for the game. This was never the case in the past, as if you bought a game, you owned that copy outright. These days, you're seemingly only committing to a long-term rental, which imho is fraud, as that "agreement" is hidden somewhere in the EULA.

I take it you never even tried GeForce Now though? I used it for about a month, as I'm stuck abroad. It's become pointless to use by now, as so few of the games I have paid for (I'm not going to say own), are no longer usable with the service. However, it worked beyond my expectations for most of the time. I was lucky to manage to get a loaner PC, since I think I will be stuck here for at least another couple of months and if I hand't been that lucky, GeForce Now would've been the only way for me to play some games, as my notebook is a few years old and doesn't have a dedicated GPU.
Posted on Reply
#13
$ReaPeR$
Vayra86
That is a completely different situation, in which you have the mechanics of the marketplace in full effect. If company says product X won't run on configs YZ and only on config X, they effectively killed off 66% of their target market. So that manages itself.

What Nvidia does here, is create a new market effect in that dynamic and it is one publishers don't benefit from. No benefit = no profit = no point. Why would they allow a third party to serve THEIR code to THEIR customers? And stand to gain...nothing? Meanwhile, Nvidia gains a USP for its GPUs by offering a streaming service alongside as added value. It fragments the userbase between haves and have nots per publisher, too.

I'm not seeing the negative consequences here, and I completely understand the publishers' stance in this. Only Nvidia and its customers benefit, which means, only Nvidia benefits. When they stop their service, we have nothing. The theme here is: Nvidia controls things it shouldn't. And that is the theme with ALL cloud services. Cloud is out of your hands and into another, which is the same thing as becoming dependant where you weren't before. Its a loss and cloud providers are desperately trying to make us feel its not, they even happily take financial losses to make us feel that way, until we accept it as a new norm.

Not in my world. Run locally, own your data. Its going to be a thing, and it really already is if you look at the privacy aspect, but also latency wise, and in terms of quality of service too. It also is a different reality than the one for enterprises where cloud offers only advantages, but also creates dependancy. Look at the Microsoft announcements regarding their update policy. Companies are left at its mercy, if you think of it. I'll happily stay far away from that grasp for control... but even Windows 10 is already a small move in that direction.
Exactly. Thank you. Why is so hard for so many people to see this..?!
Posted on Reply
#14
T1beriu
So far it is still a mystery.
It's not a mystery at all. NVIDIA was making money without giving a cut to game developers.
Posted on Reply
#15
$ReaPeR$
TheLostSwede
Sorry, but when did you last "buy" a game? Anything you buy today, you don't own. In fact, if the publishers/developers servers are down, you can't even play it, even if it's a game that can be played locally. A lot of games become unplayable after the developer drops support for the game. This was never the case in the past, as if you bought a game, you owned that copy outright. These days, you're seemingly only committing to a long-term rental, which imho is fraud, as that "agreement" is hidden somewhere in the EULA.

I take it you never even tried GeForce Now though? I used it for about a month, as I'm stuck abroad. It's become pointless to use by now, as so few of the games I have paid for (I'm not going to say own), are no longer usable with the service. However, it worked beyond my expectations for most of the time. I was lucky to manage to get a loaner PC, since I think I will be stuck here for at least another couple of months and if I hand't been that lucky, GeForce Now would've been the only way for me to play some games, as my notebook is a few years old and doesn't have a dedicated GPU.
True, but cloud gaming is a step further in the "wrong" direction.
Posted on Reply
#16
notb
TheLostSwede
Sorry, but when did you last "buy" a game?
Hmm, I wrote a hexagonal Go on some 1st year coding course. I can sell it if someone wants to finally own a game once in their life. Starting at $10000.
Anything you buy today, you don't own.
That hasn't changed. There are just some extra limitations to how a software can be run.
AFAIR Diablo II was the first popular game that forced Internet connection. It caused an absolute meltdown on forums.
Today it's so normal (and connections are so stable) most people don't notice.
This was never the case in the past, as if you bought a game, you owned that copy outright.
You owned the license to use that copy. ;)
But yeah, these were usually lifetime, standalone licenses. That's not so obvious today.

Anyway, GeForce Now doesn't bound your license to that particular service. Some use an argument that Nvidia could kill the service and it would leave people without a way to play. That's obviously not true.

However, if Valve killed Steam, we would be really cut off from the game licenses bought there. Of course the game producer could migrate us to another service, but they aren't obliged to do that.
But somehow I don't see @Vayra86 running around and shouting "buy DVDs and ask for printed license confirmations!" :D
$ReaPeR$
True, but cloud gaming is a step further in the "wrong" direction.
Just how? It changes absolutely nothing in what you're entitled to. You still hold the license to use the software. You're not forced to use the Nvidia service.
Posted on Reply
#17
TheLostSwede
$ReaPeR$
True, but cloud gaming is a step further in the "wrong" direction.
Sure, but GeForce Now isn't could gaming, it's a service where you can take advantage of the computational power offered by the cloud, while still playing the games you've paid for, was it not for the greedy publishers pulling 95% of the games I've already paid them for.
Somehow they seem to argue that I'm not allowed to play those games on what technically end up being rented hardware.
Posted on Reply
#18
AnarchoPrimitiv
john_
I was not expecting a company like Nvidia with so strong influence in game publishers to lose so many of them.
Maybe those game developers are sick and tired of Nvidia's "strong influence"... After the Game works shenanigans and the GeForce Partnership Program (which was condemned industry wide) why is it so hard for everyone to understand why game studios don't want to work with a bully? The Game Studios don't really gain much from GeForce Now, not nearly as much as Nvidia at least... Maybe Nvidia tried to force a 90%/10% profit split on them or something... With all we know about how Nvidia's behavior and Haung's ego (and the parasitic relationship that jacket has with him) is it really so hard to consider that maybe these Studios are pulling out for some stuff Nvidia did?
notb
It's really hard to understand why game studios are doing this.
Does anyone know? Is there some financial aspect I miss?
Because Nvidia only provides infrastructure. Gamers still have to buy the game elsewhere.

The only 2 reasons I can think of are: game studios plan to run their own cloud gaming services or are already bound by some agreements (the Xbox Game Pass case).

Generally, it's really surprising... even worrying. I though game producers are more mature enterprises.
Imagine Microsoft, Oracle or Adobe banning companies from running their software on cloud...

The anti-cloud TPU group cheers on, but do you understand the consequences?
What if some game studio decided their game can't be run on your PC? Because you have the wrong brand of GPU or CPU or keyboard. Still fun? :)
You do understand that the "Slippery Slope argument" IS a logical fallacy, right?
notb
Of course I absolutely understand Microsoft pulling out what they own or control (via Game Pass). Independent cloud service harms their Xbox and Windows sales.

But it's absolutely transparent to Bethesda or Blizzard whether I run in on a Windows, Linux or cloud service.
I still pay for the game.

But Nvidia isn't serving the software. It only provides infrastructure. You bring your own games.
Nvidia merely offers it in an optimized, deployable container, so you don't have to do any admin work.
They don't need the code and they don't recompile the games (although, obviously, that could make the system even more efficient).

And I don't agree with the no benefit part.
Cloud streaming would let more people play games (because they don't own the hardware).
So, by principle, there's no way this could lower game sales, while it could theoretically attract more consumers.

Of course I know you're anti-cloud. Well, it's your choice. Some people don't eat meat, some don't work on Sunday. I'm not trying to convince you to anything.

But you're making up arguments that are impossible to defent. You have to fall back to some "own the code" ideas. :)

And especially on this forum, with all the "competition is good", "pro-choice" and "freedom" nonsense - I find the anti-GeForceNow movement really disturbing.
I mean: I would expect the Nvidia haters to do this, but it goes further.
Game studios effectively FORBID you to play a game on a particular platform.

As I said earlier: if Mathworks said Matlab can't be run on servers, users would make a huge WTF.


Exactly. This is pure greed.

Paid streaming services are around the corner anyway. I'm 100% sure game studios won't pull their titles from xCloud and PS Now. Because MS and Sony will pay them.
And Nvidia will have to as well, which means the free option probably won't last. Hurray.

It makes me wonder... what if studios started billing us for gaming on local PCs. What do you think @Vayra86 ? Still great? :)
And again, the "Slippery Slope argument" is a logical fallacy.... I'm sorry to all the doom sayers in here, but Game Studios pulling out of GeForce Now WILL NOT result in the rise of a Fascist dystopia like some people here are suggesting.
Posted on Reply
#19
TheoneandonlyMrK
notb
It's really hard to understand why game studios are doing this.
Does anyone know? Is there some financial aspect I miss?
Because Nvidia only provides infrastructure. Gamers still have to buy the game elsewhere.

The only 2 reasons I can think of are: game studios plan to run their own cloud gaming services or are already bound by some agreements (the Xbox Game Pass case).

Generally, it's really surprising... even worrying. I though game producers are more mature enterprises.
Imagine Microsoft, Oracle or Adobe banning companies from running their software on cloud...

The anti-cloud TPU group cheers on, but do you understand the consequences?
What if some game studio decided their game can't be run on your PC? Because you have the wrong brand of GPU or CPU or keyboard. Still fun? :)
Been that way a while, wrong brand GPU , you don't get some features, wrong CPU you can't play this game upgrade your pc?.

This is the way.

Entertainment stuff and commercial or enterprise software were never treated the same before.

They didn't just make Minecraft365 did they, no they added proprietary tech few can use ,pissing on your prior point.

They don't treat licences the Same between games and office apps so that's a poor example.

These Devs clearly have other avenues to commercialise these games that doesn't include Nvidia gaining a monthly subscription.
Posted on Reply
#20
Tomorrow
TheLostSwede
Sure, but GeForce Now isn't could gaming, it's a service where you can take advantage of the computational power offered by the cloud, while still playing the games you've paid for, was it not for the greedy publishers pulling 95% of the games I've already paid them for.
Somehow they seem to argue that I'm not allowed to play those games on what technically end up being rented hardware.
Aren't the games themselves still on Nvidia's server locally? (where those servers are located). So it is still cloud gaming. Just the ownership method is different and much more consumer friendly than Stadia's.
I think the problem may very well be that Nvidia has a paid tier. Essentially Nvidia is profiting from running 3rd party code from their servers. If it were free 4 all it would be much harder to build a legal argument against them.

But i agree that ultimately it ends up being a publisher greed issue. They want a new sale for every copy played on those servers. That's just unreasonable and double taxing would-be users.
So suprisingly i have to agree with notb's argument here.
Posted on Reply
#21
Recus
Vayra86
When they stop their service, we have nothing.
If Nvidia shut down GN you can play your games locally unlike Google Stadia.
AnarchoPrimitiv
And again, the "Slippery Slope argument" is a logical fallacy.... I'm sorry to all the doom sayers in here, but Game Studios pulling out of GeForce Now WILL NOT result in the rise of a Fascist dystopia like some people here are suggesting.
Fascist game studios already blocking you from cloud gaming.
Posted on Reply
#22
ARF
Who uses this service in the first place?
Maybe the "unknown" and "mystery" is just hidden behind lack of financial reason for this whole exercise?!
If no one uses the service, then the publishers don't get money, what's the point?
Posted on Reply
#23
Mad_foxx1983
The way things are going, Geforce now in free Beta was wayy Better than since its a paid Service now.
Posted on Reply
#24
ARF
Mad_foxx1983
The way things are going, Geforce now in free Beta was wayy Better than since its a paid Service now.
It's actually not even a "paid" service because you have no access to it.
Posted on Reply
#25
AnarchoPrimitiv
ARF
Who uses this service in the first place?
Maybe the "unknown" and "mystery" is just hidden behind lack of financial reason for this whole exercise?!
If no one uses the service, then the publishers don't get money, what's the point?
Thank you... I find it strange so a few vocal people in here, automatically go to the defense of Nvidia, when it's public knowledge how forceful they are with their "partners".. And yeah, it's probably that not enough people are using it...

The bottom line is that I'm certain, most gamers are also hardware enthusiasts (I'm more of a hardware enthusiast, personally), so it's not JUST about playing games, it's about owning n the hardware, personalizing your PC, tinkering with it, and for some, viciously arguing over hardware online... But it's a large part of the experience and I believe that's the big disadvantage of cloud gaming.
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