Nvidia said today that game publisher 2K Games is pulling its library from the company’s GeForce Now cloud gaming service at 2K’s request.
“Per publisher request, please be advised 2K Games titles will be removed from GeForce NOW today. We are working with 2K Games to re-enable their games in the future,” said Nvidia community manager Cory Banks in a post on Nvidia’s forums. When asked for comment, Nvidia pointed The Verge to this February 20th blog post.
2K publishes the BioShock trilogy, Borderlands series, Civilization games, and NBA 2K series, among others. So the publisher’s withdrawal is a big loss for GeForce Now, which just left beta on February 4th. Nvidia is now offering a premium version of the cloud gaming service as a “public trial” for $4.99 a month, yet the switch to charging customers for the service has instigated a wave of game removals. 2K pulling its games from the service follows the departures of Activision Blizzard’s and Bethesda’s games last month, meaning that many popular titles aren’t available to play on the newly-public service.
2K hasn’t replied to a request for comment, and Activision Blizzard and Bethesda haven’t yet explicitly said why they pulled their games, either. All three publishers allowed their games on GeForce Now while it was in beta, but at least in the case of Activision Blizzard, Nvidia reportedly never got permission to keep Activision Blizzard’s titles on GeForce Now after it left beta and started charging people money for it (there is still a very limited free tier of GeForce Now). Presumably, Bethesda and 2K Games had their games removed from GeForce Now for similar reasons likely due to some form of licensing dispute.
The promise of cloud gaming services seems great: stream all your games in high fidelity over the internet without having to worry about whether or not your computer, console, or phone have the hardware to run it. But like the hard-to-track content shuffling we see on streaming services, the early days of cloud gaming have shown that similar types of licensing issues may dictate what games you can actually stream. My colleague Nick Statt wrote a great article breaking down the situation that I recommend you go read to better understand the intricacies at play with a service like GeForce Now.