Earlier this month, Activision pulled its games from Nvidia's GeForce Now game streaming service, which was later attributed to a "misunderstanding (opens in new tab)": Basically, Nvidia misunderstood the terms of the deal that granted it access to the games for the GeForce Now beta. Now it appears that another misunderstanding may have taken place, this one involving Bethesda Softworks.
"Please be advised most Bethesda Softworks titles will be removed from the GeForce Now service today. Wolfenstein Youngblood will remain for all members," Nvidia announced in the GeForce Now forums (opens in new tab).
Nvidia declined to comment on the reasons for the removals or the possibility of Bethesda's return, but a blog post (opens in new tab) that went up yesterday implied that further withdrawals could be coming.
"Earlier this month, we passed a milestone on our cloud gaming journey by removing the waitlist and opening our doors to more gamers. Over 1 million new gamers have taken to the cloud by signing up for a free plan or upgrading to the Founders membership, which includes a 90-day free trial," Nvidia wrote. "This trial is an important transitional period where gamers, developers and publishers can try the premium experience with minimal commitment while we continue to refine our offering."
"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."
Nvidia cited CD Projekt's recent announcement that Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab) will be available through GeForce Now on launch day, and said that it has another 1500 games in its "onboarding queue, from publishers that share a vision of expanding PC gaming to more people." But while GeForce Now got off to a fairly strong start (opens in new tab), the withdrawal from the platform of major publishers like Activision and Bethesda creates damaging uncertainy for potential subscribers: The loss of entire publisher libraries, without warning or reason, isn't the sort of thing that's going to encourage people to sign up.
I've reached out to Bethesda to ask about the removal of its games (except Wolfenstein: Youngblood, for some reason), and will update if I receive a reply.