GeForce NOW Moves To Publisher Opt-In Model For Game Support
NVIDIA's GeForce NOW game streaming service has certainly been through the mill since it exited the public beta phase earlier this year. Despite the relative speed at which titles have been added to the platform - which has now hit over 2000 games supported in all - it took some body-blows after major Triple-A publishers such as EA, Activision and WB Games yanked their portfolios soon after its launch as a subscription service. NVIDIA are now transitioning to an opt-in rather than opt-out model to alleviate stakeholder concerns, a process that should be complete on May 31st.
GeForce NOW operates in a legal grey area which appears to have caused friction between NVIDIA and rights holders. To play a game on the streaming platform users must have a legal license to the game (typically through a Steam account purchase), at which point they are playing their own game remotely on NVIDIA's servers. This is effectively analogous to using screen-sharing software to play on your home PC remotely, just in an optimised (and, critically, paid-for) fashion, but publishers were not happy. Many claimed that this use case breached EULAs, a typically flimsy bank of legalese that serves as justification for withdrawing a service at any time. NVIDIA chose not to contest these claims, at least not publicly.
So far over 200 publishers representing more than 2000 games have agreed to the new terms and acquiesced to being on the platform (which NVIDIA is at pains to state comes at no cost). Those who haven't already done so will need to agree by May 31st, otherwise their games will no longer be playable on GeForce NOW.
GeForce NOW has been an important venue for those seeking to play on MacOS systems, an ecosystem that typically isn't developed for and has relatively few native game clients. Many others users won't have high performance hardware capable of smooth 60fps gameplay, often due to cost considerations or simply space at home. And of course GeForce NOW supports RTX ray-tracing, a feature not present on the vast majority of videocards in circulation today. Hopefully the move will give the platform some stability rather than continue to perpetuate the concern that support for games legally owned by users could be removed at any time.
A full list of supported games and publishers is available here. As of May 27th the following 91 titles will not be playable from May 31st:
SOURCE: NVIDIA GeForce Blog