Nvidia says its GeForce Now cloud gaming service will start getting new games every Thursday, starting with Remedy Entertainment’s sci-fi action title Control.
The announcement is a bit of good news for the controversial platform, which has seen high-profile game publishers like Activision Blizzard, Bethesda Softworks, and 2K Games pull their entire libraries since it exited beta in early February. Part of the deal means Control can also be played on GeForce Now using Nvidia’s RTX cards, which enable ray-tracing effects for more realistic visuals.
It’s not entirely clear how Nvidia secured Control, but it may have something to do with Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, who has publicly expressed support for the platform. “Epic is wholeheartedly supporting Nvidia’s GeForce Now service with Fortnite and with Epic Games Store titles that choose to participate (including exclusives), and we’ll be improving the integration over time,” Sweeney tweeted earlier this month.
It’s the most developer-friendly and publisher-friendly of the major streaming services, with zero tax on game revenue. Game companies who want to move the game industry towards a healthier state for everyone should be supporting this kind of service!— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) March 7, 2020
Control is currently an Epic Game Store exclusive on PC, and Epic also just secured the rights to future titles by Remedy Entertainment under its new publishing label. So it’s safe to say Epic, Remedy, and Nvidia are all on good terms with regard to GeForce Now.
The same cannot be said of other publishers, which seemingly pulled titles the platform because they did not appreciate Nvidia including them without express permission and under older terms. Once Nvidia began charging $5 for the public trial of GeForce Now in February, it became clear that a number of big publishers weren’t informed.
It’s not clear why publishers dislike the service; none of the bigger companies that have pulled titles have spoken up about it. But smaller indie developer Raphael van Lierop of Hinterland Studio said he disliked Nvidia including his game without his permission and worried the service might complicate exclusivity deals or ports to other platforms. Bigger publishers may simply not like a service that doesn’t charge separately for cloud gaming versions of titles, like Google Stadia does.
But GeForce Now, in letting players access existing purchases through Valve’s Steam on any device, has presented some unprecedented licensing and legality issues the gaming industry hasn’t hammered out yet. It’s uncharted territory, and it’s clear Nvidia may have to either offer some sort of revenue cut or pay a licensing fee to publishers if it wants to use their titles. So far, the company has amicably agreed to remove all games at the request of owners, and it released a blog post earlier this month saying it expects these game removals to be “few and far between.”
“Starting this week, we’re aligning most releases to Thursdays. That way our members know when to look for library updates. GeForce Now will continue releasing new and recent game launches as close to their availability as possible,” writes Andrew Fear, the senior product manager for GeForce Now, in a blog post.
Nvidia says in addition to Control, it’s also adding Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead, Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Dungeons 3, Headsnatchers, IL-2 Sturmovik: Battle of Stalingrad, Jagged Alliance 2 – Wildfire, and The Guild 3.