Nvidia, the maker of some of the most ubiquitous graphics hardware in the gaming sphere, recently launched a game-streaming platform of its own. Called Nvidia GeForce Now, this platform links to a user’s gaming launcher, such as Steam, runs an instance on a remote PC, and allows for high-fidelity gaming on underpowered devices over the internet. It’s a direct competitor to Stadia, albeit with a pretty different sort of service. Unfortunately, it turns out Nvidia is going about loading up its available game library in a way some developers aren’t happy with.
This really came to light at the end of February 2020, as director of the popular survival game The Long Dark publicly spoke out against Nvidia. In the post, director Raphael van Lierop announced that his company asked Nvidia to remove its game from the list, as the company hadn’t asked for permission or offered any sort of deal in exchange for its presence on the service. It seems like Nvidia hasn’t been establishing deals in general, with multiple larger publishers having games removed as well.
Nvidia’s service runs by checking (through launchers) if a user has already purchased the game they’re trying to run. This sounds like a great convenience for people who want to try streaming without double-dipping, but it presents some real legally grey territory. Regardless of what could or couldn’t hold up in court, it looks like Nvidia is approaching its service with a “ask us to take x game down if you want” approach rather than asking for permission. It’ll be fascinating to see how that plays out in the long run, and what sort of cooperation Nvidia gets in the meantime.