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Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service loses another game over licensing dispute

Developer of The Long Dark says the studio wasn’t asked permission to include the game

The Long Dark - sunset in snowy woods Image: Hinterland Studio
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

On Sunday, Raphael van Lierop, founder of Hinterland Studio, announced that The Long Dark was being removed from the GeForce Now streaming service. He said Nvidia never asked for permission to include the game on its platform. When he raised the issue, he says his team was offered a new graphics card by way of apology. It’s just the latest in a series of strange licensing disputes to crop up with Nvidia’s streaming service, which exited a lengthy beta period earlier this year.

“Sorry to those who are disappointed you can no longer play #thelongdark on GeForce Now,” van Lierop tweeted. “Please take your complaints to them, not us. Devs should control where their games exist.”

GeForce Now launched in 2015, giving consumers the ability to stream games from the cloud to Nvidia’s Shield device. Over the years the service’s capabilities have expanded to include other platforms such as traditional computers. As of today, Now allows subscribers to play games they already own remotely many different platforms, but what specific games are compatible has been a major point of contention between Nvidia and publishers.

In early February, Activision Blizzard asked Nvidia to delist all of its games from the streaming platform. The conflict removed subscriber access to games in the Call of Duty franchise as well as World of Warcraft. Several days later, both parties claimed it was all due to a “misunderstanding.” The following week the majority of Bethesda Softworks’ titles were taken down as well. Games from publishers such as Capcom, Rockstar, and Square Enix are also conspicuously absent, even though they were available during GeForce Now’s multi-year beta period.

Update: Reached for comment, a representative from Nvidia had nothing specific to add. Instead, they referred us back to a blog post the company made on Feb. 20.

“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 states. “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.

“As the transition period comes to completion, game removals should be few and far between,” it concludes, “with new games added to GeForce Now each week.”

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