Activision Blizzard pulls all games from Nvidia GeForce Now, so wave goodbye to Call of Duty

GeForce Now
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Activision Blizzard has just pulled its games from GeForce Now, in a move that has upset many folks who have just signed up for Nvidia’s freshly launched game streaming service.

An announcement from an Nvidia staff member on the GeForce Now forum informs users that: “Per their request, please be advised Activision Blizzard games will be removed from the service. While unfortunate, we hope to work together with Activision Blizzard to re-enable these games and more in the future.”

That means and the following titles are no longer accessible via GeForce Now:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Single player
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Single player
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty: World at War
  • Call of Duty: WWII
  • Construction Simulator 2 US - Pocket Edition
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
  • Diablo III
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • Overwatch
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy
  • StarCraft Remastered
  • StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void
  • World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth
  • World of Warcraft Classic

Nvidia officially launched GeForce Now only just over a week ago, at the start of February, and this represents a hell of a blow, and the loss of a lot of big-name games as you can see – Overwatch and World of Warcraft, for example, and of course the Call of Duty franchise.

We’ve certainly seen quite a few comments online from people who have just bought the latest Call of Duty, and indeed the likes of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, knowing they don’t have a gaming PC good enough to run it, and having made their purchase with the specific intention of streaming these titles over GeForce Now.

Remember that you still need to purchase games to play them on GeForce Now – what you’re paying Nvidia a subscription for is effectively the rental of a sufficiently fast gaming PC to remotely play these titles on.

Of course, the folks who purchased any of these games with the sole intention of playing on GeForce Now are seemingly completely out of luck, unless Nvidia can rescue its deal with Activision Blizzard somehow. For now, though, these folks will be left with a game which runs really badly on their own PC, or perhaps it won’t even play at all.

What’s the deal?

Why did Activision Blizzard pull the rug? That’s a very good question, and one with no official answer currently – but it certainly seems like horrendously bad timing that this has happened only just after GeForce Now launched.

Clearly the publisher wasn’t happy with the way things were working out with Nvidia’s service, somehow, or there are other whispers that perhaps a rival streaming service has signed a deal, or is about to sign a deal, with Activision Blizzard (the rumor mill fingers are pointing at Google Stadia).

Others point to Blizzard’s licensing agreement forbidding cloud computing usage for its games, but if that’s the case, why wasn’t this sorted out previously? Why wait until after launch to pull the titles?

Whatever’s going on, the incident could compound Nvidia’s misery by making people nervous about buying games specifically to play on GeForce Now, if their PC or laptop isn’t up to the game’s spec requirements, and they can’t play it locally if the title gets dropped from Nvidia’s service.

This just makes it seem like GeForce Now is built on somewhat shakier ground than rival services in this respect, and folks are already pointing to Shadow as an (admittedly more expensive) alternative where this scenario doesn’t happen (because you can install and play whatever games you want remotely).

The forum post further notes that there are hundreds of games supported on GeForce Now, and over 1,500 titles which developers want brought into the fold, with Nvidia looking to add fresh games on a weekly basis.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).