Rockstar pull all games from GeForce Now, prompts rumours of Google Stadia exclusivity deal

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Red Dead Redemption 2

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There’s been some interesting rumblings in the world of gaming streaming which could ultimately end up having big ramifications for PC gamers. First and foremost, all Rockstar games have been removed from Nvidia’s GeForce Now game streaming service. This includes Grand Theft Auto IV, Bully, and more. 

Where it gets really interesting is these Rockstar games aren’t even playable through the desktop GeForce Now client. Normally, basically any game in your Steam library can be temporarily installed and played, regardless of whether it’s part of the GeForce Now service or not. Whatever’s gone on here, Rockstar Games has explicitly blocked GeForce Now users from being able to streaming any of its games.

Over on Reddit, a user tried to contact Nvidia support about the GTA games not working on GeForce Now and got the following response: 

“I talked to live support they said that it was decided by Rockstar and GFN to remove it. When I ask why they don’t give me a proper answer they just keep repeating that “it was decided by the devs”. RIP”

Obviously this is ringing a few alarm bells for those who are still struggling to see the disadvantages of streaming technology. A publisher has the ability to remove their games from a service entirely, and therefore losing you access to games you may have played. That’s exactly the sort of issue we all anticipated from a streaming future.

But, without dwelling on that too long, we need to circle around to Google Stadia. In particular, Google Stadia and its list of publishing partners. Rockstar Games is probably the biggest name on that list and yet as far as Rockstar/Stadia announcements go, there have been none. They’re doing something together, we just don’t know exactly what that is yet.

Putting 2+2 together and hopefully coming up for 4, it would seem reasonable to assume Rockstar has entered into some sort of agreement with Stadia. This could potentially be exclusive streaming rights to Rockstar titles, it could even be totally exclusive games for all we know. But, at this stage, we’d be incredibly surprised if Red Dead Redemption 2 wasn’t coming to Google Stadia. There have been a ton of hints, not list the cowboy symbols on the backdrop at Google’s own Stadia reveal event.

The good news here, if you stomach it, is Red Dead Redemption 2 would finally be playable on PC. The bad news is, obviously, we’d be bloody streaming it through our Chrome browsers rather than playing natively. This leads us into an even bigger quandary – could Rockstar choose to skip local PC support entirely, pointing toward a Stadia version for any PC gamers interested in their titles? There would be significant backlash, that’s for sure, but it would mean Rockstar not having to develop and maintain a PC version. 

As you can tell there’s a whole lot of conjecture going on here based on little more than Rockstar pulling its games from GeForce Now and, coincidentally, working with Google on Stadia projects. Something’s going on though, and we’re not sure if we’re all that keen on finding out.