18 May Xbox Studios games now appearing on GeForce Now — thanks, Europe!
Microsoft’s attempted acquisition of Activision-Blizzard continues to ripple across the industry. While the company suffered a massive setback when the United Kingdom refused to allow the purchase, the European Union gave it the go-ahead, after Microsoft made specific concessions for game streaming. One of them was a commitment to offering Microsoft-owned titles on competing streaming platforms, which starts today, with Xbox Game Studios titles appearing on Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service.
That’s a big deal since Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and its associated streaming game add-on service is a big part of its overall entertainment strategy. Apparently, the chance to add Activision-Blizzard titles to its corporate holdings and thus becoming a mega-publishing juggernaut, is worth throwing its competition a few bones. Said bones begin with Gears (of War) 5, now available to stream on GeForce Now for anyone who owns the game on Steam.
According to the announcement from Nvidia, the titles will expand quickly. Deathloop, Grounded, and Pentiment, all published by Xbox Game Studios and from Microsoft subsidiary developers Bethesda and Obsidian, will arrive on May 25th. At the moment, only Steam purchases are supported, though games bought through the Microsoft Store will be added eventually, according to the agreement which technically precedes the European Commission’s approval. Microsoft has published dozens of PC games in the last few years, from indie-style darlings like Ori and the Blind Forest to massive franchises like Halo and Forza, so expect that list to swell quickly.
What about Activision-Blizzard titles, which are notably absent from both Xbox Game Pass streaming and GeForce Now? We’ll see those appear if and when the acquisition actually gets finalized. Microsoft is appealing the decision of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority right now, with game streaming being a major point of contention.