Rumour: Steam might soon let you 'lend' games, ala XONE.

#1 Edited by Blu3V3nom07 (4029 posts) -

.. Some code buried in the latest Steam client beta (pictured above), first spotted by NeoGAF poster Grief.exe but which I can also see in my directory, has revealed the presence of something called a "shared game library". Here are the relevant parts:

  • "SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicense_Title" "Shared game library"
  • "SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_OwnerText" "Just so you know, your games are currently in use by %borrower%. Playing now will send %borrower% a notice that it's time to quit."
  • "SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_BorrowerText" "This shared game is currently unavailable. Please try again later or buy this game for your own library." ..

Letting PC gamers share their games, then, would be amazing, though how Valve is selling this to publishers I have no idea. Maybe every single full game can now be its own demo as well? Maybe Microsoft's ten-person "family sharing" plan for the Xbox One, which sounds a lot like this, is helping soften the blow for this kind of stuff?

Kotaku: Steam Might Soon Let You Share Your Games With Your Friends

I guess this is pretty straightforward. You just lend it too them, and I guess you just get it back like whenever? I guess?. Like, the fucking guy that never gives you back 'Dead Space,' but fuck it I didn't really want it back anyway. Huh. Well, that's genuinely pretty cool. I wonder if Sony has any room in their engineering plan to also let you lend games out. Interesting..

#2 Posted by Xymox (2024 posts) -

That's actually pretty cool, and empowers consumers. Also becomes safer than lending a game to someone since you can just get it back whenever.

Probably solves a lot of problems with multiple people logging in to the same account/sharing account information too.

Here's hoping they let us sell the licence to play games on the marketplace as well, down the line... potentially, both valve and the rights holders could get a small amount of money for resales.

It'll be interesting to see how this stuff works. Like if there's a limit to how many games you can let people borrow and such. I wouldn't mind e-lending (sorry, I'm a terrible person) all the games I've finished to people. But that could potentially damage sales, could it not?


#3 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1448 posts) -

I have been sure something like this would happen for a while now so I'm not that surprised. It's a good idea and if they manage to convince publishers that it's a good idea this might be a neat feature to have. Otherwise it might end up something only Valve and smaller indi devs do.

#4 Posted by hollitz (1171 posts) -

Seems like a good idea for:

a) Games with compelling multiplayer

b) Games with a sequel on the horizon

c) Games long in the tooth with almost dried up sales

Good on Valve.

#5 Posted by TruthTellah (7647 posts) -

There's no reason to jump up and down just yet. There have been rumors of Steam doing this before, and they've played around with the idea of it. But nothing came of it.

Once I actually see it happen, then I'll celebrate.

#6 Edited by Jay_Ray (1009 posts) -

I have been sure something like this would happen for a while now so I'm not that surprised. It's a good idea and if they manage to convince publishers that it's a good idea this might be a neat feature to have. Otherwise it might end up something only Valve and smaller indi devs do.

I agree, I would think they'd have to allow publishers/developers to opt out of lending. And I don't see many publishers jumping at that especially when they'd rather get some money via a sale.

#7 Posted by TopCat88 (165 posts) -

This seems fairly cool if true. The more companies that do this, the more chance it has of becoming the norm. More flexibility of digital games ownership can only be a good thing.

One question: Why is it a bad thing when Microsoft does it and a great thing when Valve does it? (I'm not getting paid to write this :P) I guess that's what good reputation buys you and MS are going to have to work really hard to win people back over. As Ryan has said multiple times on E3 podcasts, Valve had to do the hard work when it launched Steam in the first place.

#8 Posted by Gamer_152 (13974 posts) -

Damn, that's great news. I'd really love to be able to lend and borrow games on Steam, even if that stuff is fairly restricted.

Moderator
#9 Posted by mrfluke (4843 posts) -

@topcat88 said:

This seems fairly cool if true. The more companies that do this, the more chance it has of becoming the norm. More flexibility of digital games ownership can only be a good thing.

One question: Why is it a bad thing when Microsoft does it and a great thing when Valve does it? (I'm not getting paid to write this :P) I guess that's what good reputation buys you and MS are going to have to work really hard to win people back over. As Ryan has said multiple times on E3 podcasts, Valve had to do the hard work when it launched Steam in the first place.

Microsoft has piss poor PR and do come off as elitist aholes., Valve are incredibly smart , pretty simple :P.

and also there are some differences i believe, "

  • "SteamUI_JoinDialog_SharedLicenseLocked_OwnerText" "Just so you know, your games are currently in use by %borrower%. Playing now will send %borrower% a notice that it's time to quit."

im assuming here that this means more than one user would be able to borrow a game from your shared library?

#10 Posted by SamDrugbringer (1099 posts) -

@topcat88 said:

This seems fairly cool if true. The more companies that do this, the more chance it has of becoming the norm. More flexibility of digital games ownership can only be a good thing.

One question: Why is it a bad thing when Microsoft does it and a great thing when Valve does it? (I'm not getting paid to write this :P) I guess that's what good reputation buys you and MS are going to have to work really hard to win people back over. As Ryan has said multiple times on E3 podcasts, Valve had to do the hard work when it launched Steam in the first place.

Because giving someone something is not the same as taking it away, even if the results are the same.

Microsoft is letting you lend games, but console games have ALWAYS been lendable. PC games began using serial codes years before Steam, so they were not lendable before Steam even existed.

#11 Posted by moffattron9000 (349 posts) -

@topcat88 said:

One question: Why is it a bad thing when Microsoft does it and a great thing when Valve does it? (I'm not getting paid to write this :P) I guess that's what good reputation buys you and MS are going to have to work really hard to win people back over. As Ryan has said multiple times on E3 podcasts, Valve had to do the hard work when it launched Steam in the first place.

Steam has nearly ten years of dependable service and good prices, and can still deliver this while effectively controlling the PC market. Microsoft has no experience in delivering this, and needs to prove that they can they can deliver at this level before they can have the audience trust.

#12 Posted by tescovee (346 posts) -

Lol I'm seeing a lot of Adam carolla "yeah but still".

#13 Posted by TopCat88 (165 posts) -

@moffattron9000: I agree. Steam is an excellent service for the most part with great sales. Microsoft has to work hard to get me to trust them, but between now and November I'll give them a chance to do that. Their PR has been inconsistent and they are clearly scared to tell us straight what's going on. This is worrying but we owe them the chance to turn it around and not immediately decide EVERYTHING MS does is terrible. Even if in the end it is. There is a long way to go yet and I always want competition to be strong or we end up with the WWE.

#14 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1448 posts) -

@topcat88 said:

One question: Why is it a bad thing when Microsoft does it and a great thing when Valve does it? (I'm not getting paid to write this :P) I guess that's what good reputation buys you and MS are going to have to work really hard to win people back over. As Ryan has said multiple times on E3 podcasts, Valve had to do the hard work when it launched Steam in the first place.

I honestly don't think people see it like that. It's just that the stuff people are angry about overshadows the good sides of the xone ... The moment they talked about that feature I went "neat, thats a good idea", and I'm sure many people had the same reaction.

#15 Posted by AlexGlass (688 posts) -

Sounds like they're copying Microsoft's game sharing plan. Great news for Steam fans if true. It sounds like an amazing feature and very much needed on the PC side.

#16 Posted by Humanity (7949 posts) -

That sounds like a good idea, my online international friends have some games I wanted to try but don't necessarily know if I want to buy - also on PC it's always a mystery as to how well it will run. Remember Me is a great game that looks phenomenal but it was obviously built with Nvidia games in mind as it ran kinda rough on my ATI card and people with much better hardware reported similarly poor performance - so with PC gaming especially it's important to try stuff out.

#17 Posted by Hunter5024 (5172 posts) -

Good. These kinds of systems need to be standardized before we get to the all digital future, otherwise the consumers will just lose their rights.

Like, the fucking guy that never gives you back 'Dead Space,' but fuck it I didn't really want it back anyway

This made me laugh, because I actually borrowed my buddies copy of Dead Space for well over a year before I played it.

#18 Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials (2235 posts) -

I just want to trade games permanently. I have a whole category in my library full of shit I've barely played and will never touch again.

#19 Posted by JouselDelka (967 posts) -

I just want to trade games permanently. I have a whole category in my library full of shit I'll never touch again.

I thought Steam already has a trading system?

I've been a PC gamer since 1994 and I still barely know my way around Steam..

#20 Posted by BeachThunder (11264 posts) -

I just want to trade games permanently. I have a whole category in my library full of shit I've barely played and will never touch again.

I would like Steam to be able to generate a key for games I've never installed, then delete them entirely from my library.

#21 Edited by BaconGames (3129 posts) -

Valve already enjoys a marketplace where people both assume and enjoy (thanks to low prices) a one to one supply to ownership ratio. Digital lending is nice but that's all it really is and unless it has a compelling business angle then all it means is re-introducing transaction loss into the system. I bet that Valve, if this is at all their intent, will introduce a meta-layer to manage and regulate the lending much with anything they're doing. That or it's a completely voluntary program where publishers or developers can designate their game as "lendable" and see where that goes.

The only hook I can think of is unlocking certain games as lendable at convenient times for marketing purposes, for instance, making former/old iterations in a franchise lendable prior to a sequel release.

Related to this, there's one program on Steam that is possible but incredibly rare and that is the previous owner's/loyalty discount. The only time I saw it in use was during STALKER: Call of Pripyat's release which gave owners of Shadow of Chernobyl like 33% off or something. A great idea but never really got much use at all. I doubt this would work the same but it's good to point out that while the system is capable of something doesn't translate into use automatically.

#22 Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials (2235 posts) -

@saturdaynightspecials said:

I just want to trade games permanently. I have a whole category in my library full of shit I'll never touch again.

I thought Steam already has a trading system?

I've been a PC gamer since 1994 and I still barely know my way around Steam..

You can only trade games you have in your "inventory", in other words they aren't tied to your account yet. Like if you get a free copy of Portal 2, you can choose to add it to your library or trade it, but not both.

#23 Posted by bigjeffrey (4160 posts) -

THIS MAN IS GOD TO ALL PEOPLE

Also all the games i have on steam suck.

#24 Posted by Subjugation (4693 posts) -

Man, I'm getting real tired of all of the hypocrites on this forum over the last week. It's like they'll take any opportunity, no matter how ridiculous, to malign Microsoft. So there's a possibility that Steam will have a sharing plan like Microsoft plans to roll out and then everyone says that's awesome. Microsoft mentions it in the first place and people raise their torches and pitchforks like they had their firstborn murdered. Just .... what?

Stop flip-flopping. It's pathetic. I miss what the forums were like before all of the fanboys came crawling out of the woodwork.

#25 Edited by supamon (1325 posts) -

@subjugation said:

Man, I'm getting real tired of all of the hypocrites on this forum over the last week. It's like they'll take any opportunity, no matter how ridiculous, to malign Microsoft. So there's a possibility that Steam will have a sharing plan like Microsoft plans to roll out and then everyone says that's awesome. Microsoft mentions it in the first place and people raise their torches and pitchforks like they had their firstborn murdered. Just .... what?

Stop flip-flopping. It's pathetic. I miss what the forums were like before all of the fanboys came crawling out of the woodwork.

Ah well, kinda expected it but the lengths some of them go to malign anyone who even remotely mentions something positive on MS is quite frightening.

Also, 1000th post!! Do I get a prize? :D

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