Steam beta update suggests digital game sharing

Code obtained from a Steam beta update implies that the Mac, PC and Linux gaming service is preparing to allow users to lend games to each other, just as one would with physical media.

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Participants in the Steam Beta Client program can crack open the latest user interface file to find three new entries, all of which were posted to the NeoGAF forum, allowing for an additional shared game library heading and notifications pertaining to the status of lent and borrowed games.

“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,” reads the first, suggesting that purchasers will still be able to recall their games when they like.

And it seems that Steam is counting on borrowers getting a taste for those shared games once they’re returned, with a message that reads “This shared game is currently unavailable. Please try again later or buy this game for your own library.”

Steam’s experimentation with free-to-play gaming led to the conversion of “Team Fortress 2” into a no-fee experience and the acceptance of other free games onto the service.

Both Microsoft and Sony are implementing schemes to allow owners of Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles to share games to one degree or another, while Nintendo’s 3DS supports a Download Play function that lets friends share a game’s multiplayer component in a limited capacity.

Reblogged from: MSN

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