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Steam game-sharing features spotted in beta code

by Mark Tyson on 20 June 2013, 10:15

Tags: Valve

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabxvv

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Speculation is rife that an upcoming change in the way the Steam DRM client works will allow users to share their purchased games titles with friends. A recent Steam client beta has been dissected and peered into and it reveals references to a “shared game library” and alert strings informing users that games are in use by “borrowers”.

IGN gaming news reports that three lines of code in the latest beta of the Steam Client program refer to a “shared license”. Have a look below at the relevant revealing code snippets:

  • "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."

Currently games available and purchased on Steam offer some serious user restrictions; there’s no way to sell, trade or lend your game like you would if you’d bought it through some other channels. However this inflexibility is offset by often much cheaper offers for games via Steam.

If this beta code is anything to go by Valve seems to have decided to tweak the user game library sharability to become a more competitive and attractive platform. Looking at the code excerpts above, it appears that friends will be able to use your games when you aren’t playing them. On the other side of the sharing equation a person wishing to borrow one of your games will be nudged to buy their own copy if it’s unavailable because you are playing it at that time.

Meanwhile we await an official announcement or comment on this subject from Valve.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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This is a great idea. I've been doing it by letting friends use my account for years. Some people prefer different types of games and perhaps you'd like to try a new genre you are not used to without spending £20 for the privilege. My friends and I have probably purchased more games as a result of this rather than just not trying something new at all so I think it makes good business sense as well.

I will make good use of this when it becomes an option in Steam. Well done Valve, you've got it right yet again.
cool..
have 149 games that i would want to share with others :)
Really liking the look of this. Got a few friends who are considering moving to PC instead of the new consoles. This could help push them over the edge. Just hope there aren't too many restrictions ie only certain amount of games allowed to be played by friends at a time. But it'll help.
What you could do is find someone in Australia and share games like them. The time difference would mean that you would have unrestricted access to each others games.
Devastater6194
Really liking the look of this. Got a few friends who are considering moving to PC instead of the new consoles. This could help push them over the edge. Just hope there aren't too many restrictions ie only certain amount of games allowed to be played by friends at a time. But it'll help.
What you could do is find someone in Australia and share games like them. The time difference would mean that you would have unrestricted access to each others games.

Yes, gaming is renowned for being a 9-5 occupation ;)
Most gaming probably happens in the evenings, but that likely extends into the early hours and certainly at weekends could occur throughout the day as well.