Game sharing code appears in Steam client

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Here’s something quite interesting, it looks as if Valve are set to offer game sharing on Steam.

Datamined from the recent Steam beta update, the following lines of code indicate that Valve are looking to open up game libraries to more than one user. As you’d expect only one person can play at time, but it will make life easier for some users.

“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.”

This update comes on the back of Microsoft offering a similar feature with the Xbox One where games can be shared with other “family members” and Valve obviously want a chunk of that action for PC gamers.

How this would affect game sales is unclear, but it would surely have an impact. If I had access to Tim’s Steam library, I could play just about any game ever released on the service. Still, it’s an interesting development that will please Steam users should it get pushed live.

Thanks Neogaf.

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  • Tim McDonald

    Interesting. I’m curious as to how that’d work. It may be that they’ve given up on trying to ban people for sharing account details so their friends can play things, so are trying to make it safer… or it might be that they’re planning on charging a “borrowing” license for individual games.

    Makes me wonder if they’re going to move into “trading in” games, too – either allowing users to trade already-activated games with each other, or simply letting you remove a game from your account in exchange for Steam store credit. GreenManGaming already does the latter so it’s not like it’s impossible for digital libraries, and I’d be surprised if Valve don’t at least give it a whirl in the next few years.

  • nasarius

    As you’d expect only one person can play at time

    Speaking of which, I’m still not clear about why I can’t be logged into Steam on more than one PC at a time. Shockingly, I have both a desktop *and* a laptop, and it’s a little silly that I have to do the offline mode dance to make that work.

    Anyway, Amazon’s been doing limited ebook lending for a while now, and I expect this will work similarly: only with the explicit approval of the publisher.

  • Asteria

    Fantastic news. Sony, Steam and now Microsoft all allowing games to be shared. About frigging time!

  • sorudo

    big whoop, it still doesn’t allow playing with friends, it’s like allowing ppl to see the movie but ppl need to wait their turn.