Rarely seen inside the digital space, popular PC gaming service Steam is reportedly working on a shared game library for users to loan their games to others.
If there’s one clear benefit to picking physical copies over digital mediums of ‘stuff’, it’s that there are no limits on just how transferrable real life objects are. Does your friend need to borrow a digital game? What if there’s no way to do this or if the file isn’t accessible to you? If you have a disc-based copy of a game, it’s as easy as agreeing to hand over the disc to your friend and saying ‘give me the game back when you’re done’. This is what Steam are trying to improve, as the team behind the PC gaming service are reportedly working on a shared game library.
Those of the mindset that a shared game library would be some kind of complicated tech jumble with restrictions in, on and out the wazoo, needn’t fret so much about Steam’s rumoured plans as the speculated development is quite simple. In short, any of the games that you, a friend, or anyone else with a Steam account has purchased in their library are accessible to other Steam users provided that they have permission from whoever purchased the game in the first place. Just like a library for your Steam library, you would be able to ‘loan’ the games out to a friend, just like a library book, where it would become unavailable to you but available to them for the duration of the loan period.
This news became known when one eagle-eyed NeoGAF reader spied some code in the new Steam Beta update (a picture is below). The code effectively pointed out, with the equivalent of coding strobelights, that Steam are indeed working on the service.
Because of the nature of how this was revealed, it isn’t known just how long the lending duration can take place (though it will likely be for anything between 7 days to a month) but it’s still a game changer. Due to piracy and DRM restrictions, this is something that hasn’t been done before but this could definitely cause some waves for gamers who are keen to hoover up games in the famed Steam sales and share the fun with their friends.
The Steam shared game library is a yet unconfirmed feature but we’ll keep you posted when we know more.
Source : gamesindustry international