Soon Steam users may be able to share their stash of digitally-owned games with other users.
The news came about when the code suggesting that a future Steam update will allow sharing was spotted in the beta release. As with boxed titles, Steam users will only be able to share their goodies on the basis of one title per user. That means, you and your buddy can’t play the same game if you’re sharing it—unless, one of you forks out the money to buy another key.
Currently, the specifics aren’t clear to any of us, and anything we’ve mention are merely speculations. The code that implied such sharing functionalities actually just referred to something called a ‘shared game library.’ How this relates to us being able to extend our bounties to our mates won’t be finalized until Steam says so. Still, it’s a kicker for many PC-gamers considering it’ll be greatly appreciated if we can click-to-share instead of having to lug our whole rig to a friend’s house or have to deal deal with risking our account username and password.
If we think about it, the share with a friend idea is actually good marketing tactic. Take for instance, if you share a game with your friend and he falls madly in love with it, he’ll have to dig around for some change to buy his own copy, because chances are you’re also madly in love with it, which is why you’re ‘bragging’ about owning it.
Steam has used the bait-n-switch method in the past with their ‘try for the weekend’ promos (and the likes), so this isn’t totally new to many of us.
However, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty, Steam also has to deal with the publishers. If the publishers aren’t willing to accept the coining cliché of ‘sharing is caring’ then we’ll once again have to toil in Stone Ageism, where ‘everyman is for himself.’