The digital distribution giant, Steam, is famous (or infamous) with PC gamers pretty much everywhere. The effect that they have on the industry can be felt everywhere, and they’re lauded for their low prices and insanely low deals that they are capable of offering to their userbase.
There’s just one problem with Steam though, and that’s that you can’t share your games with any of your friends. Once you’ve paid for something, it’s tied to your account so that only you can play it.
It isn’t a bad system, but sometimes it does make you long for a disc based system just so that you can share and borrow games with your friends. Unfortunately, PC games can often be hard to track down unless you’re buying online, and if you’re buying online anyway you might as well use digital distribution.
A recent beta update for Steam has a slightly interesting bit of code though. The code is just dialog prompts that crop up to inform you when a friend is using one of your games. Whilst this doesn’t mean anything directly right now, it does reveal that at the very least, Valve are looking into options that will allow you to share your digital library with your friends.
You can only find the code if you’re in Steam’s beta program which lets you play around with features that they’re experimenting with. You can check out the relevant code from the steamUI_english file right here:
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.
If you’re not code savvy, then you only need to pay attention to the latter parts of the code. Shared game library? Notices to quit? Seems pretty interesting to me.