The lights are on
Intrepid NeoGAF users have found hints that a significant new feature could be coming to Valve's Steam service in the near future. If so, this would be a smart marketing hook, especially for games with significant multiplayer components.
According to the bits of code, it seems that a shared game can only be played on one account at a time. Should the owner decide to step in, the guest will receive a message that it's time to step aside.
There are a lot of reasons why this would be an intelligent move. First, it has the potential to eliminate some piracy. If players can legitimately enjoy a game without paying, they may be less likely to seek unauthorized copies.
Shared games would also allow Valve to track interest in a title and offer that data back to publishers. This could help guide pricing, implementation of discounts, and an understanding of how users who aren't faced with a sunk cost dilemma interact with the product.
Finally, for multiplayer games, shared titles would be a brilliant sales tool. Players can try the title out without investment, but if they want to play with friends, each is going to need a copy. Building a critical mass in social circles faster will facilitate sales.
Microsoft is planning on executing something similar with the Xbox One. Games can be shared with up to ten "family members," and it seems that the relationship will be defined loosely, allowing friends to operate in the same circles.
The Steam game sharing could just be errant lines in a beta build. Don't get your hopes up quite yet. We've reached out to Valve for clarification and comment. Our fingers are crossed that game sharing is something that we'll see go live soon.
Email the author Mike Futter, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
this would be freaking amazing if it happened.
Sounds okay but I'd be just as happy if developers included better demos with their games. Guess this method forces you to be more social... guess I need to find more friends who want to share games :)
We don't know what Valve's is going to be like. Microsoft's is overly complicated and limited to 10 people but Valve's could be simple and open to anyone as long as their on your friends list.
Lots of people pirate not because they don´t want to pay but because of steam and mandatory accounts to link something they bought, while this is a nice feature steam is still useless by forcing single player games to be linked to a steam account.
How about DRM free disks? In a perfect world.
They would be tight yo
I love Valve. Now if only they'd love me back and announces a certain something which involves a crowbar and the number 3.
"sunk cost dilemma"
That's some first rate marketing speak right there.
Hope this does come to fruition. It would definitely eliminate some of the reasons for piracy.
It would certainly be the next logical step...
Would be an excellent idea.