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View Full Version : Would you pay to rent a game on Steam?


Cookiemobsta
09-30-2009, 03:22 PM
I've been noticing that almost all of the games I'm buying off steam are weekend deal games, where the prices drops into the 5-10 dollar range. That makes it affordable for me to try out a new game, and worth the money even if I don't play it for very long. But I was thinking--what if I could just pay 5-10-15 dollars for any game and have the chance to play it for a limited amount of time (say, a week or a month, depending on price?) If I wanted to keep playing after the rental period expired, I could always just buy it.
Normally PC games are not rentable because game makers are worried that instead of buying games you will just rent them, copy them, and keep playing forever for free after your rental period. But Steam's DRM service prevents that from happening--once a rental period is expired, Steam can just lock the game on your computer and prevent you from playing it. So do you guys think that paying to rent games on Steam would be something you'd want to do?

Tl;dr version:
Would you want to pay 10-15% of a game's retail price for the ability to rent it for a week or a month or so on Steam?

Metro
09-30-2009, 03:42 PM
Wouldn't be very cost effective for Steam on most every single player title. Also, in general, I won't pay more than $30 for a game making most of my purchases limited to sales so I certainly wouldn't pay $15 for a monthly rental.

chopstix
09-30-2009, 03:44 PM
Tl;dr version:
Would you want to pay 10-15% of a game's retail price for the ability to rent it for a week or a month or so on Steam?

I know the Impulse service suggested this and is already looking in to making it possible. Overall though, no, I wouldn't do it. Considering the rate prices drop through retail, and weekend deals, I'd rather just wait and grab it extremely cheap and own the game.

mouton
09-30-2009, 03:54 PM
I did hear a lot in those forums that the current game selling model is basically renting anyway, lol

T@F
09-30-2009, 03:55 PM
Na demos sort out more or less if you like the game or not tbh.
But i know i would not pay tbh i rather buy the orig and save me that extra cash on renting it tbh.

But they should carry on with games like they did with ut3,weekend tester every week or month.:)

Zeppelid
09-30-2009, 04:18 PM
Steam should offer a gamesflatrate. 20-30$ a month for every game. Minimum duration of 6 months.

Cedge
09-30-2009, 04:46 PM
Would never happen. Publishers despise the rental market enough as it is.

And the big difference is that, unlike renting console games, Steam has an unlimited number of copies of the games; profits on rental games are made by renting the same physical copy of the game over and over again.

ReBoot
09-30-2009, 05:00 PM
I would rent a game on Steam, it would be perfect for singleplayer games.

chopstix
09-30-2009, 05:10 PM
Would never happen. Publishers despise the rental market enough as it is.

And the big difference is that, unlike renting console games, Steam has an unlimited number of copies of the games; profits on rental games are made by renting the same physical copy of the game over and over again.

Publishers dislike the rental market because they aren't getting much of the cut. Give them a streaming revenue via the rental system and they will be happy. Why else would over 9 major publishers have signed on with the OnLive service? Subscribers don't buy the game, but they will provide a constant streaming revenue.

StingingVelvet
09-30-2009, 05:25 PM
You already are renting them. Har.

Anyway, no... I never liked renting, I don't play one game for a few days to power through it, I am much more casual.

CannibalBob
09-30-2009, 05:46 PM
Depends heavily on the game. Linear, non-multiplayer games (say, Bioshock or HL2's single-player) I'd definitely rent for a week but anything else, no it's best to wait for a deal. Most games drop to reasonable prices that it just doesn't make sense to buy it only for a week or whatever (unless it's a throw-away single-player game that offers very little replayability).

Zorlac
09-30-2009, 05:55 PM
I probably would yeah. Then again it totally depends on the pricing model.

bippukt
09-30-2009, 10:42 PM
It is possible that some people would like to rent a game at 20-30% of full price, but this "buy if you like the game" thing can only really work if, when you want to buy the game at the end of the limited time, you have to pay only the balance, ie 70-80% of full price.

That could work, and Steam already has the infrastructure in place. Just look at the free to play UT weekends.

Cedge
09-30-2009, 11:20 PM
Publishers dislike the rental market because they aren't getting much of the cut. Give them a streaming revenue via the rental system and they will be happy.
This still ignores the fundamental difference between renting a limited number of physical copies of a game, and "renting" digital copies. It would kill early sales of singleplayer games.


Why else would over 9 major publishers have signed on with the OnLive service?
Don't even get me started on all the reasons that OnLive will fail...

chopstix
09-30-2009, 11:57 PM
This still ignores the fundamental difference between renting a limited number of physical copies of a game, and "renting" digital copies. It would kill early sales of singleplayer games.
Not entirely, many people still prefer to own their games. Why do you think so many still won't transition to digital distribution models? They want to have a physical copy of the game, one they can tweak and modify, and enjoy for years to come without relying on a service. People will still buy games. While the initial sales may not be quite as large, they still receive additional 'constant' revenue through another service to make up for it.

Don't even get me started on all the reasons that OnLive will fail...
I don't see it becoming a major success, primarily due to bandwidth requirements which many still cannot afford, as well as game quality and lack of control over a game. I imagine it will hold out as a much smaller service alongside others. But this is getting off topic.

The point still stands though, publishers are backing a system that doesn't force consumers to buy a game. Instead, the game will likely be licensed out and a constant stream of revenue generated for the publisher to make up for it. Would you rather have the initial one time sale, or a recurring stream that over time could end up paying more per unit? To get publishers on board, rentals would need to work similarly in that the publisher receives a large portion of the cut. They hate the retail used/rental markets because after the initial purchase, they don't see a dime and other companies profit off of this.

The real problems with this system lie elsewhere. For example, a $5 'rental' fee will likely not cover the bandwidth and operating costs, as well as publisher cuts, for massive games. There is also the fear of people altering files to allow them to play permanently offline (piracy).

Cookiemobsta
10-01-2009, 10:12 AM
This still ignores the fundamental difference between renting a limited number of physical copies of a game, and "renting" digital copies. It would kill early sales of singleplayer games.


I don't see this as being something offered for new games; it would be more along the lines of for a game like Far Cry or HL2, that's been out for awhile and has a single-player campaign that can be beaten in the course of a week or so of steady play. The idea would not be to cannibalize from people who would buy the game anyway, but to get extra revenue from people who would like to play the game, but not enough to spend the money to buy it. I don't know if this model would work or if it would wind up cannibalizing actual game sales, but Steam weekend sales seem to work well so a permanent Steam rental service might work well also.

relaxeder
10-01-2009, 10:23 AM
I would probably rent a game if it was really cheap to do it, and only to check it out before i bought it.

Akudama89
10-01-2009, 11:00 AM
Steam should offer a gamesflatrate. 20-30$ a month for every game. Minimum duration of 6 months.

...that would be stupid, essentially what you just suggested is someone could pay 180$ to play all 700+ games on steam for 6 months......180 dollars, really? maybe if you want steam to go out of business, it'd be more like mandatory life-time membership where you can't legally get out of the contract, i don't think you'd want that...

However, if there was a renting service on steam that would be kinda nice, consoles get to rent but rarely ever do PC gamers, i'm not saying i'd even ever rent a game, i might, but probably not, but the feature itself would be nice to have just in case

tschumann
10-01-2009, 07:20 PM
I wouldn't.