Wondering how to lend games for PC and mobile devices? Worried (and rightly so!) that we’re letting a huge and growing part of culture slip by?
OnePlay is a Danish videogame vendor and rental service which has just launched a library e-lending product that works like e-book lending – users download and play at home. While their full range of titles and platforms isn’t available for library loan – in particular, they don’t enable e-lending of console games, but then we can lend some titles already just by circulating discs – they do have a wide range of titles that you can make available to your patrons. Some highlights of the service:
- A solid variety of different narrative genres and gameplay modes, with over 1000 titles from around the world, and a growing collection. OnePlay are currently in negotiation with Disney (new owners of the classic LucasArts games) and EA, and are reaching out to Australian developers too!
- Apps for both Windows and Android that make the borrowing process simple.
- No artificial scarcity: no loan limits, either per user or per title.
- Each borrowed title can be installed on up to 2 PCs per user.
- Loan authentication (based on Sony’s SecuROM technology) is handled when you run the game itself. No need to log into the app to play!
- Loan validation lasts for 30 days, so only you need to put in credentials for each game once a month at most.
- No time limit – users can re-activate as many times as they need.
- Dual passwords – so children can activate a game their parents have downloaded, but can’t download new games unsupervised.
- Live customer support.
- Plans for local servers, to keep international bandwidth bottlenecks to a minimum.
- A Facebook page for library users to share tips and game recommendations (in development).
- Automated MARC record exports for the titles on the service.
- Free, no-strings trial.
- Flat annual fee based on active user numbers – pay for the year and you’re done!
- The baseline annual fee is 25 cents per active library card (i.e. $25 per 100 active accounts) – but discounts are possible for large subscriptions, and I will be actively looking for ways to help as many libraries as want it afford the service!
This is new territory for both games and libraries, so you may well have questions – or you may just want to sign up for a trial. Fill out the form below, or drop me a line!
Full disclosure: OnePlay are offering me a commission on Antipodean libraries that sign up. (They weren’t planning to expand into the Southern Hemisphere quite yet, as they’re busy setting up operations in the USA, but were excited by the interest in International Games Day here, and given my past advocacy for these sorts of services have asked me to spread the word! I’m happy to answer any questions you have about this, too.)