No More Steam Keys!


February 27, 2024|8 min read

One exciting thing with the latest SpringboardVR update is the ability to distribute content without using Steam keys. What was once a long convoluted process will now be simplified down to just a few clicks.

What is a Steam Key? - Before the Update

Imagine with me the process of adding a title to your locations before this new update:

You go to the Marketplace, request a key for each game and each station, go to each station and create a Steam login with a unique email, login in to Steam, copy and paste that key into Steam, activate the key, install the game, accept EULA, go back to your library, assign games to stations.

That’s for one game on one station.


Now imagine doing this with 8 stations, for 25 games.

Request key, copy/paste key, install the game, accept EULA…

Repeat (8 Stations X 25 games) = 200 times.

It sounds like a fun weekday.

Even if you got the process down to a science, you’re looking at hours upon mind-numbing hours of clicking on a keyboard every time you want to swap in new games.

Side note: We talked to an Arcade recently opening a new location with 30 stations, each station with 80 games. That’s a whopping 2,400 cycles (request key, copy/paste key, install game, etc.) to assign content to get their new location running. Approximately 20 man-hours if they managed one cycle every 30 seconds. 

And this is all a big problem… first and foremost because your time is valuable and second because regularly cycling in NEW content is critical to building a sustainable business. Customers don’t want to play the same titles month in and month out. Fresh content is the lifeblood of an LBE location.

Where are the Keys when You Need Them?!

Ever been hit with the “duplicate product code” error when using a key or found that we are out of keys when you try to request them? Not being able to offer that hit game can be the difference between a packed house and a dead Arcade.

Despite what many think, developers do not just have a “stash of keys” they can easily send us. In 2017, Steam stopped automatically fulfilling key requests to combat game sales outside of Steam. So the developer's requests for keys (while generally quick) can be delayed for days. And we, like the platform, have no way of knowing how soon we’ll be getting more. 

Another may be a less obvious problem with relying on Steam is that not all content is available on Steam. In fact, a great deal of amazing, high-quality VR content has never and will never be on Steam… and we think you should have access to those titles as well.

All-in-all, a process that should be a simple download is made much more complicated by adding in unnecessary steps — causing many points of friction for everyone involved. By removing the Steam key part of the equation, content is much easier to access, download, and distribute to your stations.

The New SpringboardVR

We have revamped the way assigning content to stations works so it can be done in a more streamlined fashion. You can now install one title to multiple stations at once for your location and experience types.

  1. Go to the Marketplace
  2. Click into the desired content title
  3. Install any number of stations, experience types, and locations

It's really that easy.


What was once a long convoluted process will now be simplified down to just a few clicks.

We’ve been working on this amazing feature for a while and we can’t wait for our VR Operators to begin taking advantage of this new feature, and taking advantage of some much-needed extra time!


Hunter Lane
Content Team Lead| SpringboardVR