Steam Announces Family Sharing

Gahars

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Digital Distribution has many advantages over the standard, brick-and-mortar model (starting with that always appreciated alliteration). It's never been easier for gamers to cut out the hassles of travel and social interaction.

Unfortunately, it has its downsides. Not only has it become impossible for me to maintain my hoarding habit, it's also very difficult to share games with friends "friends" without getting into illegal, sketchy territory.

Not to worry, though, because Valve is on the case... at least for that second part, anyway.

September 11, 2013 – Steam Family Sharing, a new service feature that allows close friends and family members to share their libraries of Steam games, is coming to Steam, a leading platform for the delivery and management of PC, Mac, and Linux games and software. The feature will become available next week, in limited beta on Steam.

Steam Family Sharing is designed for close friends and family members to play one another's Steam games while each earning their own Steam achievements and storing their own saves and application data to the Steam cloud. It's all enabled by authorizing a shared computer.

“Our customers have expressed a desire to share their digital games among friends and family members, just as current retail games, books, DVDs, and other physical media can be shared,” explained Anna Sweet of Valve. “Family Sharing was created in direct response to these user requests.”

Once a device is authorized, the lender's library of Steam games becomes available for others on the machine to access, download, and play. Though simultaneous usage of an account’s library is not allowed, the lender may always access and play his games at any time. If he decides to start playing when a friend is borrowing one of his games, the friend will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.
:arrow:Steam

Still have questions? Go F.A.Q. yourself, buddy.

If sharing is caring, then it seems that Valve cares a metric shitton (Translation: A lot). Here's hoping a Great Games Guarantee-like service is next on the list.
 

GameWinner

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Wasn't this what Xbox One wanted to do?

d0Wew1i.gif
 
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Qtis

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Wasn't this what Xbox One wanted to do?
I think most of the XB1 hate came from the 24h limit imposed by this rule. Most gamers and reviewers were more than welcome to accept this kind of feature. Without the time restrictions as hard as they were.

As you can guess, I do like the idea. Still doesn't help people in the same household playing the game at the same time, but it's getting there (hopefully)!
 

FAST6191

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So Steam is just like most other software and even consoles now?

Actually scratch that as I really should approve of improvements that do not come with a catch. I will save the real applause for when they see the light and allow me to sell on games.
 
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wrettcaughn

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Except they do not delve in any "rules" around the sharing. It will not be as simple as "I share my library with my friend's PC". How will they verify privileges to content? How will they enforce the "only one person has access to the library at a time" bit? Will they disable offline play for shared accounts requiring the user be logged into Steam to perform the check?

The disappointing part is that Valve could get away with a restriction like that while MS and Sony couldn't...
 
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pokefloote

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I love this, I really hope I get selected for beta. Now I can let my brother play Borderlands 2 online, and not have my friends list keep thinking he is me. He can have his own friends list, in-game name, etc and not have to buy the game again.

I approve. B-)
 

gifi4

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Though simultaneous usage of an account’s library is not allowed, the lender may always access and play his games at any time. If he decides to start playing when a friend is borrowing one of his games, the friend will be given a few minutes to either purchase the game or quit playing.
My question is this: If I'm playing a game from someone elses library and they decide to play an entirely different game, will I be kicked from the game I'm playing or will that only apply if the account holder wishes to play the same game?
 

chyyran

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This doesn't make all that of the difference in the short run, but who knows what kind of repercussions it'll have in the future? Perhaps it'll open up and allow you to share individual games, though I understand why that's more difficult to do, with Valve requiring the publisher's blessings to allow that.


I'm still waiting for QtSteam though :angry:. Or anything, just get rid of VGUI D:
 

Rydian

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How will they enforce the "only one person has access to the library at a time" bit? Will they disable offline play for shared accounts requiring the user be logged into Steam to perform the check?
It's the most simple and foolproof, so I assume so.

The disappointing part is that Valve could get away with a restriction like that while MS and Sony couldn't...
People liked the sharing and such on the xbox one.

What they didn't like was always-online being forced, always, period (and other restrictions but always-online even if you use no online features was the worst).
 

Carnivean

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Kind of unnoteworthy with the whole 'entire library must be shared / one person playing any game in that library' restrictions in place meaning you can't just functionally loan out single games or anything particularly useful.
 
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Ryufushichou

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My question is this: If I'm playing a game from someone elses library and they decide to play an entirely different game, will I be kicked from the game I'm playing or will that only apply if the account holder wishes to play the same game?

No you can't. If you start playing any game in your library it gives them a few minutes to either buy the game or quit then closes it for them.

http://i.imgur.com/ChSbAbu.png

I think its a bit stupid how that works to be honest, its really the same as just telling my friend my account info and letting then run rampant with the games i have, so I am hoping it gets revised.
 

Satangel

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This is a very nice feature, and I can already see the IMMENSE libraries some people have on Steam being sold for 'family sharing'. It's not exception to find someone on Steam with 1000+ games, who wouldn't want to share with that guy?
 

Arras

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No you can't. If you start playing any game in your library it gives them a few minutes to either buy the game or quit then closes it for them.

http://i.imgur.com/ChSbAbu.png

I think its a bit stupid how that works to be honest, its really the same as just telling my friend my account info and letting then run rampant with the games i have, so I am hoping it gets revised.
The advantage of this is that 1. Your friend does not need to be logged in to your account, so your other friends won't think you're online
2. He can't mess up your save files, can earn his own achievements etc.
And what do you mean, run rampant? They can play any game from your library, yeah, but how is that a bad thing?
 

Gahars

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I think its a bit stupid how that works to be honest, its really the same as just telling my friend my account info and letting then run rampant with the games i have, so I am hoping it gets revised.

The advantage of this is that 1. Your friend does not need to be logged in to your account, so your other friends won't think you're online
2. He can't mess up your save files, can earn his own achievements etc.
And what do you mean, run rampant? They can play any game from your library, yeah, but how is that a bad thing?

3. You're not risking your cash or your private info (credit card number, password, etc.)
4. It costs absolutely nothing for the same benefit (friend gets to enjoy your games)

So yeah, it is kind of completely different when you think about it. Huh.
 

Ericthegreat

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This is great for old ppl and little kids who don't know how to pirate.

And for online games that you need to go online but you don't wanna play on non legit servers. (I'm sure some of you play CoD.)
 

Arras

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This is great for old ppl and little kids who don't know how to pirate.

And for online games that you need to go online but you don't wanna play on non legit servers. (I'm sure some of you play CoD.)
And people who find Steam to be generally less hassle than pirating stuff.
 
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