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#1 Sep 11 2013 at 1:58 PM Rating: Good
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Steam is going to add "Steam Family Sharing" to it services, copying the XBox One policy yet beating it to the punch.

Kotaku wrote:
You'll soon be able to borrow digital PC games like you would disks—Valve has just announced a program called Steam Family Sharing that will let up to ten Steam accounts share a single library of games. But there's a catch.

If I authorize your computer to be one of my sharing buddies, you can download any of my games and play them on your account, with your own achievements and save files. The catch: we won't be able to play games at the same time—think of it like you're borrowing my computer for a bit. If I try to play a game while you're using any game from my library, you'll get a warning to either purchase that game or quit, and then you'll be booted.

The feature will enter beta next week. Here's the press release:

Valve wrote:
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.


If this sounds familiar, that's because it's quite similar to the Xbox One's coolest feature, the Family Sharing plan, which was cut from launch, but might come back one day.

The limit on this new Steam sharing plan is ten authorized devices—just like the Xbox One's family plan was going to be.

Also worth noting: not all games will work as part of this program. Says Valve: "due to technical limitations, some Steam games may be unavailable for sharing. For example, titles that require an additional third-party key, account, or subscription in order to play cannot be shared between accounts."

For more specifics—and to sign up for the program—check out Valve's official Steam sharing website.


Who's up for a Zam Shared Game Pool? I'm willing to go if we get some more people, just need to schedule access time.

Edited, Sep 11th 2013 3:58pm by Shaowstrike
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#2 Sep 11 2013 at 4:02 PM Rating: Good
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I'm down for it. Some of you all probably have games that I'm too cheap to buy, or unsure if it was going to be any good. Judging by the Omnibus thread, this would benefit me far more than any of you.
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#3 Sep 11 2013 at 6:29 PM Rating: Good
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Most games I buy are either already in everyones library, or ones they wouldn't want to ever touch (I'm looking at you Fairie Solitiare)... but Yes...if we do a zam community pool I will definitely give you all access to my, uh... goodies.Smiley: sly
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#4 Sep 12 2013 at 7:35 AM Rating: Good
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I don't have many steam games, but I'd be up for sponging off others.
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#5 Sep 12 2013 at 10:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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From my reading, there's really no downside in it for me to "loan" -- if I want to play my catalog you're the one who gets the boot, and never vice versa. So with that in mind I'd be on board to share my backlog with the world.

Also, Fairie Solitaire was surprisingly entertaining for the few hours I put into it to get cards.

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Also worth noting: not all games will work as part of this program. Says Valve: "due to technical limitations, some Steam games may be unavailable for sharing. For example, titles that require an additional third-party key, account, or subscription in order to play cannot be shared between accounts."

I assume this will shut out most/all Ubisoft, Origin/Bioware or GFWL titles.

Edited, Sep 12th 2013 11:51am by Jophiel
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Wow. Regular ol' Joph fan club in here.
#6 Sep 16 2013 at 12:40 PM Rating: Decent
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Consider me in. I only have about 55 games, but they're mostly all great to excellent.
#7 Sep 16 2013 at 3:06 PM Rating: Good
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I'd be in. I have a lot of games you all already have anyway and I don't play them that often so I'd be happy to sign up a few poor scrubs. Though I'd like to leave a couple slots free for friends who haven't quite got the point that computer gaming is awesome yet.
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