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Breaking News: Share ALL the Games With Steam Family Sharing

Here's the breaking news on the Family Sharing service announced by Steam earlier today.

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Steam, the PC games vendor of choice for most users, announced Steam Family Sharing today, and has taken the internet by storm.

Steam Family Sharing allows users to share their game library with close friends and families, in a service launching later this year. Closed beta access for the family sharing service will be available later this month, and steam account holders can join the Steam Family Sharing Group. At the time of the beta, Steam will choose and notify 1,000 accounts (supposedly at random) to allow access to the beta service.

From the announcement, which can be viewed here, it appears that if "johnnylovesgames" wants to access his friend/family member "susiepwnsn00bs'" Steam account, he would simply send a request to her for access. "Susiepwnsn00bs" could then authorize his account, giving him access to her steam libraries (provided they aren't in different regional encoded areas, and the game does not require any additional 3rd party keys or subscriptions).

"Johnnylovesgames" could then download individual games to his device for use on her account through the cloud, including access to DLC that "susiepwnsn00bs" had previously purchased and downloaded. During the time that "Johnnylovesgames" is playing on her library, if she wanted to access those titles, he would be notified in-game that his session would end within a few moments - giving him an opportunity to buy the title, or log out.

While some folks are crying foul at the generally positive reaction to the Steam Family Sharing announcement, specifically due to the many similarities between this service and the originally-proposed Xbox Family sharing plans - this seems like a great step for digital game lending.

Happy gaming, and oh - by the way, the Steam Family Sharing group on Steam is currently counting over 5,000 members hoping for beta access. If you want to sign up, do it now!

Originally Published Sep. 11th 2013

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Comments
  • 27
    Caden Moniz 1 year ago
    Featured Correspondent
    Sounds interesting. It's a great idea if you honestly think about it.
  • 35
    Stephen Johnston 1 year ago
    Columnist
    An important caveat of this program is exactly how the sharing is done. The entire library is shared and locked while sharing. So the sharer cannot play any games in the library even if the borrower is playing a different game than the sharer wants to play.
  • 6
    TheTreyStevens 1 year ago
    Contributor
    That's awesome and could work well for multi gaming guilds such as Guild Umbra. If a member is trying to get others to play with them, they can try before they buy.
  • 33
    Ste Grainer 1 year ago
    Featured Correspondent
    Nice! Now my wife doesn't have to hog my account to get her Portal fix. :)