Well I’ll be. This is quite the piece of news then, isn’t it.
Soon to be entering beta, is the ability to share your Steam Games Library with up to 10 other people consecutively. Steam has it’s own page outlining the details of this setup here.
As you might imagine, it is not without some limitations but for the most part they seem pretty reasonable to me.
- Any given Steam library can only be accessed by a single user at any given moment.
- I would have preferred this to be limited to game level rather than at the library/account level, but I understand it. Seems to be modelled after the concept of Steam being the ‘Console’ equivalent, whereby only one title can be played per console at any given moment.
- The library owner however, can always jump into a game without restriction. If anyone is currently playing one of their shared titles, they will be given a few moments in which to either purchase the game or save and quit.
- Not every game will be shareable due to technical limitations.
- Really does sound like they’ll be doing their best though. The examples of games that will not be shareable are those that require authentication / CD-Keys / subscriptions with a third party.
- I can see that limitation preventing quite a number of games being shareable unfortunately, but that is more on the developers (although in fairness, not that they could have seen this feature coming from Steam prior to this point). Any Steamworks titles or titles that simply leave their ‘DRM’ elements purely in the hands of Steam should work fine.
Not explicitly mentioned in the FAQ on the Steam Sharing page, I can only imagine that there will also be an absolute requirement to be in Online mode — both as the lending and borrowing parties — for this to work as intended.
Still, exciting times. I think this is quite a nice step in the right direction for PC gaming, and offering a little parity in game sharing between PC and Console.