Valve brings digital game sharing to Steam

Valve brings digital game sharing to Steam
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

September 11th 2013 at 9:09PM

New scheme will allow account holders to lend their entire library to other users

Valve is set to launch a new Steam Family Sharing initiative aimed at allowing users to share their digital games with friends and family.

The scheme will allow users to essentially download and play any title from a friend or family member's library, as long as it is listed as an authorised computer. Players will also be able to create their own saves on the Steam Cloud.

A lender can access and play their game at any time. If a friend is currently 'borrowing' one of their titles, they will receive a warning message, giving them a few minutes to quit or purchase the title. Up to ten devices can be authorised through the program at any given time.

Some games however which involve an additional third-party key, account or subscription to gain access to will not be available for sharing,

The new feature will enter a limited beta next week.

“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,” said Valve's Anna Sweet.

“Family Sharing was created in direct response to these user requests.”

The initiative echoes Microsoft's early attempts to enact a similar digital sharing scheme on the Xbox One, but this was later abandoned after the firm ditched a number of its online and DRM policies after a consumer backlash.

For more information Steam Family Sharing, visit the official website.