Valve has announced a Family Sharing program for Steam. The program, geared at family and close friends, will allow for Steam users to share their game libraries with up to ten other devices. Authorised devices will have access to the sharer’s entire library and associated DLC (excluding titles with third-party keys, accounts or subscriptions) and players will be able to maintain their own save files and achievements.
Only one user will have access to a title at a time, with the primary owner able to effectively kick a user off if they want to play that game; the authorised user will be given a few minutes to purchase the game or quit playing.
“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 Anna Sweet of Valve, “Family Sharing was created in direct response to these user requests.”
The Family Sharing program bears many similarities to Microsoft’s Family Share program, which was to allow up to ten people to access one’s Xbox library from any Xbox One device before the program was dropped alongside the console’s always-online requirement.
The program will enter closed beta in mid-September. Invites will initially be distributed to 1,000 members of the Family Sharing Group on the Steam Community.