Valve has announced a new Family Sharing program for its Steam gaming service. The new sharing plan lets Steam users share their library of downloaded titles with up to 10 additional computers.
A Steam user will need to send a request to an account lender to authorize a supported computer. Once authorized it will take up one of the 10 device slots. The library will become available for others on the machine, and each user can save their unique achievements and game progress.
The Family Sharing program will work as long as only one user is using the same title at the same time. Steam will make the program available in a limited beta next week. Initially, only 1,000 accounts will have access.
More details and how to sign up can be found here. Steam’s press release announcing the new program follows below:
Steam Announces Family Sharing
Coming Soon: Players who share computers can also share their Steam games
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.
For more information about Steam Family Sharing and the beta program, please visit http://store.steampowered.com/sharing/.