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Steam Family Sharing!

GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz QueenMountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
This is a game changer, you guys.

Steam just released information that starting next week, they will be opening up a beta for a feature allowing you to share your digital game library with close friends and family, with achievements and saves being logged to each individual account. Basically, you give authorization to a friend's computer to access your library, and they can play your games with no problems. There are limitations- you can only authorize ten devices (they don't say if you can rescind permission; maybe that's coming), and you share the ENTIRE library at one time. That means that if a friend of yours is using your library, you cannot also use your library at the same time. Additionally, not all games will be available on the share, due to technical difficulties with some of them (some games need 3rd party keys, etc.)

Still, I think that this is super rad. I've wanted for ages to be able to share some of my games with others (EVERYONE MUST PLAY BIOSHOCK INFINITE). I also kind of love that Steam is doing this-- so many other companies are freaking out about sharing rights to things because then maybe people won't buy their stuff, and Steam is just like "we DGAF. Hats." I wonder if this will actually lead to a rise in sales for Steam (if the owner of the Steam library opens up their library while you are playing a game you lose access, with a box that pops up offering to allow you to buy the game you were playing).

Thoughts?

(more info: http://store.steampowered.com/sharing/)
ZanthianLincAnnesBobbyDigioni_dels
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Comments

  • CantiCanti =/= smalltime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9K18CGEeiI&feature=related Icrontian
    Seems like they're just officially saying it's ok to do something I'm sure people have already been doing for years but now they might make a profit off of it. Makes sense to me.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    Canti said:

    Seems like they're just officially saying it's ok to do something I'm sure people have already been doing for years but now they might make a profit off of it. Makes sense to me.

    Right, except now they won't have to relog.
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    I wonder if the decision to have to share the ENTIRE library at one time is a logistical one (easier on their servers or easier to set up), tactical (makes users less likely to share willynilly; creates incentive for users to buy games since they are depriving friends of their entire account at one time), or nostalgic (meant to mimic letting your friend play on your PC when visiting as a kid) or some combination thereof.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    I don't see value in giving people access to my library, when it locks me out of playing myself. I am very clear in my understanding of why this decision was made. All this does is free people from the need to give people their password. Good for security, I suppose.
  • ZanthianZanthian Mitey Worrier Icrontian
    It is an interesting way to share with family members for them to get their own achievements. I for one like this move to share games later on with kids without having to rebuy.
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx :KAPPA: Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    holy balls, this is massive. To me, this is Steam giving the middle finger to the last big advantage the console gaming had. At this point, you can share, play with controllers, play on your TV, full social and streaming support, all in addition to traditional PC gaming. Meager exclusives are the only single reason to even bother with console gaming anymore, and that's not nearly enough for me to justify the cost of admission.
    midgaBobbyDigi
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario Icrontian
    It's Steam's last big middle finger to Xbox, aside from moving everything to steamworks over Windows Live.

    I, for one, can't wait to share my library with people I've got so many games that I just haven't had the time to play (Or after a while the interest) and I'm sure at least someone will enjoy some of my more thoughtless purchases.
  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Wut? Meechigan Icrontian
    edited Sep 2013
    Thrax said:

    I don't see value in giving people access to my library, when it locks me out of playing myself. I am very clear in my understanding of why this decision was made. All this does is free people from the need to give people their password. Good for security, I suppose.

    Joe gives Sally access to his library while he's at work on Tuesday so she can play Borderlands 2. Sally gets hooked immediately and starts racking up achievements left and right because she can't put it down.

    Joe gets home from work and logs in to play his own Borderlands 2, (theoretically) removing Sally's access.

    Sally now starts going through withdrawal, calling Joe every few minutes asking for just a little bit more. Just a quick fix.

    Joe says "No, woman. I'm playing all night tonight. Why not buy it yourself and come play coop?"

    Gaben says "Hey, thanks for the $30, Sally!"

    tl;dr - The value isn't strictly for the consumer.
    midgaJBoogalooUPSLynx
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    tl;dr - The value isn't strictly for the consumer.

    It's never just for the consumer. Warranties aren't for consumer benefit only and steam sales make everyone involved money or they wouldn't do it.
    JBoogaloo
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian

    Thrax said:

    I don't see value in giving people access to my library, when it locks me out of playing myself. I am very clear in my understanding of why this decision was made. All this does is free people from the need to give people their password. Good for security, I suppose.

    Joe gives Sally access to his library while he's at work on Tuesday so she can play Borderlands 2. Sally gets hooked immediately and starts racking up achievements left and right because she can't put it down.

    Joe gets home from work and logs in to play his own Borderlands 2, (theoretically) removing Sally's access.

    Sally now starts going through withdrawal, calling Joe every few minutes asking for just a little bit more. Just a quick fix.

    Joe says "No, woman. I'm playing all night tonight. Why not buy it yourself and come play coop?"

    Gaben says "Hey, thanks for the $30, Sally!"

    tl;dr - The value isn't strictly for the consumer.
    I get it. But the value isn't really for the consumer at all, and it's not a mystery why they made the decision to create this feature. I will reiterate that this simply isn't much different than giving someone your password, it's just safer.
  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Wut? Meechigan Icrontian
    There is a bit of consumer-level benefit. Sally gets her own separate achievements attached to her own Steam account that would carry over if/when she buys the game she now can't live without.

    It's a small benefit, but it's one of the real downsides to account sharing in the classic sense.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    It's basically like loaning your entire Xbox, along with all of your games, to a friend. Except you can take it back at any time, and they keep the progress of their LIVE account.
  • PirateNinjaPirateNinja Icrontian
    My little theory is that Valve's entire model is moving towards post sale IP $$$. Hats, in game items, trading cards, and etc. that are sold on the marketplace generate decent money for Valve and other developers. The upfront money you get from a sale is no longer the big target, it's ongoing cash flows from stuff like trading cards.
    If people get their family involved, there will be more trading which Valve and the IP owners can take their 15% cut on.

    It perhaps isn't just more secure, it gives Valve good PR and perhaps influences their marketplace gauging while making Origin less competitive (even more less!).
    GnomeQueen
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    Thrax said:

    It's basically like loaning your entire Xbox, along with all of your games, to a friend. Except you can take it back at any time, and they keep the progress of their LIVE account.

    This. Quite useful for people who, like me, might be away from usable interwebs for long periods of time. I can share and have basically no negatives to it. I can even still play my games in offline mode, like I usually do when I'm on the road.
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    I can dig it...back to what Alex said (and his fantastic STD analogy), I just experienced how this would be beneficial about two weeks ago (Valves roll-out, not STDs). I was talking to my buddy about Payday 2 and it's awesomeness. He said he would like to play it first before he buys it. I gave him my laptop while I was there visiting and he got a small taste of the game (you dirty minded fools). If Valve had this around a bit earlier I could have let his looking-for-work ass have access to my library while I'm at work and really let him dig into it and see how he feels about purchasing it. He would have probably liked, purchased it and we'd have more bank robbers with IC.
  • primesuspectprimesuspect Beepin n' Boopin Detroit, MI Icrontian
    Thrax said:

    I don't see value in giving people access to my library, when it locks me out of playing myself. I am very clear in my understanding of why this decision was made. All this does is free people from the need to give people their password. Good for security, I suppose.

    Kids + parents.

    BobbyDigioni_delsGnomeQueen
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! SoCal Icrontian

    Thrax said:

    I don't see value in giving people access to my library, when it locks me out of playing myself. I am very clear in my understanding of why this decision was made. All this does is free people from the need to give people their password. Good for security, I suppose.

    Kids + parents.

    This. Sharing my library with the DigiKids and SugarCheryl is going to be huge! No more having to buy 2 or 3 copies.

    -Digi
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    It's also rather convenient when someone wants to (legally) try a game before they buy it when a demo doesn't exist.
    JBoogaloo
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! SoCal Icrontian
    Note: You need to join the Steam Group if you want a chance at the beta. If not just chill and after beta the feature will be available to all.

    -Digi
    ErrorNullTurnip
  • WinfreyWinfrey waddafuh Missouri Icrontian
    edited Sep 2013
    I like it.

    Also with the Xbox + games lending analogy, you're not at risk to friends accidentally breaking your shit if you share it through steam.
    GnomeQueen
  • EnverexEnverex Worcester, UK Icrontian
    Unfortunately this isn't what I was hoping for. I was thinking it would be more like a lending system. Being locked out of my entire library renders this useless to me.
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    Enverex said:

    Unfortunately this isn't what I was hoping for. I was thinking it would be more like a lending system. Being locked out of my entire library renders this useless to me.

    Yea, I wish that you could just lend specific games, and still have access to your other ones. I wonder if at some point, they will change it to be more like that. Still, I think it's a pretty rad concept. I definitely have some people I'm going to loan my library to to force allow them to play Bioshock Infinite.
  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    I definitely have some people I'm going to loan my library to to force allow them to play Bioshock Infinite.

    I can be in that group, yeah?
  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! SoCal Icrontian
    Enverex said:

    Unfortunately this isn't what I was hoping for. I was thinking it would be more like a lending system. Being locked out of my entire library renders this useless to me.

    Maybe you just worded that oddly but from what I understand you as the lender would never be locked out of anything. If the borrower is playing and the lender logs in, it displays a message to the borrower letting them know that they will be disconnected shortly (and of coarse presents them with the option to buy the game so they can continue).

    -Digi
    GnomeQueen
  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian
    BobbyDigi said:

    Enverex said:

    Unfortunately this isn't what I was hoping for. I was thinking it would be more like a lending system. Being locked out of my entire library renders this useless to me.

    Maybe you just worded that oddly but from what I understand you as the lender would never be locked out of anything. If the borrower is playing and the lender logs in, it displays a message to the borrower letting them know that they will be disconnected shortly (and of coarse presents them with the option to buy the game so they can continue).

    -Digi
    Yes, that's how it works. I'm assuming Enverex meant that he'd feel like he had to stay logged out so his friend could play.
  • MiracleManSMiracleManS Chambersburg, PA Icrontian
    edited Sep 2013


    Yes, that's how it works. I'm assuming Enverex meant that he'd feel like he had to stay logged out so his friend could play.

    That's the one thing I'm disappointed in. It would be great to be able to play co-op with my wife in a few games (I'm thinking Portal 2 right now) without having to fork over for another copy.

    Which leads me to another question, I wonder how that will work with multi-player games?
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Sep 2013
    Any user that borrows a game gets kicked from the game after a short period once you start playing any game. You can't play the same or two different games concurrently. The account owner trumps.
  • midgamidga "There's so much hot dog in Rome" ~digi (> ^.(> O_o)> Icrontian
    I still don't see that as being a big deal. I can't imagine there's anyone who spends 24/7/365 gaming, and if they do they probably don't have friends they'd share it with anyway.
    JBoogaloo
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian


    Yes, that's how it works. I'm assuming Enverex meant that he'd feel like he had to stay logged out so his friend could play.

    That's the one thing I'm disappointed in. It would be great to be able to play co-op with my wife in a few games (I'm thinking Portal 2 right now) without having to fork over for another copy.

    Which leads me to another question, I wonder how that will work with multi-player games?
    That really doesn't make sense in any way that games have been published recently (i.e. local multiplayer being almost non-existent or relatively pointless). It's been "if you want to play the game with your friends, you need to buy it" and doubly so with PC-based games. Literally the only game I personally can think of [don't crucify me] in recent history is Civilization allowing for a hot seat mode, so it's sorta-multiplayer with only one copy. Not saying it wouldn't be nice, but how does that sort of functionality make sense for the company. I see precisely where the currently envisioned system makes sense, especially for the kinda unstated demo without a demo purpose.
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