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Old September 12 2013, 11:55 AM   #1
Bob The Skutter
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Steam adding Family Sharing

In an upcoming beta steam plan to add sharing your gaming library with up to 10 members of your friends and family.
http://store.steampowered.com/sharing/

Share your computer?
Now share your games too.


Steam Family Sharing allows close friends and family members to play one another's games while earning their own Steam achievements and saving their own game progress to the Steam cloud. It's all enabled by authorizing a shared computer.
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Old September 12 2013, 01:16 PM   #2
Reverend
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Re: Steam adding Family Sharing

Interesting. Sounds pretty much what MS had planned for the XBO before all their users had a collective cow. I think it actually makes a lot more sense for a platform like Steam. I mean my library is 131 games and counting, most of which I haven't played in a ages (some not at all--thank you steam sales!) so I can totally see myself authorizing my brother's macbook so his kids can have a nice selection when they visit or whatnot.

Reading the FAQ, they're obviously going to have to be very selective about which games can and can't be shared. Also, totally understand why you can't both be playing the same game at the same time, otherwise it could be exploited so co-op and multiplayer games like Borderlands 2, L4D2, Saints Row, CoD etc. need only be purchased by one person then shared out.

Actually, I wonder why they don't just specifically restrict co-op & multiplayer games and let people play SP games as and when. Perhaps that'd be to complicated to implement, or there's still potential there for exploiting since it'd effectively be like giving a free copy to someone.

I do however wonder if this is partly their way of testing the waters for full on, permanent game trading/re-selling. That could be interesting...but I'm not sure how happy publishers will be with the idea. Maybe if Steam takes a slice of the price like they currently do with the current trading card market and pass a percentage back along the the developers it'll keep them happy.
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Old September 12 2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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Re: Steam adding Family Sharing

Reverend wrote: View Post
Interesting. Sounds pretty much what MS had planned for the XBO before all their users had a collective cow.
Close. I don't think MS was going to be "only one person can touch the library at once" - I thought it was going to be on a per-game basis - but we didn't get far enough to get those kinds of details before Microsoft reversed course.

Reverend wrote: View Post
Also, totally understand why you can't both be playing the same game at the same time, otherwise it could be exploited so co-op and multiplayer games like Borderlands 2, L4D2, Saints Row, CoD etc. need only be purchased by one person then shared out.
It's not that you can't play the same game simultaneously - you can't use the same library simultaneously. If you're playing Borderlands 2, your friend can't be playing your copy of Skyrim.
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Old September 12 2013, 04:01 PM   #4
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Re: Steam adding Family Sharing

ATimson wrote: View Post
It's not that you can't play the same game simultaneously - you can't use the same library simultaneously. If you're playing Borderlands 2, your friend can't be playing your copy of Skyrim.
Ah, you're right. Well that'd suck. I mean I guess I understand why, but it'd be a bit cumbersome. You'd think the idea behind sharing between family members would be so that several people in the same household (like say three or four kids) can play on different devices at the same time. If they had to take turns then it rather defeats the purpose, no?
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Old September 12 2013, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: Steam adding Family Sharing

Reverend wrote: View Post
You'd think the idea behind sharing between family members would be so that several people in the same household (like say three or four kids) can play on different devices at the same time. If they had to take turns then it rather defeats the purpose, no?
I think perhaps the idea is more that the same household sharing one gaming PC (which is probably typical?) isn't mixing everybody's saved games and achievements together.
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Old September 12 2013, 04:53 PM   #6
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Re: Steam adding Family Sharing

ATimson wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
You'd think the idea behind sharing between family members would be so that several people in the same household (like say three or four kids) can play on different devices at the same time. If they had to take turns then it rather defeats the purpose, no?
I think perhaps the idea is more that the same household sharing one gaming PC (which is probably typical?) isn't mixing everybody's saved games and achievements together.
That seems to be the main perk, yeah.

It'd be nice if two people could concurrently play different games in the same library, but I wonder if that's part of Steam's licensing terms, in that part of why they can offer such deep discounts is that there's a guarantee to the publishers that you can only be playing one game in your entire library at a time, so if you had a library of 10+ games you couldn't have 10 people each playing a different one. I could see publishers and developers and such really balking at such a system.
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Old September 12 2013, 06:09 PM   #7
Reverend
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Re: Steam adding Family Sharing

ATimson wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
You'd think the idea behind sharing between family members would be so that several people in the same household (like say three or four kids) can play on different devices at the same time. If they had to take turns then it rather defeats the purpose, no?
I think perhaps the idea is more that the same household sharing one gaming PC (which is probably typical?) isn't mixing everybody's saved games and achievements together.
If that's the case, you'd think it'd be easier and more beneficial for the end user to implement a multi-user profile system within the same account. That way you wouldn't need to log out and back in to switch between accounts and you wouldn't be restricted with what you can and can't share.

No, I think this is about more than saves and achievements. I think it's them testing the viability of putting full games on the Steam market system.
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Old September 12 2013, 07:57 PM   #8
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Re: Steam adding Family Sharing

Reverend wrote: View Post
ATimson wrote: View Post
Reverend wrote: View Post
You'd think the idea behind sharing between family members would be so that several people in the same household (like say three or four kids) can play on different devices at the same time. If they had to take turns then it rather defeats the purpose, no?
I think perhaps the idea is more that the same household sharing one gaming PC (which is probably typical?) isn't mixing everybody's saved games and achievements together.
If that's the case, you'd think it'd be easier and more beneficial for the end user to implement a multi-user profile system within the same account. That way you wouldn't need to log out and back in to switch between accounts and you wouldn't be restricted with what you can and can't share.

No, I think this is about more than saves and achievements. I think it's them testing the viability of putting full games on the Steam market system.
You mean letting people resell their games? Short of a legal mandate that they must, I can't imagine Valve ever doing that.
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Old September 12 2013, 09:29 PM   #9
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Re: Steam adding Family Sharing

I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the German government has already told them that they have to, at least so far as their own citizens are concerned.

Regardless, IF they do go that route, I imagine it'd be Steam wallet transactions only. That's a win-win for Valve and for the publishers at least it'll mean there's a chance some of that money will end up being spent on their new games. I can also see them putting a limit on how soon after release a game can be resold (I'm thinking 6-8 months?) so as to not hurt initial sales. From what I gather that's more-or-less the crucial period in which most profitable games make back their money.
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Old September 13 2013, 04:18 PM   #10
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Re: Steam adding Family Sharing

ATimson wrote: View Post
Close. I don't think MS was going to be "only one person can touch the library at once" - I thought it was going to be on a per-game basis - but we didn't get far enough to get those kinds of details before Microsoft reversed course.
Microsoft's messaging was muddled on family sharing (and everything else about the Xbox One). Some interviews suggested you could share on a game-per-game basis, others suggested it was the whole library, like Steam is doing. I got the impression that MS hadn't worked it out themselves yet and were still working on the details with publishers, but they were in such a PR nightmare at the time that they threw the idea out there so that they could say something positive about their platform at E3.

Reverend wrote: View Post
I might be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the German government has already told them that they have to, at least so far as their own citizens are concerned.
Not Steam specifically, and not limited to Germany. The case was brought against Oracle to the European Court of Justice, and the court ruled that software licences could be legally resold within the European Union. On the back of that ruling, a group in Germany is bringing a class-action suit against Valve to try and force the ability to resell Steam games. If the case makes its way to the ECJ and is successful, it would apply across the EU.
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