Steam Introduces Family Sharing

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#101 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1377 posts) -

I sure do like gaming on the PC! Thanks Gabe!

#102 Posted by GERALTITUDE (2857 posts) -

Man I said this would happen years ago and that gaf leak a few months ago was the last straw. In the next 3 years you will be able to give away digital games. Sound crazy? Keep watching this spot!

#103 Posted by PrimalHorse (71 posts) -

Better to have it than not though? Why do people complain about MORE options. This is great for me and my housemates, now we basically can share all our steam accounts around with ease, will make convincing people to get into the games we play as a house easier.

#104 Posted by CaLe (3897 posts) -

It's of no use to me personally but it's great that they've added it.

#105 Edited by Vuud (1943 posts) -

So if the game's on a family sharing plan, who gets the trading cards?????

Online
#106 Posted by Adaurin (186 posts) -

Valve does what Microdon't?

#107 Posted by Lanechanger (443 posts) -

Now my nephew suddenly got access to soon to be 500 games! This is sick! O.o

I need professional help to rid myself of my steam-game hoarding -.-

Holy crap and I thought I had a problem with my count of 280 games! .... well I guess I'm ok to buy more games then.

#108 Edited by Lavs (22 posts) -

This explains why steam has moved all of the files from individual user folders into a single common folder. I bet it is to make it easier to have multiple steam accounts for family members who play using steam in Big Picture Mode on a TV but still let them play the same games.

#109 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3720 posts) -

@adaurin said:

Valve does what Microdon't?

No, not really.

@primalhorse said:

Better to have it than not though? Why do people complain about MORE options. This is great for me and my housemates, now we basically can share all our steam accounts around with ease, will make convincing people to get into the games we play as a house easier.

Not complaining from me, but still waiting for them to do right by digital. And when you saw Microsoft having a better policy and then this being way less interesting then that's too bad. Hopefully it gets there eventually.

There are a lot of convinces that are overlooked with digital when people say all your rights are gone... I don't ask for the moon. I think just letting one guest access my library, any game I'm not playing, would be a good look.

#110 Posted by zipperface (71 posts) -

I like the idea, but locking you out of the entire library instead of just the game that's being played kind of stinks. I do most of my gaming in my office at home where I have my PC, but I built an HTPC in the main room which also has Steam installed. This would be a great answer to cloud save and logout issues when using Steam on multiple computers in the household. It'd be a lot more useful if it just locks people out of games currently being played, then I could play DotA 2 while the lady freaks out at Super Hexagon on the big screen in the living room.

#111 Posted by milkham (16 posts) -

@squaretheroot: microsoft also didn't tell us dick all about it how it would work. none of the real details.

#112 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1526 posts) -

@fwpx said:

I was super excited when I read the first few paragraphs, but this actually makes my particular scenario worse.

My wife loves Dragon Age: Origins. Loves it. She's probably beaten it 8-10 times now. She's always asking to play it, it's on my Steam account, so I let her just log on and play it. She is super against (and logically so) me buying her a copy because it's a waste of money. Why would we spend money on a copy for her if she can type 8 digits into steam and get access to it? So I thought this plan would finally solve that, until I read that only one user can access the library at a time. Now, if she's playing DA:O and I want to play a game, i just log in and boot her off of steam and the game keeps running. With this, she would be forced to quit out? Dumb.

This is just a more restrictive, more secure way to share your games. No thanks.

At some point people have to be reasonable though ... If this was just instant access for 10 people to a library at the same time that would be awesome, but long term it would be terrible especially for smaller developers.

If you view this as an extended demo-feature its probably closer to what it's supposed to be. If Valve is smart, and I think they are, they will just have discounts on games seperate from regular discounts.

Lets say you play one of my games and I boot you out by starting another one ... if they just have the message: "You can't play any longer, but hey, how about you buy this for 20% off", thats what would make people buy the games they like and also make sense for developers.

Online
#113 Posted by cruxking (204 posts) -

well, without the ability to allow multiple people to play different games from the same library at the same time. This is not really going to be some big advance for me. i"d like to be able to let my friends and family access my games library, that sounds great. But if that means i cant my own games at the same time that's going to result in me having to ask my friends and family to stop playing alot. that doesn't sound like fun.

#114 Posted by MetalBaofu (1343 posts) -

@cruxking said:

well, without the ability to allow multiple people to play different games from the same library at the same time. This is not really going to be some big advance for me. i"d like to be able to let my friends and family access my games library, that sounds great. But if that means i cant my own games at the same time that's going to result in me having to ask my friends and family to stop playing alot. that doesn't sound like fun.

The way it sounds the account owner gets priority. The guests will automatically be kicked off when you log in to play something. Still could lead to them asking you to not play something so they could, though.

#115 Posted by Ezakael (909 posts) -

Seems a little restrictive but the only person I would be interested in sharing my library with is my dad, and he doesn't play enough for it to be that much of an issue. So I'd be interested in trying this out.

#116 Posted by PenguinDust (12436 posts) -

It's a work-in-progress, so I'm not going to come down on it too hard right now, but if there can only be one person using the library at a time, it won't solve the bigger problem which is families wanting to play games at the same time. I agree that two people shouldn't be able to play the same game from the same account at the same time, but there is no reason why one can't play Civ 5 while someone else is playing Rayman Legends.

#117 Posted by mlarrabee (2871 posts) -

See this eyebrow? It's up.

Not at Valve, but at the people who couldn't stand this thing when Microsoft wanted a better, freer version of it.

#118 Posted by thebunnyhunter (1347 posts) -

Seeing how i split my time between PC/Console this could be pretty awesome for one of my friends

#119 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

Microsoft does it and people flip out saying it's bad. Steam does it and everyone's excited. Bunch of hypocrites. But hey at least I can sell my used game on Steam....oh wait.

#120 Posted by iAmJohn (6107 posts) -

@lordofultima said:

@zombie2011 said:

Guys we should hate this! Remember when MS was going to do this and you all bitched and moaned.

That's not why people bitched and moaned. They took it away as some imaginary crux, like we can't have both used game sales AND family sharing. lol

Which was entirely true. You couldn't have both.

Was entirely bullshit then. Is still entirely bullshit now.

#121 Posted by ISuperGamerI (1880 posts) -

@danielheard said:

All the Giant Bomb crew just got emails from long lost "family".

Haha that's clever, good sir!

#122 Posted by ISuperGamerI (1880 posts) -

@metalsnakezero said:

How soon will become self-aware and becomes skynet?

Skynet is already upon us, in some cases.

#123 Posted by Krixok (156 posts) -

@jdh5153: Removing functionality vs adding functionality. You must not be very smart if you can't see a difference.

#124 Posted by MindGrinder (46 posts) -

Um, whoa. This will put a dent in their sales. o_O

#125 Posted by MajorToms (366 posts) -
#126 Posted by Sergio (2037 posts) -

There are some people here who mistakenly think people were upset at Microsoft for the notion of sharing games digitally. This was not the case. You are either being disingenuous or ignorant of the reason why people were upset at Microsoft over the Xbox One's policies.

Online
#127 Edited by VaddixBell (226 posts) -

I really like the idea, but I'm potentially concerned for lots of indie games that are like 3/4 hour experiences. There's a lot of these games people buy during the steam sales, but if people who would potentially buy the game for 5 dollars may feel no point if they've already played it before.

I think it's a great feature but it could end up making publishers add another layer of DRM just so they can't be shared or something.

Online
#129 Edited by Silver-Streak (1328 posts) -
@sergio said:

There are some people here who mistakenly think people were upset at Microsoft for the notion of sharing games digitally. This was not the case. You are either being disingenuous or ignorant of the reason why people were upset at Microsoft over the Xbox One's policies.

Correct. As far as I know, everyone liked the family sharing plan. Microsoft took it away as they said it was locked into the 24 hour online Checkin, which was required regardless of what you did. Everyone hated the 24 hour mandatory check-in. Anyone who somehow thinks people hated the sharing plan is highly confused.

So long as Steam doesn't do away with Offline mode to enable this (or, say, disables sharing while offline mode is enabled on the main account, which would be fine), this potentially shows that Microsoft's reason for taking it away (and method of online check-in) was flawed.

#130 Posted by Parsnip (1074 posts) -

Seems a little pointless the way it's going to be implemented.

#131 Posted by AlexGlass (688 posts) -
@eujin said:
@sergio said:

There are some people here who mistakenly think people were upset at Microsoft for the notion of sharing games digitally. This was not the case. You are either being disingenuous or ignorant of the reason why people were upset at Microsoft over the Xbox One's policies.

Correct. As far as I know, everyone liked the family sharing plan. Microsoft took it away as they said it was locked into the 24 hour online Checkin, which was required regardless of what you did. Everyone hated the 24 hour mandatory check-in. Anyone who somehow thinks people hated the sharing plan is highly confused.

So long as Steam doesn't do away with Offline mode to enable this (or, say, disables sharing while offline mode is enabled on the main account, which would be fine), this potentially shows that Microsoft's reason for taking it away (and method of online check-in) was flawed.

But in MS's case it didn't just apply to digital games. I would imagine the 24 hour check-in is basically what allowed for physical discs to be installed and then shared as digital games. Without that, you'd have people installing a game, share it, then keep playing or even sell the physical disc. That's one way to constantly check for the same game copy popping up on multiple consoles.

Don't see why Steam would need that.

#132 Posted by Confirm4Crit (138 posts) -

@mindgrinder: I don't think so. Think about it.

I add you, you're playing one of my games. I want to play something, anything, and you're booted.

#133 Edited by Silver-Streak (1328 posts) -

@alexglass: Yep. Although, in Microsoft's case, they could just do exactly what's Steam's doing, in that if someone is using your shared library, they're kicked out if you start playing a game.

That would work for sharing digital games. The fact that they're treating every game as a digital game is sort of a flaw in how they approached it, as people have an expectation to be able to trade in/resell their physical console games based off decades of precedent.

It would be kinda neat if they had an opt in system. e.g.: treat physical games like they've always been, and basically treat the disc as a key required to play the game, with "game sharing" only possible if you lend someone the actual disc, upon which you can't play until you get the disc back.

If someone opts-in (I.E. buys a fully digital download copy of the game), they could do the game sharing system similar to what they originally had planned(or what steam has just announced). This would eliminate the need for online-check-ins for physical discs, but still allow sharing, and in turn promote digital purchases for the benefits it allows.

#134 Posted by TPoppaPuff (237 posts) -

Don't know if anybody pointed this out, but...

I realized the nefarious plot Valve has set up. Valve takes a minimum cut of all Steam card sales. Most go for a few pennies and valve gets just 15% of it, but the minimum Valve gets off each transaction is always 1 cent (it's safe to assume the other penny fee is going towards card/paypal fees Valve has with them or something similar). This many new cards would saturate market with the value 7 or 8 cent cards (the average) going down to 4. That's quite a drop off, but Valve is only making a penny off the 7/8 cent cards and would make that same amount if it's only worth 4 cents. So if they get plenty of people earning and buying and selling new cards, they've created a much bigger revenue stream through sheer number of new cards being earned and sold.

Also, I fully expect others to create dummy account to re-earn new cards to "trade" to their main account and sell them from there. You know people will do it. People will want to do it, and Valve wants you to do it as well.

#135 Posted by TheHT (10804 posts) -

Don't know if anybody pointed this out, but...

I realized the nefarious plot Valve has set up. Valve takes a minimum cut of all Steam card sales. Most go for a few pennies and valve gets just 15% of it, but the minimum Valve gets off each transaction is always 1 cent (it's safe to assume the other penny fee is going towards card/paypal fees Valve has with them or something similar). This many new cards would saturate market with the value 7 or 8 cent cards (the average) going down to 4. That's quite a drop off, but Valve is only making a penny off the 7/8 cent cards and would make that same amount if it's only worth 4 cents. So if they get plenty of people earning and buying and selling new cards, they've created a much bigger revenue stream through sheer number of new cards being earned and sold.

Also, I fully expect others to create dummy account to re-earn new cards to "trade" to their main account and sell them from there. You know people will do it. People will want to do it, and Valve wants you to do it as well.

In other words, 10 years from now Valve will own your soul.

#136 Posted by TheHT (10804 posts) -

Don't know if anybody pointed this out, but...

I realized the nefarious plot Valve has set up. Valve takes a minimum cut of all Steam card sales. Most go for a few pennies and valve gets just 15% of it, but the minimum Valve gets off each transaction is always 1 cent (it's safe to assume the other penny fee is going towards card/paypal fees Valve has with them or something similar). This many new cards would saturate market with the value 7 or 8 cent cards (the average) going down to 4. That's quite a drop off, but Valve is only making a penny off the 7/8 cent cards and would make that same amount if it's only worth 4 cents. So if they get plenty of people earning and buying and selling new cards, they've created a much bigger revenue stream through sheer number of new cards being earned and sold.

Also, I fully expect others to create dummy account to re-earn new cards to "trade" to their main account and sell them from there. You know people will do it. People will want to do it, and Valve wants you to do it as well.

In other words, 10 years from now Valve will own your soul.

#137 Posted by Brackynews (4037 posts) -

Dammit the site ate my comment. :p Moving on.

#138 Posted by FMinus (389 posts) -

This is pretty useless as some have mentioned. When you share, you're locked out of your whole library. What's the difference between just giving your login/password to your family memeber and let them get access that way - yes it's less annoying with the email confirmations and what not, but not much else.

My sister lives in Austria whilst I'm in Slovenia, and we quite regular exchange my account between each other. She has her own kids who like to play games I have and since they are not yet able to buy games for themselves and the gaming addict I am, I got a lot of games, so I share them with my sister. She gives me a Skype call I tell her the email confirmation code and she is ready to go to let her kids play on my account.

Also I have 4 PCs in my own household and every PC is running Steam with either my or my girlfriends account, so our kids can play.

This is exactly the same shit, sans the email confirmation bugging.

What they should do, is allow per-game allowance on games, so I can allow my sister to access some games she wants her kids to play, while I can still play other games on my account, now that would be something I would look forward to.

But as said the way they propose it is kind of yeah cool, i can share it easier now, but "meh sister, are your kids done, can I get back on my account and play some?" "nah brother, give them an hour more" - it's still gonna be that.

#139 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1316 posts) -

My friends who want to play games while their husbands/wives play other games have to buy two copies or buy games outside of steam or use offline mode. It's nuts.

It's a little more clunky than what microsoft proposed, but the important thing is they will prolly go through with this whereas the microsoft stuff seems to have been put away for now while people stop complaining about it. People love steam so even if this is in fact kinda a lamer version of what the Xbox One was gunna do it will help people open up to trading and sharing digital games.

Nothing about this stuff is nuts, it's additional functionality to what doesn't exist already... it's LESS nuts than where we are at now, which is nowhere. Right now you can't do any of this stuff, you'd have to share your actual account info to other people and work out weird ways to play on schedules where they are not etc. This Steam stuff allows a bit more flexibility because you can have separate accounts access the same game when shared.

#140 Edited by kiwi_whisker (125 posts) -

@fminus: at least they cant buy more content. It seems like a read-only thing.

#141 Posted by ipaqi (72 posts) -

C'mon, valve. This isn't the important thing. This isn't the thing that might harm you business-wise, but still needs to be done, b/c it's the right thing to do.

You need to get trading in your system if you want to even halfway fake caring about your consumers.

#142 Posted by krabboss (288 posts) -

A solution for co-op games really needs to be found.

#143 Posted by xbob42 (480 posts) -

@fminus said:

This is pretty useless as some have mentioned. When you share, you're locked out of your whole library.

The fuck are you talking about? You're never locked out of your own library. If someone's using your library and you log in, they get a few minutes to buy the game or exit it. There's a big difference between deciding to stay off so your wife can play and being "locked out."

#144 Edited by Sweep (8790 posts) -

@patrickklepek: "but strangers things have happened"

*Stranger

This news is pretty awesome though. It's annoying when both my brother and I have to individually buy copies of a game even though we are both sitting in the same room while playing.

Moderator
#145 Posted by KrypticKiller (190 posts) -

Come on people! Just because it's from your friendly neighborhood game company does not mean you have to think it's amazing. Lets call it for what it really is, a Steam time share. Could be that I'm selfish but I don't want to schedule out my game time anymore than I have to.

#146 Posted by aerobatics (33 posts) -

So what's the difference between this and just sharing a steam account?

#147 Posted by ShockD (2393 posts) -

I don't see the difference between this and simply sharing my account with somebody. Except when I really share it (give him name & pass), the person can play all of my games not just chosen titles. So yeah, most likely bullshit.

#148 Posted by Crysack (292 posts) -

Completely pointless as long as they keep the restriction wherein you can't use any of the games in your library without booting the person playing a game with your shared library out of his game. May as well just share the account and have the other person use offline mode even if it does break the Steam ToS.

#149 Posted by Sergio (2037 posts) -

@eujin said:
@sergio said:

There are some people here who mistakenly think people were upset at Microsoft for the notion of sharing games digitally. This was not the case. You are either being disingenuous or ignorant of the reason why people were upset at Microsoft over the Xbox One's policies.

Correct. As far as I know, everyone liked the family sharing plan. Microsoft took it away as they said it was locked into the 24 hour online Checkin, which was required regardless of what you did. Everyone hated the 24 hour mandatory check-in. Anyone who somehow thinks people hated the sharing plan is highly confused.

So long as Steam doesn't do away with Offline mode to enable this (or, say, disables sharing while offline mode is enabled on the main account, which would be fine), this potentially shows that Microsoft's reason for taking it away (and method of online check-in) was flawed.

But in MS's case it didn't just apply to digital games. I would imagine the 24 hour check-in is basically what allowed for physical discs to be installed and then shared as digital games. Without that, you'd have people installing a game, share it, then keep playing or even sell the physical disc. That's one way to constantly check for the same game copy popping up on multiple consoles.

Don't see why Steam would need that.

Considering Microsoft controls the databases saving this information, they could easily flag games as digital-only and disc-based. Then they could allow the sharing of digital-only games kind of how one can lend out Kindle ebooks. Person sharing the game has to go online in order to lend the game to their friend, then the game is flagged in the cloud and on their system as being lent out. Person borrowing the game has to go online to receive an initial authorization that the game was lent to them. Again that information is saved in the cloud and on their system. The first person can't play the game online or offline until the second goes online and deauthorizes his lent copy. It's no longer an always-online solution.

They could have also gotten around the whole used physical disc and sharing situation by requiring the disc be in the drive to boot the game up.

Online
#150 Edited by Goker (4 posts) -

@wh1terav3n: Xbox One version wasn't way better than this because it simply did not exist. When people reacted to all the other things Microsoft wanted to do, the idea of family sharing got scrapped with the rest. We don't actually know what Microsoft would have done with Xbox One family sharing.

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