Soon, gamers who wish to share their selection of Steam games with family members or close friends will be able to do so through a new feature Steam is introducing called Steam Family Sharing.
Steam Family Sharing is “a new service feature that allows close friends and family members to share their libraries of Steam.” Members will be able to play one another’s Steam games while earning their own Steam achievements and saving their own save files and application data to the Steam cloud by authorizing one 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 machine is authorized, users of that machine will be able to access, download and play games from the Steam library of the lender. Users won’t be able to simultaneously play games from a single library, however. If the lender decides to start playing a game his or her friend or family members is currently borrowing, he or she will be asked to either purchase the game or quit playing after a few minutes.
The feature will become available next week, in limited beta on Steam. You can express your interest in participating by joining the Steam Family Sharing group right here.