Valve announced an upcoming service called Steam Family Sharing today, which will allow Steam users to share their games with friends and family.
“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,” Valve’s Anna Sweet said, in part. “Family Sharing was created in direct response to these user requests.”
According to the FAQ for Steam Family Sharing, a user can authorize their entire library for use by friends and family on up to 10 different computers. This includes games and their downloadable content, however users will not be able to purchase additional DLC for games they don’t own.
Only one user will be able to access a shared library at a time and the lender will retain priority access. If another user is playing and the lender logs on, that user will be given “a few minutes” to buy the game, or quit. Regional restrictions will still apply, and not every game will support Steam Family Sharing.
The limited beta will begin next week, and those interested can join the Steam Family Sharing community group for a chance to be granted access.