Posted on March 3, 2014, Janelle Bonanno Valve Launches Steam Family Library Sharing
Back in September 2013, Valve announced that it would be adding new family library sharing functionality to its wildly successful Steam digital download service.
While the feature was sadly confirmed to come with some limitations, including the exclusion of several prominent games, the promised ability to connect with other user’s accounts and share games looked to add another chunk of value to the popular digital platform.
All of that said, Valve has recently announced that gamers looking forward to taking advantage of the new functionality can now do so. After enabling Steam Guard, users will now have the ability to authorize family library sharing on up to ten machines and connect with as many as five other users. Unfortunately, Valve has also affirmed the presence of previously announced restrictions, including the limitation of only one player being able to use shared game lists at a time.
In addition, the company also offered up some explanation as to what could happen to players who attempt to abuse family sharing. For instance, fraud or cheating committed by players sharing another person’s games could result in repercussions for both users. “Your Family Library Sharing privileges may be revoked and your account may also be VAC banned if your library is used by others to conduct cheating or fraud,” said Valve. “We recommend you only authorize familiar computers you know to be secure.”
All of this together arguably adds up to an interesting that’s presently far from being optimized. Granted, Valve has stated in the past that family library sharing is still a work in progress. That said, we’ll be interested to see how the company improves the feature as time goes on and what steps it takes to make it more robust and valuable part of the ever-evolving Steam experience.