In a big F-you to Microsoft, Steam has recently announced the new feature added to it’s digital gaming service – the family sharing plan. You can “share” games on the cloud to 10 designated friends. They can play the games whenever you want, as long as you aren’t already playing them. The downside, of course, is that you will not be able to share DLC, which belongs to the original owner of the game.
However, the good outweighs the bad. Sharing your games with friends is a great way to try out games you are unsure about before you spend money on them. Also, it’s a good way for indie games to get good exposure and to boost sales.
Microsoft seems to be the originator of the idea. When the XBox One was announced last May, the only decent feature of the console was the family sharing plan. Because of wide public dissent of the majority of XBox One features, however, the good and the bad features were nixed from the console. Perhaps this sparked Valve’s interest so the plan could be implemented on Steam.
The sharing plan is currently in closed beta, but will be available to all Steam members soon.