A new Steam feature will reportedly allow players to play local multiplayer games online. As in, games that had previously only had local multiplayer, Steam will allow online players to join up. The feature is apparently called Remote Play Together, and it's coming sooner rather than later.
The news of this upcoming features comes courtesy of video game developers discussing an email from Steam this week that revealed its existence and clarified how it would work, and for what sorts of games. Notably, the email apparently mentions that games that aren't explicitly designed for local play as best played in the normal way, which could mean the level of polish on Remote Play Together doesn't stand up to the same level of scrutiny. It is, after all, only announced for as a beta.
Hidden in Plain Sight fans... BIG NEWS! 🚨🚨🚨
Steam is coming out with a new feature called "Remote Play Together", allowing local-multiplayer games to be played online! Only the host needs to own the game, and can invite remote friends to play online!— Adam Spragg (@AdamSpragg) October 9, 2019
"Your local multiplayer games will soon be improved with automatic support for Remote Play Together on Steam," the email to developers reportedly reads, according to a post over on Unity's forums. "Remote Play Together is a new Steam feature that enables two or more players to enjoy local multiplayer games over the internet, together. We think this feature will be very valuable for customers and developers and are excited about the beta."
According to the same message, every single "local multiplayer, local co-op, and split-screen games" are set to be included when the beta launches the week of October 21st. Given how soon this is, if it all pans out, there should be an official, public announcement very soon, though there does not seem to be just yet. The most recent post on the Steam Blog is all about Steam Remote Play, so it certainly appears to be a priority in general.
What do you think about Remote Play Together? Are you excited to play local co-op games online? Let us know in the comments, or hit me up directly on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk all things gaming!
It is unclear when, exactly, this feature might release on Steam, but a beta is expected in the next couple weeks. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the digital storefront and distribution platform right here.