Steam is finding a way to take local multiplayer online, apparently recognizing that sometimes couch co-op isn’t an option. This new option will allow users to play any kind of multiplayer game without the other person needing to be in the same room.
Valve revealed the feature, called Remote Play Together on the Steamworks website, which is only accessible to developers. PC Gamer later revealed its existence to the rest of us. Valve’s Alden Kroll described it as such on Twitter: “This will allow friends to play local co-op games together over the internet as though they were in the same room together.”
Steam Remote Play is its streaming software, which allows you to play games running on your PC on other devices. Previously it’s been something that’d only work with devices hooked up to the same network. Remote Play Together would considerably expand this, as PC Gamer adds, “All local multiplayer, local co-op and split-screen games will be automatically included in the Remote Play Together beta.”
Adam Spragg, the developer of a stealth party game called Hidden in Plain Sight also revealed more details about the feature from a Valve email, including that it’s intended to “add value to multiplayer games which do not already have native online capabilities.” That would seem to indicate it’s not going to require any extra work from developers, which is always nice to see.
"This feature is designed to add value to multiplayer game which do not already have native online capabilities…"
"When the friend accepts an invitation to play, it's as though they're playing side by side at the same machine."
This is fantastic!
— Adam Spragg (@AdamSpragg) October 9, 2019
If I had a nickel for every tweet, Reddit thread, or forum post begging for an online multiplayer mode in a game that doesn’t already have it, I’d be rich enough to buy the Half-Life IP and finish it properly.
The most convenient part — if you’re like me and most of your gamer friends are only accessible via the internet — is that apparently only one of you needs to actually own the game. Whomever hosts the session can invite anyone to play alongside them. It’ll apparently work by streaming the host player’s screen to the other players. How surreal will it be to see splitscreen in a game you’re playing online?
Personally, I look forward to finally tapping the talents of my overseas friends in order to help me beat Cuphead‘s Hard Mode. Y’all know who you are: your time is nigh.
According to Polygon, Remote Play Together will enter the Steam beta week after next.