You can’t leave your Steam backlog to someone else in your will

By admin May28,2024

The sheer number and scale of video games released nowadays means that the infamous Steam backlog is better-fed than ever, gorging on half-played hundred-hour RPGs, never-touched indies amassed during summer sales and “I’ll get to it one day” PC pipe dreams. If you were hoping to task your descendants with continuing your quest to get all 1,700-plus achievements in Tales of Maj’Eyal or maintain your ranked leaderboard position in Dota 2, bad news: it turns out that you can’t pass on your Steam library after you die.

The legal detail was recently discovered by suitably-titled ResetEra user delete12345 and shared by Ars Technica, after they contacted Steam support to ask whether their Steam account could be bequeathed in a will. Steam Support’s answer confirmed that, nope, both accounts and games on Steam are non-transferrable, so they can’t grant access to someone else or merge your library into another account in the same way as handing down your records or forcing someone to take possession of your lifelong collection of novelty steins.

If you were thinking “well, I’ll just leave them my password instead”, technically you’re not allowed to do that either. Steam’s terms and conditions specify that “you may not reveal, share, or otherwise allow others to use your password or Account except as otherwise specifically authorized by Valve”. (That officially includes by writing your password down, as the terms point out later on.) While Valve might arguably be swayed by your heartfelt plea to hand on the complete Leisure Suit Larry series to your loved ones, by the letter of the Subscriber Agreement, you’d have to get explicit permission first.

Now, obviously, literally writing down your password on a bit of paper and giving it to someone is something that Valve is unlikely to ever know about, even if it technically breaks the user terms – something you might not be so fussed about once you’re dead. Steam has also introduced its own built-in ways of sharing your game library with family members, with the added benefit that they can then play on their own account rather than giving your friends list a shock when you log in after passing on. But in terms of easy, convenient ways to hand on your digital game library, it seems there isn’t one at the moment. Best achievement-hunt while you can.

By admin

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