Steam Says No Bequeathing Accounts When You Die, Users Must Be Buried With Their Games Like The Pharaohs Of Old

Steam Says No Bequeathing Accounts When You Die, Users Must Be Buried With Their Games Like The Pharaohs Of Old

If you were planning on starting a family feud over who inherits Grandpa’s stacked Steam library, Valve has weighed in – you can’t bequeath a Steam account to someone in your will.

As first reported by Ars Technica, one ResetEra user discovered the interesting ruling after asking Steam Support whether they could transfer their Steam account to someone else via their will in the event of their death. Computer apparently says ‘no’ on this one, according to the support response – your games die with you.

“Unfortunately, Steam accounts and games are non-transferable,” Steam Support replied. “Steam Support can’t provide someone else with access to the account or merge its access to another account…I regret to inform you that your Steam account cannot be transferred via a will.”

This is in line with the user agreement and previous responses on the same topic, with one forum user last year confirming that Steam Support had advised that “your account is yours and yours alone,” and while it can be shared with family members, it can’t be given away. This new response paints a much clearer picture about whether a Steam account can be inherited, though.

While your Steam library probably isn’t the first thing you think of when drawing up a will, it’s clearly a scenario playing on enough people’s minds for multiple users to be sniffing around for answers. If you, too, were wondering what would happen to your purchased games and account on your death, there’s no real clear-cut answer for what the solution might be.

While technically you could just write down your log-in details and pass them on to a loved one without going into estate affairs, this does go against the conditions of the Steam Subscriber Agreement. “You may not reveal, share, or otherwise allow others to use your password or Account except as otherwise specifically authorised by Valve,” the agreement says. You also can’t sell or charge others for the right to use, or “transfer any Subscriptions other than if and as expressly permitted by this Agreement… or as otherwise specifically permitted by Valve.”

The agreement even specifically notes that disclosing your login to someone else is “in violation of this confidentiality provision,” just to make it even more clear where Valve stands on the issue. 

It looks like anyone planning to bequeath their estate, up to and including their Steam account and library, will have to think up some other solutions unless they want to run foul of the Subscriber Agreement. Of course, violating Steam terms and conditions is probably the least of your concerns when you’re dead – so bequeath at your own peril, I guess.

Image: Nick Brundle / Valve / Kotaku Australia

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