Steam says you can't pass down your account in a will

A recent conversation with Steam seemingly indicates that trying to give a Steam library to a loved one through a will could face problems.

Steam says you can't pass down your account in a will as digital game collections are not inheritable since digital distribution limits ownership as users buy a license, not the product.

Digital distribution in general often carries the limitation that users aren't really buying the product, but rather buying a license to access it, which can potentially be removed at any time.

As digital libraries for games, movies, books, and other media continues to replace buying physical copies, how do you feel about the realization that you don't actually own any of what you've paid for?

Do you think you should be able to resell or transfer your digital licenses?

If a distributor revokes a license for any reason, do you think you should get a full refund at any time?

Parents
  • I'm not surprised at all, that's how digital licenses work.

    I definitely have issues with developers being able to kill a game you bought by pointing at the license. But for reselling it's trickier - I think one thing most people don't appreciate about digital licenses is that it's also how we get crazy Steam/Epic/GoG sales so often. A lot fewer developers/publishers are going to agree to discount their game 25-75% for a week if it's effectively just creating a scalpers market when it goes back up.

    Only allowing free transfers sounds nice in theory, but in practice that's still going to end up with sales because there is no way to prevent it.

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  • I'm not surprised at all, that's how digital licenses work.

    I definitely have issues with developers being able to kill a game you bought by pointing at the license. But for reselling it's trickier - I think one thing most people don't appreciate about digital licenses is that it's also how we get crazy Steam/Epic/GoG sales so often. A lot fewer developers/publishers are going to agree to discount their game 25-75% for a week if it's effectively just creating a scalpers market when it goes back up.

    Only allowing free transfers sounds nice in theory, but in practice that's still going to end up with sales because there is no way to prevent it.

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