Gamers Are Getting Concerned About Leaving Their Libraries When They Die

gamers death

Gamers don’t die, they respawn – right?

Recently, a debate was struck up online when some Steam users took an interest in what happens to their library of games when they pass away. It was a topic that was picked up with Valve, who subsequently confirmed that nothing happens – they can’t pass the ownership of your account to someone else or ‘merge it’ with someone else’s library if you die, and it can’t be transferred via a will.

Now, gamers are getting increasingly concerned about what happens to their game libraries when they die.

Be Prepared

In a recent report published by RespawnFirst, the team at GOG – a competing storefront to Steam – was probed about this topic, with the RF squad asking what would happen to their library if they were to suffer from an untimely passing.

GOG was a little more forthcoming and lenient than the stricter employees at Valve:

In general, your GOG account and GOG content is not transferable. However, if you can obtain a copy of a court order that specifically entitles someone to your GOG personal account… we’ll do our best to make it happen. We’re willing to handle such situations and preserve your GOG library, but currently need the help of the justice system.

RF also discovered that Epic Games won’t transfer your account to another user in the case of your death, either. But what about other platforms and providers? In 2022, 89.5% of all games sold in the United Kingdom were digital, so there are vast libraries out there stacked to the brim with titles that true gamers wouldn’t want to go to waste.

For the most part, it seems as though when a gamer dies, they take their libraries with them. Of course, if you’re able to get into their account and change the details, you’re more than welcome to what’s there, but it’s a shady way to secure someone’s gaming collection posthumously. In almost every scenario, the platform provider won’t transfer an account to another user or merge gaming libraries – which could ultimately mean that hundreds of games and thousands of dollars go to waste.

PlayStation’s terms suggest that when someone dies, their account and library are left to fade into the abyss. It’s a similar situation for Xbox users, but there are some suggestions online that talk about Nintendo being open to allowing an executor of an estate access to digital profiles.

The long and short of it is that users should find some way to make their account details known before they pass – if that’s at all possible. If not, there doesn’t seem to be any legal basis that requires providers to open up their accounts to next of kin or any family members or close friends. In this increasingly technical world, it’s not that uncommon to see people leaving their digital treasures to those they bid farewell to when they leave this mortal plane.

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