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Learn, Steam - GOG's gaming marketplace will allow you to inherit your account, but there are nuances to it

Learn, Steam - GOG's gaming marketplace will allow you to inherit your account, but there are nuances to it
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After the publication by Ars Technica that Steam accounts are not inherited after the death of the owner, the GOG game store informed the site that is ready to help users transfer their accounts in case of their death, but mentioned complex legal nuances.

"In general, your GOG account and GOG content are not subject to transfer. However, if you can obtain a copy of a court order that specifically grants someone the right to your personal GOG account, together with the digital content attached to it, taking into consideration the licensing agreements of the specific games in it, and which specifically relates to your GOG username or at least the email address used to create such account, we will do everything possible to make it happen," said GOG spokesperson Zuzanna Rybaczuk.

In the absence of a mandatory court decision, there are several factors that, according to GOG, make it difficult for them to transfer an account at the request of a user (or according to the user's last will and testament). At the core is the fact that GOG accounts and content fall under limited personal licenses without the right of transfer - "This is standard for digital services and products," Rybaczuk noted. Additionally, each game distributed on GOG may have a separate End User License Agreement, which may separately determine the extent of rights granted to the game user.

Furthermore, there is the issue of legally establishing the fact that a specific account belongs to a specific person. "As you probably know, GOG does not collect information sufficient for true identification of a specific individual, such as name or marital status. For this reason, we cannot establish whether someone is associated with a specific user or that a specific user has passed away," Rybaczuk said.

Even sworn statements from the user's estate executor, clearly outlining their wishes, would not be sufficient for full legal coverage.

"Because this is an especially complex and delicate matter, we will need to provide a legal basis for the actions of the executor, which specifically concerns the GOG account and regulates this GOG account and possibly associated content as part of such estate,"

GOG says they will act cautiously in such situations as it is a particularly delicate issue with virtually no legislative guidance. The policy related to the transfer of digital property rights is "[insufficiently] comprehensively regulated by any specific laws, and therefore we are bound by general legislation in this regard".

"We are ready to deal with this situation and preserve your GOG library, but currently we can only do so with the help of the judiciary system."

However, GOG is aware of several court decisions where certain individuals were allowed to inherit online accounts. This implies a court decision as a "possible option, with our readiness to address such situations in accordance with our mission to preserve games."

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