Can video games that are purchased and played in the cloud be inherited?

Today many of the video games are purchased through cloud services which can only be accessed through a personal account that, when the holder user stops being able to use, for example, in the event of death, it becomes unusable and inaccessible despite containing products that have been purchased and are the property of said person, something that does not happen with games purchased in physical format and that contrasts with the position of social networks, which have their own procedures for when the owner dies.

He ‘cloud gaming’ or cloud gaming is a way of play video games through remote ‘hardware’, which corresponds to a company’s servers. Thus, instead of using a physical disk and installing the game on the device to play locally, it runs in the cloud and only requires an Internet connection to operate.

By not having the physical game, users are normally subject to the conditions established by each cloud service to be able to use the acquired titles. This is the case of the main video game development companies such as PlayStation, Xbox, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Epic Games o Valve, that offer online platforms where users can purchase titles, which are stored in their personal accounts and can be played through the cloud.

Taking all this into account, this system of ‘online’ platforms raises some questions about what happens to the games purchased when the account owner is no longer able to use this service for reasons such as, for example, his death, since no one else can access the purchased video games, not even if the owner so wishes.

An example of this drawback has recently been put on the table Valve, owner of Steam, who, in response to a user, has pointed out that does not allow the transfer of an account, nor from its library of titles, to another person, as stated in its policies. Not even if the owner user has died and you want to leave it as an inheritance, or allow other people to access your purchased video games.

As determined by Valve in its policies, Steam accounts and all the video games they contain are a non-transferable service, regardless of the situation. Furthermore, the Steam support “cannot provide another person with access to the account”, nor can you merge access with another account.

Following this line, the company also clarifies that the profile in question should not be shared or allowed to be used by other users, “except if Valve expressly authorizes it.” In fact, if you allow another person to access the account, for example, by sharing your access credentials, you would be violating the provision on account confidentiality.

Therefore, the company has confirmed that, In the event of the user’s death, the Steam account cannot be transferred through a will and, with this, all the video games it contains become obsolete.

Europa Press has contacted PlayStation, Ubisoft, Xbox y Nintendo to know what would happen to the user accounts and their products purchased on their respective platforms in the event of death, but They have not been able to offer an answer.

However, They maintain policies very similar to those of Valve. For example, as specified PlayStation on its Terms and Conditions of Use page for its PlayStation Plus service, “with the exception of any rights expressly granted, All rights to PlayStation Plus content are reserved by Sony Interactive Entertainment, its partners and licensors.”

It also indicates that games downloaded through PlayStation Plus are available to play as long as you have a valid subscription and the game is still available on the service. Nevertheless, In case the subscription expires, no service can be used.

In this sense, it is likely that when the user dies, the subscription ends up ending and, therefore, full access to the account and the video games is lost. That is, the Use of these video games ends when the user dies.


Unlike video game platforms, other ‘online’ services, such as Social networks do have their own policies about what to do when an account owner dies.

It is the case of platforms like Instagram or Facebook, which have options that allow these profiles to be preserved for the family and friends of the user in question. This option is known as commemorative accounts.

As Instagram explains on its help page, users can notify the platform when an account becomes that of someone who has died. Thus, they have two options: request it to be converted to a memorial account or permanently delete the profile.

In the event that a memorial account is requested and the company must evaluate a request with a document proving the death, like an obituary or an obituary in the newspaper. After that, the account becomes commemorative and the social network carries out actions such as Avoid references to this profile appearing that could sadden friends or family.

Likewise, the profile is also blocked in order to protect the privacy of the deceased. However, this is not deleted so that your social media memories are also preserved, just as photos of loved ones are preserved in real life.

Furthermore, it must be taken into account that, although the death of the user has been confirmed, the company You cannot provide the login information for said memorial account.

In the case of FacebookIn addition to commemorative accounts, it also allows select “legacy contacts”. That is, profiles of other users who, when the account holder dies, can continue managing their profile.

As explained on its help page, legacy contacts will take care of the profile of the deceased if it becomes a memorial. Thus, the selected contact can accept friend requests and change profile and cover photoamong other issues.

WhatsAppfor its part, does not offer the same options, but rather It only allows you to delete the account of the deceased. However, if the user’s death is not reported, WhatsApp will end up canceling the account after a period of uselessness.

Lo The same happens with X (former Twitter) and Discord, that provide an option for a family member or an authorized person communicates the death of the user and, after that, the profile and all its publications are deleted.

By Editor

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