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GOG games can be inherited upon death, but you’ll need a court order

A hot potato: Formerly known as “Good Old Games,” is a digital store offering both classic and modern(ish) games that can be easily installed without an internet connection. Despite its focus on digital preservation, the CD Projekt venture still lacks a comfortable way to transfer ownership if a gamer passes away.

Valve recently stated that a Steam account and its entire library of digital games cannot be transferred to a third party, even if the original owner has died. Now, GOG is addressing the issue, confirming that the ownership of digital content is a very complex topic. The digital store is willing to help customers interested in passing on their gaming legacy, but they will need to involve a judge to do so.

According to GOG spokesperson Zuzanna Rybacka, a GOG account and content purchased on the store are generally non-transferable. However, if a customer can obtain a court order stating that the account can be passed on to someone else, GOG will assist with the matter, considering the EULAs for each game cited in the court order.

Rybacka confirmed that GOG accounts function similarly to other online services related to digital products, with limited, personal licenses that are non-transferable by default. Furthermore, GOG doesn’t collect enough information to identify a specific person behind an account, let alone their family members or relatives.

GOG is on a mission to make games “last forever,” but the company cannot truly know when someone has passed away. There are not enough established policies around the transfer of digital ownership to different people, and even including one’s GOG game library in a handwritten will cannot help in this regard.

According to GOG’s spokesperson, there are a few existing court cases where someone was successful in inheriting an online account. This is why the company considers a court order a viable alternative. GOG is “willing” to handle such situations to try and preserve a game library for the next generation, but they will not proceed without a court order.

Despite the complexities surrounding digital games and online accounts, GOG operates in a way that makes game preservation much easier compared to Steam. The store provides an option to download fully offline game packages, which can then be installed, copied, and preserved on external storage media by the account’s original owner or their relatives.

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