In 2007 I decided that in the event of my death--be it tomorrow, next year or 30 years from now--I don't want my WoW Accounts to die with me. So, I'm wondering if perhaps a provision could be added so that when someone expires or knows that their time to live is short (or something similar) they could legally transfer ownership their WoW/B.Net Account and License(s) to someone else. A sort of Digital Will, if you will (no pun intended).
For example let's say I have a friend who'd like to play WoW/StarCraft II/Diablo III (all ofwhich I play) and knowing I won't be around to play with them, I want to transfer ownership of the licenses to them. In this way the accounts live on and in the case of WoW the burden of maintaining the subscription is transferred to them.
Another example I'll use: Let's say I play with a family member who just started playing WoW with me but I die suddenly. Before I died I designated them as "inheriting" my account should I die. All of my licenses are then transferred to their account and like in the above example, the burden of maintaining the subscription is transferred to them.
Now let's go over how this could be carried out by both Blizzard and the inheritant:
- New and Existing Account Owners would be given the choice of opting in or out of designating someone as being granted ownership of your account and licenses in the event of your death. Should they opt in, the account holder must submit a letter or legal document signed by the existing account holder, the inheritor and one or two witnesses or an attorney to Blizzard either physically or digitally before it becomes legally binding.
- When the account holder dies, the inheritor and the attorney who signed the contract should contact Blizzard in a timely manner to inform them of the death and bein license transferral.
- Immediate family members (parents, spouse, children, etc.) designated to inherit the account will have ownership transferred free of charge weather they have a B.net account or not. Anyone outside that group including friends, etc. must pay a transfer fee depending on weather or not the recipient has a B.net account.
- If the recipient (excluding immediate family) has a B.net account they must pay a surcharge depending on what games and/or expansions they own already:
A: WoW: $5 Plus an additional $15 to upgrade the account to the most current expansion ($20 total) and 30 days added to the WoW License per license that can only be added to the inherited WoW license(s).
B: StarCraft II: $10 plus an additional $10 to upgrade the account to the most current expansion ($20 total) per license.
C. Diablo III: $15 plus an additonal $10 to upgrade the account to the most current expansion ($20 total) per license. In additon records associated with the RMAH are deleted.
To make sense of the above, let's look at my own account. I have two WoW accounts upgraded to MoP (both active right now), a third WoW account upgraded to WotLK (currently inactive), a StarCraft II Account (getting HotS too WOOT) and a D3 License thanks to the Annual Pass. If someone outside my family were to inherit my account today and wanted to play my four active accounts, they'd be paying $75. Add $20 and the cost of Cataclysm and MoP (We'll assume standard so that's $70) if they wanted to play my third WoW account and the total's $145.
Notice I left out one important detail: The WoW subscription. Weather they're family or not, if the account had game time left at the time ownership is transferred they inherit the remaining game time for that pay period. If the account is inactive when ownership is transferred, immediate family inheritors get 90 days free game time. Everyone else does not.
Regardless of which category the inheritor belongs to they will still need to set up a subscription plan.
Thoughts and Opinions Welcome.