A lot of the time it’s not even about “can afford”. Parents will never want to shell out for a copy for each kid, “just let your brother have a shot” is pretty standard. The result, historical, y was account sharing, and the game support folk left to try and mediate messes when someone’s sibling threw a tantrum and deleted the other’s character or some such. The whole concept of family share is to mitigate that: one copy can be shared without account sharing. So, it’s not just poor people or those who want to get out of paying, it’s people who have no say in the matter and will wind up sharing a copy anyway. Yes, account sharing is against EULAs for everything ever, and yes, as time goes on parents are trending towards greater understanding and familiarity with games, but none of that will change the fact that family share literally protects games companies and players from ‘known third party’ compromises and is purely a good thing for everyone.
Now, the fact that I can claim any random friend who has a game I want to play but not pay for as ‘family’ is questionable, but it does pose problems in terms of data protection - especially given the variances in legislation worldwide - and how much Steam can reasonably ask to be given to prove it, and that’s before you account for people who have non-traditional families (eg my partner lives with me, he is my family, but we aren’t married, don’t share a surname, and basically can’t prove anything except we both live at the same address…so do roommates count, or is our family ‘invalid’? What about the lady across the road, whose partner works away and only gets to come home for one week a month, so his official address is far away from her and his kids, is he not a part of their family because if how much he sacrifices for them?). There’s an honour system, to a degree, which means they don’t risk invalidating those kinds of families, but means some folk can take advantage. Maybe it could be tighter without posing genuine people problems, but it could never be strict enough without being unfairly exclusionary.
Fair enough, me and the mister each bought our own copies because we never considered the share feature, but there are undoubtedly others in the same situation who were smarter than us, and it wouldn’t be right to punish them to take the easy way out. Again, yes, people are abusing the system, but stopping that by stopping legitimate gamers is not a reasonable response.
That said, I do agree there should be some accountability. Much as only the offending user should have account actions like bans, the key itself should be either invalidated or blocked from future sharing. If the sharing parties are truly ‘family’, then they can sort out repayments for having to buy a new key between them. I’m sure the ne’er-do-wells will eventually run out of suckers willing to repeat-pay for them to cheese things, or get bored of having folk huckle them for £40 every other week.