Having pledged to prolong subscriptions for users affected by recent PlayStation Network outages, Sony announces that it will start distributing extensions this week.
Sony has announced that it will begin distributing extensions to PlayStation Network subscriptions for users affected by the recent outage. Affected users are advised to check the email address linked to their PlayStation account, as notifications are being sent out imminently — but the extension will likely activate automatically.
Earlier this month, PlayStation Network services spanning the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PS Vita were all put out of commission for almost 24 hours. Everything from online storefronts to social functionality and online play was affected, with widespread confusion as to what exactly caused the fault.
Sony quickly pledged to extend any subscriptions affected by the outage, the same response that the company has made when similar situations have arisen in the past. Movie and TV rentals were included in the ruling, but it’s likely that PlayStation Plus subscriptions will be the top priority, particularly for users gaming on a PlayStation 4.
As 2015 was getting underway, Sony was forced to implement a very similar strategy in apologizing to players for outages suffered over the festive period. However, that scenario arose from a targeted DDoS attack perpetrated by hacker group Lizard Squad, which also managed to briefly interrupt Microsoft’s Xbox Live service.
A similar attack was threatened again ahead of Christmas 2015, but December 25 came and went with little disruption to either PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. However, the group that made the threat — known as Phantom Squad — would later take credit for the outage affecting Sony consoles.
Whatever the circumstances of the attack itself, it’s difficult to see any other option for Sony than to extend any subscriptions affected by the outage. In this console generation, it’s increasingly clear that monthly engagements are the preferred revenue stream for many of the larger entities in the video game industry.
Of course, Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus memberships are the first examples that comes to mind — but the success of EA Access, and its recent expansion to the PC, suggests that there are more to come. The enormous success of subscription services like Netflix and Spotify have perhaps opened the floodgates for video games to follow suit.
The only way that these services can flourish is giving users the confidence to enter into a monthly subscription. If outages are going to affect their access, then it’s more than likely that consumers will drop out of the arrangement, so it’s smart for Sony to be proactive in making things right.