We all love PS Plus, it gives us a bunch of new games every month for a low annual subscription fee. These games can range from big Triple-A published titles, to never-before-heard indie titles to PlayStation exclusives. The service has been around for quite a while now, so you would expect Sony to have figured out all the kinks. Most have, except for one, one that might actually benefit us more than Sony.
Sometimes they give away the wrong game, only to change it back to the right one a few hours later.
Lets take the most recent month of Plus games. One the PS Vita titles was Legends of War: Patton, a turn-based strategy game published by the History Channel, with a PSN Store price of $24.99AUD. But when it came time to grab the new games the day they were released, Plus subscribers were greeted with Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign, a totally different game originally made fro the PSP. What is especially interesting is Patton’s Campaign has a price of $44.95AUD, almost double to History’s game. Not to mention that the correct title was completely removed from the PSN Store for a while. Sony eventually fixed the problem and now everyone can grab the correct games. But what does this mean for us, the consumers?
Well, it means we can’t take the announcement via the PlayStation Blog as the absolute gospel anymore. But it also means early birds might be treated to a little something extra each month if they pick up on the mistake before Sony. Patton’s Campaign isn’t the first time this has happened either, a few months ago KickBeat was announced as another Vita title however, when we looked at the list, all three versions of KickBeat were available on Vita, PS3 and PS4.
Now, it might seem like I’m complaining about free games, and I am to a certain extent. Customers should know what to expect each month and throwing a curve ball like this can cause some anger throughout the PlayStation community. Nor does giving away ~$45 of free games for a day without any announcement sound like a sound business strategy for anyone involved.
Sony aren’t the only ones to give away a free game with no announcement, last month Eurogamer reported Max: The Curse of Brotherhood was available for free for no real reason. it was quickly removed with no real announcement from Microsoft but a number of sites did report on the game. This mix up is far more egregious than what Sony has done, since Kickbeat is normally cross-buy anyway and Sony was aiming to only give away the Vita version. And the closeness in titles between Legends of War: Patton and Legends of War: Patton’s Campaign boarders on copyright infringement.
At the end of the day, Sony and Microsoft are going to fix any of these problems so it’s up to us to take advantage of this and grab a hold of the free games that aren’t meant to be free. These problems will become unacceptable if Sony continue to wrongfully give away games previously unannounced, especially if the developer are not made away of the error and properly compensated.