Sony Will Allegedly Take Your Games Away For Misbehaving, User Banned From PSN and Can't Play Purchased Games
This is an unconfirmed rumor at this point, but it appears someone has been temporarily banned from the PlayStation network for posts they've made in the PlayStation community. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, it's a private community and they're free to handle it however they like. But, the person who was banned is claiming that they can no longer access the video games they've already paid for while the ban is active. Mainly because it's claimed the ban for the social media post also affects the ability to connect to the servers that verify your ownership of your games that you've purchased.
It's unclear what was originally posted, but the alleged suspension email claims it was for "Hate speech or other hateful content, including racism, sexism, xenophobia, or hate directed at religious beliefs, cultural identity, gender identity, or sexual orientation."
Regardless of what was posted, this is a very worrying precedent that a video game platform can take your video games away because of things you've said online. Maybe you agree with the ban and removing and punishing those types of comments. But the fact remains that we can see a company taking away things someone has paid for because of things that were said. It's possible for people to lose access to hundreds or thousands of dollars of games over this. And, if these allegations are true, it means that maybe you should invest in another gaming platform if you have any sort of controversial opinions.
This is a very bad sign of the digital age of gaming, where consoles have become so locked down that the company running the console can deny you from your games. It's sad, I have several older, non-connected systems and no matter what happens, besides a hardware failure, I'll have access to play those video games. No one can take away my physical media on a console that is not connected to the internet. Imagine what would have happened if Nintendo or Sega could cut your access to your NES, SNES, n64, Genesis, Master System, Saturn or Dreamcast games because you did something they didn't like. That's terrifying, and it's a huge threat to preserving video game history.
Coupled with Sony's latest binge on censoring video games, for dubious reasons as "avoiding lawsuits" and not wanting mature content shared on their sharing platform, this is very worrying.
It also leaves us with questions, like, can Sony permanently ban your PSN account and block your games? They have the infrastructure in place to stop people from playing games, can it be abused, say in a case where they want to force people onto PlayStation 5 so they disable PlayStation 4 games? This is very worrying.
All of this is alleged right now, with only the original claim and some screen shots to back it up. But this is sure to develop into a larger story with more details coming to light. As someone with a Switch and a PC, who was on the fence about a PS4 or PS5, the fact that Sony may have such control over their platform that they can stop me from playing games I've purchased is enough to steer me away.