Both Nintendo and Sony are changing their online subscription renewal systems following an investigation from the UK government.
The changes essentially make it harder for people to unknowingly pay money towards PlayStation Plus or Nintendo Switch Online, as reported by Gamesindustry.biz, after the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into automatic renewal practices.
Sony will contact customers who haven’t used the service in a long time to show them how to cancel their PS Plus subscription. If users neither cancel themselves nor return to the service, Sony will stop taking payments altogether.
Nintendo, on the other hand, will no longer have automatic renewal set as the default option when customers sign up to Nintendo Switch Online, meaning they will have to manually activate the feature themselves.
Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at the CMA, told gamesindustry.biz: “As a result of our investigations, a number of changes have been made across this sector to protect customers and help tackle concerns about auto-renewing subscriptions.”
Microsoft made changes to its Live Gold and Game Pass subscriptions in January when the government investigation was first launched.
It agreed to give better upfront information about automatic renewal, offer refunds to customers who renew accidentally, contact and cancel inactive memberships (like Sony is now doing), and give clearer notifications about price increases.
Sony announced an overhaul of its PS Plus service last month and as of June it will feature three different tiers ranging in price from $59.99 to $119.99.
The subscription services across all three consoles offer a number of free games. PlayStation’s April line-up is headlined by Hood: Outlaws & Legends, Xbox’s Games with Gold by Another Sight, and Nintendo recently added Mario Golf to its N64 library.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.
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Author: Ryan Dinsdale