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Wretched Ride: PS4 Driveclub Game Rental Tied To Paid Subscription 93

Posted by timothy
from the utility-company's-involved-too dept.
MojoKid (1002251) writes "The upcoming PS4 game Driveclub is making waves for reasons that have nothing to do with its gameplay or development status. In a new video, the company has spelled out its free trial and upgrade policies, and the requirements are a doozy. First, the good news — PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to download a demo of the game that contains a few maps and one trial area, India. If you choose to upgrade that version, the full title will cost you $50. Here's the catch — that purchase is tied to your Playstation Plus subscription. In other words, if you stop paying Sony the official $49.95 a year for PlayStation Plus, you lose your $50 game. This is completely at odds with how PlayStation Plus membership is supposed to work. It contradicts Sony's official FAQ, which states that: 'Any content you purchase with a Plus discount is yours to keep, regardless of you membership status.'"
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Wretched Ride: PS4 Driveclub Game Rental Tied To Paid Subscription

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...but apparently not to play.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:20PM (#46952417)

    This seems to be an unintended consequence of having an online-only game relying on service that is provided for a monthly fee. This wouldn't be an issue with the PS3 as online game play wasn't restricted to Plus subscriptions. I would have thought that people would have learned by now from the failures of EA/SimCity.

    • Did EverQuest, World of Warcraft, or any other subscription MMORPG cost money to "buy" at launch?
      • by flitty (981864)
        Nearly all MMO's have required a purchase of $60 with a free month included. Newer "Free-to-play" MMO's are usually offered for free to download, but have very heavy restrictions on what you can do, much like this Driveclub thing.
      • by AK Marc (707885)
        Yeah, you "buy" the game, but "rent" the servers everyone else connects to. Connecting to unofficial MMORPG servers is (or should be) legal for the client, but probably illegal for the person running the server. The client owns the game. But not the servers that you connect to. But disabling a "owned" game with local play (like Diablo III) is bad form.
        • Black-box reimplementations of the servers shouldn't be illegal, any more than reverse engineering any other protocol would be. Connecting to one might violate a click-through contract you "signed" once, and get your account banned from the official servers, sure, but it should never violate the law.

      • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @04:23PM (#46953175)

        Did EverQuest, World of Warcraft, or any other subscription MMORPG cost money to "buy" at launch?

        All of them. It's very rare that a non-freemium MMO doesn't have a purchase price.

        I do not think they are even remotely comparable to this though. For that monthly fee, you're getting something. There's in-game support, constant development of new areas, improved rules, GM events, etc... You're paying to keep the online servers up, and the development to continue. MMO's are an entirely different animal than other games.

        I'd compare it to buying a bowling ball. If you buy a basket ball, you know you can use it where-ever, even setup your own hoop. Buy a bowling ball and you're totally aware that to play that game it's going to cost you $20 every time. It's part of the deal and you understand it. But what this developer is doing is akin to selling you a basketball with a coin slot on the side. You have to put coins in, but you get nothing in return. It's just a money grab.

        • Buy a bowling ball and you're totally aware that to play that game it's going to cost you $20 every time. It's part of the deal and you understand it. But what this developer is doing is akin to selling you a basketball with a coin slot on the side. You have to put coins in, but you get nothing in return. It's just a money grab.

          Well you say that but it is possible to set up your own bowling alley and some (rich) people do have their own home alleys. However, if you decide not to pay for your PSP subscription there is *no way* to set up your own server as Sony is unlikely/disinclined to allow you to do so.

          Of course this issue is already in existence with games like Titanfall on the Xbox One which is online only although with that game the requirement for an internet connection and monthly subscription is patently obvious.

          IMHO

    • I would have thought that people would have learned by now from the failures of Sony.

      Fixed, but sadly, still broken.

    • by Narishma (822073)

      There are plenty of PS4 games that are online-only but don't require PS+.

  • It's the loophole (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cdrudge (68377) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:23PM (#46952451) Homepage

    Any content you purchase with a Plus discount is yours to keep, regardless of you membership status.

    Official response: Well you didn't purchase it, you licensed it.

    Silly consumers...

    • by mlts (1038732) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:27PM (#46952503)

      Translation: " I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by Minwee (522556)
      "You get to keep it. We never said you could play it."
    • change (Score:5, Funny)

      by dlt074 (548126) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:45PM (#46952707)

      if you like your video game, you can keep your video game.

    • by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:51PM (#46952801)

      If we license the content, why are replacement discs the same price?

    • Re:It's the loophole (Score:5, Interesting)

      by _xeno_ (155264) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @05:02PM (#46953633) Homepage Journal

      I don't think that's the loophole, actually. Since technically as far as Sony cares you license everything, the physical disc just gives you a "license" to use the software on it.

      No, the distinction is that the "unlock" is "DLC" and the full version is a "game."

      One of the "perks" of a PSPlus subscription (in fact, the only perk prior to the PS4) was that you'd get discounts on the PlayStation Store and that sometimes you could get free games. If you got a "free" game through PSPlus, you only could use it while you have an active PSPlus subscription.

      Well, guess what? The demo version of this game is, in fact, a "free" PSPlus game. It's only available to PSPlus subscribers. So as soon as you drop your PSPlus subscription, you lose access to the demo.

      And the "full unlock" is DLC to said "free game," so if you drop your PSPlus subscription, you lose access to the entire game as you can no longer play the "base" game (the "demo").

      This whole thing strikes me more as laziness than out-right maliciousness. Someone realized it screwed people over, and then rather than try and fix it by making an exception, Sony said "fuck it" and reverts to screwing customers over, in typical Sony fashion.

      Still malicious (they could fix it, after all), but with a nice helping of being too lazy to fix a problem they clearly recognize exists.

      • The demo version of this game is, in fact, a "free" PSPlus game. It's only available to PSPlus subscribers. So as soon as you drop your PSPlus subscription, you lose access to the demo.

        And the "full unlock" is DLC to said "free game," so if you drop your PSPlus subscription, you lose access to the entire game as you can no longer play the "base" game (the "demo").

        This whole thing strikes me more as laziness than out-right maliciousness.

        Yeah laziness, and Sony thinking that people are going to need PS+ to play DriveClub online anyway and thusly wouldn't be worried about losing access and thus getting the game 10 bucks cheaper.

        I have some of those PS+ freebies and if someone asked me "What happens when your PS+ subscription ends?"

        My answer would be: "I'm not planning on it ending, I pay by the year."

        I figure they'll either fix this, maybe by making the "base game" accessible to everyone not just PS+ subscribers, or start charging a fee fo

      • by Xest (935314)

        Yep, this is the difference between XBox Live and PlaystationPlus.

        Basically, both offer users free games, Sony tends to offer about 12 months worth releasing one a month IIRC (been a while since I looked at my PS3) so you have a nice set of choice to download at any one time and you have a year to grab them. You can keep playing them as long as you keep paying for PSPlus.

        In contrast, Xbox Live's Games with Gold program only has one free game at a time, it releases 2 a month changing game half way through th

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Always carefully read the contact "yours to keep", they did not say you would be able to use it. So allow your membership to lapse and you can't use it, renew your membership and maybe you might be able to use it again. In other countries where fit for purpose laws exist, it should result in a smack down ie the game is no longer fit for purpose, in the US of course without fit for purpose consumer laws this just means sucked in.

  • by NotDrWho (3543773) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:25PM (#46952481)

    You know, the one that made fun of MS for trying to pull shit like this.

    • by AdamThor (995520)

      Oh, uh, you weren't actually expecting anyone to actually back away from a model like this, were you?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:30PM (#46952521)

    Actually, this is 100% in line with the FAQ. The PS+ version of the game isn't a demo. It's a low-content version of the game with a full trophy set. The $50 is DLC to add the missing cars, countries, and tracks to the PS+ version. The $60 version is a release which contains all of the above. You still own the $50 DLC. You just don't have access to the base game to be able to utilize that DLC. It's the same as any number of other games released on PS+. For example, LittleBigPlanet 2 has the Cross-Controller Pack, which provides you the ability to use a Playstation Vita as a second screen and a controller for the game that has unique play functionality. The pack also includes exclusive content (costumes, items, etc). If you let your PS+ subscription lapse, you can no longer play LittleBigPlanet 2, but you do still own the Cross-Controller Pack. You can no longer DO anything with that pack, but you do still very much own it, and regain access to its functionality if you resubscribe at some point.

    Think about it this way. If you bought Diablo 2 and the Lord of Destruction expansion, and later sold Diablo 2, you would no longer be able to utilize the content of Lord of Destruction. It's the same thing, people.

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      You're explaining a loophole. I wouldn't say it's not a contradiction. It goes against the idea Sony had in mind.

      • by Guppy06 (410832)

        Sony said something. How customers interpreted it and what Sony had in mind need not be the same thing (and often aren't).

        • by omnichad (1198475)

          Won't matter if Sony closes the loophole.

        • Sony could close the loop hole by letting customers keep access to any PlayStation Plus games for which they had bought additional downloadable content, even if they cancel their PS Plus subscription. Or maybe have some threshold of DLC like $10 or $20 to enable keeping the game.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      $50 seems like a lot for DLC. I don't have a modern console so I'm really asking if it is reasonable. $50 for an add-on that is reliant on a subscription to have any value seems excessive.

  • Market Opportunity (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Akratist (1080775) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:36PM (#46952597)
    Someone needs to really cash in on the idea of games which a) don't require you to buy a bunch of in-app purchases to actually beat the game, b) are yours to keep after you've paid the publisher/retailer some money, and c) don't make you feel like you just got raped after buying it. In other words, turn the clock back to the 90s before all the money grubbing got completely out of hand.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Buy a Wii.
    • They try, and then these companies buy them with all the hordes of cash they are making off schemes like this. This is happening precisely because people fall for it, and they make lots and lots of money.

      • by bws111 (1216812)

        Ha-ha! Good one! You are saying if you were to develop a game as described, some big mean company could just buy you out without your consent?

        The companies get bought because they are grubbing for money just like everyone else.

    • You've just described most real games, as opposed to smart-phone crap. What does the 90s have to do with it? If the "got raped" comment means you're cheap, buy games from Steam sales.
    • by praxis (19962)

      There are many such games. I played one last night, it's called Faster Than Light. I played another one last week, it's called Baldur's Gate. I played another one last month, it's called The Banner Saga. In fact, I play games often, and I have not purchased anything that didn't make sense to purchase and I have yet to run out of quality games to play in my lifetime. My backlog is so long I'll never finish it. Vote with your wallet, there are tons of good choices out there.

  • PS+ and DLC (Score:4, Informative)

    by robmv (855035) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:37PM (#46952613)

    This is standard on PS+, if you get a "free" game via PS+ (all games received for "free" are tied to your subscription, PS+ discounted ones aren't) and you buy DLC for it, the DLC becomes unusable if you end your PS+ subscription. Sony tells you that when you hit the download button for one of those "free" games. You can buy the base game later if you don't want to continue paying for the PS+ subscription, and then your DLC will be usable on that game. I am a PS+ subscriber, I avoid to buy DLC for the "free" games for this reason, but everything is perfectly clear on the store when you buy.

    • by adolf (21054)

      That actually looks like a very fair way of doing things.

      But, according to TFS, this isn't about DLCs as they're commonly. The "base game" is a PS+ entity ("demo"), and apparently cannot be purchased separately or used without a paid-up PS+ account.

      • by robmv (855035)

        Interesting, then they only need to sell the base game for like 10$ and problem solved. Let's see if this is fixed, It is somewhat torelable to ignore a small 5$ DLC, but not a 50$ one if you close your PS+ subscription

        • by Talderas (1212466)

          The issue sounds more like the base game is being loaded under demos, thus costs nothing, rather than under the store where you purchase items. Unfortuntaely, demos are tied to PS+ accounts. The answer seems more like that if instead of a free demo you should list the item for sale at $0.

      • Re:PS+ and DLC (Score:4, Informative)

        by robmv (855035) on Friday May 09, 2014 @08:46AM (#46958099)

        Looks like they fixed the offer [playstation.com]

        UPDATE: Our priority for DRIVECLUB is to enable you to play and enjoy everything it has to offer and PlayStation recognises that the prior plan for DRIVECLUB entitlement for the upgrade to the PS Plus edition was not appropriate. As a result, we have adjusted the PlayStation Plus terms for DRIVECLUB.

        Now, If you intend on downloading DRIVECLUB PlayStation Plus Edition, and upgrading to the full game experience, you will have access to the full game even if your PlayStation Plus subscription runs out.

  • It's Sony. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 6Yankee (597075)

    Why are you surprised?

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:41PM (#46952645)

    You try to bullshit me with your contract, I'm not entering it. Keep your game, I keep my money, let's see who can rather afford it.

    • by genner (694963)

      You try to bullshit me with your contract, I'm not entering it. Keep your game, I keep my money, let's see who can rather afford it.

      I normally take this attitude but Sony is breaking laws here. There needs to be a lawsuit at the very least.

  • Sony's not doing this to us. We're doing it to ourselves. Stop accepting DRM. Don't subscribe to PS Plus. Don't "buy" this game. Goes for Steam, too.
  • by Sandman1971 (516283) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @03:49PM (#46952761) Homepage Journal

    Sony is really crapping the bed with the PS4. Very few games compared to XBox One, more exclusives going to XB1, dropping free multiplayer in PSN+, and now things like this. All things that PS fanboys used to make fun of in regards to Xbox. It's like they took most of what was great at the PS3 and did a full 180. Whereas I'm finding the XB1 to be a fabulous platform.

    (Disclaimer: I own both a PS4 and Xbox One and I'm not a 'fanboy' of either companies. Just calling it like it is)

    • by turp182 (1020263)

      Interesting use of the phrase "crapping the bed". Obviously "crapping the bed" isn't a phrase one should use often, that would only serve to dilute its effectiveness.

      Very similar to "dropping the ball", except picking the ball back up is far easier than washing one's self and the bed sheets...

    • by vux984 (928602) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @04:00PM (#46952875)

      Honestly, I think both are crapping in the bed, and refuse to buy either. The exclusives are largely just uncreative re-hashes.

        Meanwhile, IMO, the PC is going through a bit of a gaming golden age right now.

  • just buy that and you should be OK

    God forbid some of you should leave your homes once a month and melt in the sunshine. or have to wait a whole extra day if you buy the game from amazon

  • by Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @04:18PM (#46953117)

    People fled gaming-PCs because of all the bullshit: obtuse DRM, all the half-done buggy games that need to be patched to be playable, the annoying installations and so on.

    Consoles now have way more bullshit than the old-school PC gaming ever had and this is why people will start to leave consoles for another platform (probably steam.)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Just my humble opinion. People fled PC Gaming because of botched, half-baked DRM schemes that only treated paying customers as criminals. When it became far more cumbersome to install a legitamately owned copy of the game than it was to simply pirate and play, consumers turned to the easier methods to play their desired games. I think this is part of what made XBox Live so popular, here was an unobstructive means to play games with friends (or enemies across the globe) that did not require an individual jum

    • by khchung (462899)

      People fled gaming-PCs because of all the bullshit: obtuse DRM, all the half-done buggy games that need to be patched to be playable, the annoying installations and so on.

      I take it you don't play console games, else you would have known that people fled gaming-PC because of the constantly escalating system requirements (what? my 2 year old PC is too slow for this new game already?!), headaches about driver compatibilities ("My game crashes a lot" -> "which video card are you using?"), blatant and widespread cheating, and of course, buggy games that are partly due to wide variety of hardware/OS combinations that are impossible to test for.

      Console, for better or worse, have

  • So, this seems like a seriously stupid purchase choice. The unlock, however, is "DLC" for a game that is available from PS Plus, and therefore subject to further PS Plus membership. For $10 more, however, you can just purchase the silly game outright. I assumed the $10 more option was going to be the only way to get the whole shebang from the beginning. Having said that, considering the outrage, perhaps Sony/Evolution should just forget this option and offer a $10 discount to PS Plus members, considering th
  • ratchet?
  • - Pay for the system.
    - Pay for the game.
    - Pay for a subscription to an online service so you can play the game.
    - Pay for additional content to add to the game.

    Pay, pay, pay, pay more, pay more again. It's like bringing the arcade experience of feeding quarters home. Is this really progress?

  • Join a community and help develop/run/use open source games. Unlike movies or other entertainment with enough support OS games could flourish with the right community behind them. The cost of development is no where near what a movie would be even something like say Pioneer 1.

    Support the used game market, since the 80's even 90's 8bit + systems there's 1000's of games out there that probably 90% of gamers don't know they exist.

    How about using Kickstarer to fund development of game systems/emulators that wil

  • Your contract with Sony obviously came before your contract with the makers of DriveClub, and Driveclub's contract goes directly against the contract with Sony..

    Sue the makers of DriveClub for tortious interference of contract. It's an open and shut case. You can't lose unless you do something stupid like make a filing error.

  • And they fixed the issue. Now if you upgrade the PS+ demo with the DLC, you can keep playing the full game even if you let your PS+ subscription lapse...which is the behavior everyone wanted. Figured they'd do it.

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