PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Switch Online make a lot of money from auto-renewals – repeating subscriptions that may not be actively in use by the user. Now the UK government is requiring the gaming giants to be more transparent about these auto-renewals stating that the companies may not take payment from an idle account.
The Competition and Markets Authority investigated Sony and Nintendo and determined that auto-renewals are not a user-friendly option. Thus, Nintendo Switch Online will now require users to opt-in for auto-renewals.
Sony, however, has bigger plans. The PlayStation creators will monitor whether PlayStation Plus accounts are actively in use. If an account is idle, they will contact the user and provide information on cancellation. Further, Sony plans to stop accepting payments for accounts that are not canceled but continue to be idle.
CMA And Xbox Auto-Renewals
Several months ago, the CMA investigated Microsoft and asked that it make Game Pass subscription options easier for users to follow. All three gaming companies have complied with the CMA’s requests on auto-renewals. However, these changes will not necessarily take effect outside the UK.
“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,” Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at the CMA, said, according to GameIndustry.biz.
“Today’s announcement, therefore, concludes our investigations into the online video gaming sector. Companies in other sectors which offer subscriptions that auto-renew should review their practices to ensure they comply with consumer protection law.”
Gaming Companies Stand Strong
In recent news, Sony recently partnered with metaverse giant Niantic to create an unparalleled AR experience. Additionally, the company unveiled the PS VR2 in February, which may be compatible with PCs.
In Addition to new partnerships and product unveilings, the three gaming companies are all standing with Ukraine after the Russian attack. Likewise, Nintendo has delayed the release of Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp due to the game’s themes being too similar to the current conflict.