Sony will pester you before you’re charged, and Nintendo will turn it off by default
Subscription auto-renewal practices, in an era where nearly everything is a subscription service, are a pain.
The UK Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has been looking at individual publishers this year, including the “big three” of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. The former reciprocated back in January, but Sony and Nintendo have yet to answer: until now. According to GamesIndustry.biz, the two titans will now acquiesce with new procedures for auto-renewals.
So here’s how Sony and Nintendo are changing the subscription auto-renewal process:
- Sony will bug PlayStation Plus subscribers ahead of time, and instruct users on how to cancel their service (and will not charge users who are not using it).
- Nintendo will automatically turn off auto-renewal at the time of purchase, instead of the prior default toggle of “on.”
CMA executive director of enforcement Michael Grenfell notes that their job is done, at least for the time being: “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.”
While auto-renewals have been contentious in just about every industry, they’ve been a hot-button issue for a long time in the world of gaming. Microsoft has tangled with lawsuits dating back more than a decade for Xbox Live, and just earlier this year they got ahead of this current situation; implementing some new auto-renewal guidelines in January.
It’s a small win, but a win nonetheless.