PlayStation rewards big spenders with better customer support

Photo of a PlayStation Store display.

Photo: CFOTO/Future Publishing (Getty Images)

PlayStation Stars, a free Sony rewards program announced in Julyunfolds slowly around the world—it is currently live in Asiawill reach the Americas on October 5, and Europe, Australia and New Zealand will receive service on October 13. Not so gently, PlayStation could push players to join the program by deciding to prioritize customer service requests from high-ranking members. , the Japanese game website automaton said.

According to a translation of the site, one of the features of “PlayStation Stars” is that the status level changes depending on the activity. Participants start at Tier 1. Purchasing a full game from the PS Store and earning a trophy with a higher than normal rarity will propel you to Tier 2.” Buy four games at full price and earn 128 rare trophies and you will reach level 4, which includes this automatonor rather its translation, described as an “interesting” perk. “In addition to getting various digital items, when contacting PlayStation customer support, the chat order will be ‘prioritized’. People who play are given higher priority when responding to inquiries. This is a interesting mechanism.

Interesting and a little outrageous. Although you can sign up for PlayStation Stars for free, PlayStation said in his blog announcing the program’s arrival in Asia that levels are determined by both “the number of uncommon trophies earned for gameplay as well as full game purchases from the PlayStation Store”. So, if Level 4’s “priority” customer service feature is rolled out internationally, support requests around the world could be ranked based on which user took the longest time to earn trophies. or whoever threw more money at poor Sony Interactive.

Responses to this news, as shared on Twitter by automatonweren’t too thrilled. As VGC reports, one person answered commenting that “customer support should be equal”, noting that “there are people who like a few titles and play them, and there are players who can’t afford the money or the time”, while another said “I don’t think it’s a good idea to prioritize customer support. I bought a PS5 just to FF16and rejected the idea that it makes it acceptable to delay their help in favor of customers who have spent more and played more games.

PlayStation doesn’t go into detail about tier-based perks in its announcement blog, and its US landing page for Stars does not mention levels at all. Instead, he explains some of Stars’ other most anticipated loyalty perks, including rewards for completing campaigns, “digital collectibles” which thankfully don’t appear to be understatement NFTs, and points. redeemable loyalty rewards, which PlayStation Plus members earn automatically with every PS Store Purchase (this is the only additional benefit for Plus members).

Back to the outrage – PlayStation also wrote in their announcement blog that “Once you reach a status tier, you will stay there for the rest of the calendar year plus an additional 13 months”, so a tier member 4 Stars is guaranteed to improve Customer Service for over a year. Since PlayStation’s US Stars page doesn’t mention levels, this could be a regional feature, but it’s still grossly unfair. Pay to win was bad enough, now we have to pay for support?