Loss Of Digital Games On PlayStation Is Why I Never Trust These Licenses

At least physical games have material evidence of ownership.

Story Highlights

  • PlayStation users have encountered a bug that erases all their digital library and purchases.
  • Although uncommon, it’s an indication that digital games are never truly yours and can be taken away.
  • Digital media may have pros, but it can never beat physical games in collection value and ownership.

Once again, I’m back to discuss the age-old debate of physical vs. digital games. Over time, such circumstances arise that essentially force me to return to this topic. What happened this time, you ask? All in due time, my friend. First, let me ask you this, what is your stance on this topic? Do you believe in the merits of physical games, or is the ease of access to digital games more up your alley?

If you ask me, I’ve said it before and will say it again: I’m pro-physical media. Call me old-fashioned or whatever you like, I’ll stick to this belief. I’m not denying the many advantages of digital games; all that I appreciate. However, I’d still like to own my games, as much as I can. Time has proven that digital games are fleeting purchases, and we’ve got a reminder of it once again with the recently surfaced PlayStation bug.

YouTube video

A Bug Is Wiping Users’ Digital Library On PlayStation

Now, to the topic at hand. I told you I’ll be discussing the reason for this discussion, so here it is. Recently, a peculiar bug has surfaced in PlayStation. This bug essentially wipes your library, meaning you lose access to the games you purchased from the PS Store. Your license to these purchases fails to verify as you sit there in the horror of a hefty loss.

In the last week, multiple users have reported coming across this bug and losing their purchased digital games. The number is not too high to make it commonplace; it’s still a rare bug. However, the fact remains that it does exist and is affecting players like you and me, who stand on the verge of losing their precious collections and authentically purchased digital games.

PSA: People are losing access to their digital licenses, and people need to be talking about it.
byu/dSuds2342 inplaystation

I’d like to add that this bug is not entirely unfixable. Having the receipts for your purchases and talking to customer support has helped some users reclaim their games. Similarly, some other people reported that extending their PS Plus subscription has fixed this issue for them.

PlayStation's bug is a reminder of digital games' fleeting nature
PlayStation’s bug is a reminder of digital games’ fleeting nature

Sony is apparently aware of this problem as well, as users over at the discussion forums reported that they were issued an apology in the form of a PS Plus Premium subscription, albeit a little reluctantly.

Digital Games And Ownership Crisis

Putting Sony’s response and the reason why it happened in the first place aside for a moment, let me take you to the implications of this problem. This is all a reflection of the dreadful reality of digital games; you never own them. Whether by mistake or intentionally, you’re bound to lose access to them one day, as they were never yours at any time.

You purchase a license to play that particular game, and it works for as long as the parent service behind it is running. The moment it goes under, well good luck to you. Just take a look at the recent shutdown of Nintendo’s e-Shop. It’s just one of the many reminders of what fate awaits all digital games.

Nintendo's e-Shop closure was a devastating blow to digital games and preservation
Nintendo’s e-Shop closure was a devastating blow to digital games and preservation

And it’s not like this is news to anyone. We all knew right from the start that digital games are never truly owned by anyone, and this dreadful reality is just a matter of time. No doubt digital media comes at discounted rates and subscription services have made gaming a lot more affordable and easy on the pocket than it was a few years ago. However, we can’t escape the inevitable.

Video game companies are even becoming blatant about this. Ubisoft believes you need to live with the fact that you can’t own your games anymore. So, will you? I don’t think I will.

And Ubisoft needs to get comfortable with not getting my money anymore
byu/Professional_Job1154 inpcmasterrace

Physical Games Are The Way To Go For Me

While it is a regrettable scenario and I feel bad for everyone affected by this, stuff like this is sort of a wake-up call. The uncertainty of owning your games is growing at a steady rate. It won’t be long before our game purchases are completely on the whims of the companies, they can cancel stuff whenever they want in order to extract more money from their consumers.

Coat it any fancy deals and price drops, digital games are not something you can own. At least with physical games, I have a proof of purchase sitting on my shelf. Plus, I can resell them to make back some of what I spent, and expand my collection with material things, not a license worth nothing when the issuer of said license ceases to function.

Who else still likes to buy their games physical here? I just prefer having them on my shelve rather than in my library on the console (not that i dont buy games on psn, i do both, but prefer getting games i really like physical or others when they are on sale)
byu/Ultimate_President inplaystation

Nightmarish scenarios like this bug in which people suffer great losses are what forced me to pursue physical games in the first place. What use is spending my money if I can’t even own what I purchase? It may not matter to Ubisoft if people own their games, but it does to me, and I’d like to keep it this way. 

Physical Discs and their material existence in my collection are the proof of purchase I need, and I’ll continue to support this medium.

Nothing beats Physical games' ownership value
Nothing beats Physical games’ ownership value

Digital Games Are Good, Sure, But They Shouldn’t Replace Physical

You know what’s even more dreadful? Soon we won’t even have a choice of what to get the way things are progressing. Unfortunately, physical releases are slowly being phased out. We’re steadily moving towards a digital-only future, where you can forget about owning anything you ever purchase with your money.

Games like Alan Wake 2 and Hellblade 2 don’t even have a physical release, because discs cost extra to manufacture. This was done to avoid the $70 price tag. That’s good, but mark my words soon games will go digital-only and still cost $70 anyway.

I’m not denying the ease and comfort digital games have introduced, but we should never lose the right to choose. I’ll still pick physical games any day, and a lot more people share my thoughts. Thus, physical games need to stay. Although physical games are not truly physical these days, they still have plenty of value as solid proof of purchase and ownership.

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Feedback From Our Fellow Gamers
Mark C.

If I am buying a game it HAS to be physical unless there is no chance of a North American release. If later on they do release the physical release of the game and it\'s good I will buy it for my collection.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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