If you happened to have been lingering around on the Official US PlayStation Forum lately, you may have noticed a brick-load of abuse suddenly popping up towards Sony. Diving in head-first, it’s pretty difficult to understand what’s going on. Never fear. We popped our heads in and rummaged around to understand the apparent chaos. Just expect to see a return of the Home angry mob.
Blame Bomberman. On the 19th June, the US Home held an event for 100 lucky Home users to grab a free copy of Bomberman Ultra from the US PlayStation Store. Throughout the day, pieces of the code to redeem the free gift were hidden throughout the virtual spaces. Collecting all 8 would read the code, and thousands of Americans signed on to hunt throughout the day for a free copy of the $10 game.
However, if you’ve ever tried looking for a code to the recent Transformers items on various message boards, you may have realised that the code that everyone receives is unique. This is for a good reason. Instead of generating 100 unique codes, the American competition only used 1 code which could be used 100 times. Can you guess what happened?
What ensued can only be described as ‘pure anger’ which must have exlpoded throughout the US Home and is evident on the Official US PlayStation Forum. To those who spent the entire day looking for the code, even on finding it, they never received it. Once the code was found, it’s thought that those not even in Home noticed it was posted online somewhere and grabbed the free game for themselves. Before the thousands of Home users had signed out of Home and gotten into the Store, it was all over. With so many people trying to redeem the code, the server returned error messages to everyone. It’s still unclear who, if anyone, ever received the prize. With one user posting that the “code died in 1 second”, over 10 threads were created to vent anger from those who had spent the majority of their day hunting for the pieces of the code; all of which have since been locked by Sony staff. “Boycott Sony and Home till we get our Bomberman” reached 64 pages and over 630 posts in just over 20 hours before it was locked.
Looking at some of the comments makes for interesting reading. One regular user, who supposedly gave away the final piece of the code, tries to reason with everyone with “let’s look at it this way … It was a fun day sharing with [friends] and even meeting new ones. Not a day wasted.” The reply to this was “when you take 9 hours out of a day and have nothing to show for it, then that is time wasted.” Another message was “make Bomberman Ultra free to make up for those who got cheated out of this “.
With no obvious plan of replying to the messages, the US Home team continue on with their next event today, the “Hamsters vs Humans Dance-Off”. However, it seems that Sony may have learnt a lesson quickly, with a different method of handing out prizes. “Whichever faction wins this desperate struggle for control of PlayStation Home by forming the longest dance lines or chains in Central Plaza will then unlock a special reward item for all of Home, to be delivered in a future update.” How this will play out is unclear, but this isn’t the first time this week that Sony have been stormed by the community.