Opinion: SCEE Need to Fix Their PSN Updates

Sony have a problem, or at least Sony Computer Entertainment Europe does. It’s a problem they’ve had for a long while, and one that constantly manages to erase any good will they manage to build up via things like PlayStation Plus.

I am, of course, talking about SCEE’s PSN updates, an issue that seems to have hounded them since the launch of SCEE’s chunk of PSN.

The problem, as I’m sure many of you know, is that games which arrive on the PSN in other regions can be missing from the European version for weeks or even months. English speakers seem the most annoyed by the whole situation, with games popping up on the US store seeming so close to accessible, although I can’t imagine anyone else is particularly pleased by the delays.

[drop2]It seems that almost every time the store update is posted on the PSN blog it’s instantly hit by complaints of missing content.

They aren’t the type of sporadic complaints that crop up on just about everything that gets posted to the internet either, it’s always a fairly persistent level of dissent from a pretty significant chunk of the blog’s comments.

It really can’t be a fun job for those running the blog, especially given the amount of straight up abuse they get (something that would have had me resigning within weeks).

The latest complaints come about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the Walking Dead Episode 3, two games that have both appeared on the US PSN store but seem to have little information about when they’ll really make the leap over the Atlantic.

That is, in a nutshell, the problem: the lack of communication.

I’m not saying that if those running the EU PSN blog put out estimations and reasons behind the delays that there’d be wide spread love and adoration for delays, but it would be better than being left completely in the dark about when a game might arrive. Of course, the latest blog post did feature the following paragraph:

I know a lot of you were hoping for news on Counter Strike: Global Offensive but I’m afraid I’ve no new information to share today. Rest assured we’ll update you as soon as possible.

However, that’s almost worse than having no information about the delay at all. An acknowledgement that CS:GO isn’t there is something, but it’s still not like they’re really providing much information or insight into the problem.

That problem, or at least the typically suspected one, is localising it for the pretty huge number of countries and languages that SCEE covers. I can’t deny that it seems to be a big issue, and without an inside track I can’t tell you what they’re doing that Microsoft aren’t, or what Microsoft are doing to make everything, seemingly, run much smoother. However, at a glance at least, it does seem that they’re managing to put stuff out in a way that Sony simply aren’t.

Whilst in some ways it may seem like a minor problem for Sony, it really is going to start costing them as we move toward the release of a new generation of consoles. As a comment this week’s update rather simply puts it:

THIS IS A JOKE! My next console will be an XBOX! I prefer to pay to get online BUT HAVING ACCESS TO GAMES ON RELEASE, not even weeks after the rest!

This is something that our very own Peter pointed out when I was talking to him about this issue as well; if Sony don’t sort things out it really could drag down their sales in Europe.

How much could it damage their sales? I don’t know, but if SCEE fix their delays then brand loyalty might not be enough to keep selling as many consoles in Europe.

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36 Comments

  1. Meh, sue them for information, go to a new console, buy a new house keys. Wouldn’t make a difference. SCEE imho in its current form is a shambles.. a total mess that needs to be changed badly.

  2. there is something wrong at scee, that much is clear.
    sometimes content just seems to vanish when they get their hands on it.
    they get it, and it gets delayed, and nobody seems to know what is going on.
    how many times have we seen devs baffled about what’s going on with their content once it’s in scees hands?

    it’s like there’s a black hole where content just disappears only to reappear at some random date in the future.

    i don’t believe it’s because they have tighter QA requirements, not when they have, on many occasions, put out content that simply does not work.

    localisation is not an excuse for them either, not when exactly the same content is released in its localised form on other formats., like PC and Xbox.

    and certainly not not when nearly two years later we’re still waiting for Auditorium, you know that music game, the one with all the text, was it five or six lines of text in the game? i forget.

    and nine months for the pink knight dlc for Castle Crashers.
    now the devs have to take the blame as well there, but it seemed the devs only found out the dlc wouldn’t be up when the store update post was on the blog and it was missing.
    who knew you could create a human being quicker than it took to finally release that tiny piece of dlc..
    and who knows if the profits for it still went to a breast cancer charity like they were supposed when the dlc was originally due to launch.
    because that’s one of the times when the colossal ineptitude of scee has really pissed me off, i know they annoy me normally, but this one made me really angry..
    not only did their fecklessness deny me content, which was annoying, but it denied money to a charity, which is bloody disgusting.

    just look at the pattern.
    the common factor is scee.
    given how often the same content on other formats is released in europe on time, and in the the PS3 in the US on time.

    if it was the PS3 versions that were at fault, then we’d see the US versions delayed more often.
    and if it was something to do with europe, localisation or some legal issue, then the PC or Xbox versions would be delayed too.

    too many times the one factor that explains it is scee.

    now that may be an oversimplification, but then Occam’s Razor states, “the simplest explanation is usually the correct one”.
    that’s also an oversimplification.

    they keep saying they a separate company from SCEA and SCEJ so they can’t always get the same content, but then why do they always have be subservient to them?
    if they’re autonomous then they should be doing something about the piss poor job they’re doing.

    like the time the first of the month was a wednesday and they expected us to wait till the next week for the plus update because the US didn’t get theirs till then.

    i do have some sympathy for some of the people on the blog, though, naming no names, there are some on the blog who clearly don’t know what they’re doing.
    i mean, when you ask somebody a question regarding a feature of their area of the service, and they have no idea what you’re talking about, they clearly should be replaced.

    i believe the high turnover of staff on the blog is an indication of how badly run scee is as a whole.
    i mean what job satisfaction is there if your job is making excuses for failure?

    i will finish, at last i hear you cry, by saying this.

    every success of the PS3 in europe is because of the fans and despite scee, not because of it.
    the loyalty from the ps2 remains because the the disparity wasn’t so noticeable, there was no instant download service where you could compare this region to others.
    but with the PS3 we can.
    so the disparity didn’t hurt the PS3 half as much as it’s going to hurt the PS4.

    and i swear if they pull another bullshit delay so they can cripple a feature of the EU machine like they did with the ps3 then, well, i’ll still get a ps4 eventually, but i can tell you, i’ll be an exclusively preowned buyer.
    or maybe i’ll take up importing games, buy from SCEA, who though i doubt truly care about their customers either, at least know the way to make money from them is to actually bring them content.

    ok, so i guess i wasn’t quite finished then. ^_^

    • either the wall-o-text™ logged me out or it was because i took so long. ^_^

    • Yeah, I think Scee is broken, its not right at all it seems. I’m not interested in more of the bigger games in present than in like 2008. So I really like some of the games on PSN so by failing to release likes of Counter Strike I’m worried that Scee will lose some of their fans its actually going to happen at this rate thus hurting sales on PSN since so many would be sick of it.
      I’m sure fans of counter-strike would be excited. Then its finally out.. in America and Europe (on Steam/Xbox) and bam, anger from Eu PS fans all because of Scee.

      They’ve went too far.

  3. SuperPSNGame is submitted the PSN America. It takes 1 week to check the english language version.

    SuperPSNGame is submitted the PSN Europe: It takes 1 week per language. There are twelve language options. If there is a problem with any one of these language options, the whole thing gets delayed.

    • Doesn’t explain why the Xbox versions go through without a problem though.

    • and it certainly doesn’t explain Auditorium.

      and besides, the games in the US aren’t always english only anyway.
      do they not regularly have french and spanish too?
      i mean they do have to cater for Canada and South America as well don’t they?
      and some have full language options for the us version as they’re actually just the same code as the EU version.

  4. SCEE and Sony just need to up their game in general. Constant downtime for maintenance every thursday, digital release delays (Trine 2, Walking Dead, CS:GO etc), its a total joke. Sony not only need to worry about losing customers for the next-gen, they need to worry about Developers losing interest in getting their games on PSN.

    • Agreed. There is far more going wrong with PSN than just the delayed games! Maintenance downtime, slow downloads, God awful game patching etc etc.
      The PS3 is a sound machine and I love it! It is a shame is doesn’t get the support it deserves from the company that created it!
      Next gen Playstation needs to see many PSN features working flawlessly! And the hardware needs to be easier to develop for! It may come as a shocker to you Sony – but developers are in the business to make money via efficient and cost effective means, they are not interested in coding for a more complicated device just to make it sing a little louder than the rest!

  5. Personally I think the whole digital release date issue comes from digital releases pretty much released as soon as they’re ready. Retail games get finished comfortably in advance of the release, sent for disc production and distribution making sure they hit an exact release date.

    Digital releases seem to be completed very very close to launch with little time allowed for issues. For most it is too much of a hassle to import digital games especially if the game (and trophies/achievements) are tied to a different account. With most sticking to one console digital publishers seem more than happy to release in areas where it is ready rather than get a universal release. The marketing budgets and publicity are far bigger for retails games as well so they is a lot more to lose financially for retail games missing release dates. They’re also far more widely know that digital dates which never really seem that set in stone until a week or days before release.

  6. The main problem at Sony is not QA nor languages.

    The main problem is that Sony has DOZENS of regional stores all around the world (even in Asia and Americas), and EACH one of them is a separate company which does its own things and has to manage its own licenses.

    Thus what you get in the US is not automatically what you’ll get elsewhere, whether English happens to be your native language or not.

    What Sony needs to do BEFORE the PS4 becomes a reality is to completely rethink the way PSN is managed worldwide. All network operations need to be merged into a single entity. And before you ask, geolocation is completely irrelevant in this matter.

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