I’ve been a Sony fan for as long as I can remember. From staying up all night to play my PlayStation, to the hoards of games I own for the PS2 – Sony has never disappointed me.

They’ve always kept their promises and have always delivered when it comes to gaming.

Even after the PlayStation network outrage, they tried to make up for it by offering free games, which satisfied some customers, while most were still outraged at Sony for their lousy security.

Now, recently, I bought Battlefield 3. It was rated USK 15+ which translates into PEGI 18. I opened the package, inserted the disc in my PS3 system and I was good to go. After activating the online pass I could easily hop into any battle I wanted.

Fast forward a few months later to the launch of Mass Effect 3. I pre-ordered my copy only to receive it after some delay, which was understandable. I popped the disc in, finished the game and then tried to access its online content. To my surprise, these blue words popped up on my screen:

“Due to parental control restrictions, PlayStation Network online features have been disabled for your account.”

It wasn’t a huge problem and I simply thought that it was probably just a technical glitch and that they’d fix it at some point. Sadly, I never got back to it (I still haven’t got the Extended Ending DLC everyone was so hyped about).

Fast forward another few months, to today. I just  got my Borderlands 2 copy for the PS3. With difficulty, I tore open the disk (Damn you Flipkart, what’s the need for 3 Boxes for a game?!). I popped it in, and instantly there were the three “Invite players” options under my PSN name on the right corner.

Delighted, I pressed Select to make my game public so others could join me. As soon as I did that, I was greeted with the words, “Sony Online Entertainment features have been disabled on this account due to parental control restrictions.”

This time, I was outraged. I could play this game on my US account just fine (no weird errors appeared), so why was my Indian account being “censored?” I should probably mention that none of my accounts are sub-accounts.

After scouring the internet for four hours, I finally found a post by a PlayStation EU admin that stated that if you contact Sony, they’d remove the content restrictions. I called Sony to only to have a representative guide me to account management on the PS3 and turn the feature off.

I’d have done that, if that option was actually available on my console. Later, I found out that several other users also don’t have that option in their system.

When I told the representative about it, he told me to check if Parental Control was turned on in the console’s security settings. It wasn’t. Then he said, in an agitated voice, that nothing could be done on their part and I’d have to deal with it myself by turning off content restrictions.

I have now emailed Sony Support in the hope that they somehow can solve it, but I honestly doubt it. After I contacted them, I popped in all my games one by one to see if any other have this problem.

Some of them did: Demon Souls, Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3,  the whole Assassin’s Creed series, Dragon Age Origins, and Resistance 3. I could not access ANY of the online content in any of those games because of these ridiculous “parental control restrictions.”

Sony’s whole parental control system is a total joke. I can’t even figure out how it actually works.

Why can I access Battlefield 3 online but can’t play Modern Warfare online, or Assassin’s Creed, for that matter?

Now, I would create another account but most of my online and season passes are linked to this account, which is a bummer. The problem is, I can play all those games in my US account which more or less has the same age, but not in my Indian account.

This is a real deal breaker for me. I love Sony to death but somehow, they always manage to piss me off.

What do you think? Has Sony’s strange parental control system screwed you over before? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @GameJudgment.

  1. The PlayStation Network offers many parental controls for Sub Accounts. Sub Accounts can be created for children under 18 (as well as other adults, see Master Account versus Sub Account in the PlayStation Network for more information). Sub Accounts are always associated with a Master Account. The Master Account holder controls the Sub Accounts’ settings, including parental controls.

  2. usrev2 says:

    the same BS happens with many xbox games and demos. they need to remove ESRB/PEGI, they are supposed to be suggestions and that is it, not full blown content restriction.
    the worst part is there is no changing the xbox system, ( though their used to be)

  3. What Jeff said sounds plausible, so have a look into that, if you can. If he is indeed right, then it is a rather stupid way of Sony setting things up. We however have ‘outraged’ mothers to blame for things like this, I mean, why the hell can’t I play slots on my Pokemon Soul Silver?!

    Just imagine, if Sony had NO exclusive games for their consoles. Would the still be worth all the bother? I think not, certain segments of people would disagree I am sure. Them being the casual players, who buy their consoles as an entertainment system first, and a gaming device second.

    Microsoft’s Live service is a big rip-off, any PC gamer can tell you that. Understand that I am not saying it’s a bad service, just one that should be a lot cheaper or in fact free and open, I am glad Sony went the same way Nintendo did on the online side of things in this sense.

    It is interesting that Sony’s current gen machines are doing poorly in the US and Euro markets in comparison to the Wii and 360, well more so the 360, in that the Wii was created to expand the gaming population while the 360 is just another console – albeit one that set the standards for online multiplayer on consoles.

  4. Mike Higgins says:

    Just have both names on the same PS3, you should be able to use all content from your Indian name on your US on and Vice Versa.

    • Abhishek Indoria says:

      Weird. How does that work? For example, if I create a PS3 name as XYZ, I cannot create another user of the same name on the same console, can I? Also, say, for example, I have a free DLC code for XCOM:Enemy Unknown, and if I redeem it on the US account, it usually will play on the other accounts?

  5. John says:

    Sony has always sucked and their support department has always been a joke. Why else do you think the company is heading straight for bankruptcy? It’s bleeding money from every orifice because of their arrogant lies and deceit. $ony equals overhype and underdeliver.

  6. Chaos Mechanica says:

    Clearly something has to be wrong on your side with the Indian account. Your US one works fine. It’s just your Indian parental settings. Maybe you did it by accident, maybe one of the game’s somehow did it, maybe it’s a default setting for Indian servers. But if everything else works fine, it’s not like Sony did it on purpose.

    I’m really hating all of this Sony hate that’s been raining down on them lately for the randomest reasons. That’s annoying.

  7. David says:

    How the hell did you manage to wake up one morning with parental restrictions applied to your account? That seems like a big gap you’re not telling us.

    • Abhishek Indoria says:

      Mass Effect 2 was the first game I had ever encountered the problem on, David. Since then, I have had this problem on a bunch of other games, but never before that.


    Think $ony as the Nazi Hitler for a minute. PS3 is like his ‘third reicht’ propaganda machine. PS3 fantools are his beloved ‘SS’ ($ony Soldiers).

    The Allies : PC and X360
    The Communist Russia : Nintendo

    In the world consoles war today, the previous victor $ony is now being bombarded from both sides, facing hard attacks taking its toll on resources and money.

    $ony’s latest propaganda: In order to beat WiiU, the ‘SS’ must obey $ony nazi’s order to overhype buying 2 separate systems at a higher cost. The smarter allies not buying it tho. The war is not winning on $ony nazi side, history repeats itself.

  9. oo7porscheMGS says:

    Yeah.. make a new account, seems it obviously has something to do with that account’s settings getting messed up somehow. Not sure if there is a way to “reset” an account, but you could try reformatting / “resetting” your ps3’s settings to default as comment #1 said.

  10. Jeff says:

    Parental controls must be enabled, then go into the settings and change them to give you permissions.

    Disabling Parental controls actually defaults the system to restricted.

    It took me the longest time to figure this out myself.

  11. mantas says:

    you could go to xbox and experience tonnes of advertisements, rrod’s, lackluster exclusives, and multi-disc games on the system that sounds like a vacuum cleaner. or you could try resetting the ps3. hmm. ;)

    • Faz says:

      … or you could keep an over-priced, completely over-hyped, technically crippled console with lackluster inferior multiplatform games, which has DLC arriving months late(or DLC never turning up), with a slew of shite exclusives, that has a shoddy, unprofessional, hacker friendly online experience, with a second rate customer service from an arrogant and ignorant company that doesn’t care about it’s customers one single jot.

      … or you could get an Xbox360 which is the technically superior console to the ps3, sign up to a professional online experience, with the best multiplatform games, DLC 1st and sometimes exclusive DLC, exclusives released by quality rather than quantity, that has excellent customer service and a company that actually does walk it talk when the shit hits the fan.

      But then sonfanboys are a funny bunch… they seem to love bending over and taking as much crap from sony as possible.

  12. frjoethesecond says:

    Same here. I can’t buy anything with a credit card and Sony can’t fix it. I love Sony and will always forgive them (great exclusive games) but it’s still frustrating.

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