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.