Sony’s PC Game Expansion Strategy Falters: PSN Requirements Digging a Grave for the Company

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Sony’s PC game expansion strategy has been in turmoil recently, with questionable PSN requirements causing a backlash among players and hindering sales.

PSN Requirement for HELLDIVERS 2 Backfires

The initial controversy arose with the upcoming PC release of HELLDIVERS 2. Sony mandated that all players must link their PlayStation Network (PSN) accounts to play the game on Steam, a widely used PC gaming platform.

This decision was met with widespread criticism, as many players had no desire to create PSN accounts, and 177 regions did not even allow PSN account creation.

This meant that even players who had already purchased the game and invested hours or even hundreds of hours of playtime would be unable to continue playing.

In response to the intense backlash, Sony eventually backtracked on the mandatory PSN requirement. However, new purchases of HELLDIVERS 2 remain unavailable in the 177 affected regions. While existing owners can continue playing, there is currently no timeline for resuming sales.

Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut Faces Similar Fate

Just a week or so later, it was revealed that Sony was also imposing a PSN requirement on the PC version of Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut, scheduled for release this month.

While the game is primarily single-player, it does include a small multiplayer component. This PSN requirement again barred players in the 177 regions from purchasing the game, leading to pre-orders being canceled.

Defenders of Sony’s Decision Point to Industry Norm

Defenders of Sony’s decision argue that other companies like Electronic Arts (EA), Ubisoft, and Microsoft also require linking to their respective accounts.

However, Sony’s account creation restrictions far exceed those of its competitors, resulting in significant sales limitations and lost revenue from both game sales and microtransactions.

Why Not a Region-Free PSN Account Option?

A key question remains: why hasn’t Sony created a type of PSN account that can be created regardless of region? Steam is currently actively refunding pre-orders of Ghost of Tsushima to players in PSN-restricted regions.

If the PSN requirement for HELLDIVERS 2 had not been revoked, Steam would have likely been forced to refund that game as well for purchasers in the 177 regions, leading to massive losses and potentially millions of angry customers.

PC Expansion Strategy Remains Valid, but PSN Requirements Need Addressing

Sony’s goal of expanding its player base beyond PlayStation to PC is undoubtedly sound. HELLDIVERS 2, for instance, would not have reached its current player count without its PC release.

However, given the repeated failures of implementing PSN requirements on new releases, Sony needs to urgently address this issue, regardless of the reasoning behind it.


Sony’s PC game expansion strategy is facing significant challenges due to its controversial PSN requirements. The company must find a solution that balances account security and player convenience to ensure the success of its PC gaming initiatives.

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