Is Sony Making a Mistake Closing PlayStation Communities?


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PlayStation Communities is leaving PS4 in April, but has Sony really considered the impact of killing the service?

PS4 Console and Controller

Sony’s announcement about PlayStation Communities closing down has drawn mixed opinions. Some gamers are indifferent, while others are experiencing a great loss.

The feature’s fanbase may not be big enough for Sony to consider saving it, but it’s clearly a mistake to think that PlayStation Communities are redundant. If the emotional impact on its loyal users isn’t enough, the company’s latest rash decision risks sending more customers to its rivals.

An Inconsiderate Change to PS4 Communities?

PlayStation Communities is a part of the platform where users can connect with like-minded people. After joining a group with similar interests, you could chat, share screenshots and trophies, and even form parties to play with.

Based on details regarding Sony killing the Communities feature, users won’t be able to do any of the above. Come April, the company is completely ditching the technology—no explanation or apology.

This means that years-worth of friendships are being scrapped as well. Fortunately, there’s enough time for members of Communities to find each other on the PlayStation App, if not unrelated platforms like Discord. After all, why support a company that fails you?

Of course, not everyone is lamenting the loss of the Communities space. However, the majority of responses from social media suggest Sony should reconsider its decision to kill off Communities.

PS4 Gamers Lose a Social Space

Video games can create all kinds of opportunities to socialize. For example, a BBC report on online gaming discovered that fans of Animal Crossing used it in 2020 for birthday parties and dates. A Japanese elementary school even held its graduation ceremony on Minecraft.

But it’s not just while gaming that players want to socialize. PlayStation Communities is one of many spaces where people can simply relax, talk about gaming, and escape reality.

In this case, we’re talking about a space people around the world have used for a long time. There are groups with thousands of members and endless memories—cozy hubs gamers have come to love.

Playing Soccer Video Game on PlayStation

So, when Sony broke the news, it also shook a lot of comfort zones. Users now uproot themselves in search of new communities and friends—almost like changing schools.

And the casualness of the whole situation only rubs salt in their wounds. Being displaced and undermined because a company doesn’t find your community important enough is far from fun.

PlayStation Could Lose Fans

There’s no doubt that this is a challenging industry. You need to make fast and harsh decisions to stay afloat, especially if you’re a major brand.

So, leading the way in gaming innovation sometimes demands sacrifice, but any such move should also come with gifts or helpful measures to appease unhappy customers.

What makes matters worse for Sony’s cancellation of PlayStation Communities is that it’s not the first time the company has killed services and products to make way for future products. Prematurely, some might say.

Related: Sony May Be Discontinuing the PlayStation 4

In fact, the company has a history of making decisions based on turning a profit or outshining the competition. Think of PlayStation Vita’s slow decline, as well as Sony ignoring cross-play technology for some time.

Pulling the plug on Communities is the latest example of the company overlooking what gamers actually want and enjoy. Just because a social space is old and not as busy as newer platforms doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.

What it comes down to is this: Sony is messing with people’s emotional connections to each other and their comfortable social space. The backlash may damage sales as gamers leave or avoid Sony in favor of more reliable brands. Look at Xbox’s community as an example.

Get to Know PlayStation’s Past and Future

white ps4 and dualshock controller

It may not feel that way, but Sony has a lot to be proud of. Sadly, it also tends to make bad choices or miss opportunities to improve its relationship with fans.

By learning about its history and upcoming milestones, you can see why closing PlayStation Communities at this point—and so awkwardly—is a mistake. You can also make your own informed decisions about whether or not to invest in its products.

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