Sony and Nintendo update automatic renewals of gaming subscriptions after UK survey

Sony and Nintendo are making changes to their gaming subscriptions in the UK after working with a regulator in the country (via Engadget). The UK Competition and Market Authority (CMA) has raised concerns about how people could be charged for subscriptions indefinitely until they proactively terminate them, which could mean they pay for services they do not use.

For PlayStation Plus, “Sony has agreed to introduce measures to protect customers who have not used their memberships for a long time but still pay,” the CMA said. “Sony will contact these customers to remind them how to stop payments, and if they continue not to use their memberships, Sony will eventually stop receiving additional payments.” We have contacted Sony to ask if these changes will only apply in the UK or will also be extended to other countries.

CMA “also engaged with Nintendo, which changed its business practices during the investigation so that the Nintendo Switch Online Service is no longer sold with auto-renewal set as the default option,” the regulator said. “This means that people will not automatically enter into contract renewals, which addresses a number of the CMA’s concerns about people being locked up.” The change applies in “Nintendo eShop and on Nintendo’s website in all countries and regions operated by Nintendo of Europe,” the company said in a statement to The edge.

Microsoft also committed to changes in January in response to CMA concerns, including contacting customers who were still paying for memberships they had not used for a long time. At the time, Microsoft said The edge that it would initially roll out its changes in the UK and soon make them available globally.

The CMA first announced that it was investigating the three companies’ auto-renewal practices in 2019. That investigation has now been completed, the CMA said Wednesday.