How the Developers of “Games with Critical Issues” Are Responding to PSN ID Changes
DualShockers contacted the developers behind several "games with critical issues" to see how they plan on responding to PSN ID changes.
After years of begging by PlayStation gamers, Sony finally implemented a feature that allows players to change their PSN ID on PS4. In a lengthy Q&A following the announcement, they confirmed that there were “games with critical issues” that have issues with things that are “fundamental to the gameplay experience.” The 9 games currently labeled as having “critical issues” are Disc Jam, Just Dance 2017, LittleBigPlanet 3, MLB 14 The Show, MLB The Show 15, MLB The Show 16, Onrush, The Golf Club 2, and Worms Battlegrounds.
Curious about Sony’s implementation of this new feature, the impact PSN ID changes have on these games, and how some of the developers of these “games with critical issues” plan on responding, we reached out to see what they had to say.
For High Horse Entertainment’s Disc Jam, Founder Jay Mattis told us that, “At the moment, when a player logs in after changing their name a new Disc Jam account is effectively created for them. This means that they are unable to access any previously unlocked or purchased content.” Jay also stated that “the majority of Disc Jam‘s players are on PlayStation 4,” so this name changing issue is exposed to a large chunk of its playerbase.
When it comes to Team17’s Worms Battlegrounds, PR & Event Manager Bethany Aston confirmed to DualShockers that, “After a change of ID, clan-affiliation status is reset and not carried over from before the change.” As a result, players who change their IDs “would lose your clan progress.” Still, the developer and publisher maintained that “the game is otherwise 100% playable.”
Just Dance 2017’s Ubisoft also highlighted this fact, telling DualShockers that “changing PSN IDs will have minimal impact on Just Dance 2017 PS3/PS4 players and will not affect the main gameplay experience.” The publisher also pointed out that “ID changes will not affect other Just Dance games” so players do have other installments in the series to turn to for a similar experience.
While all of the aforementioned games have issues, High Horse Entertainment did confirm that Sony’s contacted them about what was happening beforehand and gave developers “more than ample time and notice to make the required changes.” Unfortunately for Disc Jam, the issue lied with their backend service provider, making it difficult to update in a way High Horse Entertainment was happy with.
“As a two-man studio developing our first independent title, we didn’t have the resources to build and run our own infrastructure for authentication, stats, storage, leaderboards, etc. Instead, we’re using a third-party service for this,” Jay Mattis commented. “We weren’t and aren’t happy with the path they provided toward migrating existing player accounts in such a way that they can support PSN name changes…The only path that was provided to us would have resulted in an extremely inconsistent user experience where many accounts transferred but some didn’t.”
Instead of implementing a quick fix that High Horse Entertainment wasn’t happy with, the team decided that “the safest thing for our players was for Sony to list Disc Jam on the games with ‘critical issues’ list where our players would be most likely to see it before committing to a name change.” This is the path that many of the aforementioned games found themselves on. Each decided to inform players of their game’s status so they could make an educated decision on whether or not they wanted to change their PSN ID.
Unfortunately, some of these “games with critical issues” won’t be getting updates to fix their issues. Regarding Just Dance 2017, Ubisoft let DualShockers know that “there is no update currently planned.” As for Worms Battlegrounds, no fix is coming as there is a workaround to the issue changing one’s PSN ID causes. Team17 stated that players can simply “get [clan progress] back by reverting to the old name,” or they “can even join a new clan and everything will be fine.”
While some of these games are listed as having critical issues, some developers are likely choosing to not change it if the gameplay experience remains mostly intact. That being said, some developers are taking steps to fix their games so they are no longer labeled as one with these problems. High Horse Entertainment is aware that the state of Disc Jam following a PSN ID name change is “unacceptable” and plans on updating the game to fix the issues.
Even though Jay didn’t delve into the technical details of what is being worked on to fix Disc Jam, he could tell DualShockers that, “We are currently working on a patch to support name changes. I think we’ve come up with a unique solution and we are developing technology to work around our backend service provider’s limitations.”
Onrush developer Codemasters declined to comment and Sony Interactive Entertainment and HB Studios never responded to DualShockers’ inquiry. That being said, Sony has actually been patching games like Everybody’s Golf to fix their issues, thus removing them from the list. While the future of the three outdated baseball games is still up in the air, hopefully, LittleBigPlanet 3 will receive the same care. There has been no word on whether or not The Golf Club 2’s issues will be resolved. If we ever do receive a response from either studio, we will update this article.
While those of you who play Disc Jam, Just Dance 2017, LittleBigPlanet 3, MLB 14 The Show, MLB The Show 15, MLB The Show 16, Onrush, The Golf Club 2, and Worms Battlegrounds may still be disappointed that changing their PSN ID will cause issues, hopefully this gave you more insight into what exactly is causing the issues in those games and if their developers plan on fixing said problems. Still, a vast majority of the PS4’s library works with this recent PSN name changing addition with little-to-no complications, so most of us can be relieved that such a highly requested feature is finally here.