We’re still not living in the future, 2018 edition

File this in your “old man yells at cloud” file.

Last night I finished playing through Horizon: Zero Dawn on my PS4. It’s a great game and I recommend it heartily. I had taken my time with this one, doing all the side quests, errands, etc. The soundtrack is similarly amazing and has been on repeat for well over a month now.

Earlier this evening I went into the Playstation Store and bought the expansion, Into the Frozen Wilds. A 9GB download later and I was… stuck. The message was “Waiting to install”, but it never did anything. Killing the app didn’t help, nor did a reboot.

Research pointed to a region lock problem which ejecting the disc verified: my disc had an EU region code instead of US, even though the box is clearly labeled ALL. (I bought the disc through Amazon last year.) It plays fine on my US PS4 without a hint of region problems. Discs, as it turns out, are not region locked on PS4.

DLC, however, is.

And there’s no way around it. My save files are EU region locked, so even if I bought a US disc I would still have to start over. Similarly, I can’t buy the EU version of the DLC because Sony won’t let you add a US address on a credit card to an EU PSN account.

I did talk to PSN support who refunded my purchase within minutes. Sort of. They added the credit to my PSN account (repeatedly telling me it was a one-time goodwill gesture), not a true refund to my credit card.

I am now a sad Rick. I very much enjoyed the game and I very much would like to continue to support Guerilla, the people who made it. Intellectually I know they don’t set the asinine region locking rules for Sony. And yet the experience has soured me.

How is it 2018 and we’re still dealing with profoundly backwards nationalistic bullshit like region locks on games and other media?

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Rick Osborne

I am a web geek who has been doing this sort of thing entirely too long. I rant, I muse, I whine. That is, I am not at all atypical for my breed.