Friday Flame War: Sony’s Welcome Back Package — Impassioned Apology or Massive Insult?

It’s Friday, and that means we need to whip the Internet into a frenzy and get some people mad at each other. Today, we’re discussing Sony’s Playstation Welcome Back Package, the somewhat-paltry offering of free downloadable content and games as an apology/thank you to players who didn’t curb-stomp their PS3s during the massive Playstation Network outage last month.

Read up on how to get in on the Welcome Back package here, and also everything that it entails here, and then let us know what you think — are you still a Sony fan and grateful for a little free LittleBigPlanet action, or are you fighting off identity theft and annoyed that Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within is one of the free movie rentals Sony is trying to buy you off with?

Is Sony’s Welcome Back package enough, or is the company just insulting its customers?

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10 Comments on Friday Flame War: Sony’s Welcome Back Package — Impassioned Apology or Massive Insult?


On June 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm

My situation : I’m a very casual player on console (Hardcore PC)
My opinion : The welcome back idea of offering free games is a good idea.
The only thing that bugs me is the games themselves. All the big games are franchise (InFamous, KillZone, LittleBigPlanet, WipeOut). We can clearly see Sony’s intention to give you free games that will have you buy another one. I hate that feeling of being played.


On June 3, 2011 at 3:22 pm

I’d say it’s an insult. I mean, it’s nice that they’re doing SOMETHING to try and make up for the outage, but it seems like the games being offered fall into two categories.
1) You would like to play it, and as such already own it.
2) You wouldn’t want to play it, and as such have no interest in owning it.
Poor Sony. They try so hard…

matt hurd

On June 3, 2011 at 6:11 pm

i would have preferred to downloads of my choice (although infamous seems like a great choice) or at least more choices then they offered, i also feel that 2 DLs isn’t enough as we went about a full month with out being able to play on psn, while i don’t play on it often the 3 times i really wanted to play kz3 online, i couldn’t which was really annoying since thats what i wanted to do rather then play my pc games.

the biggest insult is how buggy and slow the psn and downloads are imo. i got a 20mb downstream connection and 3mb upstream, and its taken me over 30 minutes to DL a 34mb sonic 2 game for my little brother to play.

playstation plus is nice, but then all the stuff we DL will be locked once our free time is up.

overall it could be worse (or not at all) but it certainly could be a hell of a lot better for sure.


On June 4, 2011 at 12:20 am

The only thing we are entitled to is the free identity protection they are offering, unless your a Plus subscriber. The rest of us free users need to get it through our skulls that free PSN is a privilege that Sony can take away at any time. Is it buggy and annoying right now? Hell yes. Do we, the free users, have any right to about not getting even more free stuff? Not really.

Phil Hornshaw

On June 4, 2011 at 11:06 am

The argument that PSN is free and therefore we can’t complain about it being down bugs me. Doesn’t Sony advertise games as being online-capable? Don’t we buy games with the expectation to be able to use those features? It’s one thing to say, “Hey, PSN is a privilege,” but Sony and game developers SELL it to us when they sell us games. Just because it’s not a separate fee doesn’t mean we’re not paying for it. If Sony didn’t offer online capability, they’d lose customers — so no, I don’t think we should all be saying, “Thank you sir, may I have another?” just because there’s not a separate fee involved.

Not to disagree with your other points, just the fact that Sony isn’t doing us any favors by not charging for PSN. Games still cost $60 and they’re still pushed on us partially for the fact that they’ll be online-capable.


On June 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Its a pretty big insult, especially your “free” subscription to playstation plus. Everything you download will be deactivated after your subscription ends and confers no other benefits other than a few games for “free”. the free games is kind of nice, but honestly I owned 3 out of the 5 already, and the other 2 I wasn’t really interested in either, otherwise i would have purchased them. why did Sony just give us a free game of our choice instead of trying to shoehorn us into 5 games; and what would happen if I already owned all these titles? was sony prepared to issue a refund? I doubt it. and the free psp games were a joke too, especially considering nothing new has come out for the psp that is worth purchasing anyway. overall their offering us a subscription which upon ending will invalidate anything you downloaded with said subscription, 2 free ps3 games that at present value represent roughly 40-50$ and 2 free psp games that are possibly 30-40$. On top of that there offering a free platter of identity theft and possible credit card fraud! what a great deal!


On June 4, 2011 at 1:28 pm



On June 4, 2011 at 10:09 pm

I would agree with your logic if not for the fact that 360 games also sell for 60 bucks, but then your also required to pay a subscription to Xbox Live to access the online features so heavily touted. What your saying is you would refuse to subscribe to access those features because you already spent $60.

I understand why Live, most MMO games, or any similar service charges subscriptions. There’s a lot of infrastructure involved and it costs to maintain it. That’s why I say free PSN is a privilege and ing because we aren’t getting more free doesn’t make sense.

Phil Hornshaw

On June 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I know what you’re saying, but from my standpoint, Xbox’s business plan doesn’t matter; the point is, Playstation games go online, and $60 is the price of admission. Just because someone else charges more doesn’t change the fact that the person you paid said you were getting something when you paid them. What you’re saying is, because the gas station around the corner charges a quarter more, if I buy gas at THIS station and the quality isn’t what they advertised but it’s cheaper than the other guy, and they throw in a free pack of gum, I should be grateful. I’m not buying games from Microsoft, I’m buying them from Sony.

Obviously Sony feels like they need to offer customers something, and I don’t think they’re doing it just because they’re nice guys. Yeah, it’s cool of them to offer PSN for free, but then again, they only do it because they’re still playing catch-up because they got their asses kicked early by Xbox Live (not Xbox sales, mind you, Sony fans — Xbox Live the service, which gained massive popularity because it was first and because it was good. Please save your hate comments for Phil Owen.). So it’s not like they just figured they’d be nice to gamers and pay us all back for years of Sony loyalty by offering online for free (for point of reference, see PS3 backward compatibility), and it’s not like they’re giving these games away just because they figured it’d be a nice thing to do. It’s business, and they’re scared of losing us as customers.

K Kimball

On June 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

Personally I’m insulted by Sony’s pathetic attempt at “good will”. I purchased my PS3 on 4/22 and therefore I’m inelegible for any of their “Welcome” Back program. Why? Nobody told me the network was down when I purchased. I certainly didn’t know that I wouldn’t have access to the unit’s basic functions such as Netflix for a month because, guess what, you have to download the free software from PSN before you can access Netflix. Many of my games couldn’t be fully enjoyed without access to the network. Sony didn’t even put a Message Of the Day up; I had to find out by scouring the web about it. In reality new owners were inconvenienced most of all and Sony should have the most motivation to engender good will towards them- we continued to patronize them DESPITE their issues. CS was no help they just said “sorry, this was for PSN subscribers that existed before the outage.” Frankly if I could I’d make Sony buy their damned system back.