Players in Japan have been expressing their displeasure at one aspect of the newly-launched PlayStation Stars loyalty program, which offers better customer support to players on the highest tier.
PlayStation Stars, which is coming to the west later in October, lets players earn rewards by completing a variety of campaigns and activities.
The program also has a four-tier level system, in which all players start at Level 1 and can work their way up to Level 4 by buying games and earning trophies.
However, some users are upset that the Level 4 tier, which is unlocked after buying four full-price games from the PlayStation Store and earning 128 rare trophies, rewards players with improved customer service.
According to Sony, the Level 4 tier perks include a commemorative collectible, and a promise that “when contacting PlayStation Customer Support, you will be given priority in the chat order”.
This essentially appears to mean that Level 4 PlayStation Stars members can skip the queue when contacting customer support with an issue.
After Japanese site Automaton pointed this out on Twitter, numerous followers expressed their frustration at the perk, with some pointing out that good customer service should be a standard and not something you have to pay for.
“Customer support must be equal”, Twitter user akutarosu said. “There are people who only like a few titles and play them, and there are gamers who can’t afford money or time.”
User koshifurinyodo also suggested that customer support should instead be weighted towards newcomers who are more likely to have issues.
“You say that the more you play with it, the more you prioritise customer support,” they wrote. “But the more you play with it, the less you use customer support. There’s something off about that. You should give priority to beginners who are new to the game.”
“If you’re going up a level based on time played or something, that’s fine, but ranking them by how much you charge is not likely to get a very good response,” said user gassyii.
Others pointed out that PlayStation Stars could have been more useful had it launched last generation, as it would have given a legitimate way to make sure die-hard Sony fans would be able to buy a PlayStation 5.
“If this functionality had been first introduced 10 years ago, giving people with a high level of priority access to buy a PS5, reselling wouldn’t have been as bad as it has been,” Twitter user battlefield18 said.
Following the Asian launch rolling out today, PlayStation Stars will roll out in the Americas on October 5, and in Europe and Australia on October 13.
It’s not yet clear whether the same perks will be available to western users once the service is active in their region.