The PlayStation Stars program launched in Japan today, and fans in Sony’s home country are not too happy about some members getting better treatment than others. According to a report from Video Games Chronicle, they’re specifically upset over Tier 4 members getting priority customer service.
When Sony announced PlayStation Stars in July, it called it a free rewards and loyalty program in which all PS5 and PS4 players can earn rewards for completing various in-game challenges. However, it didn’t mention that there was a four-tier level system they have to work through by purchasing games and earning trophies.
Players start at the Level 1 tier when they sign up for PlayStation Stars. In order to unlock the Level 4 tier, they have to buy four games from the PlayStation Store at full price and acquire 128 rare trophies. Once they achieve that, Sony said, they’ll receive a commemorative collectible and priority in the chat when they contact PlayStation Customer Support about any issue they may encounter.
Players’ fury over the four-level tier system in PlayStation Stars didn’t occur in a vacuum. Tensions boiled over after website Automaton discovered the system immediately after its launch in the region. When it shared the news on Twitter, fans bemoaned in the replies that Sony should give equal customer service support to members in every tier, not make quality service a privilege for those with the money and means to reach Level 4 quickly.
“It’s said that the more you play, the more customer support you give priority to, but the more you play, the less you use customer support,” said user koshifurinyodo. “Something is wrong. Give priority to beginners who are not used to it.”
The controversy over PlayStation Stars’ four-level tier system comes after Sony failed to mention it when marketing the program over the summer, giving everyone interested in it the impression that they would receive every single perk regardless of their gameplay frequency. The introduction of the system in the loyalty program after the fact puts players who cannot afford to buy games at full price, or who don’t have the time to play their favorite games to earn rewards, at a disadvantage.