Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo may have stood together on The Game Awards stage last December to celebrate video games, but now they stand together as part of a government investigation.
Headed by the UK government’s Competitions and Markets Authority, the investigation is focused on discovering whether or not the three company’s are committing unfair practices with their online services. They say that they’ve personally written to the three companies in order to “help better understand their practices”.
The target in this investigation is the use of roll-over contracts in Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus and Nintendo Switch Online. The CMA is currently deciding whether the auto-renewal policies enforced by Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo give consumers enough notice before charging more money.
A key target during this investigation will focus on the monthly number of games gifting to consumers as part of their subscription. Whilst Nintendo only adds to the library of NES titles and Xbox Live consistently has four games a month, Sony’s recent game reduction has been a point of contention for online subscriptions.
While the CMA are clear to state that they have not yet decided whether or not these companies have broken consumer protection law. However, if the CMA does decide that the companies are in breach of this, they could take enforcement action.
For those who want to input their own thoughts into the CMA’s investigation, you can email your views in here.