As reported by Gamesindustry.biz, both companies were investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), a U.K. government organization, for potentially predatory subscription renewal practices. As a result of the investigation, Sony will now reach out to longtime PS Plus subscribers who haven’t used the service in a certain period of time and ask them if they want to cancel their subscription. The company will no longer take subscription money from those who continue their subscription but don’t use PS Plus. This change comes ahead of Sony’s planned revamp of PS Plus, which the company announced earlier this year.
Nintendo will no longer automatically enable auto-renewal on new Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions. Consumers will still be able to use auto-renewal, but they will need to enable it themselves after creating an account and subscribing.
Microsoft already has similar practices in place. Earlier this year, the company clarified its practices surrounding pricing, membership cancellation, and more for its extremely popular Game Pass service.
In a statement to Gameindustry.biz, CMA executive director Michael Grenfell explained that the changes were not unique to the games industry, saying that “companies in other sectors which offer subscriptions that auto-renew should review their practices to ensure they comply with consumer protection law.” The investigation appears to be part of a wider push to prevent consumers from losing money to auto-renewing subscriptions that they forget about or that are too complicated to cancel.