A lawyer has suggested that Sony could face legal trouble over a “deceptive” free upgrade for Horizon Forbidden West.
As reported by VGC, lawyer Richard Hoeg has criticised Sony’s confusing marketing over the free upgrade for Horizon Forbidden West. The lawyer believes it could land Sony a Class Action Claim for potentially unlawful marketing practices.
Back in 2020 in a PlayStation Blog post, SIE CEO Jim Ryan revealed that games such as Horizon Forbidden West, as well as Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Sackboy: A Big Adventure would all receive free PS4 to PS5 upgrades. The word was kept true to Miles Morales and Sackboy.
Promises were made and broken
However, following the official reveal of Horizon Forbidden West, it was confirmed that all but the standard edition of the game would entitle a free upgrade. So, in other words, if you wanted the ‘free’ upgrade for Horizon Forbidden West, you would need to purchase the pricier versions of the game.
As you can imagine, Sony going back on its word for a free upgrade with the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel did not go down well with fans. And rightly so. In response to the backlash, Sony would then revert its decision and all versions of Horizon Forbidden West would entitle a free upgrade.
Sony’s U-turn might not end troubles
Unfortunately, that might not be the end of Sony’s troubles in regard to the ‘free’ upgrade according to Richard Hoeg. In a nutshell, Hoeg believes that Sony’s marketing for Horizon Forbidden West is misleading customers to purchase the more expensive PS5 version, despite offering the same product.
It literally doesn’t matter which version of Horizon Forbidden West you buy. Regardless of whether it’s bought as a PS4 or PS5 game, all versions will be fully playable on both consoles. The only real difference is that the one is £10/$10 more expensive than the other.
is Sony confusing consumers?
“Folks leapt on me for my Tweet on this a week ago, but there is no defending this kind of business model from the Sony PlayStation folks,” tweeted Hoeg. “They appear to be deliberately confusing the price point in an effort to “steal” $10 dollars from the uninformed. Duplicity and greed.”
He continued: “For folks not following what’s happening here, Sony is offering a PS4 version with “free” PS5 Upgrade for $60 and a PS5 version with a PS4 copy included for $70. Same package. Two price points. With one displayed more prominently than the other.”
In a series of tweets, Hoeg also brought to light that even though the PS4 version of HFW is playable on the PS5, it is not possible to buy the PS4 version at a lower price on the PS5s, PS Store. It’s worth keeping in mind that PS4 games can be bought via the PlayStation 5 digital store.
It gets worse. The PS4 version does not appear to be offered through the store on a PS5 at all, regardless of whether or not you ask only for PS4 games,” said Hoeg.
It gets worse. The PS4 version does not appear to be offered through the store on a PS5 at all, regardless of whether or not you ask only for PS4 games. pic.twitter.com/x8wyr2Dmxw— Richard Hoeg (@HoegLaw) February 15, 2022
Sony is being “Deceptive,” says Hoeg
Additionally, Hoeg told VGC: “Things like ‘deceptive’ or ‘unfair’ practises are always a bit in the eye of the beholder, so while I can say that I personally feel that this kind of thing crosses the line and appears deceptive on its face, I cannot guarantee that a regulator like the FTC or a judge would feel the same way.”
I’ve checked the PSN Store and what Hoeg says is true. Furthermore, I’ve also checked various retailers and there is roughly a £10/$10 price difference between the PS4 and PS5 versions of Horizon Forbidden West. Despite being the same game and playable on both formats. So, I would certainly suggest shopping about
Horizon Forbidden West releases this Friday for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Will you be picking up the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel? Let us know across our social media channels.
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