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God Of War Ragnarok Is Repeating Helldivers 2's PSN Controversy

Sony is back with another hit. Just a few weeks ago, the publisher upset "Helldivers 2" players – and just about everyone else — by announcing it would require PC players to link their Steam account to a PlayStation Network account in order to keep playing the game. Now, the company is apparently doing it all over again with the PC release of "God of War Ragnarok."

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Sony made the exciting announcement about "Ragnarok" coming to PC at its most recent State of Play event, but that good news was immediately undercut by the PSN-linking requirement. When "Helldivers 2" players were faced with the prospect of linking their accounts, many totally revolted, review-bombing the game and forcing Sony to apologize and reverse the decision. That entire debacle played out over the course of just a few days, so players are now baffled to see that Sony is risking recreating the controversy by demanding the same requirement for "Ragnarok."

Sony is still relatively new to the PC gaming space, and it acknowledged the fact that it's still learning what PC gamers want in its "Helldivers 2" apology. Apparently Sony isn't a fast learner, and it looks like PC gamers are already sharpening their pitchforks (or Blades of Chaos) in response to this fresh PSN scandal.

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Sony's mixed messaging

Publishers trying to lock gamers onto a specific platform or service is nothing new. There's a reason why seemingly every AAA game now requires players to set up yet another fresh account. Of course, gaming companies usually offer some kind of justification for why folks should sign up for their services, but that's exactly why Sony is going to have a hard time selling PC gamers on "God of War."

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When this issue played out with "Helldivers 2," Sony offered a somewhat reasonable justification for why PC players should use a PSN account. The company claimed, "[Account linking] is our main way to protect players from griefing and abuse by enabling the banning of players that engage in that type of behavior." Many gamers weren't willing to buy that line of reasoning for a multiplayer game like "Helldivers 2," so it's no surprise they aren't supporting account-linking for "Ragnarok," which is exclusively a single-player experience.

There's also the small matter that PSN accounts aren't available in every country and region. Sony's proposed account linking plan for "Helldivers 2" caused the game to be delisted from Steam in over 100 countries – a problem that, at the time of this writing, still hasn't been rectified. It can be presumed that PC gamers in those countries are going to be locked out of "Ragnarok" altogether.

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Gamers are ready to boycott God of War Ragnarok

Reddit threads are already overflowing with people angrily arguing that gamers don't get any real benefit from tying their Steam account to PSN. Sony could try arguing that account-linking gives players access to the PlayStation overlay and trophies while playing through "Ragnarok," but many would probably prefer to use the Steam overlay and achievements system anyway.

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Considering how little benefit there is to this whole PSN plan (at least at the moment), it's no wonder that some gamers are speculating that Sony might have ulterior motives for making this a requirement.

Of course, others are already refusing to buy the game in protest. Some have argued that the only real way to motivate Sony not to pull moves like this is to affect its bottom line, but there would probably need to be a pretty sizable boycott for Sony to really take notice.

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The saddest part of this story is that there are people who would love to play "Ragnarok" and wouldn't balk at the idea of linking their accounts, but they still can't do it. All those regions without official access to the PSN are locked out of buying the game on Steam. The general consensus among angry gamers is that Sony is still making decisions that go directly against what gamers actually want.

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