Sony announced the social racing title DriveClub for the PlayStation 4 some time ago, and while originally due for a November 2013 release, the game has slipped a few times to October 2014. To spark increased interest in the game, Sony plans to offer a stripped-down version to PlayStation Plus members free of charge. If you'd like to upgrade to the full experience's fifty-five tracks and fifty cars, there's a one-time fifty dollar fee (a ten dollar savings from buying the sixty dollar retail version). Like most good things in life, there was a catch: let your Plus subscription lapse and your purchase becomes inoperable. The video game community didn't care for that stipulation and took to social media to raise awareness of the problem, and now Sony has come forward to lift the Plus requirement. Kotaku has the news and this quote from the company:
UPDATE: Our priority for DRIVECLUB is to enable you to play and enjoy everything it has to offer and PlayStation recognises that the prior plan for DRIVECLUB entitlement for the upgrade to the PS Plus edition was not appropriate. As a result, we have adjusted the PlayStation Plus terms for DRIVECLUB.
Now, If you intend on downloading DRIVECLUB PlayStation Plus Edition, and upgrading to the full game experience, you will have access to the full game even if your PlayStation Plus subscription runs out.
This is a smart move on Sony's part, but the smarter move would have been to not require Plus membership after upgrading to the full version at all. Games bought with Plus discounts often come with restrictions, but this DriveClub case is a major overreach. I'd expect the free version of the game to stop working if I let my Plus subscription end, but if I pay fifty dollars for a game, it had better work no matter what my Plus status is. I'm glad that the community spoke up and convinced Sony to change course. So far the message behind this generation of consoles is that companies do listen if enough people speak loudly and often.