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PSN Bug Causing Game Licenses to Expire on PS3, Vita

Game Licenses Expire PS3 PS Vita

A PlayStation Network bug is causing game licenses to suddenly expire, preventing users from playing games on the PS3 and Vita. First reported for purchased and downloaded versions of Chrono Cross, the bug has also affected games like Chrono Trigger and many others. Evidence points to the phenomenon being a network glitch. [Thanks, Prima Games!]

Earlier this week, users began reporting issues with playing the PSOne Classic version of Chrono Cross on PS3. The initial theory was that Square Enix had delisted the older version of the game, due to the recent release of Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition remaster. That was the case for the recent Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster releases, which saw Square Enix remove older versions from the Steam store. That said, users could still play the older version if they had purchased it.

However, the problem has reportedly been affecting games from other publishers as well. Specifically, users have reported getting errors stating that a game’s license expired on January 1, 1970. The error messages have been seemingly random. They’ve affected games for some users while working fine for others, as well as depending on the console.

GamesHub’s Edmond Tran found that, while the PS1 version of Chrono Cross no longer appeared on the Vita store, he could still play it through his download list. On the other hand, it was available in the PS3 store and could be installed, but displayed the above error message.

The expiration date in question is of particular importance. As users have pointed out in the comments, the date is the “Unix epoch.” When developing the first computing systems, Unix engineers arbitrarily picked the date as the “zero point” of time. It’s also commonly used as a default timestamp in a database. As such, it’s highly likely that the expired game licenses are a result of a PSN bug.

Sony has yet to comment on the issue.

Andrew Kiya
Andrew Kiya is a mixed Japanese writer, streamer, and activist. Born in Japan, and raised in both Japan and the United States, he is forever waiting for the next Ape Escape game.