Company |Product | Date published: 6.8.2021

Continuous Enhancements to Ensure a Positive Experience for All Players

Our ongoing commitment to maintaining a space where everyone feels welcome
Continuous Enhancements to Ensure a Positive Experience for All Players

Hi everyone. I’m Catherine Jensen, and I lead the Global Consumer Experience division at Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE). One of our goals on this team is to ensure a positive experience for everyone playing online with friends and other gamers. Today I’d like to share details about some PS5 features designed to keep our PlayStation community welcoming and joyful for all players, along with some changes we’ve recently introduced to suspensions.

More than ever, gaming is the perfect way to escape from our day-to-day, relax with friends and family, go on an adventure or take on a challenge, or just pass some time. We want all members of our community to have the best possible gaming experience on PlayStation Network (PSN), and finding new ways to manage online safety is a key part of that. With recent initiatives such as our shared commitment to safer gaming and our voice chat reporting functionality, we want to ensure to make PSN an even more welcoming platform for all gamers. 

Personalized settings to control interaction with others

Along with the initiatives I mentioned above, there are many other things in place to help keep our community joyful and inclusive when interacting – or not interacting – with each other online. For example, players can decide themselves if they want to receive friend requests, if they want to receive messages from anyone online, only from friends or not at all. Players can choose who they want to interact with by creating a friends list, or identify players they don’t want to interact with by using a personal blocklist. We want to provide our PlayStation community with the possible options to control the interactions they want to have on our platforms. 

Speaking of blocklists and limiting interaction with others, there are a few things players can do before hitting that block button, including muting other players’ voices during specific games, or submitting a grief report for inappropriate content which can result in the content being removed and a potential suspension for the offending user.

Family settings provide parents with more control and options

When it comes to protecting minors on PS5, we provided parents and guardians with more control and options which allow them to navigate their children’s online experience by using the Family Manager feature. The designated Family Manager can determine what features and functions their child, early teen and older teen accounts have access to, including communication, user-generated content and playing or purchasing games. It’s not a one-way street though, these restrictions are flexible. Children can request to play, purchase or communicate, and the Family Manager can approve or deny the request via their mobile device, computer, or PS5 console. For more safety tips for families, check out our post here.

Updated suspension features

To help build on what we’ve already accomplished, we’ve made some changes to the impact suspensions have on PS5 players who communicate in ways that go against the PlayStation™Network Terms of Service, which includes the Community Code of Conduct. We recently added communications suspensions to our safety measures which means users who commit low-level violations of our guidelines are stopped from communicating with others on PSN even though they may keep access to other functions and features. Users who commit egregious or repeated violations will still be subject to full suspensions or bans.

This way, everyone can enjoy PSN features and the community is protected from inappropriate content and communication. Communication features may be restricted for a period of time, or permanently. As with any type of misconduct, the suspension depends on the situation and is assessed case by case. Community members who receive this suspension can still access other parts of PSN,  including features and functions such as video streaming services, games and other online activities. Before introducing this new suspension type, users who acted inappropriately lost all access to PSN if their account was temporarily or permanently suspended.

Reporting inappropriate behavior 

When it comes to reporting inappropriate behavior on PS5 consoles, that process remains the same and can be done directly through the PS5 console. The report is sent to our Consumer Experience team for moderation, who will then review the report and take action if needed. Not all reports will be valid, and this is an opportunity for our team to provide guidance and education. 

Recognizing and rewarding positive play

Keeping our community welcoming involves more than just consequences for players who don’t follow the guidelines, it is also about recognizing those who help make our community a great place to play. The Accolades feature on PS5 is a great way for the players to get some recognition, whether it’s a multiplayer match well played, or some successful co-op campaign teamwork. Accolades are displayed on the player’s profile. 

Protecting players can be challenging in a connected, digital world, and we hope that these updates and features enable a fun and inclusive experience for all players. We believe gaming is for all people of all ages, including our youngest and most vulnerable players. All players deserve to have fantastic social gaming experiences in settings where respect and safety are mutual.

Thanks for taking the time to learn more about what we’re doing to create the best possible gaming experience for everyone on our PlayStation platforms. We appreciate your support and want you to know that our goal is to help foster a fun and positive experience when you’re playing online with friends and other gamers.