Sony Reportedly Banned A PS4 User For A Cultural Misunderstanding

PlayStation 4
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has been attempting to clean up its userbase by removing inappropriate names, deleting accounts with offensive names, and aiming to make the PlayStation Network a more wholesome place overall. Well, one gamer was on the receiving end of Sony's clean-up efforts, only for Sony to reportedly realize they made a huge mistake.

In a Reddit post, a PlayStation 4 gamer named Enrique Perez went through a rather detailed story of how he was permanently banned from the PlayStation Network for having an inappropriate username, a name that is considered an offensive slur in the United States. In reality, Perez's user ID -- "Kike_0615" -- was actually a shorthand for "Enrique," and a nickname commonly used in Mexico, pronounced "kee-kay." However the PlayStation staff assumed it was a slur against the Jewish community and promptly banned Perez's account.

Enrique Perez said he had his account for more than a year after purchasing a PlayStation 4 and signing up with the PlayStation Network. However, he was contacted out of the blue one day, only to be informed that his account was no longer active due to an inappropriate screen name.

Perez attempted to get in contact with Sony support staff, but they told him that there was nothing that he could do. But in a couple of months the new PSN ID service would be in effect that would allow users to change their user ID names.

Now typically this wouldn't seem so bad, but a much bigger issue is that when they banned Perez's PSN ID, blocking him from accessing it, it also blocked him from accessing all of the games associated with that ID. And since the majority of the games he purchased were digital, it meant that he could no longer access the games he paid for.

This is typically what happens when an account with digital games purchased on them gets deactivated or banned. This has also happened to some EA Origin accounts, where the user is banned and they lose access to all of their games.

This has been one of the biggest criticisms of the all-digital future that companies like Microsoft were touting for systems like the Xbox One. Except, in this case, it was a PS4 owner and his PSN ID that got hit.

On the upside, after his story on Reddit went viral, Sony finally reached out to Perez and apologized for banning him without first reaching out. They ultimately found out that the PSN ID he had chosen was indeed not intended to be a slur, but that it was actually a commonly used nickname in Latin America, which is short for "Enrique." The cultural misunderstanding resulted in Perez initially being banned, but in an updated Reddit post Perez informed the community that Sony was kind enough to restore his account and his games, as well as invited him into the beta for the PSN ID name change program.

According to Perez, he has plans on making good on his beta invite so that he can change his user ID to something that isn't offensive in any language or culture. Perez says he learned his lesson and will attempt to avoid offending anyone in the future.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.