Sony pulls PlayStation download codes from retail

If you’ve been waiting to pick up a delisted PlayStation game by buying a download code from sites including GameStop, Amazon, or Best Buy, act fast!

UPDATE: Thanks to a tip on Twitter, here’s a forum thread from the fine folks on ResetEra’s forums who are compiling a list of the remaining GameStop download codes that you can still buy.

Twitter deal-hunter, Wario64, received a memo sent to GameStop stores on March 22nd that will close up one of the few loopholes we have for buying delisted games. The memo states that starting April 1st, 2019 “full game digital download codes will no longer be available to purchase from other retailers worldwide”. Full game downloads will be sold exclusively on the PlayStation Network store going forward and retailers will only be able to sell PSN “wallet” cards.

The memo lays out a quick plan of action on GameStop’s part, stating that “all currently available Sony full game digital SKUs will be deactivated in the POS and on by End of Day 4/1”.  

While this news came from GameStop, the wording states “all retailers worldwide” which means download codes sold by Amazon, Best Buy, Newegg, and even eBay are likely to disappear soon, if they haven’t already. We’ve had a hard time finding active PlayStation codes on Amazon today while their Xbox One counterparts are readily available to buy and download.

Meanwhile, Sony has given no advanced warning about this change in policy, and obviously not offered any explanation. Our best guess is that they’re trying to bring players directly to the PSN store to spend their money instead of letting retailers sell individual games through codes. It seems less likely but this move could also be in response to complaints (or even litigation) from copyright holders whose delisted titles have been sitting on virtual store shelves long after their licensing deals have expired.

Whatever the explanation, we’ve just lost one of the few means to buy delisted PlayStation 3, PSP, Vita, and PlayStation 4 titles after they’ve been yanked from the PSN store.
Source: USGamer