PlayStation owners who purchased Studio Canal movies from the PlayStation Store will no longer have access to them in the near future. A legal notice published on PlayStation’s German and Austrian websites can confirm that they’ll be removed and no longer viewable after August 31, 2022, due to “evolving licensing agreements with content providers.” Some of these films include popular titles such as Apocalypse Now, Django, John Wick, La La Land, Saw, and The Hunger Games.
PlayStation closed its movie store last year, with Sony announcing in March 2021 that beginning August 31, 2021, the PlayStation Store would no longer support the purchase or rental of newly released movies on the PS4 and PS5 platforms. It had claimed that consumers would still be able to access the movies and TV shows that they’ve purchased through the PlayStation Store for viewing on their PS4, PS5, and mobile devices, however.
PlayStation Store users who purchased Studio Canal’s films on that platform are obviously unhappy with this for various reasons, with one of the bigger ones relating to refunds. Sony hasn’t confirmed whether it will even bother offering refunds yet. The predicament has also rekindled the debate as to whether people really even own their digital movies, while those who have remained loyal to Blu-ray and other disc-based media have taken the opportunity to gloat about how physical releases are superior.
The development reignites the debate around digital movie purchases and naturally lead consumers to wonder what comes next?
Will Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft and others similarly remove customers’ purchased movies when the tech giants lose interest in their movie storefronts?
So far, there are no indications that they will but Sony PlayStation’s decision certainly serves as a grim example. In the US, customers have some protection through digital movie locker Movies Anywhere, but no such fallback option exists internationally.