To celebrate 20 years of PlayStation, Sony created 12,300 limited edition PS4s and offered them to gamers worldwide. In the US, they were sold to whoever could tap/click buy fastest, but in the UK, the company had a more creative approach. Starting with the PlayStation ’94 Shop in London, where 94 consoles were put aside for £19.94 with proceeds going to the GamesAid gaming charity. Then came a GAME partnership, which required games to solve riddles, click iconic PlayStation characters and enter a competition before anyone else.
As expected, it was a bit of a mess. People quickly realized they could pool their resources and share the answer seconds after the riddle was posted, effectively locking out those who took time to work it out themselves. Then, an enterprising developer found a way to extract the clues before Sony publicly shared them. This led to six people filing a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which argued that “promotion’s terms and conditions had been breached in a number of ways.”
The ASA has upheld the complaint, noting that the competition was not fair and “caused unnecessary disappointment.” Although GAME disqualified anyone who submitted a competition entry before Sony posted their clue, five people still managed to acquire two consoles while the promotion took place. This went against the competition’s terms, which was meant to give a single 20th Anniversary PS4 to each winner.
Both companies have been told to “ensure that future promotions were administered fairly and avoided causing unnecessary disappointment to participants.”
Source: Engadget Gaming