Why We Can’t Change Our PSN Names

For years, one of the most requested features of PlayStation Network (PSN) users has been the ability to change your PSN name. For just as long, the popular belief has been that technical issues prevented such an option. A recent interview conducted by IGN’s senior editor Colin Moriarty with Sony Computer Entertainment of America’s President and CEO Shawn Layden revealed that technical limitations aren’t the only reason this feature doesn’t exist. 

Layden explained that Sony is well aware of the demand from users to change their PSN names, among other features like deleting unwanted trophies. He says they have a long list of feature extensions they plan to address eventually, but what’s holding back the name changing is the possibility of user abuse.

Layden explains that,

“…we don’t want to make it so that you can go in, grief a bunch of people in Far Cry, change your avatar, change your username, go into CoD and grief everybody over there. We want to stop that.”

“[We want to do name changing] in a way that’s transparent, but also don’t let people morph themselves, either. And yeah, it’s terrible that you have to make decisions on a service sometimes by optimizing around the bad actor. I hate that we have to do that. So we’re trying to balance that between… the 99 percent of users going to have a good experience, how can we help make that happen without giving one more tool to the bad actor to go in and ruin the experience for others?”

My Opinion:

While I surely understand Layden’s point, I still feel this is an unresolved matter. Okay, people could abuse the system and cause mischief, but why not just limit the name change to once or twice a year? If you created a PSN username way back in 2006 (as I did) and the name no longer reflects who you are as a person, why not let us change it? BongBro420 asks you to reconsider, Mr. Layden.


Elijah Oguma is an associate writer for MONG and is truly a Middle of Nowhere Gamer on Oahu, Hawaii. You can follow him on Twitter.

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