Following the closure of PlayStation Home, the virtual 3D social platform for PS3, PlayStation Universe was contacted by many Home veterans after they read our feature about developers’ attitudes towards its demise. They too were keen to have their final words on their beloved Home community documented.
So, this article intends to honour the final thoughts of those who were closest to PlayStation Home; the community, those who ran Home fan-sites, worked within Home and lived and breathed its virtual society.
There’s no place like PlayStation Home
Written by Home veteran – kitchens_closed
“Looking back is painful.
I read a few articles yesterday, all of which characterize home as a joke – a failure – saying the service did not live up to its expectations and will not be missed. All those articles were written from the outside looking in, without any semblance of an understanding about what Home truly was.
Home did not live up to its intended vision. Home was not what you, I, or anyone expected it to be.
Instead, thousands of human hands and minds across the globe created an ever-evolving organism, right up until the very end.
My Home – Our Home. A true metaverse – the scope of which was inconceivably immense. A vast, interconnected world, built up week by week – every week – for eight years.
When Home died, tears of sadness, anger, and frustration came to my eyes. Why was I so upset? Because I thought about what was lost, not just in-world, but within all of Home’s dedicated users. Because everything we built up was wasted. Because I know – on a granular level – everything that Sony systematically threw away.
My Home deserves better than this.
The only reason home was still standing as of 2011 was due to incredibly talented third party developers who invested in the community; together we kept the service afloat through all the problems created by Sony’s indifference and incompetence. Sony washed their hands of Home years before this end-of-days announcement was made; they left the platform they continued to simultaneously neglect and profit from to die, taking their cut from the sweat of third party developers without providing even the most basic support. It was wrong, and despite Sony’s expectations, Home remained profitable without them, and didn’t die.
People on the PSN without a single trophy spent thousands over the years, and will now never do business with Sony again. Sony has alienated a loyal cult following, proving once again how out of touch and disconnected they have always been.
The hardest part is this decision was made by people with absolutely no conception of what they actually did. If you judge a fish on its ability to fly you will probably be disappointed.
Home was not a failure. Sony is the failure, and they should be ashamed.
The world was massive, and there was nothing else like it. Every single space, every game, every item, just disappeared, along with every character and everything gathered, accomplished, and experienced over the years.
Looking back at what we lost is painful. The only thing to do now is look forward to the new horizon and be grateful for the time we had together.
Rest in peace, our beautiful, amazing world. I’m sorry the end had to come. I’m sorry this happened the way it did – not with a bang, but a whimper – despite so many of us growing so connected and caring so deeply, both in spite of and because of the crooked road we forged together, and the challenges we faced that made us a community along the way.
You were special. There was nothing else like you, and there never will be again.
There will be other virtual worlds, but I will never have another Home.”
Written by Murray Bridges (aka MysticMur)
“One of the interesting aspects of Home was the emotional response it invoked from users and nonusers alike. Those who did not "get it" were probably used to games with tutorials and a set structure. Those that "got it" immersed themselves in an interactive virtual world with limitless possibilities. It inspired them to create within and explore a vast world that could be anything they wanted it to be.
Many also learned to color outside the lines so to speak, transcending the boundaries of Home. The original definition of Home was to create a virtual world were gamers met to socialize and launch games. It quickly become secondary to what users decided Home should be. Unfortunately the user definition clashed with what Sony envisioned Home to be.
In the defense of Home management team they catered to Home users needs for years, but never seemed to know what to do with this growing virtual world that went far beyond what they had planned. I have read many articles about Home closing plus forum posts by non-users. Many of them either are surprised it was still in existence, some of them openly disdainful of Home users. Going as far as inferring that they are not real or hardcore gamers. As if somehow this is an insult to someone who owns a gaming console. I am baffled why someone would take the time to insult another for enjoying a game or hobby that is different from their own.
What I believe is that unless you were part of Home that you are unable to comprehend the creativity and beauty of a vast virtual world. So many who complain of Home, make disparaging remarks about the social aspect and the underbelly of Home. Yes there were trolls, FAMS who pretended to be Gangsters, Elite Clubs, Kiddie Scripters, Glitchers, etc. in Home. This supports my point that Home could be a myriad of things; it just took imagination coupled with creative skills to enjoy the limitless possibilities and beauty of this social world. Very few people are able to turn a blank canvass into a masterpiece. Yet so many Home users did just that, leave their signature stamp on a world only meant to launch games.”
Wriiten by ptmacey
"I think jack buser had a very good point when he stated in this article http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011-07-01-home-users-the-most-hardcore-on-ps3 many home users were actually the most hardcore gamers on the ps3 platform literally living and breathing sony not just gaming often it was wondeful to go get a platinum then all come on to home and relive and chat give each other help on particular games."
Written by Natalie2208
"It was misunderstood by some, who probably never really gave it a fair chance, and sure of course for some, "Home" was just never their cup of tea, but for many who "Got It" it was a great experience. I do believe that Sony had great intentions for this project, both for entertainment purposes and finacial gain. Some how along the way, "Home" lost it’s way due to management depatures/reassignments (changes) on this project; to the negative climate change from some of those in the community. Such as the exploiters/freezers/hackers, who were hell bent on making Home an unpleasant hostile environment.
Did Sony have challenges, of course they did, all business do, but I just feel, Sony gave up entirely, by not moving this on to their next platform (PS4). I believe even if the hardware of the PS3 was at it’s limit and expansion was inevitable; why couldn’t they bring it to the PS4? They could have made the experience far better, with better fundamental changes that plagued it on the PS3. Such as organization to our content, crashes, load times, security, etc. Will Home ever make it unto the PS4, who knows for certain, but it’s not likely. I would love to hear from Sony, from the business point of view on why this successful failure (many Devs thought it was a profitable) should close the doors forever, on this project.
Well I look forward to the new ventures of Atom Republic Universe and Kovok Nebula, and I wish them both success. I was a dedicated, passionate follower on Home and will miss many things about Home. For the most part it was a fascinating experience, I didn’t care to venture in public spaces so much in late, due to all the Freezer Jerks out there, but I loved decorating my spaces, being a fashionista, attending club meetings and events. But I leave with much more and that is the wonderful friendships I formed on "Home".
Written by Y2David
"Sony had a vision in the beginning, thou in my opinion this vision got ruined and way too out of hand and outdated where they could not see it to bring it to the PS4. Did they know, maybe or maybe they were contemplating. I am also sad as many of you, and when it was first announced I held myself together for some days, but after I decided to leave for a few months as I had to break from it.
I do hope that with the new Virtual Worlds coming, they can bring us together as a Community like we had here where thousands have made friendship amongst one another and will last for years to come."
Written by Melody (aka goddessbunny42) – Worked on Home database
"As with all things in life, it is a continuum. Little did I know that what my real-life brother had shown me in October 2011 was going to change my life, for good or bad, for naught or ill. What I’ve experienced in the past three years and four months was definitely different than real life… but also the SAME as real life. Some people will solely see this experience as a “game,” some saw it as a social outlet, yes, Home really was what one made of it and contributed from it. Humans are social creatures and do NOT (even if some really try very hard to remove/exclude themselves) live in a vacuum. There were days when I wanted to be a social butterfly. There were days when I just wanted to go offline and take pictures. There were days when I wanted to just reward hunt, with or without people. There were days when I simply wanted to game.
Throughout my time in Home, the normal elements of being human also occurred – befriending people, sharing knowledge of any sort, having feelings (verbal or otherwise) expressed, relating with others and creating relationship, taking up causes, etc. Throughout it all, a community is made and grown … and with that, Home did not define me; Home enhanced me. It didn’t become me and I certainly did not become Home, but for good and bad, naught or ill, I will be forever affected and changed. Home both is and now was a part of my life.
Some have heard me say this, but this type of digital social departure is NOT new to me. I’ve survived BBSs, MUSHes, Usenet Groups, ICQs Chat Groups; whatever was socially done to create community via computer (save the AOL Chat Groups because I hated AOL), yep, I’ve done ‘em. I’ve lived life digitally and each experience enhanced me in some way. Along the way, I met great people, some I’ve gotten to know very well, and some have become good friends. Home was more immersive than the past digital experiences, but I will survive this too. I will look fondly back and smile."
PlayStation Universe would like to thank the PlayStation Home community for getting in touch, putting their feelings out there and for reminding us all what Home meant for a lot of people.