Games & Services
06 Dec 2017
By: ShengyBoy

*SOLVED* Games Expired While PS Plus is Active

12 replies


I have a PS3, a PS4 and an active PS+ subscription that is valid till August 2018 (I always renew my PS+ with a 12-month sub every August, since I believe August 2013/14).

Anyway.. I have parked my PS3 for quite a while, maybe over 2 years now, and yesterday got it out again and decided to play one of my previously downloaded PS+ games (games are on the system for almostt 3 years now, and were purchased using an active PS+ subscription). Strangely enough, when I started any of the downloaded PS+ games I got the message that this content has expired, and on the information page of all my PS+ games it said they were available from August 22, 2014 and expired on August 22, 2015.

I have checked the PS+ FAQ and no where does it mention that games may expire or be unplayable while having an active PS+ subscription. So what gives?

Appreciate the assistance guys.

  • Most likely the license has expired. Usually all you need to do is visit the PS store to renew the license.


    Btw some PS3 games you aquire via PS+ licenses will expire after 1 year whille PS+ is still active. Like I stated you just need to go to the PS store in order to renew the license.


    You can check which game on the PS3 console by clicking once on the game, then hitting the triangle button. This brings up an option menu on the right.


    Just scroll down to the botton an click on Information. At the very bottom it will show start date, expiration date, and how many days remain. Some PS+ games will show this, and some will not. 

  • Okay will try going to the PS store and try the license thing.


    That's what I said in my original post about the information page. It shows the expiration date August 22nd 2015, and all of them are like that (Crysis 3, Dragon's Crown, Proteus).

  • Crysis 3, and Dragon's Crown are still available in the store, so a license renewal should get them working again. Proteus is a Vita game, do you still own a Vita?

  • TwinDad (Support MVP)

    All PS+ games have a liscense "lease" time that they are good for. It stops people from subscribing to PS+ for the games, and then disconnecting from the internet and getting the game for free forever. The year check in makes sure that you subscription is current for the game to work again.


    On the PS4, you just go to restore lisceneses and it gives you a new expire date.

  • Thanks for the feedback folks!


    So I went to the store on my PS3 and the option I found available so far is to download the games again with a new license expiring in August '18.


    Is that the only option or does the PS3 have a similar method to the PS4 as TwinDad mentioned, which can restore the licenses for already downloaded/installed games?

  • @ShengyBoy, Like @TwinDad mentioned, with the PS4 you just go to restore license, which is in settings.

    Unfortunately the PS3 doesn't have the same option. Just going to the PS store, or starting a re-download of the game, and then canceling it should do the trick.


    I have done this in the past with expired PS+ games, and never had to do a full re-download. Just starting the re-download and canceling was all it took.

  • Hi @Black_MagicWoman


    I already tried starting a re-download and canceling it. Unfortunately, that didn't do the trick. So it's either the store policy has been changed & a full download is now required, or I need to wait for the download to reach maybe a 5 or 10% before canceling. I'll post an update about this.


    In any case, thanks to the both of you for all the info!


  • gkpama00 (Support MVP)

    A PS3 game can only be installed on the console once at any given time.  If you download a game that is already installed on the console, then only the license is downloaded.  If the game downloads, then the console thinks that the game is not currently installed on the console.  It has nothing to do with the license. The game download may have been updated since you last played, which would cause it to download again; but that does not ever happen with most games.  Renewing the license requires more than having an active subscription, by the way.  Your subscription has to have been active continuously, with no breaks, since the game was downloaded; otherwise you lose the license permanently.  You may just be downloading demos now. The information page on the console just reports the information from the last license that was downloaded. The game has to still be in your PSN Downloads List, in order for you to download a new license. The license expires at the end of your Plus subscription at the time that it is downloaded.  It isn't replaced until it expires, assuming that you are signed-in to PSN at that time, and are still entitled to download the game license. 
  • @gkpama00 you just wrote a lot of different info, let me see if I can break down my response.


    1. I also expected only the renewed license to download and not the full game, as you said, since I did play these games 3 years ago before parking my PS3. What I mean is that I'm sure the games are installed and running. No idea why the store is re-downloading the full game.
    2. My subscription was never interrupted since I started on PS+ back in 2013. And even if that did happen, the FAQ says that by renewing your subscription at a future date, you will be able to continue playing the free games you had. So I don't agree on the point that my subscription has to be continuous or else I lose the license permanently and just download demo versions of games I purchased before under an active PS+ subscription.
    3. I don't know if you noticed, but most PS3 games on PS+, when downloaded or free, come in two files; a demo and another tiny unlock file which I'm guessing is the license. I hope I could find these files and re-download them instead of a complete one.
    4. All the free games I got from PS+ since 2013 are available on my PSN download list.
    5. The strangest thing is, FEZ was the very first game I had since 2013 when I first started with PS+. I still have the game installed on my PS3 and it still works till this day! The information page doesn't show license start/expiry dates. Either the whole license thing is different for every game/publisher or FEZ just became free for everyone, PS+ sub or not.
  • chaos_789 (Support MVP)

    The part of gaining all your free plus games back if you start a subscription at a later date, was changed a long while ago. They don't guarantee your plus titles after you subscription ends, you can get all or some of them back. Once the subscription ends, there is no guarantee that all titles will return. (no guarantee which games could be removed, you could still have the game from 2013, but lose access to a game from 2015 for example.)


    Also the two files you are referring to, on the PS3 many PSN demos include the full game, so when you download the demo, you are actually downloading the full game, but full access is locked. You need to download what is known as an unlock key, which will then unlock the demo and  turn it into the full game.


    In your download list, is both the demo and unlock key still listed?

  • @chaos_789 Didn't know they changed that policy. I did find some unlock files for other titles than the ones I have installed (Crysis 3, Dragon's Crown), so I suppose game activation differs from one game to another.


    In any case, the games are finally running again! Licenses were updated to expire in August 2018, and it's all thanks to @Black_MagicWoman's tip!! For future reference here's what I did:


    1. Went to the PS store on my PS3.
    2. Looked up the games I have with an expired license dating 2015, this can be either from the downloads list or simply searching for the titles.
    3. Selected "Download" and the game started downloading from the store.
    4. During the download process, selected "Download in Background" option.
    5. Closed the store application and went back to the main XMB menu.
    6. The games are now downloading and progress can be seen in the Downloads Manager on the XMB menu.
    7. Waited for a couple minutes and then selected the expired game in question (games list, not downloads manager list), went to the game information page and voila! the license start and expiry dates updated to reflect my latest PS+ subscription period; ending August 2018.
    8. Back to the Downloads Manager and canceled the game download.
    9. Games are now starting and running normally.

    Thanks for all the help guys and especially @Black_MagicWoman.


  • Glad things worked out @ShengyBoy. Happy Holidays to you and family.