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Certain digital PS3 and Vita titles are "expiring" and no one knows why

Games like Chrono Cross are no longer playable due to a backdated expiration date.

Some players are reporting that certain PlayStation games like Chrono Cross are "expiring" on PS3 and PlayStation Vita.

Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition launched earlier this week, but now certain players are claiming that legally purchased, digital versions of PSOne Classics like Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger are no longer playable, as reported by Kotaku. Twitter user Christopher Foose shared an image showing their digital copy of Chrono Cross with an expiry date of 12/31/1969, and that the remaining time to play the game had expired, and is no longer playable on PS3 or Vita.

Foose goes on to explain that they had tested Chrono Trigger earlier that day (April 8) on their PS3, and it had run fine and had no expiration date. Talking with the official PlayStation support system did not help with the issue either. And later on, other users showed games like Final Fantasy IX and Final Fantasy VI facing the same issue of having an expiry date in the past.

A couple of users on Reddit have also shared issues with games not working, with one being unable to play Unit 13, and another unable to access any of their digital catalogue at all.

The fact that this issue is happening with multiple games means this is not directly because of the release of Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition, so the reason why it is happening for all these games is currently up in the air. One explanation, as noted by Kotaku, is potentially something known as the "Unix epoch."

The Unix epoch is an arbitrary date early engineers decided was the beginning of an operating system's lifespan, so it could be that a glitch on Sony's backend is setting the expiration date of these titles to the Unix epoch. Whatever the reason is, it shouldn't be happening, and is hopefully just some kind of glitch.

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