Possible Class Action Wants to Sue Sony For Restricting Digital Sales To PlayStation Store

Published: May 6, 2021 8:36 AM /


The PlayStation Store logo against a blue background

Sony is being sued for restricting purchases of digital games to the PlayStation Store. The plaintiffs of the potential class action suit claim that this practice represents an unlawful monopoly and that Sony is charging more than should be allowed due to not selling codes elsewhere.

What is the Sony PlayStation Store lawsuit all about?

The consumers bringing the potential class action lawsuit against Sony state that the gaming giant stopped letting third-party retailers sell digital PlayStation game codes two years ago. Because of this decision, the PlayStation Store is now the only place where digital copies of PS5 and PS4 games can be purchased. According to the plaintiffs, this means gamers end up paying up to 175% more for downloadable games than they would spend on the on-disk equivalents.

A list of deals available on the PlayStation Store
Some gamers say Sony is charging unfairly high prices due to having a monopoly on digital PlayStation purchases.

According to Bloomberg, the text of the lawsuit states that Sony is charging "supracompetitive prices" for digital PlayStation titles, and that these prices are much higher than their physical counterparts. The suit goes on to state that the price for digital PlayStation games on the PS Store is also "significantly higher than [it] would be in a competitive retail market for digital games".

What could this lawsuit mean for Sony?

At the moment, it's early days for the lawsuit, as the class action must first be allowed by the court for the case to proceed as a class-action lawsuit. We don't know how Sony intends to respond, especially since the company did not return Bloomberg's after-hours request for comment. However, if the suit is successful, it could mean Sony would have to allow third-party retailers to once again stock download codes for PlayStation Store purchases. As it stands, third-party retailers can, of course, offer PlayStation Store credit, but that doesn't change the price being charged for the games on Sony's platform.

A banner image advertising the PlayStation Plus Collection
Sony also landed in hot water this week over gamers sharing their PlayStation Plus Collection games with each other in Brazil.

This isn't the only time Sony is having to answer a lawsuit this week. A few days ago, the gaming giant lost an appeal against a Brazilian lawsuit stating it couldn't deactivate consoles for a breach of PlayStation Plus terms and conditions. While that lawsuit doesn't have any legal ramifications globally, it could be bad news for Sony when it comes to international gamers sharing PS Plus Collection games with one another. Time will tell whether this new lawsuit meets with any success.

How do you feel about Sony only selling PlayStation games through its own store? Let us know in the comments below!

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