Sony Agrees To Give Away Games, Money After 2011 PSN Hack

Sony Agrees To Give Away Games, Money After 2011 PSN Hack

Remember back in 2011, when the PlayStation Network went down for almost a month? Well, after years of haggling in court, Sony has recently agreed to a settlement in the cases brought forward following the hack. One which, if the judge approves their offer, is going to cost Sony $15 million, and give a whole bunch of people free stuff.

It’s important to note that this information is all taken from Sony’s offer of a settlement. It’s yet to be signed off, so things in the actual notice – like the website you need to visit to make a claim – are currently offline, incomplete or not working. It also means that, while it’s likely that this is going to take place, there’s always the chance things change.

Anyway, based on Sony’s settlement offer as it stands, here are the highlights:

  • Claimants in the case who didn’t get anything from the Welcome Back campaign Sony ran back in 2011 (but who were active PSN account holders at the time) are able to choose two of the following three freebies: a free PS3 or PSP game (from an as-yet unseen list), some PS3 themes or three free months of PlayStation Plus.
  • These claims are only on a first-come, first-served basis. Once Sony has given out $US6,000,000 of games/themes/subs to those folks, the deal is off, and anyone still after something will get one month’s free PS Plus.
  • If you did get a free game from the Welcome Back campaign, you can choose one of the above options (game, themes or 3 months of PS Plus) instead of two. That offer is also capped, this time at $US4,000,000, with the same one-month PS Plus deal available to anyone who misses out.
  • Anyone with an active account who lost unused PlayStation Store credits will, if their balance was above $US2, get that money back.
  • If you were a Netflix or Hulu Plus subscriber who couldn’t access their account, you’re eligible for three free months of PlayStation Plus.
  • Anyone able to prove they had their identity stolen as a result of the hacks that caused the downtime is eligible for up to $US2500.

As said above, since this isn’t final, you can’t actually sign up and make your claims yet. There will also be a toll-free phone number and mailing address available. Once you can (and who knows, that might take a while), we’ll let you know.

Note that this settlement will only cover those in the United States, since that’s where these particular class-action lawsuits were brought forward. What happens in other regions is up to Sony and whatever similar cases were lodged there.

We’ve contacted Sony for further information, like which games are being considered as part of the offer, and will update if we hear back.

If you’d like to view the settlement offer in its entirety, you can check it out below. The important stuff begins on page 5.

Sony PSN Settlement Offer [via Polygon]


  • I can see this being a mess the moment its up with alot of people complaining that they missed out because the sony servers are gonna get thrashed

    • Maybe they’ll go down for a month?

      Seriously though, the month without PSN is what finally pushed me to Xbox gaming. Might boot up the old PS3 depending on the free game though.

      • At the time I was barely playing my ps3 so I wasnt affected by it I was too busy playing games on my PC

      • You aren’t eligible though. This is a US class action lawsuit settlement, and we are not part of the class.

          • Presumably you’ll need more than an account ID and password to prove you are a member of the class.

          • I’d disagree but we will have to see.

            Presumably it’s an online redemption, unless they want a credit card there isn’t much they can ask for

      • Yeah this as well, everyone was affected but only americans get something bonus out of it if you didnt get the free gift games which I think was more their testing of the PS+ instant games collections more than anything

        • Well it was the only place the lawsuit happened so it’s the only place they’d technically have to. Since sony know it’d be a bad look, I’d not be surprised if everyone else would get a month of PS+ free or something just so they at least give the impression of giving everyone something and it doesn’t cost them anything more

          • Also a good way for people to go “OoOoo I can get free games” *month later* “Hey! why cant i access them anymore?!”

          • But that’s a way to basically advertise the fact that PS+ gives you “free” games and you might as well pay for it since it’s now arbitrarily required for multiplayer functionality (best illustrated by watch_dogs, you can do parts without PS+ and parts need it, shows how arbitrary it really is)

  • So is that $10 million for those affected ($6m to those who didn’t take up the “Welcome Back” promotion, and $4m to those who did), and $5 million to the lawyers?

  • I don’t get it. Back in 2011, the choices of your “free game” were awful. I either owned them all or wasn’t interested in the genre, so I picked something (cant even remember what). Now after so many months of games with PSPlus, its going to be no different – the choice of “free” titles will again be either something I already have or don’t want.

    Wasn’t feeling the love back in 2011, still not feeling it now.

    • I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was very happy with my choices of games that I didn’t already own and wanted.

  • Does this whole thing really matter though? It was ages ago. If you are still bitter about it than maybe it is time to reevaluate your life.

    • It’s also funny how furious people were that Sony took a few weeks to admit they were hacked when you compare how CatchoftheDay took 38 months to come clean….suddenly they don’t look so bad 😉

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