Sony Sued For Restricting Its Digital Game Sales To PlayStation Store

Sony Sued For Restricting Its Digital Game Sales To PlayStation Store
Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images, Getty Images

Two years ago, Sony stopped selling digital download codes for its games through retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart. And now the gaming giant has been hit with a class-action lawsuit.

Bloomberg reports that the proposed suit, Caccuri v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC in a San Fransico U.S. District Court, alleges that limiting the digital purchase of PlayStation games to the company’s own store creates an unlawful monopoly as there is no other source to purchase them.

According to the suit, “Sony’s monopoly allows it to charge supracompetitive prices for digital PlayStation games, which are significantly higher than their physical counterparts sold in a competitive retail market, and significantly higher than they would be in a competitive retail market for digital games.”

Comments

  • I’m all for this if the result sees PS Store prices drop.

    Also the Samsung scroll add is eating up the already short story.

    • PSN prices won’t drop. They’re always going to be at RRP outside of sales. I understand it has something to do with major retailer agreements.

  • I don’t think this is going to go anywhere. They are a closed system selling their own product in the places they want to have distribution. Physical or digital really doesn’t make a difference, because in the end they need to licence the sale of the software and can set their prices. The precedent this would set could be used for practically any item with an exclusive retailer.

  • This is a ridiculous lawsuit and I won’t be surprised if it gets thrown out. While they are at it, why not sue Apple, Google and Nintendo for restricting their digital sales to their own platforms too? Unsure why Sony is the sole target here.

    • Agreed. If you’re going to be outraged about their practices, show the same energy for other companies doing the same.

      • Sorry – that’s a totally wrong perspective… that’s like saying you can’t accuse a wrong doer (ie sue them) without suing ALL the wrong-doers. This “what-about-ism” is not a good argument for why they shouldn’t be sued.

    • Because Nintendo don’t have any digital-only devices that lock customers into a single store like the PS5 Digital does, Google allows sideloading which technically allows users to get around its app store, and Apple *is* being sued. By Epic.

    • Because you only need to sue one into the ground to set a precedent for forcing the others to comply with whatever the judge sets.

  • While I am generally in favour of ‘more competition’, I have to say that the sale prices on Sony’s store are definitely competitive. The only real issue is that their sales are clearly limited only to their own store, so it’s very difficult to compare physical retailer X with the Sony digital store. I do agree however that IF I want to buy digital, then it seems unreasonable that the only way I can do it is from a Sony store (especially if you went down the all-digital PS5 route – which I did not).

  • I actually prefer physical copies of games to digital downloads. They usually come with good booklets with instructions on how to play the game and some game related information too.

    Maybe it should be made a consumer right to be able to claim a digital version of the game if you have the physical copy of the game. For instance, you could register a unique code from your physical game into the PS Store and claim your free digital copy of the game. If you sold your physical copy of the game, the buyer of it could not use the code again. Maybe the buyer could pay a nominal fee to Sony to also get access to a digital copy of the game.

    If the original owner of the game getting a free digital copy of the game seems a bit rich, maybe they could also pay Sony a nominal fee in order to get a digital copy of a game.

    Personally I’d like to some means of upgrading an old game to a new remastered version for a price less than what people who don’t have an old version of the game pay for the remaster. Much less. That’s a different matter though.

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