Sony faces down enormous $7.9 billion lawsuit over PS5 game prices

Sony is preparing to face a gigantic $7.9 billion lawsuit over unfair PS4 and PS5 game prices, in a case on behalf of 9 million people.

Sony lawsuit PS5 game prices

Getting your hands on the latest PS5 games can be a costly endeavor these days, and resorting to the convenience of PS Plus and the PlayStation Network is often the best port of call. However, despite offering a plethora of titles across PS4 and PS5, Sony is now looking at a gargantuan lawsuit, as an ongoing lawsuit claims players had to pay unfair prices due to Sony’s highly dominant status in the gaming industry,

According to the Competition Appeal Tribunal for the case Alex Neill Class Representative Limited v Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe Limited, the lawsuit claims that Sony is preventing “game developers and publishers from accessing consumers other than through the PlayStation Store and PSN, which has resulted in users paying a higher price for digital games and add on content than would otherwise be the case.” Many of the best PS5 games around are likely from third-parties, but getting them served up to you through the PS Plus or the PS Store is no easy feat.

Neill, a consumer advocate listed as the Proposed Class Representative here, is aiming to provide compensation for over 9 million PS4 and PS5 players who have paid uplifted prices due to Sony’s current practices. Furthermore, the PCR claims that “Sony charges developers a commission on all purchases of games and add-on content made through the PlayStation Store, which has largely been set at 30% [of the price paid by the consumer]. ”

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With this in place, the document expresses that studios are limited in regard to the PS Store, as “PlayStation users wishing to purchase digital games have no alternative but to purchase them on the PlayStation Store.” With new PS5 games often retailing for at least $70/£70, finding alternative means of purchasing a digital PlayStation game is impossible, as Sony doesn’t take on digital retail approaches like Steam, Epic Games, or GOG. Buying new PC games can be done over a myriad of platforms, but PlayStation games are confined to the PS Store.

Since 1994, Sony remains Europe’s largest console supplier, beginning with the advent of the PlayStation 1. The PlayStation Store was first introduced with the PS3, launching on November 11, 2006. Whether it is the discontinued PSP or the PS5, digital games for these platforms have always remained tied to the Sony storefront.

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The case is aiming to address the supposed barriers put in place by Sony, but despite Sony’s best efforts to have the case dismissed, it could now prove to be a costly battle. In a recent statement on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, Neill says that via Reuters that this is “the first step in ensuring consumers get back what they’re owed.”