A class action lawsuit has been filed against Sony Interactive Entertainment on behalf of consumers, claiming that the company is acting unfairly by making certain PS4 and PS5 game downloads available only through the PlayStation Store.
If the lawsuit is successful Sony could be forced to change its business model for digital game sales, which could potentially mean lower prices for consumers.
The lawsuit alleges that Sony is operating a monopoly by preventing third-party retailers like Amazon, Walmart and others from selling digital versions of PlayStation games as part of a policy the company announced in 2019. At the time, Sony stated: “The decision was made in order to align key businesses globally.”
As reported by Bloomberg, the lawsuit states that: “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…”
The lawsuit further claims that consumers could be paying up to 175% more for downloadable, digital games than their physical on-disk counterparts.
This isn’t the first time Sony has attracted the ire of consumers over decisions made in regards to the PlayStation Store. Recently, the company faced a backlash after announcing plans to shut down the PlayStation Store service on PS3, PS Vita and PSP, which would have made a significant number of digital-only PlayStation titles unavailable for purchase on those consoles.
Sony walked back that decision in the wake of the criticism, instead only closing the PlayStation Store on the PSP while keeping the PS3 and PS Vita PlayStation Store outlets online.