Sony Interactive Entertainment has been the subject of a class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers alleging that the company is acting unfairly by making certain PS4 and PS5 game downloads are only available from PlayStation Store.
If the lawsuit succeeds, Sony may have to change its business model for selling digital games, which could mean lower prices for consumers.
The lawsuit alleges that Sony is exercising a monopoly by preventing third-party retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and others from selling digital versions of PlayStation games as part of the company’s policy was announced in 2019. At the time, Sony announced: “The decision was made to harmonize key companies globally.”
As reported Bloomberg, the lawsuit states: “Sony’s monopoly allows it to charge the most competitive prices for digital PlayStation games that are significantly higher than physical counterparties sold in a competing retail market and significantly higher than they would be in a competing digital gaming retail market.”
The lawsuit further argues that consumers could pay up to 175% more for downloadable digital games than their physical counterparts on disk.
This is not the first time Sony has sparked consumer anger over decisions about the PlayStation Store. Recently, the company faced a setback after announcing plans to close PlayStation Store service on PS3, PS Vita and PSP, which would have meant that a significant number of digitally-only PlayStation titles would not have been available for purchase on these consoles.
Sony reverted its decision as a result of criticism, but only shut down the PSP PlayStation Store, keeping the PS3 and PS Vita PlayStation Stores online.