Sony Fails to Block Lawsuit Over Inflated PlayStation Store Prices and Commission Charge

Sony Fails to Block Lawsuit Over Inflated PlayStation Store Prices and Commission Charge

19
Richard Walker

Sony has failed to block a lawsuit filed against it for breach of competition law regarding prices on the PlayStation Store. A London tribunal ruled that the lawsuit filed last year will go ahead as planned, with Sony continuing to receive a 30% commission on all purchases made via the PS Store.

The lawsuit could end up costing Sony up to £6.3 billion in damages, Reuters reports (via GI.biz), and, despite the platform-holder's protest that the case has been “flawed from start to finish”, the Competition Appeal Tribunal is set to pursue the case. As such, affected customers could also be due compensation.

"This is the first step in ensuring customers get back what they're owed as a result of Sony breaking the law," consumer rights expert Alex Neill declared in a statement. “PlayStation gamers' loyalty has been taken advantage of by Sony, who has been charging them excessive prices for years.”

She added: "It is significant that the competition court has recognised Sony must explain its actions by ordering them to trial. We are seeking to put a stop to this unlawful conduct and ensure customers are compensated."

Neill submitted the lawsuit against Sony last August for “ripping off” nearly nine million UK consumers, through charging its 30% commission on digital games and in-game items bought via the PlayStation Store.

Comments
19
  • That's actually £6.3 billion. Just one letter but what a difference.
  • @RRDude_PBB:
    Thanks for pointing it out. I was seriously wondering what the fuzz is about over such a miniscule amount. ^^ 6.3 million GBP for ripping over 9 million consumers doesn't look like an issue.
  • Here comes more price hikes and lesser quality than we already have.
    Absolutely sh- show Sony has become.
  • I knew something was fishy when you could buy a physical copy of Spider-Man 2 without discounts for $10 less than what the basic digital copy cost on PSN.
  • Doesnt Steam/Microsoft/Apple/etc. also take 30% off the top from publishers/devs when games/apps are sold on their storefront?

    I was under the impression that was the industry norm and that one of the major selling points of the Epic game store being "good for devs" that they only charge 12% instead, there was a whole lawsuit filed and marketing campaign from Fortnite about this against apple.

    Must be misremembering it.
  • @G_Cullen:
    MS Store is 12 % (not sure whether this also applies to XBox, but I think it's a unified store). Steam takes a 25 % cut after ten million and 20 % after 50 million revenue. So big name games only have 20 % effectively.
    Apple still takes 30 %, yes.
    But these are also the public revenue shares. Big publishers have power to negotiate better deals. Through the Epic V Google case we recently learned that Spotify doesn't has to pay any fees or share through Play Store, because Google cannot afford to not have it on their platform.
  • Okay, looks like MS is charging 30 % on XBox and the 12 % is for PC only.
    Apple and Google have a similar law suit filed against them it seems. Good new for UK consumers.
    https://consumervoice.uk/action/apple/
    https://consumervoice.uk/action/google-play-store/

    The Apple case commences on 13th January 2025. That's a 5 in the end and not a typo. Considering two appeals, don't expect an early Christmas present then either. ;)
  • Don't really get why this is a lawsuit or why it's not also happening for MS and any other similar store. The prices are excessive yes, but the end user is making the choice to buy it at these prices knowing there are much cheaper options through physical ways (or maybe I'm completely missing the point here).
  • @Unger One of the things is that digital SHOULD be cheaper as there lower costs for each unit (digital replication is free vs making a box, disc and shipping it along with everyone else's cut too) as well as lesser ownership and long term value.

    Not to mention the price increase in games the last few years on certain platforms/games which has had zero quality increases as were promised.
  • @9 The price increase has way more to do with inflation than anything else, but people tend to bring out the pitchforks when inflation is mentioned as a reason for game price increases (for some reason)

    If this works out against Sony, hopefully digital prices on PSN globally get reduced. But I doubt Sony will lose this case, it just doesn’t seem like there’s a solid enough case for them to lose
  • Good, I hope this causes massive price drops in the store, because prices are ludicrously high right now when sales aren't on.
  • Agree Terminator. The prices lately have been awful. even in most sales. Most these games should be $20 on sale at the most. Yet they barely lower them at all.
  • @QDawg187, Yes it definitely should be lower logically speaking, but it ain't.

    If people are willing to pay these ridiculous prices, you really can't blame Sony for this. If you could sell your game second hand for more money than what you bought it for you'd also do it, it should be lower logically but if you have the chance you'd ask more.

    Sony is like every company focussed on maximizing revenues, vote with your wallet and they'll have to reduce the price or else it'll cost them. It might be an unpopular opinion but I blame the people paying these dumb prices (they definitely have alternatives). I doubt this case will go how the 'affected' consumers want.
  • So xbox has been charging it's user's more but they come after Sony? Uh huh... tell me how biased you are without saying you are biased. Xbox sales are horrendous and Nintendo doesn't put any of it's triple a games on sale.. but again..let's go after Sony..not the other's. Talk about being biased.
  • @10 Yea Sony losing this case while the other two console competition sales are even more pathetic than Sony's store sales.. yea ms and nintendo would be wise to help Sony cause if Sony does get in trouble Nintendo and MS is next and Nintendo isn't going to lose zelda, pokemon and mario prices. Least Sony has sales on their triple A games within a month. Like to see anyone say that about MS or NIntendo.
  • @Unger:
    That's the point of the lawsuit: people have no choice but to pay these prices. Once you have bought a console, you are locked in into their store for a lot of games and for release titles there is parity with physical products, too. Publishers don't have the choice to go with another platformer holder and pay lower fees. Therefore the anti-competition lawsuit.
    And these fees are of course handed down to the consumer in the end.

    On PC, even though Steam has a dominant position that means make or break for a lot of smaller studios, you still always had the choice to use another platform or even sell the game yourself. On console and iOS you simply don't have that choice. Android is at least somehwat open, but it makes you jump through hoops that deter "normal" consumers.
  • Guess everyone forgot when xbox lost dang near all of it's publishers last gen. Publishers have 3 choices... apparantly last gen there was only one being reasonable. How quickly people forget things. This is a farce and someone just wanting money. Typical. Everyone get's sued for anything now. Glad these people didn't play during genesis, some games were more expensive than anything on psn store minus some super duper ultimate editions
  • @c1ned1ne, But they do, they made the dumb decision to save €100 to go for digital knowing very well that they could only shop at 1 digital store (the PS4 already had these ridiculous prices so you can't say they wouldn't know this). If I'm not mistaken you can also still install a disc drive in there. Or they can just wait for a sale, it's still a luxury good we're talking about. Nobody is forcing them to get everything day 1 at the most expensive price (in fact I'd be inclined to do the absolute opposite).
  • You need to register before being able to post comments

Game navigation