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Sony faces class action lawsuit for limiting digital game purchases to PlayStation Store

Ps5 Store Deals
Ps5 Store Deals (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Sony has prevented third-parties from selling digital game codes since 2019.
  • The company is now facing a class action lawsuit due to this decision.
  • The lawsuit alleges that PlayStation has created an unlawful monopoly.

For The Players means different things to different folks. PlayStation's enduring motto has taken criticism over the years for what people view as anti-consumer practices, one of which was the decision to prevent third-party retailers from selling digital game codes. Sony enacted this policy in 2019, preventing stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and more from selling digital game codes that could be redeemed on PlayStation consoles, making the PlayStation Store the only place to buy these games. Sony is now being sued for this decision, according to a report from Bloomberg.

A proposed class action lawsuit claims that Sony is operating an unlawful monopoly where people end up paying 175% for downloadable games than the same ones on physical discs. "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 consumers said.

The case, Caccuri v. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, is being heard in a San Francisco U.S. District Court, and is just another class action suit facing Sony in addition to one regarding DualSense drift. It's unknown what will come of both of these suits.

Sony's main competitor, Microsoft, still allows digital Xbox games to be sold at third-party retailers, and many of these you can often find on sale. As for now, the only place you can buy full digital game for PS4 or PS5 is on the PlayStation Store. Digital game expansions, digital currency, and gift cards are still sold at places like Amazon, however.

Jennifer Locke
Jennifer Locke

Jennifer Locke is Android Central's Games Editor and has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things on Twitter @JenLocke95.

2 Comments
  • Pretty open and shut case here. Sony's in the ****. Presumably this is the same policy that forced Bungie to include a physical card with a PSN code in the Destiny 2 Beyond Light collector's edition (as opposed to emailing a code when available like they did with the Destiny 2 Shadowkeep collector's edition).
  • This is one of the main reasons why going fully digital is a problem.