Consumers have risen to file a lawsuit in San Francisco against Sony over its alleged unlawful monopoly over game prices on its PlayStation Store.
With a shift to online permanence, the gaming industry has seemingly been torn over physical and digital purchases. Sony’s recent PlayStation 5 Digital Edition demonstrates a push to weed out physical discs and move purely to online games. As such, Sony has been alleged to impose “supracompetitive” prices on consumers buying from its PlayStation Store. Based on the lawsuit, the extent of this price hike can reach up to 175% higher than physical games sold by retailers in-store!
Additionally, Sony has been accused of preventing third-party retailers, such as Amazon, from selling PlayStation game codes in their respective stores. Nintendo engaged in a similar practice last year by preventing European retailers from selling first-party digital game codes.
Many argue that this lawsuit came about following the onslaught of the current Epic v Apple case. This landmark trial has already begun to expose unethical and unlawful practices as well as leak industry secrets and information. Within this, Sony was further revealed to charge for crossplay support between non-native Sony systems, such as Xbox and Nintendo. The entire gaming industry is now being viewed in a new light, with anti-competitive conduct and breach of consumer regulations claims pointed at several major players in the industry. For years, these gaming and tech giants have operated above domestic and international competition and consumer law and are now paying the price. Only time will tell what new information is revealed and the future impact it will have on the gaming industry.