Sony is being sued £5 billion (~$5.91 billion) for allegedly “ripping off” players of the PS5 and PS4. The lawsuit argues that by taking 30 per cent commission on every product purchased through the PS Store, the firm has “abused its position”. Consumer rights advocate Alex Neill, who’s leading the legal action, says: “The actions of Sony is costing millions of people who can't afford it, particularly when we're in the midst of a cost of living crisis and the consumer purse is being squeezed like never before.”
It’s worth noting that almost all digital storefronts take a 30 per cent cut on products sold, including the Microsoft Store and Nintendo eShop. Emerging competitors like the Epic Games Store have aggressively lowered their rates against PC-based storefronts like Steam in an effort to attract more content, but still take 12 per cent off the top.
The reason for the fee is because platform holders make significant investment into platforms like the PS5 and PS4, and then recoup this money through licensing fees. Most hardware is sold at razor-thin margins, and the money is made back through software sales and digital purchases. The business model also applies to products like the iPhone, where Apple takes a cut of all apps and microtransactions sold through the App Store. It’s this exact fee that led to a dispute between the tech giant and Fortnite developer Epic Games.
“With this legal action I am standing up for the millions of UK people who have been unwittingly overcharged,” Neill continued. “We believe Sony has abused its position and ripped off its customers.” If the lawsuit is successful, it’s believed that consumers could be eligible for compensation in the region of “£67 and £562 excluding interest”.
Interestingly, the suit only covers the past six years of purchases – despite this business model dating all the way back to the original PS1. It seems the entire suit hinges on a consumer rights act introduced in the UK in 2015, which includes clauses pertaining to the sale of digital goods. Ultimately, we’re not legal experts so we’re curious what comes of this, but we can’t see the suit being successful, as regardless of whether Sony takes a 30 per cent cut, it’s down to the individual publishers and developers to set the price of their products.
Wow i find this so funny and the lawyers want a cut and why only Sony?
@Flaming_Kaiser Probably because they're the biggest target (at the moment). Certainly in the "dedicated games" business anyway. (App Store obviously makes more money.)
yes i still dont understand the price of games on PlayStation store , theres no disc , no case or anything should never of been same price as physical media.
I’m all for saving money and sticking it to corporations but this sounds like a desperate man clasping at straws. Yes there is a cost of living crisis but PlayStation (all games in general) is not a necessity it is a hobby and one consumers need to responsibly budget for.
I hope the news doesn’t spin this to make it sound like this guy is speaking on behalf of gamers.
Good luck, I guess. But I can't help but feel this person's energy would be better spent fighting what is actually driving the cost of living crisis. It sure ain't video games.
@get2sammyb Still its weird there seems to be hatred towards the brand.
@Mad001 I agree. Less cost, so they should be cheaper than physical.
Ah, these lawsuits. You hear about them once or twice and then they go nowhere because why would they? I look forward to another article telling me it's gone nowhere next year.
@Mad001 How fair would it be for them to be cheaper and cutting out the other stores though? Does that sound like a good idea cutting out the middle man. Big corp has enough power already.
I would only support this if Nintendo and Microsoft were added to the lawsuit, makes no sense to just target Sony while the others chill in the back.
@Richi-388 It’s a woman.
I would like money yes please. Not really sure what this is about but money money money.
@Mad001 You don't really pay for the physical object, though, do you? The actual disc, case, manual is pennies. The real product is what's on the disc.
It's not that they go nowhere, it's that they take years to conclude.
In other words, you'll get your £8.93 payout for this one in 28 years.
Amazingly the suit is from 2015 the same year that Microsoft introduces 20% after 25,000 developer profits and it looks like Sony didnt so that's prob why Sony and not Microsoft
Didn’t Apple just win versus Epic in regards to the App Store license fee?
This case sounds DOA if that decision applies.
@Flaming_Kaiser I don't think it's hatred, it's just they're the biggest target in games — and by a fair margin actually, in terms of revenue anyway.
Think Sony are the target because Playstation is the biggest console brand in the UK that is known to have significant digital sales.
There's also one important get out for Xbox and Nintendo - they allow digital titles to be sold by places like CDKeys, Amazon, Instant Gaming or Fanatical (so can compete on price) while Sony only allow PSN vouchers to be sold.
That wasn't always the case - I used to get PSN games from CDKeys and Amazon but Sony stopped it a while back...
EDIT: Scratch that, for EU and UK they seem to be allowing them again in the last year
Why is it just sony? Why not include Nintendo and Microsoft into this lawsuit as well.
I said it the other day and il say it again, for some reason there's a campaign against sony which is clear to see via news and on social media.
When you're at the top everyone wants to see you fall
Hopefully they'll go after retail stores next. Similar 30% is taken out to account for things like shipping and the retail store's cut. If only there were no costs to do business, things could just be cheaper, am I right?
@Mad001 Yes, unless electricity to keep a server up costs more than the electricity and media and transport costs to create, burn and distribute a physical disc and its packaging then there is no justification, barring sheer greed of course!
That's why so many PS owners are plumping for the disc edition of the PS5 and shunning the DOE, despite the £90 extra.
When you can get the same game on a disc for £20 to £30 cheaper than Sony are charging for the same game on the PS Store, 3 to 4 games in and you've already recouped the cost, as well as any existing PS4 discs being compatible too.
@get2sammyb I think you're forgetting the cost of manufacturing the disc and distributing it to a physical store (which in turn has costs) or even an online retailer's warehouse which then have to drive to deliver it through your letterbox.
I don't understand. Sony are being sued for taking a cut of the sales? Isn't that the point of business?
Is the point being made that Sony's cut adds too much to the overall price?
@UltimateOtaku91 oh yeh it's a witchunt ....no it's not Sony screwed themselves by keeping it at %30 and as someone else has put taking away games from other stores
As much as I wouldn't say no to a few bob in the event this was actually successful, the suit itself sounds pretty farcical
@Shepherd_Tallon That seems to be the insinuation, yes, but I don't think it holds much water.
@get2sammyb I see a lot of hatred here alone and thats not only with this. It gets fueled by the mainstream media sometimes i sometimes have issues with how some articles are posted here but thats my personal opinion.
The real crime is the refund policy or lack thereof
@Martsmall First of all that's not even what the lawsuit is about, their atgument is about how you can't buy digital PS games elsewhere. Second of all you're wrong and they absolutely charge 30% just like Sony and Nintendo. They only adjusted the Windows store price cut since no publishers use it. Of course the xbox fanboys would jump on this nonsensical lawsuit that won't even make it to court.
Yeah I don't think this is going to go very far. It sounds like a classic "I haven't sued somebody in a while. Let's change that!" case.
@Dudeman1 yes they do till they make 25,000 them it's cut to 20% please feel free to Google it
@Martsmall I did Google it and there's nothing. Funny how there's plenty of articles stating how they charge 30% though.
@get2sammyb Thanks, Sammy. I genuinely wasn't getting the point the guy was making.
@Mad001 Yeah it's absurd. Why would I pay up to 80 euros, which is already a ridiculous price by itself when I can get it physical on day one for 60-65 euros.
How ridiculous. And why Sony? Everyone charges 30%, well, apart from the one that charges 12%, and guess what, they have the same retail prices for the most part…
@Flaming_Kaiser Maybe this character only has a PS5 in the household and not an Xbox or Switch so doesn't care how much games are on those systems.
@Dudeman1 type Microsoft store percentage
Microsoft takes 5–15% of the sale price for apps and 30% on Xbox games. Prior to January 1, 2015, this cut was reduced to 20% after the developer's profits reached $25,000. In 2021, 669,000 apps were available in the store.
@sanderson72 Sure, I do get there are costs with physical, but there are also costs with digital too (bandwidth, etc!)
I guess the bottom line really is that the physical item is a small amount of what you're paying. Even if you did get a discount for digital, I don't think it'd be huge.
@Martsmall That's the Microsoft store for PC, NOT the Xbox store on consoles. There's literally dozens of articles talking about how MS charges 30%. Also that says prior to, meaning it changed after 2015 lol.
Embarrassing tbh. Not going to win anyway so probs the last we’ll be hearing of this.
Cool, if I get a refund I can put it towards those £70 games 😊
@Dudeman1 ok it says prior sorry I didn't see that word
Post deleted I was wrong.
@Martsmall yet xbox and nintnedo's are also at 30% as mentioned in the article
Looking forward to seeing all the misinformation spreading on social media in 3 2 1….
@get2sammyb True, but when Sony are charging £70 for something like F1 22 and I got the disc from an online retailer (GameCollection) for just over £40, there's something wrong or underhand in the pricing on the Store.
Not trying to be pro corp here but consumers have a choice and his argument seems weak. Like i'm a digital only gamer and i do that accepting i'm choosing to pay more then i would in Asda or somewhere, if the games were only sold on the PSN store only he may have a point but outside of digital only games what are rarely full price the consumer has many options on how to buy a game for their console.
@get2sammyb i prefer a physical thing for my shelf been buying games since the 80s.
digital media is like drinking beer 🤣😂
but regardless enjoy the games 👍
The games will cost the same regardless. Ea will still charge 60 no matter what, it just be a bigger profit for them. Look at Epic game store they charge a lower fee, but the games are still the same price.
If there's areas the PSN Store could be improved it'd be having a Steam style refund system & gifting friends games etc.
With no more ps plus cards being sold in bricks & mortar stores it sadly seems like PS Plus sales will only be via online too.
For all that,I'm having difficulty seeing how a case exists here...are they saying Sony's 30% cut somehow belongs to consumers? If anyone would have a gripe to sue,wouldn't be the publishers/devs?🤔 (Ala Epic vs Apple?)
@Amusei yes why i still buy physical media over digital today. have a good one
@Dezzy70 Maybe you can pay the full/real price for a console.
@sanderson72 yea i always keep an eye on the sales. server costs will be the thing to bump it up next gen if it goes all digital. not looking forward to that we own nothing they take it away when they deem it has its time or need the server space.
look in to good old games drm free a good option if you have a gaming pc ive bought a good few games and have a installer pack if needed.
@nessisonett I’d wouldn’t say no to free money but if Sony have to pay (very unlikely) they will re-coop that money from somewhere. That somewhere will be us.
@Richi-388 At this point I don’t even care. I have £5 to my name. I’m eating bread and butter. Money means nicer food.
@Flaming_Kaiser true that but their wanting to end the second hand gaming market. but have the digital games 45,/ 50 retail 60/70.
i know if its a game i really want il buy the physical copy
@GoodGame true true 🤦but i know im forking out for last of us on the ps5 ( the i dont care i want it type thing 😂)
Well, if you take away their cut of the sales, no platform can survive. No cut, means no console market. If they succeed with the case, only PC gaming will remain, unless Steam will also be targeted.
Sony, Nintendo and MS cannot survive on first party alone.
That especially gets me with this, video games are cool but not a necessity like food or running water. If you have gone broke from spending too much money on games that is your fault not Sony.
And after the lawsuit goes nowhere, Playstation should sue them back for trying too damage their brand and for deliberately only targeting them while ignoring the others
@get2sammyb biggest margin maybe due to player count maybe?
They should be sued for that Premium Plus service they're offering
Next week...Microsoft is sued for the same thing...OF COURSE THEY WON'T BE!!! ONLY SONY is Evil it seems :-/
@Flaming_Kaiser The argument will be that because Sony is the market leader, they have the unique power to influence the entire market. And that conditions within the market are directly caused by Sony.
@Mad001 brilliant comment and perfectly worded! I saw a WWE 2K 22 game for £150 digitally a few weeks ago and was stunned! Who pays these prices?
No doubt the judge in wrapping up will just tell people to "Add to wishlist".
If ya don't have the pennies guys, do not purchase it.
No one is forcing you to.
I’m not a lawyer but my guess is the claim has some chance of success. There’s a similar-sounding claim against Apple currently working its way down the same route (UK Competition Appeal Tribunal). The Tribunal recently granted permission for the Apple case to go forward and be heard in full. The claim against Apple is that iOS apps can only be purchased by users from Apple’s digital store; that payment has to be made via the store; and that the 30% cut taken by Apple is unreasonable. Overall, the claim is that this is uncompetitive and against consumers’ interests. My guess is the claim against Sony would be very similar.
Interestingly, these claims are being brought as ‘collective proceedings’ (a sort of UK version of a consumer class action) in which all UK consumers who have paid for a digital download from the platform in question over the past few years are automatically included in the action (unless they elect to opt out), and would stand to receive a payout in the event the claim was successful.
That’s my understanding, anyway. As I said, I’m not a lawyer, and happy to stand corrected.
@Luigia wrestling fanatics??? i grew up with the 80s through 90s wwf/e
i still remember get the f out advert 😂
id love to play this game but its gona be a sale 90% off. but sadly if they get sells at that price itll go up more next time. im still getting used to 70 for a base game 😂
@Richnj Sony have unique power to influence the entire market doesn't make much sense when Nintendo still charge almost full price for their games many years later and Xbox trying to gobble everything up for GamePass. If Sony are market leaders, the others certainly don't seem influenced by Playstation at all
It's not only Sony I don't believe.
This is all connected to the IOS/Android issues, Epic games stuff, etc. It's all going to come to a head eventually I'd guess unless somehow consoles get carved out as 'single use devices' or something and phones are carved into general purpose computers.
I dunno; Guess the EU will probably be the arbiters of all this since the USA has no intentions of ever bucking the corporate merry-go-round.
@PegasusActual93 exactly. Gaming is a hobby and we all decide if we can afford a game or not. Most games are on sale throughout year and we all know the pricing of the games. If anyone should be upset about this it’s the developers, even if Sony took 20% or 10% whos to say the price would drop. It just means more goes to the developer, which I’d support but that’s not the issue being raised.
This sounds like someone trying to gain attention for whatever reason.
@nessisonett well I sympathise with you but unfortunately you don’t need to game but you need to eat and drink so maybe don’t spend any money on games until you are financially able to
It is pretty annoying how digital prices are higher than physical unless there’s a Sale on, and even then… Same goes for books.
The big scam imo is being forced to pay to play online on console.
@Flaming_Kaiser probably because sony is the only one not allowing other storefronts to sell digital games.
@Richi-388 Hah, that’s why I’m thankful for that PS Plus thing lasting until October due to me having got a year of PS Now last year before the economy tanked! Games are indeed a luxury so I’ve not bought anything in about half a year now but at least I’ve got a backlog to keep me going.
@Richi-388 It’s about competition law and consumer protection law in the UK. The issue isn’t whether anybody is forced to buy PlayStation digital games or DLC (clearly they’re not), but whether (if they do want to) it’s unfair and against consumer interests that this can only be done via Sony’s own digital store.
Removed - inappropriate
Nintendo used to pocket upwards of 70 percent of game profits from developers and retailers back in the 80s and 90s when they had a much larger stake in the game industry. That is the major reason the PS1 was so successful from the word go is because Sony was only pocketing 30 percent. Meaning retailers were making over 100 dollars more per unit, giving them extra incentive to push PS1 sales. So 30 percent makes sense to me.
Digital games should not cost as much as physical disc games simply because there's no packaging costs involved etc yet often digital games new are running $59.99(US).
@get2sammyb "the suit only covers the past six years of purchases"
This will probably be because the Limitation Act imposes a hard limit on how long after a civil 'wrong' - e.g. a breach of contract or, in this case, anti-competitive behaviour - the 'victim' has to launch their lawsuit. The deadline is very strictly enforced by the courts.
I love out of touch class action lawyers. Sony's ripping off consumers in a dozen ways, and this guy sues them over a standard practice where they aren't.....
If Sony lowered their cut they should pass the increase in profit onto developers, not lower prices for gamers.
I don't really have too many problems with pricing (except the premium for buying all these AAA half- finished gambling sims with microtransactions and DLC, they should be free to play at best) ...The biggest problem I have is the lack of any refund policies and permanently removing or refunding shovelware digital purchases or items from your library. Steam is excellent in that regard.
@Beerheadgamer82 Sony, xbox, and Nintendo aren't the only ones in the gaming industry.
This is a stupid lawsuit. If we want to talk about being ripped off, you should look at the construction supply industry. Things like tools have upwards of 45% margins. Lumber fluctuates from 20-40%. Most other items needed to build housing have a minimum of 30% markup. Things like gaming are a luxury not a necessity. If you can't afford it, you shouldn't be buying it. Housing is a necessity.
30 percent is pretty steep. Be one thing if there were another digital storefront for Sony games but there's not. So not sure what everyone's beef is with the lawsuit but I say more power to them.
@Richnj at homes there's mostly PS, Nintendo, Xbox and PC so I mentioned 3 of the 4. Mobile gaming the less its talked about the better. I'm not really sure what else I'm missing here tbh
And the fact that their customer service is a joke.
I can only speak from experience but 30% margin is pretty standard practice in most industries. There are some exceptions in either direction, like probably Apple. This seems frivolous.
I can't seriously believe that a huge global corporation would do anything iffy.
6 billion dollars?? Lol the UK is the new US they're really lost it or does it just seem that way? No one is obliged to buy games. Unless you buy a ps5 without a disc drive. But Xbox has that just as well. You can also just wait for a game to go on sale. And I think Xbox games are just as expensive. And if there is one company that exploits consumers in terms of price, it is Nintendo! Sell old games for the full blow. No, it's not that bad at Sony. Often enough offers in the store. This is a frustrated little lawyer who can't win lawsuits in the normal way so they're going to try this. Fortunately, Sony itself also has an army of lawyers who make mincemeat of these kind of scammers. Or would he give that 6 billion to charity and take no commission. Of course you can.
@NEStalgia funny you accuse Sony of ripping people off. Just look all your avatar. If there is one company in the world who rips people off with prices..
@Far_Cide Yes of course digital games have to be slightly more expensive than disc games. If digital games are cheaper than disc games, the stores that sell physical games are screwed. Because then everyone buys digitally and they ignore physical versions
@Flaming_Kaiser I think only Dutch people see it that way
@TommyNL No argument there, lol. My complaints about Sony are that they're more and more imitating Nintendo when the whole point of PS1 was that they were the anti-Nintendo in every way.
@NEStalgia haha in that case you are right my friend But I don't think they imitate but Nintendo, Sony etc are big companies and they just want to make money and are not our friend. But sometimes I feel like people think they're charities. And dont get me wrong. I also grew up in the 80s. And I love Nintendo, but those prices🤔
I look forward to receiving my £500 refund. Or at least I would if I ever bought my games full price. The games go on sales about 3 months into their life cycle these days.
Perhaps they should look at the price of Nintendo games. Not only do they generally refuse to lower the prices of their first party games, you should check out how much you can find a copy of a DS Pokemon game for these days.
I just don't get how this could even get off the ground. People have a choice here, no-ones being forced into anything. We're not talking about essential goods or services. We're talking about games, which, in many cases, you can often buy cheaper elsewhere. Or on a different platform if you prefer.
If I think something's too expensive I'll drop it or go elsewhere, never once have I thought of suing someone!
Physical games are a one cost and done to the suppliers though.(well apart from patches I guess..)
Digital games are expected to be kept available for download for years, ideally even forever. That does cost long term money.
@Mad001 I would be more willing to switch to all digital if there were a major price difference between disc and digital versions of games.
@TommyNL You have to be more specific to what you are responding.
@PhhhCough Other parties can sell stuff on the MS store and the same goes with Nintendo?
@Beerheadgamer82 There's also 3rd party publishers who Sony have a direct relationship with.
If this forces Sony to reduce game prices for online purchases, especially when compared to steam, I am all for it.
Oh I'm sure this is NOT one of those frivolous lawsuits that "advocates" pull out of their anuses.
More power to the players, I hope they win this lawsuit.
@Richnj Im happy a small company like MS isnt bothered they could barely buy Activision Blizzard.
@rachetmarvel Then get ready for the MS setup buy a liveservice.
@Mad001 What trying to end secondhand sales? Come on dont start pulling out nonsense out of thin air.
Lots of comments that do not understand competition law.
The argument is that Sony is in a monopolistic position viz. the PSN store. The abuse is not "the prices are too high" but "by preventing competition for digital PlayStation games there is no competition which might have led to lower prices".
I have heard on podcasts, etc, that indie developers do not even get a say in when their games go on sale, so it seems that Sony is quite controlling of the store. No doubt major publishers have more of a say.
So imagine the difference it could make if the store was more open-platform, or each publisher was allowed to operate its own store on the console, etc. If you could choose to buy the next CoD from either the PSN or the Activision store on your PlayStation, that's what could drive down prices.
@Flaming_Kaiser being a big company =/= market leader
Hmm... well, they do have a monopoly on the store practices. So it will be interesting to see.
Prices on the ps5 are way too much with the increases. I wouldn't mind seeing prices regulated the same way for all platforms.
All this money will NOT go to consumers it will ofc go to whoever smart ass thought of this garbage lawsuit (they won't get sh*t).
To that stupid person: go shift your anger to the a**holes who causes the wars and economic crisis
@DaScorpion yes thats the way its going but with this thing the companies willing to take the game away over licensing issues isnt good.
@Flaming_Kaiser thats why they want to go digital , i hear that from the guys on YouTube.
Some of the PS store prices are insane though. TMNT Shredder's revenge for example. Third of the price on Steam and part of XGP.
@Richnj and so does Xbox, Nintendo and PC also have direct relations with 3rd party publishers. It's not just exclusive to PS. Market leader shouldn't come into this when Nintendo should be investigated for rarely lowering their prices on 5 year old games and Xbox for using their trillions for trying to gobble up every 3rd party game to be exclusive on their service. Just because someone is a bit more popular doesn't warrant a lawsuit
@Beerheadgamer82 Yes, the end issue can be applied to everyone, but the lawsuit we are talking about right here has selected Sony because of their unique position in the market.
The lawyer said “We believe Sony has abused its position and ripped off its customers.”
Doing whataboutisms isn't going to change that. I have no idea no people here are going to do to themselves if the courts find in favour of the plaintiff.
It just seems very hypocrite to only mention and target only the one company, just because said company is a market leader. They all sell games for 60 or 70, they all have a subscription service albeit done a bit differently, they all as far as I'm currently aware make the same profits when selling the same games from their stores, but dunno for PC. Unless of course there's something we don't know cause after all we're just consumers here but from everything that's been said in the lawsuit there's nothing different that PS is doing compared to the others. Mentioning or only targeting one company in a lawsuit when the others do exactly the same makes zero sense regardless if one is slightly more of a market leader than the other
My (game related) dream is to be able to buy a game at a premium price and own it on all formats it releases on. I wouldn’t care if that meant some kind of lock or check to make sure you are only playing on one source at a time. Some kind of universal Steam for all of gaming. Never going to happen, most likely, but if I was going to pay $80-$100 for a single game, that’s my wish. Having a Steam Deck makes me wish for that even more. I know it’s closer to my wish because you are only paying once to play it on PC and the Deck. Maybe if Sony had not thrown in the towel on portability, I wouldn’t be as concerned at buying digital but that’s not the reality we live in. I want to pay one price and own the right to play the game anywhere I want. A man can dream…
@Mad001 I know the guys on YouTube never make stuff up.
@Flaming_Kaiser lol their all good craic
Find this interesting as someone who plays on all consoles I have always found psn cheap when you compare it to xbox store where you can be assured you pay 3 to 4 pound more on games if not more on some
Tap here to load 121 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...