Currently, PlayStation still stands as one of the biggest platforms in the gaming market, next to the Xbox Series and the Nintendo Switch. However, the value of the goods they provide has come into question according to the latest class action lawsuit they are facing, which seeks £5 Billion due to consumer rights concerns.
So, what's this about? Consumer rights champion Alex Neill is the person behind this lawsuit, according to a report from Sky News. The action is funded by Woodsford - a specialist team of litigation and arbitration experts investing in large commercial claims.
It accuses the company of breach of competition law by abusing its market power to impose unfair terms and conditions on game developers and publishers, forcing consumer prices to go up. The lawsuit highlights the fact that Sony charges a 30% commission on every digital game and in-game purchase made through the PlayStation Store. Thus, forcing them to cost more.
According to the claim filed with the Competition Appeal Tribunal on Friday, anyone in the UK who has purchased digital games or add-on content on their console or via the PlayStation Store since 19 August 2016 is included in the claim and is potentially entitled to compensation. Considering this, the estimated damages per individual member of the class are between £67 and £562, excluding interest.
Neill has also stated that this is happening in response to how the actions by PlayStation are costing millions to people who can't afford them, alleging that the consumer purse is being squeezed like never before. Thus, the claim that users are overcharged for the games they purchase stands. The partner leading the case, Natasha Pearman, said that Sony's 'anti-competitive strategy' has resulted in excessive prices to customers that are out of all proportion to the costs of Sony providing its services.
Of course, some people might point out that Steam, Xbox, and Nintendo have similar practices. However, this could be the beginning of more class actions against these platforms. It's also worth noting that a similar case was also dismissed in the US. It's worth noting, though, that the judge leading the US case also agreed that Sony might be charging higher prices for games purchased through PlayStation Store.