A consumer rights advocacy group is charging Sony for charging a 30 percent commission fee on all digital purchases made through the UK PlayStation Store. Functionally, this is a class action lawsuit seeking to distribute billions of dollars to gamers who have used the PlayStation Store UK since August 2016.
according to Sky NewsThe lawsuit was filed with the Competition Court of Appeals on August 19. “Sony dominates the digital distribution of PlayStation games and game content,” said one of the lawyers who led the lawsuit. “It has implemented an anti-competitive strategy that has resulted in exorbitant prices for customers that are not commensurate with the costs of Sony’s provision of its services.” Kotaku I contacted Sony for a comment, but had not received a comment by the time of publication.
The argument here is that Sony hasquasi-monopoly“On selling digital games, especially PlayStation games, and so shouldn’t use that power to charge consumers unreasonable prices. Sony isn’t the only platform charging 30 percent (most major storefronts do, with the notable exception of the Epic Games Store). We’ll have to wait and see if the courts uphold that the PlayStation ecosystem is a monopoly, and whether or not that will affect other walled parks like app stores or Steam. Kotaku She reached out to the legal team about what she considers a reasonable commission fee, but had no comment by press time.
Prosecutors point out that gaming is the UK’s largest entertainment industry, and that Sony is hurting consumers who can’t afford their games. “We are in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and the consumer wallet is under pressure like never before,” said Alex Neal, the consumer rights advocate who filed the suit. While I’m sympathetic to how inflation is making it difficult for gamers to afford more games, I’m not sure if I’d combine gaming with a cost-of-living crunch. Paying rent is a necessity. play God of War Ragnarok At launch is not.
The last major lawsuit against the 30 percent commission was filed by Epic games against Apple. Apple has removed fortnite from the App Store after its publisher attempted to implement its own payment method, bypassing the store’s ability to charge 30 percent of a game’s microtransactions. The court ruled that Apple could not force microtransactions to go through the App Store, but also stated that Apple did not violate antitrust law.
But this lawsuit was filed in a US court. The lawsuit against Sony may fare better in the British legal system.