Sony is facing a class action lawsuit alleging that it has a monopoly on the sale digital games sold through the PlayStation Store, according to Bloomberg. Sony stopped selling download codes for individual games through retailers years ago, which means that while customers can buy digital Xbox and Switch titles at other online retailers like Cd Keys or at traditional brick and mortar stores like GameStop or Best Buy, there is currently no option to do so for PlayStation games. They must be purchased through Sony directly. Sony does, however, sell codes for PlayStation wallet funds through most retailers.
“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 lawsuit argues. It also adds adding that consumers could end up paying up to 175 percent more to buy a game digitally than physically.
At the time, Sony said that the decision to stop selling download codes at retail was made in order to “align key businesses globally,” but it did introduce more denominations of PSN credit to compensate. It should also be noted that players can still buy virtual currency, like FIFA Points, from retailers.
Honestly, it’s a hard lawsuit to argue against. Sony completely and utterly controls what games go on sale on PSN and when, which is not the case for games on Xbox, Switch, or Steam. This practice makes it harder to get good deals on digital games on PlayStation, and it’s often much cheaper to buy physically if you can. Hopefully, this lawsuit changes that.