Sony Could Face Lawsuit After Blocking Third-Party Sales Of Digital Codes

Sony could be facing a lawsuit from retailers claiming that they “own the monopoly” when it comes to third parties selling digital codes for full games.

playstation wrap up
Credit: Sony

In 2019 Sony blocked retailers from selling digital codes for full games that can be redeemed on the PlayStation Store. The chances are that if you have seen a retailer selling digital codes for a full game, it’s likely remaining stock that they are trying to shift.

According to a report from Bloomberg, retailers claim in the lawsuit that many consumers are likely to spend up to 175 per cent for the convenience of a digital game than they would on purchasing a physical copy.

An image of both versions of the PlayStation 5, with two DualSense controllers
Credit: Sony

As we are now in the new console generation, and publishers including Sony want to raise prices for new games, if you want to buy an AAA game digitally, Sony can pretty much charge anything as there is no competition from retailers.

Sure, you can buy credit from a retailer to purchase from the PlayStation Store, and if you’re wondering why you’d buy a digital code from a retailer in-store, it’s because some like to trade in old games to bring down the cost. Also, if you like to shop online, it was always handy shopping around the retailers on the web looking for the best digital price for the next big game.  

ps5 logo
Credit: Sony

Sadly, however, since Sony made the controversial move in 2019, window shopping for the best digital price isn’t as worthwhile as it once was.

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,” said consumers in the filing.

A spokesperson of the lawsuit responded to saying that they intend to “align key businesses globally,” and “support full games and premium editions, SIE will introduce increased denominations at select retailers. DLC, add-ons, virtual currency, and season passes will still be available.

At the time of writing, the lawsuit is only proposed, and may not reach completion.

What are your thoughts on this proposed lawsuit and do you think it will come to fruition? Let us know your opinions across our social media channels.

Featured Image Credit: Sony