A case regarding a claimed "monopoly" with the PlayStation Store has been dismissed by a federal judge. Up until 2019, gamers were able to purchase digital codes for games on the PlayStation Store from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and so on. PlayStation abruptly stopped distributing these kinds of codes, ensuring players had to go directly to the PlayStation Store to buy their digital games. This confused gamers everywhere as other platform holders like Xbox continue to offer these digital game codes at the aforementioned retailers. Sony's reasoning was rather vague, stating the decision was made "in order to align key businesses globally." As such, gamers tried to take the situation to court, claiming that Sony had eliminated a profitable, longstanding relationship in order to establish a monopoly via the PlayStation Store.
Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed the case last week, stating that the case didn't provide enough evidence that the model was profitable, even if was likely generating some revenue for Sony. That's not to say Seeborg didn't see some value in the claims presented, as the judge agreed that gamers were subjected to higher prices for digital games on the PlayStation Store versus other retailers.
"Plaintiffs plead that numerous games are more expensive in digital versions than in physical versions, despite additional costs present for physical versions like the production of the materials and shipping," said Seeborg. "Although as defendant points out there may be other reasons for the increased prices, and physical versions of the game may not be the appropriate benchmark, plaintiffs have at this stage pled increased prices."
Many have been frustrated with the lack of PlayStation digital game codes as they can't get codes at lower costs nor can they gift digital games to people. While Xbox and Steam allow for digital game gifting through their storefronts, PlayStation does not. Previously, you could just buy the code for them, but now customers have to just buy a gift card of equal value for the PlayStation Store.
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