Sony Presses Reset Button, Avoids Lawsuit

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Metal Gear Alert, by Know Your Meme, licensed by Creative Commons.

Play On, Player.

A few years ago, Sony’s free-to-play online service, known as the Playstation Network, was compromised by a rogue group of hackers.  Personal and private data, including credit card information, was stolen from about 70 million PSN users.  A class action was filed immediately in San Diego, California as Sony scrambled to stop the bleeding.  Luckily for this entertainment giant, the hot-button lawsuit has been dismissed.   Unfortunately for the Playstation 3 faithful, a judge has decided to have the case thrown out, citing Sony’s Privacy Policy, which all PSN users agree to, being compliant with the consumer protection laws.

An integral point of the case’s dismissal was the fact that the majority of those who filed the lawsuit were members of the “free” service.  As part of the Playstation 3, gamers have a choice to enjoy online gaming at no extra charge, or upgrade to an enhanced package, called Playstation Plus, for an additional fee.  US District Judge Anthony Battaglia cites that Sony acknowledged their free online gaming network was not 100% secure.  While many consumer claimed that the bigwigs at Sony were involved in some kind of “inside job”, that was clearly not the case.  Either way, PS3 owners can rest easily knowing that the hack allegedly cost Sony around $171 million in lost revenue.

As Sony gears up to release their latest system, the Playstation 4, this is clearly a nice save for them.  Financially, I’m sure they could’ve afforded to settle for however many million of dollars was being demanded of them due to the infamous hack, which was already a public punch to the gut.  Many fail to realize that the gaming industry continues to make more money annually than the film industry, which makes sense.  Video games consistently retail around $60, and with a new $499 system projected to reach 5 million sales by March, there’s plenty of cash to corralled.  Overall, the move to dismiss was a smart one by Sony to try and save face.  You might say they earned this extra life.