Motley Rice files suit for gamers who allege restricted sales of PlayStation 5 digital codes violate antitrust laws

Motley Rice filed the nation’s first proposed class action against Sony today for gamers who allege the company is unlawfully monopolizing the sale of PlayStation digital download codes through its exclusive sales at the Sony PlayStation Store.

The proposed class would include anyone who directly purchased or paid for any digital video game content from Sony’s PlayStation Store from April 1, 2019 to present.

Sony’s PlayStation 5 launched in November 2020 and was released in two varieties: the $499 Base Model, which allows consumer to use both physical and digital copies of games, and the $399 Digital Edition, which is only compatible with digital games.

The complaint alleges consumers were once free to purchase redeemable codes for digital games online at a number of brick-and-mortar retail stores, including Wal-Mart, Best Buy and GameStop, in addition to Sony’s online PlayStation Store. However, in anticipation of the PlayStation 5’s release, the complaint alleges, Sony moved all sales of the digital download codes onto the company’s PlayStation Store platform. In doing so, the proposed class action alleges, Sony eliminated all competition with other retailers in violation of federal and state antitrust laws.

The proposed class action is filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, and alleges violations of Section 2 of the Sherman Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law.

If you purchased a Digital Edition of the PlayStation 5, or digital games for the console from Sony’s PlayStation Store since April 1, 2019, you may be a member of the class. For more information you may contact Motley Rice antitrust attorney Michael Buchman by email.