Sony could soon find itself in a courtroom defending its decision to prevent third-party retailers from selling digital download codes.
According to Bloomberg, consumers allege that Sony is operating a monopoly since it only allows digital games to be bought through its own PlayStation Store. Although you could previously buy codes on sites like Amazon, the company stopped selling digital download codes at third-party retailers a couple of years ago.
“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 filing says.
The class-action lawsuit alleges that Sony’s decision results in dramatically higher prices for consumers. Games on the PlayStation Store are often significantly more expensive than physical copies that are found in retail stores.
In the PC game market, third-party retailers like Fanatical, Humble Store, and Green Man Gaming often offer discounts beyond what you would find on platforms like Steam and Epic Games Store. That sort of competition is not found in the PlayStation ecosystem. Maybe this lawsuit will result in better prices and more competition?