You might be owed £562 from Sony! Millions of PlayStations owners could get a payout in mass lawsuit

a playstation 5 controller pictured against a teal background

A consumer rights campaigner is challenging Sony over the price of digital goods in the PlayStation Store

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 23/11/2023

- 18:06

Updated: 20/02/2024

- 14:30

UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal has ruled the class action lawsuit can go ahead

  • Mass lawsuit alleges that Sony set unfair prices in its PlayStation Store
  • Payments of between £67 and £562 could be awarded to 8.9 million plaintiffs
  • Sony's lawyers have claimed the case was "flawed from start to finish"

A class action lawsuit that accuses Sony of abusing "PlayStation games' loyalty" by over-charging for digital items in the PlayStation Store will move ahead, a UK tribunal has ruled. It follows attempts from the Japanese gaming behemoth to dimiss the legal case.

Consumer rights campaigner Alex Neill sued Sony last year on behalf of nearly 9 million people across the UK who had bought games or add-on content through the PlayStation Store, which is preinstalled on all Sony consoles.

The mass lawsuit is seeking £6.3 billion pounds over claims the PlayStation maker abused its dominant position to set unfair prices for players.

If Alex Neill wins her case, since this is a class action lawsuit, anyone who made a purchase from the PlayStation Store between August 19, 2016 and August 19, 2022 could be awarded a payment between £67 and £562, plus interest. That timescale would bridge both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 console generations.

However, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled that nobody who made a purchase after the date the mass lawsuit was filed would be considered as a potential plantiff. That means anyone who buys the upcoming "slim" revision to the PS5 (or the discounted original console) will be considered should the case go in Alex Neill's favour.

the playstation store official logo

The class action lawsuit centres on the price of games and add-on content in the PlayStation Store, which is the only way to buy digital goods on Sony PS4 and PS5 consoles


Class action lawsuits are commonplace in the United States, but tend to be much rarer in the UK. These are cases brought on behalf of a large group of people who have all suffered a similar loss. In this case, Alex Neill is fighting on behalf of anyone who made a purchase on the PlayStation Store between mid-2016 and mid-2022.

If the case is successful, the damages are shared out between the number of plaintiffs – in this case, 8.9 PlayStation customers who used the digital store during that timeframe.

Alex Neill alleges that Sony abused its dominant position by requiring digital games and add-ons to be bought and sold only via the PlayStation Store, which charges a 30% commission to developers and publishers. The claim alleges customers have therefore paid higher prices for games and add-on content than they otherwise would have done.

Sony's lawyers argued the case was "flawed from start to finish" and said it should be thrown out. However, this week, the Competition Appeal Tribunal ruled that Neill's case could continue, though it said people who had made PlayStation Store purchases after the case was filed in 2022 should be removed from the proposed claimant class.

"This is the first step in ensuring consumers get back what they’re owed as a result of Sony breaking the law," said Alex Neill in a statement. "PlayStation gamers’ loyalty has been taken advantage of by Sony who have been charging them excessive prices for years.

"It is significant that the competition court has recognised Sony must explain its actions by ordering them to trial. With this action we are seeking to put a stop to this unlawful conduct and ensure customers are compensated."

The PlayStation Store works in the same way to other closed-loop systems, like the digital shops found on Nintendo Switch and Xbox.

It'll be a while before we hear the outcome of Alex Neill's class action lawsuit, but the ruling from the Competition Appeal Tribunal this week means that it still looks set to go ahead.

The campaigner is following in the footsteps of a number of mass lawsuits against technology firms. For example, US residents who made at least one Google search between October 26, 2006 and September 30, 2013 can currently claim from a vast pot of $23 million (£18 million).

The lawsuit, which alleges Google improperly shared users’ search queries and histories with third-party websites and firms, was settled by Google without admitting wrongdoing. Due to the dizzying number of people who interacted with Google during the timeframe, it works out at just $7.70 (£6) per person.

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