Sony Settles 2011 PSN Hacking Lawsuit; PS3, PSP Games Offered as Compensation

Although the company still denies that anyone was the victim of identity theft, it settles the lawsuit, entitling players to compensation.

In 2011, PlayStation Network was attacked by hackers, bringing the service down for three weeks and making millions of users' personal information vulnerable to theft. Sony eventually fixed the problem and offered games and other services in a "Welcome Back" program to apologize for the outage. But some people didn't think that was enough compensation, and so a class-action lawsuit was filed against Sony.

Recently, the company came to an agreement with the group suing it, and will provide several more games and credit for PlayStation users. In the agreement (which you can read in its entirety below), Sony lays out a number of different benefits for its users.

Users who did not receive games during the Welcome Back program can receive two benefits--either a game for either the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable, three PS3 themes, or a three-month subscription to PlayStation Plus. Users can choose two of the same benefit. These are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis until the total compensation value reaches $6 million. If that cap is reached, users can then receive one month of PS Plus.

Those who received games during the Welcome Back program can get one game for PS3 or PSP, three PS3 themes, or one three-month subscription to PS Plus. These will be given out until the total value reaches $4 million, after which a month of PS Plus will be offered. It is important to note that the PS Plus benefits are available only for users who have never before subscribed to Plus.

The PS3/PSP compensation will include eight PS3 and six PSP games to choose from. So far, Sony has announced nine of the games it will offer. These are:

The settlement still has to be approved by a judge. There's been no word yet on how exactly compensation will work; we'll report on it when information becomes available.

In a statement to GameSpot, Sony explained that it reached a settlement to avoid the costs associated with fighting the lawsuit. "While we continue to deny the allegations in the class action lawsuits, most of which had been previously dismissed by the trial court, we decided to move forward with a settlement to avoid the costs associated with lengthy litigation," a Sony spokesperson writes in the statement.

"To date, the Sony entities have received no confirmed reports of identity theft linked to the attacks, and there is no evidence that anyone’s credit card information was accessed. We are glad that the parties are working toward a resolution of this matter and that our gamers will continue to enjoy our entertainment services."

Sony was forced to take PSN down for three weeks as a result of the cyber attack, rendering all online services unusable. This outage cost the company over $170 million, it said in 2011. Since that cyber attack, PlayStation Network has been generally secure.

Were you affected by 2011's network outage? Let us know in the comments.

Settlement (via Polygon):

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

271 comments
nipsenbusker
nipsenbusker

"Oops, we lost your purchase and credit card information by accident, and may have been selling that same information for a very long time to 3rd parties - none of which we will accept responsibility for, since our records are stored in Nigeria, making all of this technically legal! In fact, we will keep doing it and claiming it is legal until it is proven that our activities specifically and legally have caused damages!


Here, have some games! Shinies! Don't pay attention to how scummy we are!".


Seriously - feel free to jump off a cliff, Sony.

Leeric420
Leeric420

No one is allowed to file for the 6 months of PS+ before I do anyways, so everyone....JUST CALM DOWN

prodigest
prodigest

i would be nice if they offered another year of the identity theft protection 

grenadehh
grenadehh

the same lackluster garbage they offered at the time? No thanks

eridian00
eridian00

So, how do we claim this stuff? Not interested in the games, just want the 3 month ps+ membership. How do we get it? Or have they just not started it yet?

rheaburton
rheaburton

I didn't get anything, I lent my ps3 at the time and when I logged on nothing for me :(

blackothh
blackothh

Greedy MFers.... Sony gave everyone like 5 games already.

uchihasilver
uchihasilver

I wont be claiming any game I'm not that spiteful to Sony when they already compensated us for something which could happen to any single company, people seem to forget that no single companies security is perfect and could be hacked any time by some one knowledgeable wanting to do so.


Also Outlook/Hotmail was hacked only a couple of years ago and no one cared ffs i would much rather my games console get hacked and no sensitive information be taken rather than my E-mail be hacked and have information which is actually sensitive be took.

fgjnfgh
fgjnfgh

why did it cost the company that much?170m?

hellzicke
hellzicke

Wasn't the PSN service free back in 2011?

djb1203
djb1203

so if youre a loyal sony user and upgraded to the ps4 and have a psn subscription you get nothing??  lol.   im normally sympathetic to sony, i dont believe they could truly stop a dedicated hacker no matter what they did.   look at all the other companys that have been hacked since then. noone is safe.  but this does suck that theyve not got some kind of compensation for their most loyal users.     the psn deal should be available for all.   and giving out free psn games costs them virtually nothing. a proportion of the users wouldnt have purchased those games so its not lost revenue.   if anything they might generate profit as some of them might end up buying some dlc for the games.        

AtheistPreacher
AtheistPreacher

Well, looks like I'll be getting 3 months of PS+, worth a whole twelve bucks.  Gee, that was really worth suing Sony over.

Sarijon
Sarijon

Well that was worth it!! About as useful & ancient games as the 1st batch that was offered - c'mon Sony surely you've got older games than these!! (That we haven't already played or can pick up for £2 2nd hand - meh!)

Silithas
Silithas

I already got all of them


lostn
lostn

I already own almost all of those games...

sagejonathan
sagejonathan

I thought they gave me enough. My brother and I had 2 accounts. So we got Super Stardust, Dead Nation, Little Big Planet, WipeOut, Modnation racers, and another one I believe. Dont think they owe me anymore, but I dont mind another free game.

mjkruse
mjkruse

How do i get the Games?

Halloll
Halloll

I can get Rain for free, neat. all the Sony games I wanted but didn't want I'm getting for super cheap, already got Tokyo Jungle , Crash Team Racing and the Spyro games for one dollar each.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Yet another lawsuit goes out with a settlement instead of a court ruling and - more importantly - a legal precedent.

The lawyers are the ones who profit from this - not consumers.

rheaburton
rheaburton

Sorry but Sony weren't just sued by normal people, the uk authorities fined Sony for negligence, (over how poor the security actually was). The hadn't invested anything into protecting its user base, and also how do you think they get into your email ? Mostly through other sites.

tarbsdad
tarbsdad

@uchihasilver Outlook/Hotmail as a whole or individual accounts? There is a difference. I've had an account for as long as they've been available - it's never been hacked and I don't keep CC or sensitive info on any of my "email" accounts. I never use any of my CCs on any of my gaming accounts either - I buy points or credit or use a single use CC. 

jemoedr
jemoedr

@hellzicke Yes, for PS3 it still is. But PS-Plus was already there with it's current benefits.

woodyfr
woodyfr

@djb1203 It was in 2011, your PS4 couldn't be affected by the attacks.

staticsnake87
staticsnake87

@AtheistPreacher Welcome to America, where some SMALL group of morons can always scream and cry until they get what they want while the rest of us were mostly uninvolved cause our lives aren't so petty. Case in point: the 99% movement, or the movement to change the Redskins name. It's always the vocal minority, and the political correctness in America makes them matter more nowadays

jemoedr
jemoedr

@Sarijon boohooohooo....


Be glad you're getting something for free...

jemoedr
jemoedr

@sagejonathan There where 2 free games, so as compensation on 2 accounts it can be only 4 games in total :P still worth it though ;)

jemoedr
jemoedr

@mjkruse Hasn't been decided yet, i'm sure gamespot will place an article about it when you can chose your game.

woodyfr
woodyfr

@mjkruse You must catch a unicorn and say “Thank you” in old German.

jemoedr
jemoedr

@bubba_1988 Stardust is also nice, i picked it up with the welcome back action. It's a nice game, though really something i'd play with a friend.

sagejonathan
sagejonathan

@bubba_1988 Dead Nation. People might hate me for saying this, but I wasnt a fan of Super stardust tbh. Dead nation was a lot of fun especially with a friend on local co-op.

rheaburton
rheaburton

No it want ps plus existed but you didn't get any real games just mobile and a few early demos, themes, avatar crapware.

djb1203
djb1203

@woodyfr @djb1203   um yeh i know that lol. but i had a ps3 in 2011...which i now no longer own.  ive upgraded to a ps4 like millions of others.   so all the upgraders now miss out on compensation and we're the ones who have been most loyal.     but it wasnt the ps3 or psp that was hacked,  it was psn which is a service we all still use.  so really the compensation should be based around psn, not the ps3 and psp.     a lot of people have moved on from the psp to the vita as well.  theyre also missing out.

to be honest im not fussed about any kind of compensation but its just the point that theyve not taken into account all the people who have moved on from the ps3 and psp.    

sagejonathan
sagejonathan

@mjkruse @sagejonathan They havent announced all of the games they will be offering. There will surely be more news on this later. As of now, the free games are not available yet. But I can respect your enthusiasm XD

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@ArabrockermanX 

Indeed.

By the way, I have a nagging suspicion that Sony could pull this off because of the goodwill that it had from last year's E3.

jemoedr
jemoedr

@hellzicke @jemoedr No, they sued them because they thought the data wasn't protected properly. Also the reason why i wonder why they don't sue Nintendo and Microsoft as well :/

rtainc
rtainc

@Sarijon He's right. SONY already gave 5 free games, and now people like you are crying three and a half years later. It's truly free, and so is their service, and it's all because of a hacker. Not SONY.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@ArabrockermanX 

I have little regard for the compensation given to the plaintiffs.

I would have preferred that there had been a court ruling.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@EasyComeEasyGo 

Yeah, I have doubts too, personally speaking - but then I don't have any strong argument to support or negate this suspicion either.