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:
- Infamous (PS3)
- LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
- Super Stardust HD (PS3)
- Rain (PS3)
- Dead Nation (PS3)
- LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
- Killzone: Liberation (PSP)
- ModNation Racers (PSP)
- Patapon 3 (PSP)
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|
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