updated 07:49 am EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
Free games, subscriptions offered as compensation for PSN intrusion
Sony has agreed to a preliminary settlement worth $15 million in a hacking class-action lawsuit in the United States. The agreement, which still requires approval from a judge, will see Sony handing out free games to console owners affected by the April 2011 PlayStation Network hack, which saw the shutdown of the service and Qriocity for several weeks, as well as compromising personal data and credit card information from over 77 million users.
The settlement offers plaintiffs various benefits tied to console gaming, reports Polygon. Free PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable games, themes, PlayStation Plus subscriptions, Music Unlimited subscriptions, and SOE Station Cash are all being offered, though there are limitations to what individuals can receive.
A month after the hack, Sony offered a "Welcome Back" package, providing free games to users logging back into the service. Users who elected to take part in the Welcome Back scheme will be eligible to pick up just one of the benefits, with the first-come, first-serve package available up to a cap of $4 million. Users who did not claim at the time will be able to pick up two items, again as first-come, first-served, but capped at $6 million. Qriocity accounts not linked to a PSN account at the time can get one month of Music Unlimited free, while SOE accounts will receive $4.50 of "station cash."
Users affected by identity theft from the attack, and have documentation proving it took place, will be able to claim up to $2,500, though this is capped at $1 million, reports the Washington Examiner. Costs of providing the settlement notice will be paid by Sony up to the value of $1.25 million, while $2.75 million has been set aside for attorney fees, costs, and expenses.
A hearing to judge if the settlement is satisfactory is set to take place in May next year.