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Sony agrees to settle PSN hack lawsuit with freebies

The company will settle a class-action lawsuit over the PlayStation Network breach in 2011 by giving gamers $15 million worth of goods and services.


Sony is another step closer to putting the 2011 PlayStation Network hack behind it.

The company has signed a preliminary agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit filed over the data breach. According to documents filed with the US District Court of the Southern District of California, Sony will offer free games and services worth $15 million to those joining the class-action suit. The freebies include everything from PlayStation 3 games to subscriptions to Sony's Music Unlimited streaming service.

Game news site Polygon reported Wednesday on the agreement and published a copy of the settlement.

The agreement finally puts the end in sight for Sony, which is still attempting to overcome the PR nightmare created by the 2011 breach. In April of that year, Sony shut down its online gaming service and kept it closed for several weeks. According to Sony, personal information of 77 million users was stolen in the breach.

During the shutdown, Sony apologized to the gaming community, offered credit monitoring at no cost, and eventually asked customers to return when it relaunched with a "welcome back" promo that included free games. Still, the company was hit with lawsuits.

According to the settlement agreement, PSN gamers will be given the opportunity to choose from a range of freebies on a first-come, first-serve basis. Those who never took advantage of the "welcome back" package but want it now, for example, will be able to get the free games offered through that service.

This agreement has yet to be approved by a judge.

CNET has contacted Sony for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.