Sony is finally coming clean on the major and now infamous Sony PlayStation Network hack that took place in 2011. The hack was one of the most devastating, but more interestingly was the first truly major breach that ever occurred on Sony’s network. However, while a settlement might sound good to some – it is not necessarily as massive a settlement as one might imagine.
Sony has a dedicated URL where customers who were users and had an account before May 15th, 2011 can go to fill out a form, and ultimately cash in on some content, and games. The site is listed as PSNOESettlement.com. The reason for the settlement is pretty simple though. Roughly 77 million accounts were stolen, and the personal details from those 77 million accounts was compromised. The network was also down for nearly a month – with the outage spanning 23 days. Obviously, given the fact that this was one of the more prolific breaches or hacks in digital memory – it was clear that this was going to cost Sony some money.
That is why the company settled that claim last year. They offered $15 million in compensation. However, the monetary compensation was essentially non-existent. The compensation that the company decided to offer up were mostly in the form of digital content from around the time of the breach. Which has made some feel even more cheated or violated than they were by the initial breach. While personal data and account information were lost – something that could cost customers real money – Sony is merely offering vouchers to some old games or a 3-month subscription to PlayStation Plus.
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Some of the games that are being offered are titles like LittleBigPlanet, Infamous, Dead Nation, and Super Stardust HD. They are not necessarily blockbusters, but at the same time – for customers who otherwise got nothing – it is something. That being said though, the most interesting offer is the option that will give users a free 3-month trial of PlayStation Plus. Which obviously is the more entertaining of the two since a PlayStation Plus membership is required to play PlayStation 4 games online.
At this point it’s too early to know how well this is being received, and whether users will be happy about the settlement, or if this will be another strike against the gaming industry – which has been struggling in recent months amid breaches, hacks, and security threats looming at every turn.