Sony agrees to $15m settlement in 2011 PSN breach case

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Sony has announced it is ready to pay up to $15 million as preliminary settlement in the 2011 PlayStation Network data breach case.

The issue started way back in April 2011 when Sony’s PlayStation Network went down following the discovery of an external intrusion. After ten days it was announced that the breach had resulted compromise of user data including names, addresses, and possibly even credit card details of 77 million PSN customers.

As a result of the data breach, PlayStation Network was shuttered for several weeks, and it took almost a month for the service to revive back.

As part of the settlement, Sony will compensate PSN users in the form of free PS3 and PSP games, free PS3 themes, free subscriptions to PlayStation plus, free access to Music Unlimited and SOE Station cash.

The settlement will see affected gamers being offered different benefits based on whether or not they took advantage of the company’s “Welcome Back” game offer that was made available in 2011 after the PSN was brought back online.

Claimants who took advantage of the Welcome Back offer will be compensated with one additional free game, theme or a PS Plus benefit on a first-come, first-served basis until an aggregate cap of US$4 million is reached.

While those who didn’t enter the Welcome Back program will be able to claim two of the following benefit options which includes One PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable game; three PlayStation 3 themes; or a three-month subscription to PlayStation Plus free of charge. These individuals will also be served on a first-come, first-served basis until an aggregate cap of US$6 million is reached.

Qriocity users, who did not have a PSN account at the time of the breach, will be eligible to receive one free month of Music Unlimited service, while SOE claimants will receive $4.50 worth of “station cash” which will be credited to the claimant’s user account.

The settlement is yet to receive an approval from the judge. The final hearing, that will determine whether or not this deal is fair, has been scheduled for May 1st, 2015.