Sony is hoping to pull itself from the shadow of a long-running class action lawsuit by agreeing to offer $15 million USD worth of free digital content to all PlayStation Network account holders in the U.S. affected by 2011's crippling PSN security breach.
This compensation is intended to serve as the preliminary settlement to the lawsuit filed against Sony in the U.S. District Court of Southern California following a cyber-attack on the electronics giant's PSN service back in April 2011 which saw the personal data of some 77 million PSN accounts compromised and the service shut down for nine weeks. The lawsuit itself was ultimately a consolidation of no less than 50 similar class action lawsuits.
Should this settlement earn the court's final approval, Sony will prepare a variety free benefits for customers affected by the security breach. In addition to reimbursing up to $2,500 USD to individual customers who can prove they were victims of identify theft as a direct result of a compromised PSN account (up to a total of $1 million across all claims), Sony will offer affected PSN account holders a choice of one of the following:
- A free PS3 OR PSP game from a list of 14 titles
- A set of thre PS3 themes from a list of six
- A three month subscription to PlayStation Plus
These rewards are first-come, first-serve and will be valid until it hits total value hits $4 million. Compromised PSN account holders who didn't participate in Sony's "Welcome Back" reward campaign are entitled to two of the above three reward tiers, and are similarly on a first-come basis up to a cap of $6 million.
Customers who held a Sony Online Entertainment account during the breach are elibigle for 450 points of Station Cash (equivalent to $4.50 USD) good for all supporting titles, while account holders of the (now-defunct) Qriocity service can score a free month of its successor, Music Unlimited.
Eligible account holders are expected to be contacted via email in the future with instructions on how to claim your benefits.