If you have an older account through SOE, you've likely received an email or twenty by now informing you of the outcome of a class action lawsuit brought against SOE for the 2011 Playstation Network Hack. If you're like me, you're probably wondering why this is happening now, in 2015. If you're like me and were affected with the downtime back then, you probably feel that SOE already did quite a bit in way of apologizing, including a formal apology that was emailed out urging everyone to change their information. I can't remember what game I was playing at the time this happened, but I do remember that an expired credit card was tied to my account, so I didn't really think much of it.
It seems that a company called Rust Consulting, a third party group that acts as handlers for class action lawsuits, owns the domain that these emails urge you to visit. While looking into this, I found people who did not only go to the website to see if it's legitimate, but also what's required to get that sweet, sweet four bucks that's already set aside for you. While I was earlier just ignoring these (as I generally do with class action lawsuits), now I'm actively deciding against this.
As with most class action lawsuits, the payout in exchange of information is generally no where near a good balance to be worth it, the SOE lawsuit is no different. The lawyers handling this get just over $2.7 million, while the rest of us get either 450 Station Cash or $4.50 USD, depending on whether or not your account is still in use. If you turned away from SOE during the time, you can get the cash option, but your account will be permanently deleted. If you go the Station Cash route, your account will be locked for a few days while it's investigated. If you're regularly playing any games in their stable, that means you won't be able to log into your account, which is kind of a bummer. If that doesn't seem bad enough, according to a player from the EverQuest forums, when you fill out a form on the class action lawsuit, your login credentials are required. Remember that exchange of information to payout balance I was just talking about? This is why I feel it's grotesquely leaning in favor of Rust Consulting and the lawyers, instead of the community.
This has been confirmed as a real thing on the EverQuest II forums, although vaguely. My guess is, SOE can't really say too much here. We know it is real, and if you really think you need that 450 SC or $4.50 USD, you're welcome to sign up for it. I honestly feel that this is not something for us, though. This feels like a quick money grab at the expense of the community and 450 SC is not worth having my account locked or giving up so much personal information in order for these different parties to look into whether or not my account was active then. Class action lawsuits are rarely in favor of consumers anyway, and considering how off balance this exchange is for this one, I'm staying as far away from this as possible.
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