Technology & Science

Sony offers free games after PlayStation data breach

Canadian and U.S. PlayStation Network customers will get free game downloads and video rentals as a "welcome back" following a massive outage and data breach caused by a cyberattack.

PlayStation online services being restored almost four weeks after shutdown

Canadian and U.S. PlayStation Network customers will get free game downloads and video rentals as a "welcome back" following a massive outage and data breach caused by a cyberattack.


  • April 16-17: Hackers break into Sony Online Entertainment.
  • April 17-19: Hackers break into Sony PlayStation Network and Qriocity.
  • April 19: Sony detects an "external intrusion" on its PlayStation Network.
  • April 20: Sony shuts down the PlayStation Network and Qriocity.
  • April 22: Sony says the networks are affected by "an external intrusion" and that it is investigating.
  • April 26: Sony announces that it believes "an unauthorized person" has obtained personal data of PlayStation Network and Qriocity users.
  • May 1: Sony Computer Entertainment executives apologize for the breach at a press conference in Tokyo.
  • May 2: Sony says Sony Online Entertainment was also affected by a malicious intrusion.
  • May 4: Sony provides details of its investigation to a U.S. Congressional subcommittee.
  • May 5: Sony CEO Howard Stringer apologizes and offers free identity theft insurance coverage to U.S. customers.
  • May 14: Sony starts restoring PlayStation Network services.

A post on the official PlayStation blog late Monday said network members will be able to download two PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable games for free from a select list during the 30 days after the PlayStation Store comes back online.

Sony began restoring its services on Saturday and said all services will be back online by May 31.

Some services such as password resets and online gameplay were reported back online by Monday in the U.S.

The PlayStation Network, along with Sony's Qriocity entertainment service, had been unavailable since April 19. That was when Sony detected an "external intrusion" on the network and then shut it down.

Days later, the company said user information had been stolen, including names, birthdates, addresses, passwords and possibly some credit card information.

The breach was also found to have affected Sony Online Entertainment, bringing the number of potentially affected customers to over 100 million.

Customers of Sony Online Entertainment, the division that includes online games like EverQuest, will receive a "welcome back" package that includes complimentary identity theft protection, free game time and special in-game items and events, the company said.

Some other freebies that Sony is offering PlayStation Network customers include free select movie rentals over one weekend in areas where video service is available and 30 days of free PlayStation Plus membership for those who don't yet subscribe to the service.

Free games

The PlayStation 3 games that users can choose from are:

  • Dead Nation
  • inFAMOUS
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Wipeout HD + Fury

The PlayStation Portable games that users can choose from are:

  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
  • ModNation Racers
  • Pursuit Force
  • Killzone Liberation