Sony's $15 million PSN hacking settlement pays out in free games

Way back in 2011, PlayStation Network services and websites went dark due to "an external intrusion." Anonymous claimed responsibility, names, passwords and possible payment information was lost in a data breach, and everybody in general had a bad time. Sony apologized for the fiasco with a "Welcome Back" package, handing out free (older) games to anybody willing to turn their PlayStation back on -- but that wasn't the end of it. The company still had to face a class action lawsuit for losses caused by identity thefts and the needs of gamers who failed to participate in its apology giveaway before it closed. Now the company has reached a $15 million settlement. The short version? More free stuff.

Claimants who didn't participate in the original "Welcome Back" program will be offered one of 14 PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Portable games and three PS3 themes, or a three-month subscription to PlayStation Plus. It's not all giveaways, though -- folks with documented identity theft charges will be able to reap up to $2,500 per claim, and users of Sony's old Qricity service will be able to get a month of Music Unlimited service in recompense. MMO gamers who lost time in virtual worlds are eligible for a $4.50 credit to their SOE accounts, too. You can check out the full court decision below. Forgot all about the 2011 breach? Well, "welcome back."

Sony agrees to $15M settlement