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No SOE This Weekend – Looking to the Future May 14, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment.
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SOE has not put up a “not today” message since Thursday.  I’m not sure if that is a bad thing or a good thing. They did say it would be a few more days at that point, so I guess they felt they were covered… at least for a few more days.

So it looks like the weekend is out.

I think the next stage will be to start announcing that the servers will be up “soon.”  Long time SOE veterans know what that means.  There is even an official definition in the knowledge base.

“Soon” Defined – Click for Full Size

Hopefully this will be the last weekend down.

On another comment thread I made a dire prediction that if SOE was down for three weekends or more, it would pretty much be the end of SOE as we know it.  If it is only two… well, what do you think will happen?

This is going to be costly outage for them.  They are not currently billing and won’t bill players for the down time.  Thus every day down costs SOE a lot, in case you were wondering if they were motivated to move as fast as possible on this.  Plus they have promised to give each subscriber an additional 30 days free for their trouble.

Can SOE get back to business as usual while losing almost 2 months of revenue this year?

Comments»

1. Troy - May 14, 2011

I have said my goodbye to the company, but found it rich that I got a 14.99 charge on my credit card very near the time of them going down. Perhaps it was just the end of my month cycle, but find it so disingenuous of them to have done that — they could have rolled it off, I bet the accounting department is sitting twiddling thumbs.

There are just too many other games out there to constantly harangue over what this company is going to do to win back my money and trust.

Even after they bring the servers back on line, and tempt me to return with frivolous gifts that cost them nothing (Sony Cash, come on!!). They need to make a game that people want to play. Sadly EQ is in a downward spiral, and the recent expansions of EQ II show pretty much the same. I heard DC Heroes is horrible mess – Vanguard? Joke! SWG? Dead since they refined the game years ago. What else is there?

The vision of Sony was lost years ago and everyone at the company has become a ghost, simply hanging on because they have no where else to go.

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2. Green Armadillo - May 14, 2011

The next two months, along with the costs of the identity theft insurance etc, are effectively a sunk cost at this point. Sony is not a startup that is going to go bankrupt in the next two months because the fees aren’t coming in. They can foot the bill for staff etc and they will… as long as the revenue is there when the thing comes back online.

The bar is relatively low to keep a single server running for a game that isn’t doing much. My guess is that DCUO is in the most short term danger because it is a licensed IP and the game hasn’t been around long enough to build a solid playerbase. In the medium-long term, I think the larger games might have a bit more to worry about, because it’s certainly possible that some portion of the players won’t come back from wherever they’ve gone. That’s potentially a double whammy, if it causes staff reductions that make it harder to retain those who are left.

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3. bhagpuss - May 14, 2011

We have literally no idea how profitable SoE was or wasn’t before this disaster.

We don’t know what plans Sony above SoE had for the studio in the medium or long term.

We don’t know what factions are involved within the various parts of the company, what their agendas are, whose hand the security breach strengthens, whose it weakens.

Anything could happen, from the complete closure of SoE through to a higher profile within Sony and an increase in budgets and projects. Sony could decide to drop out of the MMO market entirely, move their whole MMO focus away from PCs to console, increase development of either or both, or just re-open the doors and carry on as if nothing had happened.

My guess? In the short term I tend to think that Sony will want to show they can ride even a punch this hard so I think not much will change immediately. Once the dust has settled, in six months or a year, if there are SoE MMOs that haven’t recovered, it could get messy.

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4. Joe Birdwell - May 14, 2011

Soon (TM)

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5. wizardling - May 15, 2011

Yeah I was kind of pissed when my monthly charge happened mere days before SOE services went offline and I had no way to put my sub on holiday (thinking a break from EQ1 might reinvigorate my interest… it’s hard to say goodbye for good). Still, now the ‘make good plan’ has given me a free month and a half (roughly?) it all works out :-) However after an enforced holiday I’m still feeling utterly apathetic about playing EQ…

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6. | Popehat - May 16, 2011

[...] a Sony gaming network that requires credit card information is a good idea or a bad idea, I can’t help you. I wouldn’t play an online game from Sony even if the only personal information Sony required [...]

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