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Do You Feel That Sony Has “Made Good?” August 5, 2011

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest, EverQuest II, PlayStation 3, polls, Sony Online Entertainment, Vanguard SOH.
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I started out a while back on a long post about the Sony “Make Good” program detailing all of the various things they put out for people to apologize for their down time all to ask the basic question up there in the title.  Has Sony made good by you?

Remember that PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment down time?

But I decided to wait until Sony was fully back online, even in Japan, which took quite a while.  Then I was distracted by other things.  And then we stopped playing EQII, which took Sony off my mental radar to a certain extent.

And now here we are in August.

All of the big service impacting events happened from mid-April to mid-May.

So I thought it might be a good time to do a hindsight poll and to keep things simple while I was at it.

That is a very simple poll.

I started off with a snarky, 17 answer version of the poll, with all sorts of shades of gray, but then decided to streamline things.

Basically, Sony gave various groups some small things to say they were sorry.  Did that make a difference?

If you cannot remember what you got, I am going to say that the answer for you is probably “maybe” at best.

Likewise, if you know exactly what you got, and even liked what you got, yet you still feel uncomfortable now with Sony having your personal information, I would think you would have a difficult time justifying a “yes” answer.

On the other hand, if you liked your bennies and have gone back to life as normal with whatever SOE game you play, then I think “yes” is probably the right answer.

So what do you think?  Did Sony’s plan make you happy?

I would also like to know if anybody took advantage of the identity protection service offer that Sony made available to all of its affected customers.

My bet would be that almost nobody signed up for that and that it turned out to be an extremely cheap token for Sony to offer.

You can fill in you exact shade of gray on the subject in the comments or as an “other” selection in the poll itself.

Comments»

1. Remianen - August 5, 2011

In typical half-ass SOE fashion, the program was good for exposing their various games to people who wouldn’t ordinarily be interested. However, their back end operations leave much to be desired. An example: if you log into your Station account for the first time since the downtime, you’re required to change your password. However, the links they provide to do so often don’t work (“Sorry, we are unable to perform this operation. Please restart the Reset Password flow”). In that case, you have to use a back end method (“Forgot Password”) to accomplish the same thing. The reason this is a problem is because some folks, who might have been away for a long time, may not use or have access to the email address on file for their Station account. Thus, instead of attracting people (to games like Vanguard and EQ1, who need new people), which could be a possible silver lining in this ordeal, they wind up reaffirming the belief that they’re run by elementary school students.

But they do get an A for effort (45 days in all games, independent of each other, is huge, to me). More like a D- for execution. Several former guildmates from EQ1 (who had moved on to WoW/Rift) wanted to give the old bird a spin, for old times’ sake, but couldn’t because they couldn’t get their passwords reset. By the time we figured out the back way (SOE CS’s response, to all of us, was various forms of ‘keep trying!’), the feeling had left most of them (and some fit into the ‘I don’t use/have access to that email address anymore’ category, so the back way didn’t work for them at all). Kinda bummed about that. But I’m more bummed about the fact that three weeks before the PSN hacks, I had ponied up for a lifetime sub for DCUO. :P

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2. Aufero - August 5, 2011

I haven’t played any Sony games for a couple of years, so there wasn’t much to make good. (I use unique passwords and user names for most things and Sony didn’t have my present credit card number, so even the loss of old customer data wasn’t a worry.)

The whole fiasco (along with the Rift account security problem a few months ago) did inspire me to create a couple of new Gmail accounts solely for game subscriptions.

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3. bhagpuss - August 5, 2011

The opinion of some in my small guild was “SoE should get hacked more often”, by which they meant that they thought the compensation they’d received strongly outweighed the inconvenience they’d suffered.

I’m not sure I’d go that far, but its an opinion I heard a number of times in-game. Provided nothing comes of the potential identity theft issue in the next few months or so, then I’m satisfied.

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4. Stabs - August 5, 2011

I still think it’s very poor that they leaked my personal details out to the internet. And everyone else’s for that matter.

But the free game time was generous and there’s not much more they could have done.

So yes, they’ve made good but it would still have been better had it never happened. I can’t agree with the SOE should get hacked more often crowd. Apart from anything else if your game is offline and then free you won’t be playing it for all that long because the company won’t make money.

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5. Ardwulf - August 5, 2011

I wasn’t really impacted (and voted thus,) as I wasn’t playing any SOE games at the time – even my PS3 play wasn’t affected, as I only really need an occasional PSN connection. Since then, though, I have been playing – and enjoying – the hell out of EQ2 and Vanguard. So it was really a net gain for me. And I had zero issues changing my credentials and getting logged back in.

As for general data security, it could have happened to any company that maintains customer information: Best Buy, Newegg, your bank or whatever. There’s nothing any company can do against really determined hackers; Sony just happened to be the target.

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6. flosch - August 6, 2011

I have to agree with Remianen that some parts of the program felt typically SOE-assed. However, I also have heard what bhagpuss said. And I lean towards that myself. I still think it shouldn’t have happened, but as long as all that I have to do is watch my credit card bill and maybe arrange a cancellation of a bogus booking… I’m not too horribly worried.

45 days in all games I ever touched felt like a nice thing. Especially since I heard of other companies who had their own share of security problems recently, and didn’t end up doing anything similar.

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7. Yarr - August 6, 2011

With Free Realms the only SOE game I play any more, and having a lifetime sub, I’d say no the few items they gave us really didn’t change my mind to stop giving SOE any more money. But, they did just screw up and give all members a free Phoenix mount and pet (which were supposed to be only for those that went to the SOE Fan Faire) so that combined with the other stuff helps. I’m still sticking with my ‘no money for you SOE’ until they start putting out new FR content that isn’t just more cash shop stuff, so, sadly, I probably won’t have to shell out any money for the foreseeable future.

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8. Gazimoff - August 7, 2011

I was disappointed by Sony on so many fronts. This wasn’t a difficult hack, it was exploiting known vulnerabilities in their web servers that people had been telling them about publicly for months. Then when they brought things back up they made it worse by introducing a new set of loopholes to get at users information.

I do not have any confidence in Sony as a console or gaming platform as a result and no amount of compensation can get me using their networks again.

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9. Angry Gamer - August 8, 2011

Thinking outside the box here…

But in traditional (you know non cyber) customer service the main loyalty gaining act stated with high percentage by long time customers was “they screwed up – but fixed it”.

This was such a profound statement to a certain VP of software development of a certain major software company that he actually started a team looking for ways to “mess up – but fix it fast” to drive this effect.

[no I am not going to say which company, and no I don't actually know if they did go through with the "fixable bugs" concept past conceptual trials]

I say this because SOE’s biggest issue is now trust not “making good”. If there is a high probability that peoples accounts and credit cards can be exposed again… well it doesn’t matter how many sparky ponies you get does it? They CAN and somewhat HAVE made good to the inconvenience of the outage.

But in the main they have done NOTHING to placate the distrust that their customers must be feeling. There were no announcements about “we are spending X dollars to keep your credit safe:”, “we are partnering with X security guru to make us better”, “we have been reviewed by IBM-GS to make sure we are trust-able”. Frankly, I view all of the sparky ponies as a given from a company standpoint… they have to have drinks on the house for round or two to keep people in the place… what they do to keep them after the free stuff is over… that is the real trick.

I see a future where we (the people who are not living in moms-basement) will be deciding to spend our cyber leisure not by who has the “hot game” or the “new freebie” but rather by who keeps the amusement park safe from the cyber riff raff. In other words we the cyber big spenders who in the main are past the life and career starting zones WILL migrate to the Disney Worlds of cyberspace and not hang out in the Great America’s with all the teenage gamkers.

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10. Wilhelm Arcturus - August 8, 2011

@Angry – You must live in the Valley for that Great America reference. Teens running wild indeed.

Right now it is the game, be it “hot game” or not, that gets people to dock their virtual boat in any given harbor. One game is not directly substitutable for another for a lot of people. There are people who love EQ2 and hate WoW with a passion (and vice versa) despite them being, at a certain level of abstraction, the same game.

So yes, I do not go play tennis down on 17th St. in San Jose, I play in the nice, well-lit courts over by the Pruneyard. Or I would, if I played tennis. 17th St. does not offer any different game experience and adds considerable risk to life and property.

Getting to a point where fantasy game X is equal to fantasy game Y in all important (to me or to you) aspects so that I make my choice as an end user on criteria more akin to what Consumer Reports might use is a long way off.

Oddly, as an adjunct to other discussions here, I think that single sign-on for a company’s games, given a company that can make a legitimate claim to the integrity of their security setup, may be a selling point in the future.

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