SOE To Remain Offline Until Friday… Or Longer

The key quote from this article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, noted over at EQ2 Wire:

Rodriguez added that Sony Online Entertainment’s network would be shut down until Friday and possibly longer. The company has contacted the FBI to investigate the attack.

And if the shut down bleeds into people’s weekend free time, their weekend game time, then people will start looking for something else to play.

As Syp sort of asked, can SOE recover from something like that?

There is the player base in general to consider.  Surely the hard core, long time players will return, but I wonder how fragile the EverQuest II Extended player base is.  Dose free to play’s low bar to entry also imply a low threshold to abandonment?

Then there is the who question of confidence in Sony, SOE, SCEA, et al., in holding our personal data.  Should Sony, as Cringley and Lum suggest, outsource the whole thing to the likes of PayPal or PlaySpan?

(PlaySpan is now owned by VISA, which I think gives it the legitimacy to be considered.  Games like World of Tanks use it already.)

Or will we all forget about this in a month or two and things will be business as usual… until it happens again?

Addendum: Develop has posted an excellent time line of the Sony PSN and SOE hacking saga.

(I recall all the grief I got for not wanting to give EA-Mythic a credit card number in order to take advantage of their 10 free days offer.  Doesn’t seem so unreasonable now, does it?)

9 thoughts on “SOE To Remain Offline Until Friday… Or Longer

  1. Stabs

    It’s a bad day not only for Sony but also for e-commerce. I have arguments from time to time with my uncle who is convinced that it’s very foolish to give your credit card details out online.

    It would be hard for me to argue with him right now.

    As for Sony there’s a lot of people saying that they were particularly negligent. While in IT Security the bad guys win sometimes and that’s just life people are saying there’s more to it here. Even if that’s not true it’s immensely damaging.

    Right now, after a couple of days of changing all my online passwords I wouldn’t want SOE to know my cat’s first name.


  2. Thomas

    This makes me glad that Sony got my credit card canned last year when I bought $10 worth of station cash for EQ2. I got a fraud alert from Wells Fargo & then one week later they killed my card. Wells Fargo wouldn’t say if it was Sony but I suspect it was, I had not charged anything on my card in a few weeks. I had been buying stuff online with that card since 1998.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    I already have a special credit card designated for online purchases, my American Express card.

    I have been through the credit card fraud cycle a couple of times, and AMEX seems to get how to deal with this sort of thing from a customer service perspective. Citi and Chase were not necessarily bad when their turns came, but they were not as good as AMEX.

    At the bottom of the list is my credit union. If I did not have to have that card because of my checking account (though it isn’t a debit card, it is required for the overdraft protection I have never needed 25 years) I would cancel it. I get the card, but never call in to activate it.


  4. Shadow

    I like the final line in Lum’s post:

    “Until paypal gets hacked.”

    Kind of sums up my outlook on the whole thing. While most hackers are disorganized and undisciplined, the defenders are still human and make mistakes. Defense has to win all the time, and offense just needs to win once – the odds are stacked against you.


  5. SynCaine

    “Companies that screw up my billing get repeat business very grudgingly from me.”

    Time to move the instance group over to Rift? :) (Better hurry though, Rift is getting WoWbied)


  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Shadow – Indeed. Hence my own policy of using only the credit card that has proven the easiest to deal with when it comes to fraud for online transactions. I suspect it is going to happen in any case at some point.


  7. Xyd

    Man, @Shadow is spot-on. Offense can lose and lose and lose and only needs to win once. Defense is a must-win, every time. I’ve never really considered it in those terms.

    This is surely embarrassing for Sony but more importantly people are losing confidence in the brand. If we rewind to the early 90’s, Sony as a brand was something you could trust. “Buying Sony” meant you paid more but it was always worth it: more features, better warranty, higher quality, unique functionality, etc.. That began to decline in the late 90’s — I would argue with their line of phones that weren’t worth the packaging used to sell them — and they seem to have never returned to that old image. Sony TV’s are now just more expensive than the competitors without the technology/feature/function edge they once had. Now they lose on arguably a more important front.

    It’s sad. This will cost them.

    (And I think what p*sses me off even more is that Microsoft is a likely beneficiary from this. Damn the Xbox’s pay-to-play ways!)


  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @SynCaine – Went back and read that thread, did you? Good times… good times.

    Technically, SOE hasn’t screwed up my billing… yet.

    But EA-Mythic, they were so ham-fisted at simple billing that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they had been hacked, lost all our data, and hadn’t yet noticed.

    And Rift… a dungeon finder, easy-hard mode dungeons… I’m waiting for you to start a post with something like “If you think June Rift is anything like March Rift….”


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