Sony has come out and said that they may not have the PlayStation Network up and going until May 31st.
If they make that date, and who knows what is optimism and what is pessimism these days, that would put them off line for 41 days.
There is no news about SOE specifically, but there is no reason to think that they will be up any time sooner.
May 31st would put SOE games like EverQuest, EverQuest II, Vanguard, and Star Wars Galaxies down for 28 days, including 4 critical weekends.
So in addition to the people who won’t be back because they feel Sony has broken their trust, it seems likely that a segment of the player base that is less than fully invested in SOE games may wander off and find something else to do with their time.
The potential for one weekend down seems easily survivable for SOE. Things could go back to business as usual.
But four weekends down? The loss of essentially a month of billing and Station Cash revenues plus another month of billing to be given out as an inducement to get people to return is going to be a big hit. Q2 2011 is going to be a financial disaster for SOE, a company that just had to shed nearly a third of their staff.
You cut like that when you are in a hole. Now, rather than climbing out of the hole, the bottom has dropped out and the hole has gotten deeper. How do you counter that? You boost revenues (unlikely) or cut costs (even more).
My prime concern is that this will invite SOE’s PlayStation lords and masters into the picture even further. And when you have a hardware group who only cares about software that runs on the PlayStation 3 getting further involved with decisions and planning, visions of the future start to look grim.
What will SOE look like a year from now? A small group supporting DC Universe Online, FreeRealms, and EverQuest II Extended?
And with the way DCUO seems to be headed, will that even be in the picture?