Now that PSN has been mostly restored, with only a few more services still being worked on, the question arises: What does Sony owe me? Sony promises to give each of us a month of free PlayStation Plus, free games, and 1 year of identity theft protection, but is this too much, just right, or not enough compensation for what happened? To answer this question we really have to look at three things: Who are the victims of the PSN hack, is Sony also to blame for the attack, and did Sony respond appropriately?
The way I see it, there are three possible victims of the PSN hack: First is us the PSN users, second is the developers, and the third is Sony itself. I think without question we can all agree that those are the victims. PSN users had valuble information stolen from them and lost a lot of online services while PSN was down for 22 days. Developers suffered a huge monetary lost. Sony’s lost is not just of money, but of brand reputation.
Sony might also be the victim, but are they also responsible for what happened? A argument I have heard before is that rape victims often are responsible for their own rape because they wore sexually provocative clothing, which instigated the assault. While I think that is a particularly dumb argument for rape, for Sony I think that is an accurate description. Not only has Sony started a war with hackers, but did not do enough to keep their data secure. There are mixed reports whether or not their security was up to date, so I don’t want to speculate on that. However, tt would’ve been one thing if they just got hacked and some data got stole, but when 77 million accounts get stolen that is a huge breach of security and Sony had to drop the ball somewhere along the line to fail that spectacularly.
So did Sony at the very least respond appropriately? The answer to that is a big fat NO. Not only did it take them 6 days to let everyone know that they were hacked, they even denied the extent of the problem. That was all done to save their own reputation, which was only hurt worse when they actually had to admit to us how severe the problem was. Then it took them 22 days to fix it, but was only after promise, after promise, after promise that it was going to be back up in a “week.” They even refused to testify in front of congress and instead sent them a letter. Sony was more concerned about covering their own asses than trying to make up to their partners and customers.
Finally I come down to the main question: What does Sony owe us? I think what they are offering us now is a good start to appending good will. Reports in Europe is that PS3 return rates increased over 200% during the outage. I am curious to see what the NPD sales figures for May are, I wouldn’t be surprised in a huge dip in PS3 sales, while there is a large increase in 360 sales. Sony is going to need to offer us much more than free PS3 arcade and PSone titles to get people to return. In Europe there are reports that Sony might offer 2 free games from a list of five. I think a fair return would be an option for a major title like InFamous or Assassin’s Creed 2, then 1 or 2 choices from smaller games like Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 or Sonic 4. Sony is going to need to offer something that is going to attract customers back so they need to offer good games and they need to be permanently owned because if they are only available as long as we have PSPlus, then it just won’t cut it.
So what are your thoughts? Are you satisfied, do you want more, or are you just happy that PSN is back on?