PlayStation Network: Will Developers Jump Ship?
We're officially three weeks into the PSN fiasco today, with only vague timeframes for restoration—long enough for disgruntled developers to start speaking out. We’ve focused on how the outage affects players (no Portal 2 co-op, no Mortal Kombat match-ups, etc.) but—partly because we expected the service back already—overflown its impact on the folks whose financial well-being is tied directly to PSN uptime.
Q-Games’ Dylan Cuthbert (PixelJunk) tells Industry Gamers the outage “definitely” impacts his studio financially, and says he believes Sony is “running around patching holes,” but that it may be several weeks before the company has “something more concrete to say.” (Incidentally: ignore IG's story title, which has Cuthbert warning of a "PSN developer exodus"--Cuthbert neither says nor implies anything of the sort.)
Then there’s Activision, whose Call of Duty: Black Ops “Escalation” map pack—released for Xbox 360 players on May 3—can’t be distributed until the PSN’s back. During a recent earnings call, Activision warned that it expects quarterly revenue to dip year-on-year because of a smaller product lineup, but also because of “the expected loss of high-margin revenue due to the temporary PlayStation Network shutdown.”
Last weekend, Capcom senior vice president Christian Svensson wrote he was “frustrated and upset by [the outage] for a number of reasons,” among them his claim that it costs Capcom “hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in revenue that were planned for within our budget.”
“These are funds we rely on to bring new games to market for our fans,” added Svensson.
Svensson later clarified his frustration wasn’t with Sony so much as with the hackers responsible for the outage, calling Sony the “victim here,” along with “consumers, developers and publishers.”
Will Sony compensate developers? Q-Games’ Cuthbert hopes so, telling Industry Gamers he has a “feeling” Sony’s thinking about it, lest they “lose developers which of course is pretty bad for them.”
As for service restoration, the last word from Sony (yesterday) was that it “can’t give…an exact date,” and that it “will likely be at least a few more days.”
With any luck, "a few more days" means game service resuscitated by end of week.