PixelJunk Boss Warns About PS3 Losing Developers

Speaking to Industry Gamers, PixelJunk head Dylan Cuthbert has warned about the impact the PSN downtime (and lack of contact from Sony) is having for developers, especially indie ones.

“At the moment I think they are running around patching holes etc., and in a week or two they’ll have something more concrete to say,” said Dylan, whose recent PS3 content under the PixelJunk banner is almost entirely online only.

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Nobody yet knows whether Sony are going to compensate developers and publishers for lost revenue, but Dylan clearly thinks they should be thinking hard about doing so.

“I have no idea yet what Sony are going to do to help developers such as ourselves,” he said, “but I have a feeling they are thinking about doing something or they will lose developers which of course is pretty bad for them.”

This is in addition to Capcom, who claim the downtime is potentially costing them millions.  Brink is out this week, and there’s still no sign of the network being up in time for PS3 owners.

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58 Comments

  1. *Sigh* more people jumping on the lost revenue band wagon, it’s a sad time for Sony! I doubt it’s gonna lose them develpers though, not permanantly. Every service has it’s problems, it’s a fact of life.

    • I think it’s more that nobody’s speaking to the devs and publishers.

      • Or customers.

        How much longer can they keep pushing the ‘couple of days’ misdirection (I was gonna say ‘lie’, but it seemed a bit harsh)?

      • If Sony are staying as vague with the developers/publishers as they are with us it must be quite disheartening.

      • I agree. However complicit Sony may have been in their own downfall – that’s a matter for the information commissioner perhaps – the lack of information for it’s customers is appalling so God’s knows how they have been treating devs.

        Of course it will hit revenues. Why buy Brink – according to reviews a stodgy single player game – when you can’t play it online? Might as well wait for a while. By the time PSN is back up it may even be a bit cheaper!

    • “potentially costing them millions” the PSN downtime is not costing them a single penny, they really should word things properly. They arent losing anything, they just wont be gaining revenue.

      • Exactly. So they still have their costs, for wages and what not, and won’t be getting any revenue. So they’re losing money. That’s a very reasonable argument in a proper business environment.

      • I think they worded it correctly- you pay your workers for 1-2 years to develop and program a game, have it tested, retested, marketed etc BEFORE it even hits shelves, and that can add up to millions. So without psn up and running they are already behind, and are not even close to breaking even. So, yes, they’ve LOST millions.

      • Bonkers comment, Phil! So with projected earnings and forecasts (which companies rely on and must try to achieve) they “lose” out completely. PixelJunk is a cracking franchise of awesomely playable games and they’ve lost their complete revenue stream with the PSN being down for so long.

        Dylan has been kind enough to pop in to TSA as a VIP in the comments section and, Dylan, my sympathies go out to you and the guys. There’s only so much “hitting the reserves”, borrowing, selling of kidneys you can do. Best of luck, fella.

      • well the “costing millions” comment comes from capcom, and as far as capcom goes, i think philzy is right.
        they’re not losing money, they’re just not making as much.

        for the smaller developers though, especially those who only publish on psn, this will be having a drastic effect.

        i think maybe sony should think about compensating those smaller devs.

        capcom however can go whistle for it as far as i’m concerned.

      • they have ongoing costs (rents, staff, taxes, investments in future products etc & etc) these costs are covered by low volume but incremental sales. If those revenues that fund those costs are taken away they will indeed be losing and the outage will indeed be ‘costing them’.

        It’s just semantics, but the end result is the same regardless of how its worded.

  2. “At this time, I can’t give you an exact date, as it will likely be at least a few more days.”
    Posted on 10 May by Nick Caplin – Head of Communications, SCEE http://blog.eu.playstation.com
    My money is on tomorrow.

    • just saw thread below, my bad.
      (ps thought the big mw2 story would’ve been posted by now)

      • dammint i meant mw3. if someone could please edit my comment above & del this one.ty

    • Usually I would expect Sony to over-estimate the date so not to dissappoint people, and to allow them more time than people are anticipating. Unfortunately this has not been the case so far

  3. CAPCOM have said its costing them ‘upto’ millions, affecting investment into digital games. Activision have said it has impacted Q1 earnings

    After these two statements I wondered, what about smaller developers who rely on small ongoing revenues provided by indie PSN titles or Minis to pay the bills whilst they work on a new project?

    It could be nothing short of catastrophic for them and if Sony doesn’t make it ‘right’ could impact on whether they continue to work on the PS3

    Same goes for all the Apps & services you can get on Bravia TVs & Blu-ray players, I’m pretty sure even a big company like LoveFilm is affected nevermind all the small companies

    • And somehow this is _entirely_ Sony’s fault? Many of the rumours about how they were running unpatched Apache servers etc, how passwords were clear text, how credit cards weren’t encrypted have all been shown to be complete rubbish. I’m not saying they were doing a bang up job, but they WERE still victims of a well orchestrated and sophisticated attack, something dozens and dozens of other companies have also suffered.

      As for smaller devs, no business venture is without risk, if you put all your eggs in one basket they may get smashed. It’s like farmers, one flood and your year is ruined. Right now, the Sony paddock is flooded, the question is will the smaller devs re-plant next season or not. I think it’s fair to predict that Sony are building the highest flood levies you’ve ever seen, it may well be the safest paddock of all when they’re done.

      If itunes were to go down for a week, do you think Apple should have to pay every single artist a weeks worth of lost sales? If the app store doesn’t connect for a day or two should Apple give every single one of the 100s of 1000s of app developers on the store some kind of compensation?

      • Not really true of farmers for two reasons.

        1. They are state subsidized
        2. They would probably have insurance.

    • My thoughts exactly about the smaller devs, even worse if it’s a debut game for them.
      The lack of communication from Sony is incredible given how much concern this must be causing developers.

      • its affecting a lot of people Sony more than any imo there doing everything they can & not making anymore false promises I say just let the get on with it.

  4. In the history of SONY, this is the worst time for PR ever!!!
    I still wouldn’t buy M$ XBOX360 though…

    • I agree – it’s like MicroSoft buying the Black Ops map packs 30 days earlier. If someone is so impatient they cannot wait 30 days for something, that it determines what console they purchase, they’re pretty stupid. So we’ve got a few weeks down-time, I still prefer my PS3 and I’ve had the chance to complete Portal 2, Dead Space 2, and now Mirror’s Edge. Plus the football season has been pretty exciting. I can wait…

    • Not meaning to sound like a fanboy (I much prefer the PS3 from a technical standpoint and its exclusives) but I am really glad I picked up a 360 recently. Games are dirt cheap and the online service is fantastic. Definately the better of the two in that area as far as I’m concerned.

      • Sure – everyone has their preference. I’m the same, I wasn’t slating MS or XBox, just that the downtime shouldn’t determine peoples decisions. It’s great for XBox owners can benefit from cheaper XBL during this PSN “crisis” – I’m sure things would be the same if the shoe was on the other foot

      • I think for a lot of people (myself included) its Sony’s actions during this whole ordeal which have put them off. I work in IT and understand no matter how cautious you are in terms of data security you are never 100% protected, but the low levels of security Sony had in place, coupled with the limited information they have given customers and developers does not sit right with me in the slighest. I love Uncharted as much as the next PS player, but that doesn’t mean I am going to defend/forgive Sony’s recent actions.

    • I wouldn’t buy it either i think MS cheats people but that is my opinion another thing though didn’t Sony say at the very beginning that they would help smaller developers because of this downtime???

    • This is terrible! I’m buying a Xbox….but WAIT!.. I really like Steam, I’d rather get a good pc instead. Besides the only people that could trade in there PS3s for Xboxes are likely the ruthless “Americas multinational youth Army”. AMYA can be very foul-mouthed on Call of Duty it seems.

      I couldn’t part with all the games, the Xbox doesn’t really have the same choice in retail stores.

      • Speaking as someone who did in fact trade in their PS3 recently to pick up a 360 I can assure you I am not an AMYA :P Most games are multiformat these days and I find the online services from the 360 to be largely superior. Not a fanboy comment in the slightest, just a preference :)

    • Think you need to get your keyboard checked out Turrican, a couple of the keys appear to be the wrong way around. I thought you’d made a typo yesterday, but it does appear that something is permanently amiss.

  5. Journey, The Last Guardian, Team Ico HD Collection – just three reasons why I’m going to sit tight and wait. I’ve even started making my own LBP levels.
    If they, the developers, are getting the same response as consumers, and I don’t believe they are, I can see it being damaging. I don’t play enough games where you kill people to warrant a 360.

    • Splinter Cell HD trilogy :)

    • I have so many Single player games waiting to be played that I’m not too bothered about the extended downtime of the PSN. Saying that though, I feel for the dev who suddenly find themselves minus the income stream. What I want to hear from Sony is the exact reasons for whatever delays there are, we are not all idiots who don’t understand.

  6. Sony have so much work to do even when PSN is back up and running…

    • For a start, the amount of people signing-in and playing online could bring many servers down. There is also the threat of more DDoS from Anon members who don’t agree with the consensus that the PSN itself shouldn’t a target, and of course Sony’s (hopefully) increased security will of course be receiving the attention of hackers the world over.

      And that of course is probably a walk in the park in comparison to winning back the trust, loyalties and hearts & minds of non-core fans.

      • Sony have said already a region turn on.

      • Ohhh- good point on hackers wanting to take a crack at the “new and improved” security. Kind of like inmates wanting to be the first to take down the biggest jail guard. Hopefully though, if the original culprits are caught and severely punished, this will deter any future attacks against SONY. (wishful thinking).

      • go for it the hatred that is already there for them keep it going & I bet there system will be watched like a hawk from now on as well.

    • Hackers, if they aim their sites at the new Secure PSN will not only be damaging SONY, they’ll be shafting the indie devs and all the owners of PS3’s, that’s millions of p1ssed off people. Why would these hackers risk it!?

      • You mean like they’re doing right now…?

  7. No wonder. Juts imagine the damage this will do/has done to the Brink launch.

    • I know loads of people who’ve said they simply will not buy Brink on PS3 on account of the muliplayer being down. Such a shame that the reputation of an entire brand will suffer because of recent events

      • Yeah, considering less-than stellar reviews and the PSN being down, I can imagine Brink flopping on the PS3 which is a shame given it was the first FPS title in ages to take a few risks and try something different.

  8. Losing money due to psn being down? Hmm, not according to most of my mates! Since they can only play single player, they are buying more games at retail as their getting through them quicker! ;)

    • Ah, but as far as i know Pixeljunk/Q-Games don’t release disc based games do they?

      • Absolutely. It’s all on PSN. That thing we used to love so very much.

      • Some of their games are on disk, yes, in Japan at least.

      • *tips hat in acknowledgement*

      • Fair enough – I had absolutely no idea that they released disc based products anywhere. Thanks for the clarification nofi. :)

        That said though, going purely on the amount of people that I know from here & other forums (etc) that play & enjoy PJ games & generally pick each up the day it is released, they will still be losing a hell of a lot of revenue from this side of the world.

  9. I feel sorry for them. Sony need to pull the bloody finger out and tell everyone whats going on. No news is bad news in my opinion. They have already lost my support for using PSN to keep my details. Now they could be losing developers too.

  10. Yea i loved sony since the ps one days but im starting to lose patience with their handling of this situation, they really haven’t put themselves in any sort of good light.

    They should of remedied this PSN crisis days ago, and now its starting to affect developers in a bad way.

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