Three Weeks In, PlayStation Network's Downtime Affecting Game Development, But Signs of Progress

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Posted by patrickklepek (4588 posts) -
PSN's still down, three weeks and counting.

It's been three weeks since PlayStation Network went down, resulting in the compromising of 77 million registered accounts, the exposing of personal information, multiplayer becoming temporarily nonexistent and a chorus of criticism from consumers, commentators--even Congress.

Players haven't been the only ones affected by the downtime, however, with several developers telling me the nearly month-long hiatus is now impacting game making, scheduling and publishing. Frustration has been rising.

Not helping matters, I'm told, has been an uncomfortably quiet Sony, with very few concrete answers on PSN's status for its partners.

Obviously, the downtime is most stressful for multiplayer games. There's are key differences between multiplayer games, however, as developers have the ability to bypass the login prompt. Games reliant on connecting through the friends list alone (i.e. no matchmaking) have been affected the most. Without an active friends list, there's no way to play and test.

No testing? GLaDOS would be most displeased.

== TEASER ==

Games able to dodge the friends list and join running servers (say, shooters) have been okay.

The PlayStation Store disappeared, too. Games that were relying, even partially, on PSN being online for release have had to rethink plans. Hamilton's Great Adventure, a quirky action game from Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2 developer Fatshark, was supposed to launch on PSN and PC simultaneously.

"The PSN version will be announced at a later date due to circumstances we can’t control," said Fatshark in a release earlier this week.

Asked to elaborate, Fatshark public relations representative Gunnar Johansson explained:

"It’s a bit frustrating when the one and only store selling our game is closed, but we’ll be on the virtual shelf as soon as possible when PSN is up and running again," said Johansson. "The only thing is that we’d prefer to have the PSN and PC players getting the game at the same time, as no one wants to wait. But, this is the case now, and I guess we gotta roll with the punches. We’re talking with Sony almost on a daily basis, and they are being as helpful as they can be."

Progress is being made on rebooting PSN, though, as evidenced by astute users on the message board NeoGAF finding proof of recent updates on leaderboards for both Killzone 3 and LittleBigPlanet 2. PSN user named NanoNeya last played a Ghostbusters-themed LBP2 level 22 hours ago, as of this writing, which suggests some internal testing of public PSN servers is happening. That's something, right?

The relaunch of PSN will accompany updated firmware that will prompt users to reset their passwords.

Whether PSN comes back in any capacity this week, three weeks is long--too long. E3 is not very far away and many developers are working overtime to prepare demos to show press and retailers in LA.

"I've never been more grateful to only work on single player games," joked one developer I spoke to.

Staff
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (4588 posts) -
PSN's still down, three weeks and counting.

It's been three weeks since PlayStation Network went down, resulting in the compromising of 77 million registered accounts, the exposing of personal information, multiplayer becoming temporarily nonexistent and a chorus of criticism from consumers, commentators--even Congress.

Players haven't been the only ones affected by the downtime, however, with several developers telling me the nearly month-long hiatus is now impacting game making, scheduling and publishing. Frustration has been rising.

Not helping matters, I'm told, has been an uncomfortably quiet Sony, with very few concrete answers on PSN's status for its partners.

Obviously, the downtime is most stressful for multiplayer games. There's are key differences between multiplayer games, however, as developers have the ability to bypass the login prompt. Games reliant on connecting through the friends list alone (i.e. no matchmaking) have been affected the most. Without an active friends list, there's no way to play and test.

No testing? GLaDOS would be most displeased.

== TEASER ==

Games able to dodge the friends list and join running servers (say, shooters) have been okay.

The PlayStation Store disappeared, too. Games that were relying, even partially, on PSN being online for release have had to rethink plans. Hamilton's Great Adventure, a quirky action game from Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2 developer Fatshark, was supposed to launch on PSN and PC simultaneously.

"The PSN version will be announced at a later date due to circumstances we can’t control," said Fatshark in a release earlier this week.

Asked to elaborate, Fatshark public relations representative Gunnar Johansson explained:

"It’s a bit frustrating when the one and only store selling our game is closed, but we’ll be on the virtual shelf as soon as possible when PSN is up and running again," said Johansson. "The only thing is that we’d prefer to have the PSN and PC players getting the game at the same time, as no one wants to wait. But, this is the case now, and I guess we gotta roll with the punches. We’re talking with Sony almost on a daily basis, and they are being as helpful as they can be."

Progress is being made on rebooting PSN, though, as evidenced by astute users on the message board NeoGAF finding proof of recent updates on leaderboards for both Killzone 3 and LittleBigPlanet 2. PSN user named NanoNeya last played a Ghostbusters-themed LBP2 level 22 hours ago, as of this writing, which suggests some internal testing of public PSN servers is happening. That's something, right?

The relaunch of PSN will accompany updated firmware that will prompt users to reset their passwords.

Whether PSN comes back in any capacity this week, three weeks is long--too long. E3 is not very far away and many developers are working overtime to prepare demos to show press and retailers in LA.

"I've never been more grateful to only work on single player games," joked one developer I spoke to.

Staff
#2 Posted by Manchild1318 (53 posts) -

NIce

#3 Posted by bkfountain (103 posts) -

i can't wait to turn mine on again.

#4 Posted by yoshimitz707 (2453 posts) -

" Frustrating has been rising."

lol nice typo.

#5 Posted by ReyGitano (2467 posts) -

Good job keeping track of this story and turning out articles when appropriate Patrick. I'm getting tired of other sites were every other story is about PSN that's just every rumor out there.

#6 Posted by patrickklepek (4588 posts) -

@yoshimitz707 said:

" " Frustrating has been rising."lol nice typo. "

Giant Bomb users deserve only the best.

Staff
#7 Posted by SeaMoose (41 posts) -

PSN being down has meant that i can dish out the hours on uni assignments but hopefully it'll be back on when they are all done.. On the bright side L.A Noire doesn't have a multiplayer so i won't feel like i'm missing out to 360 =D

#8 Posted by benjaebe (2783 posts) -

SOCOM leaderboards were updating with people playing online as early as Tuesday, too.
I made a topic about it here.
Could be related.

#9 Posted by jasonefmonk (350 posts) -

I really hope Sony has great stuff lined up for when we get back online.

#10 Posted by patrickklepek (4588 posts) -

@benjaebe said:

" SOCOM leaderboards were updating with people playing online as early as Tuesday, too.
I made a topic about it here.Could be related. "

Good catch. Send me a PM next time. :)

Staff
#11 Posted by Zeninnnnnnnn (176 posts) -

I wonder what this will do for future developers who go to the PS3. I mean, this can't happen twice in... three times in a row right?

#12 Posted by RiotBananas (3600 posts) -
@patrickklepek Loving your content but can we cut down title length a bit? 'PSN down, three weeks in' would have sufficed.
#13 Posted by Hailinel (24778 posts) -
@RiotBananas said:
" @patrickklepek Loving your content but can we cut down title length a bit? 'PSN down, three weeks in' would have sufficed. "
That would cut out the basis of what the article is about.
#14 Posted by patrickklepek (4588 posts) -

@RiotBananas said:

" @patrickklepek Loving your content but can we cut down title length a bit? 'PSN down, three weeks in' would have sufficed. "

I'm a little limited by the lack of subheads in the news section, sorry!

Staff
#15 Posted by Vaile (355 posts) -
@Hailinel said:
" @RiotBananas said:
" @patrickklepek Loving your content but can we cut down title length a bit? 'PSN down, three weeks in' would have sufficed. "
That would cut out the basis of what the article is about. "
"PSN Downtime Affecting Developers"
#16 Posted by benjaebe (2783 posts) -
@Vaile: Then you're missing out the important part about internal testing. The headline is fine as-is.
#17 Edited by DonPixel (2585 posts) -
@patrickklepek said:
"

@RiotBananas said:

" @patrickklepek Loving your content but can we cut down title length a bit? 'PSN down, three weeks in' would have sufficed. "

I'm a little limited by the lack of subheads in the news section, sorry!

"
Jeesus Christ Patrick ! what are you doing !? Reading more than 5 words in a row is to hard.. Stop it!! 
#18 Posted by Tim_the_Corsair (3065 posts) -
@DonPixel
@patrickklepek said:
"

@RiotBananas said:

" @patrickklepek Loving your content but can we cut down title length a bit? 'PSN down, three weeks in' would have sufficed. "

I'm a little limited by the lack of subheads in the news section, sorry!

"
Jeesus Christ Patrick ! what are you doing !? Reading more than 5 words in a row is to hard.. Stop it!! 
Indeed! In fact, this theory should be applies to articles as well.

"PSN STILL DOWN, HURR

Developers wanna develop, can't."

Now that's journalism! Seriously though, doing a great job Patrick, hitting all the news points but keeping the trademark GB humour and style.
#19 Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror (2101 posts) -
Shit's Still Broke should be a weekly feature.
#20 Edited by p_p_o_d (543 posts) -

I guess first party devs have access to it.


good sign.    Maybe it will be back early next week.  

EDIT
also the guys on neogaf are saying the Dev network is back for all.     

I think we are nearing the end.    finally......... FINALLY i will be able to play portal 2 on PC.   

#21 Posted by waypoetic (92 posts) -

Fatshark? Lol. Yeah, your game has plenty of players on it! No, not really. Not at all. 

#22 Posted by Liquidus (946 posts) -

Man, I'm glad I have no interest multiplayer games on my PS3 at the moment. Of course, I do really want to play MK online but it wouldn't be as bad if I was still really into Bad Company 2. Probably be going through withdrawals right now.

#23 Posted by Arrested_Developer (718 posts) -

I can only imagine how smarmy Major Nelson has been on his podcast the last few weeks.

#24 Posted by PKHilson (205 posts) -

WORK DAMMIT!!

#25 Posted by Ronald (1368 posts) -

I've played through the single player of Portal 2 twice and have all of the single player trophies. I'm also halfway through a commentary play through. If only I could play co-op.

#26 Posted by DeadlyWolverine (32 posts) -

Can't the developers use their kits to play LAN? Or do they want to see how the game experiences lag online?

#27 Posted by bearshamanbro (284 posts) -

Hope they get PSN back up. Took this opportunity to buy some Sony stock on the cheap today (year low) and hope it goes back up after PSN goes back online.

#28 Posted by milkman4591 (110 posts) -

I'm still waiting to use my portal 2 code to link my steam account. so mad

#29 Posted by Brackynews (4083 posts) -
@deadlywolverine: I suppose if the APIs and devkits were built without any offline redundancy, they would basically be up Y2K creek without a modem. (sorry)

I mean, find me one engineer on Sony's hardware team that ever assumed PSN features would need to be tested without PSN being functional? Why spend resources coming up with dummy data? Nobody plans for the worst, it's not cost effective.
#30 Posted by 24Carrot (66 posts) -

Although I don't condone this sort of harmful hacking, you must admit that these guys are FUCKING LEGENDS.

#31 Posted by dillonj9889 (52 posts) -

"There's are key differences"  ------> All your base are belong to us?

#32 Posted by Grillbar (1825 posts) -
@Ronald said:
" I've played through the single player of Portal 2 twice and have all of the single player trophies. I'm also halfway through a commentary play through. If only I could play co-op. "
well there is still split-screen coop. i have completeted all the co-op singlehanded. by using 2 controllers since i had no patients to wait. there is only 1 lvl that is really hard that way wich is the second last.
so i have gotten all but professoe portal, triple crown still alive, asking for trouble and friends with benefits. the only ones you cant get alone is the professor, triple and friends 
#33 Posted by Destroyeron (356 posts) -

I <3 my PC. :)

#34 Posted by boylie (305 posts) -
@RiotBananas said:
" @patrickklepek Loving your content but can we cut down title length a bit? 'PSN down, three weeks in' would have sufficed. "
Bad news dude: once you click on the title, you'll almost always find like, at least THRICE the text contained within the post, no matter  HOW MUCH text is in the title. If the problem is that you don't like reading, then I might have just ruined your day with this news. 

Also, I submit that the reigning king of the most ridiculously long titles is Alex. The upside for him is that I usually find his overly descriptive titles really funny
#35 Posted by Ben99 (1135 posts) -

what's new(s) ?

#36 Posted by Schazzwozzer (2 posts) -

I'll echo SlashseveN303's sentiment and say that I dig this sort of 'roundup' news story on the PSN situation.  On most blogs it is, indeed, just "here's the latest piece of hearsay bouncing around".

#37 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2490 posts) -
@Arrested_Developer said:
" I can only imagine how smarmy Major Nelson has been on his podcast the last few weeks. "
More than he already is normally?  I think a wormhole would open up and swallow us all.
#38 Posted by ezdude (394 posts) -

no comment

#39 Posted by WrathOfBanja (354 posts) -
@ezdude said:
" no comment "
yes you did.
#40 Posted by BUCK3TM4N (549 posts) -

wow that got really out of hand

#41 Posted by Dizzyhippos (1437 posts) -

shits still broke

#42 Posted by Hector (3364 posts) -
I want to play Daggerdale!!! Wahhhhh.
#43 Posted by Rhythm (26 posts) -

Not trying to split hairs here but it's a bit of a misleading opening statement. PSN didin't "go down, exposing accounts". It was *taken down* once Sony realised they'd been hacked. Sony's got enough on their plate trying to bring the systems back online and win back the hearts and minds of gamers without the press (enthusiast and mainstream) referring to the breach as if it were Sony themselves selling the accounts on 4Chan

#44 Posted by Pr1mus (3907 posts) -

Some online MK would be nice, can't wait to get destroyed over and over and over and...   you get the point :D

#45 Posted by FoxMulder (1691 posts) -
@Pr1mus said:
" Some online MK would be nice, can't wait to get destroyed over and over and over and...   you get the point :D "
That's the first thing I plan on doing when PSN is back up!  My Sonya is good against the medium bots...but I bet i will be destroyed by humans!
#46 Posted by Shaymarx (113 posts) -
Love film are reporting that (have done for over 24 hours) that PSN is in testing stages.
#47 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

All this downtime has given me time to finally play Mass Effect 2, and its pretty good.
#48 Posted by kalmis (1558 posts) -

Bummer. Good thing here is that this made me finally close couple of my bank accounts. A task which I had been putting off for a while. Had to go to a real bank and all for it.

#49 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -
@patrickklepek
Just a heads up, even after the frustrating one, there's another great typo: There's are key differences.
#50 Posted by Bestostero (2758 posts) -

im not sure i see the progress lol

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