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PSN breach will impact wider digital games business

Consumer confidence in digital sales will sink, says DoubleSix boss

The massive breach of security that has left over 75 million PlayStation Network accounts vulnerable to exploitation will have a much wider impact on the entire digital game sales business.

That's according to James Brooksby, head of developer DoubleSix, who's title Burn Zombie Burn was one of the first major hits on Sony's PlayStation service.

Brooksby said consumer confidence will suffer at a time when digital sales are becoming more accepted in the games business, adding that its still too early to predict the full impact of the security disaster.

Our major concern is the way that this will affect digital consumers' future behaviour.

James Brooksby, DoubleSix

"My biggest concern is how this affects not just PSN, but also XBLA, Steam, iTunes - all of the digital content providers," he told GamesIndustry.biz.

"This has been a very widely publicised problem that consumers will take note of next time they create accounts and buy online games. Of course this is a blip, but it's sure to have some kind of impact. We just have to wait to see what that is."

"It's very disappointing. And to be clear I'm not talking about the way that Sony has handled it, but that it has happened at all - our major concern is the way that this will affect digital consumers' future behaviour," he added.

Although sales of the studio's own title have been affected, Brooksby again noted that it's the long-term issues that the companies need to be aware of and while PSN is still offline, it's difficult to asses any real damage.

"We've done some estimation but we'll have to wait until PSN is back before we can really take stock. The long term impact is more of a concern."

Sony admitted last night that after seven days offline, it is still not sure of the full scale of the security breach by "illegal and unauthorised" intruders.

"I think Sony have quite a situation on their hands and we and other developers are fully sympathetic to their situation," added Brooksby.

"Right now we would not expect high levels of communication and I'd expect that developers that are just about to release games or DLC have been consulted more than us as we're not quite at that point."

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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