Sony offers to compensate PC gamers for cyber attack

13 May 2011

Sonly Online Entertainment has outlined the compensation it is prepared to offer PC gamers affected by the continued shutdown of its 25m-user network following a major data breach in April.

In the attack hackers are believed to have succeeded in getting their hands on the credit and debit cards of some 24,000 users.

“We thank you for your patience as we continue to work around the clock to restore our game services,” SOE said in a letter to users.

“We know this has been a frustrating time for you and appreciate your understanding as we work to confirm the security of our network.”

“We are currently in the process of an extensive upgrade to our network to further protect your information from future attacks. It will likely be at least a few more days before we restore our services, and when we come back online, here is what you can expect for each of our game services.

Compensation for SOE users

SOE said all impacted players will receive 30 days of game time added to the end of the current billing cycle in addition to one day for each day the system is down.

Additionally, many games are offering a variety of in-game items and special events to welcome players back once services resume:

  • DC Universe Online: Batman and Two-Face Inspired Masks and 30 Marks of Distinction
  • Free Realms: Free daily items (7 to collect)
  • Clone Wars Adventures: Count Dooku v2 Outfit
  • EverQuest: A series of events, including Double XP, Double Rare Mob Spawns and Double Faction Gains
  • EverQuest II and EverQuest II Extended: A series of events, including Double XP, Double Guild XP, Loot Bonanza, and City Festivals
  • Vanguard: Saga of Heroes: A series of Double XP events
  • Star Wars Galaxies: Bounty Hunter Statue, a miniature model of Boba Fett’sship, the Slave I
  • Magic: The Gathering – Tactics: Four of each of these spells: “Ivory Mask”, “Duress” and “Angelheart Vial”, plus 500 Station Cash
  • PoxNora: Limited edition Carrionling, Welcome Back 5K Gold Award Tournaments and two Draft Tournaments, plus 500 Station Cash

“For our lifetime subscribers, we’ll grant in-game currency; specifically 20,000 coins for Free Realms, 7,500 Galactic Credits for Clone Wars Adventures and 10 Marks of Distinction for DC Universe Online (in addition to the items listed above).

“And finally, our Station Access subscribers will receive 500 Station Cash, in addition to the subscription time and items listed above,” SOE said.

SOE will provide its US-based Station Account holders with complimentary enrolment in an identity theft protection program through Debix, one of the industry’s most reputable identity protection firms.

“For Station Account holders who live outside the US, SOE will be offering similar programs, if and as available, and will provide details as they’re confirmed for each country or territory.

“We continue to work around the clock to restore SOE’s services and thank you for your continued patience as we complete our investigation of this criminal attack,” SOE said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years