Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has partnership with South Korean publisher Daum Communications to bring the massively multiplayer online first-person shooter (MMOFPS) PlanetSide 2 to the region. SOE and Daum will showcase PlanetSide 2 at the G-STAR Global Game Exhibition in Busan, South Korea on November 14-16, 2013.
Daum has secured the exclusive publishing rights to the game, including dedicated servers, local customer support and payment gateways for South Korea. PlanetSide 2 will launch in the region as a free-to-play game.
Sony Online Entertainment announced that it has laid off an undisclosed number of employees at its San Diego, Calif. and Austin, TX. studios as part of a new initiative to reduce costs, align its resources, and streamline its workforce company-wide.
"As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios," the company said in a statement.
As reported by Polygon, Sony Online Entertainment's director of global community relations, Linda "Brasse" Carlson, gave an interesting talk about balancing developer relations with its various online communities, while tamping down abusive behavior by users. Carlson detailed the process the company uses to handle all these different issues during a presentation at GDC Europe 2013 today.
The Sony board has rejected a proposal by Third Point LLC CEO Daniel Loeb - one of Sony's largest investors - that would have spun off 20 percent of its entertainment divisions into a separate entity. The board's rejection of the idea was unanimous. A letter to Third Point from Sony expressed that the company sees value in owning entertainment content in this connected, digital age. Sony also told Third Point in its letter that maintaining total ownership of its divisions encourages "internal collaboration and efficiency."
Esther Wu of Brooklyn, New York has been named the winner of the 2013 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship, Sony Online Entertainment announced today. Now in its sixth year, the scholarship program was established to encourage women to pursue careers in the video game industry in the areas of development and design.
Sony has confirmed with VideoGamer.com that auto-updates, social features and some entertainment on the PlayStation 4 will not be behind a pay-wall. In confirming this news Sony says that it is "trying to be as balanced and as fair as we possibly can." TV and online movie services will also continue to be free to all PS4 users.
If you decide to play certain free-to-play MMO-style games on the PlayStation 4 you may not need to have a PlayStation Plus subscription. According to Sony Online Entertainment, publishers of those games can decide whether or not they will make Plus a requirement. SOE is developing two of its current properties for play on PS4 - PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online - and both of them do not need a Plus membership in order to play.
Sony put to bed a lot of questions this evening at its E3 Expo 2013 press conference that Microsoft stumbled with, fumbled and mangled last month. While Microsoft said it was up to publishers whether or not gamers could sell, trade, or loan their Xbox One games out, Sony threw out a phrase that resonated with gamers tonight: "True Consumer Ownership." Sony promised no restrictions on used games or rentals, loaning games out to friends, selling them, etc. This is what consumers had hoped to hear from Sony and the company did not disappoint them.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that 23-year-old Todd M. Miller has been sentenced to one year of house arrest for his part in the 2008 security breach of Sony's PlayStation Network. Miller wasn't convicted on charges directly related to the hacking, but for destroying computers the FBI was interested in investigating related to the crime. Miller was sentenced last week.
Sony Online Entertainment will merge the two remaining servers for its MMO Vanguard into one big server on April 4 at 10 p.m. PDT, the company announced this week. On April 9, the European Halgar server will permanently be taken offline, following its merge with the Telon server. SOE warned players that when this happens the game will be down for a 24 hour period - but that's not the worst of it; when the two servers are merged into one server some characters may be affected.
Sony's PlayStation 3 is facing a new security threat - one it hasn't seen since the system was cracked via the PSJailbreak in 2011. According to a report on Eurogamer, a new PlayStation Network-enabled custom firmware was recently released along with the publication of the console's LV0 decryption keys.
Sony Online Entertainment has announced Player Studio, a new program for its EverQuest MMO's that lets players create in-game items that can be sold in the marketplace of their favorite online game. The company also announced two new expansions: EverQuest: Rain of Fear and EverQuest II: Chains of Eternity.
Sony Online Entertainment has officially relaunched its fantasy MMORPG Vanguard Saga of Heroes as a free-to-play game worldwide. SOE claims that Vanguard Saga of Heroes' transition to a free-to-play model marks the beginning of an "exciting new direction" which will include entirely new game enhancements, regular updates and brand new content.
According to Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley, 70 percent of DC Universe Online players prefer the game on the PlayStation 3. Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Smedley says that his company has proven that free-to-play gaming on Sony's console is a viable market, and one that's supported well. Smedley makes a good point considering that there are more MMO's on the PS3 than there are on any other console and the PS3 is the only console system that has successfully supported the free-to-play model in games like DC Universe Online and Free Realms.
Sony Online Entertainment announced today that one of its last remaining subscription-based MMO's is going free-to-play. Via a Producer Letter, SOE announced that Vanguard: Saga of Heroes will be free later this summer. The company has actually been working on the transition to free-to-play for quite some time, but today's announcement makes it official and lays out some of the changes players can expect.
Sony Online Entertainment has opened registration for its annual fan event, SOE Live. In its 12th year, SOE Live is a fan gathering for the entire SOE community to celebrate their favorite games and connect with other players and the games' developers. Taking place at Bally's in Las Vegas October 18-21, SOE Live will celebrate the communities of such games as DC Universe Online, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Free Realms, Magic: The Gathering - Tactics, PlanetSide 2, PoxNora, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.
Sony Online Entertainment has awarded Quinne Larsen of Northridge, California the 2012 Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Scholarship. The scholarship awards Quinne $10,000 for tuition at California Institute of the Arts and a 10-week paid internship at SOE's headquarters in San Diego. While hundreds vied for the scholarship by submitting two pieces of original concept art inspired SOE's games PlanetSide 2 or EverQuest II and an essay discussing their views on women in the gaming industry, only one winner could be chosen.
According to a Nikkei newspaper report (by way of Reuters / Yahoo! News), Sony will cut six percent of its global workforce, or 10,000 jobs worldwide. The report says that the company's new CEO, Kazuo Hirai, is doing everything he can to put the company back in the black after four years of being in the red.
Sony Online Entertainment has changed the name of its annual fan event to SOE LIVE. The freshly rebranded fan event is scheduled to take place at Bally's in Las Vegas, October 18-21, 2012. The annual SOE-sponsored event will allow the company to offer broader support for all of its various titles including DC Universe Online, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Free Realms, Magic: The Gathering - Tactics, PlanetSide 2, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.
Sony Online Entertainment sent along a reminder to let anyone interested in applying for the fifth annual Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Game Design Competition, that submissions are now being accepted. The G.I.R.L. Game Design Competition is an annual initiative to promote higher education among women and encourage their inclusion and participation in the video game industry.
In September Sony updated the PlayStation Network's terms of service to include a new clause removing the ability for customers (who were more than likely upset over the major security breach that happened earlier in the year) to file future class action lawsuits. Users who accepted the new TOS had to agree to individual arbitration instead of a lawsuit if they had a grievance against Sony. Since users had to agree to the new TOS in order to sign in to PSN, many simply agreed and moved on.
DC Universe Online had about 30,000 paid subscribers prior to switching over to a free-to-play model. Apparently that switch has helped the game gain an additional 90,000 registered users. Sony Online Entertainment, which manages the DC Comics-based superhero MMO, said the surge in interest represents a 400 percent increase on previous figures.
GameSpot managed to corner Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley during the GDC Online conference this week in Austin, Texas to get his thoughts on the recent attack that resulted in Sony temporarily locking down around 93,000 PlayStation Network, Sony Entertainment Network, and Sony Online Entertainment accounts.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released new guidelines on Thursday that require publicly traded companies to disclose when they are the victim of a security breach or cyber attack. The new guidelines are the result of members of congress pressuring the watchdog agency to add them following several major cyber attacks earlier this year. Senator John Rockefeller is one of those lawmakers.
Last night Sony's new SVP & Chief Information Security Officer, Philip Reitinger wrote a lengthy post on the official PlayStation Blog, detailing some questionable mass logins. While some of those attempts to login to accounts by unknown persons were successful, Reitinger assures the public that those accounts have been identified by the company and temporarily locked down.