PSN hysteria "a lot of wind and p**s"

Gravity Crash dev unfazed by hack.

Just Add Water boss Stewart Gilray has described the hysteria surrounding the PlayStation Network hack as "a lot of wind and p**s".

The Gravity Crash developer slammed the press reaction to the security breach, which has seen some 77 million PSN accounts compromised.

"I have to say, the press yesterday ripped Sony a new one wider than the Channel Tunnel," Gilray told Eurogamer at the GameCityNights event in Nottingham last night.

"Yes, it's up to 77 million PSN IDs, or 35 million master accounts the rest are sub accounts. It's bad. But to look at it laterally, you're now one of 35 million people who could get their details leaked out and used by somebody else.

"But when you look at things like Play.com for example, which had 1.4 million details ripped last year, you're one in 1.4 million. There's a much higher chance of your stuff being used from Play than there is of your stuff being used from the PlayStation hack.

"I'm not saying it's good. It's bad. But I don't think half the criticism they've got has been deserved. They have gone about it the right way."

Some developers have expressed concern that the hack, which has hit headlines across the globe this week, will have a damning effect on PSN game sales.

But Gilray, who is currently working on PSN games Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee HD and Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath HD, said developers have little to worry about.

"To use a phrase my dad used to say, it's a lot of wind and p**s," he said.

"Dylan Cuthbert from Q-Games has said it will affect their business slightly, but their games launched a while ago. With anything digital, your biggest sales come from your first two weeks of publishing. After that it drops through the floor. Yeah, you'll get a steady flow, but it won't be as high as that first week.

"If this happened in the first week of a game coming out, then yeah, sure, fine, you're going to hurt pretty bad, especially when you're reliant on that first payment check after the first month. But after that it drops off pretty much.

"Right now we're not worried about it. I don't think there are many games released recently. I know the Telltale guys are meant to be doing Episode 2 of Back to the Future."

The PSN leak has seen the theft of personal data, including home addresses and passwords, on a massive scale.

Sony says it has found no evidence to suggest credit card data, which it insists was encrypted, has also been stolen, but it can't rule the possibility out.

A security expert this morning claimed that "low-level cyber criminals" are currently shopping around lists containing the credit card details of 2.2 million PSN members.

The claim is at this stage unsubstantiated, and conflicts with Sony's reassurance that credit card security codes were not held by PSN.

True or not, it is the threat of identity theft that has left some analysts predicting Sony could be in for a huge financial hit following the furore and, potentially, a mass exodus from the service.

Gilray, however, is doubtful that PSN will suffer irrevocable damage.

"I can't see 35 million people unsubscribing from PSN. And games don't sell 35 million copies. They maybe sell between 15,000 and 100,000 copies depending on the size of it in the first six to 12 months. When a game does come out, people will still buy it.

"35 million accounts, or 77 million global accounts, you're not going to get all those not buying any more. You only sell to less than one per cent of the entire user base anyway. Unless, suddenly, 60 million people unsubscribe, which I really can't see, we should be fine.

"Yes, the confidence thing will hit a few people. But now Sony has said credit card information wasn't breached, and the security number wasn't breached at all, the worst that will happen is you'll get a few people who will unsubscribe and sell their consoles. Next you'll get people switching to PSN cards."

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