Key Sony Gaming Websites Go Down Because They Let Their Domains Expire

from the spare-some-change? dept

As online gaming becomes more and more popular, we're of course beginning to hear stories of occasional missteps in how the online infrastructure is handled. The reasons for this can vary. For instance, maybe you're Electronic Arts and you've both made your game require a connection to your servers but you misjudged the load that would be on those servers. Or maybe you're Electronic Arts and you decide to shut down an online game without refunding the money people have spent to play it. Or, hey, maybe you're Electronic Arts and you decide to pull the plug on online gaming servers extremely soon just to push gamers into buying the next annual sports title. The point is that these reasons tend to be things that could be avoided.

Sony appears to be learning that lesson now, what with the gaming universe both shouting and laughing at them for forgetting to renew the domains on several popular gaming sites they run.

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) sites www.soe.com and www.sonyonline.net were sometimes redirecting users to generic holding pages from Network Solutions. Some SOE-related sites for games such as Everquest, Everquest 2, Landmark and H1Z1 were also apparently affected.
The reason became quickly apparent: the domains of the sites expired. The details are basically that the renewal emails all went to a junk mailbox set up for an employee that had left the company a while back and were never actually seen by whoever had taken over their duties. SOE President John Smedley, to his credit, isn't even attempting anything besides an admission and an apology.
“The payment notifications went to a junk email box,” Smedley tweeted, adding, “Someone left and it got caught in the replacements junk filter. Simple as that. Embarrassing as that. No point dodging. DNS problems could take up to 48 hours to resolve,” he wrote, adding, “We are really really sorry on this one folks. Embarrassing and preventable. We screwed up.”
Look, it's unfair to expect anyone to never make a mistake, but this all comes off as bush-league stuff that we just shouldn't be reading about when it comes to a company like Sony, with all their experience in running an online gaming platform. Get it together guys. I mean, granted, I have no skin in the game, because I game the way God intended: in a dark room, playing alone, and with a cold craft beer next to me. But, you know, for all the other people.


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  1. icon
    TKnarr (profile), 17 Jul 2014 @ 1:35pm

    Why no entry on a calendar?

    A calendar program with reminders and a nice bright cheery red for critical renewal dates on it. I hear Microsoft, Apple and Google all make nice ones that aren't tied to a particular user or their machine. They can even be integrated with your e-mail program so everything's in one place. Reminders from the registrar are nice, but I make sure I keep track of when all my domains are due for renewal myself.

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