Gamers are not the only ones impacted by the recent online hacks and Sony data breaches. Shareholders have also felt the burn of the attacks – as shares of Sony Corp. fell 3.7% after news of the Sony Online Entertainment breach broke.
While Sony’s network business is only a small part of the company’s overall earnings, the long-run concern is that these attacks and breaches may impact hardware sales too.
It is hard to imagine how news of two large-scale hacks and data breaches could not hurt a company’s stock at some point. While it seems like Sony has been hard at work trying to figure out exactly what happened and what data was taken, consumer and investor trust in the company could be seriously damaged. As more and more devices become connected devices (devices that connect to the Internet or other basic online store) consumer trust in those connections and the protection of personal information used to access that connectivity becomes more and more important. For example, consumers probably are not too likely to take the plunge on Sony’s recently announced tablets if they fear their personal data might get stolen – after they set up the tablet online.
Additionally, how many consumers are now more likely to purchase an Xbox 360 over a PS3? Not to mention the impact the outage must be having on games. How badly were Socom 4 sales hurt because of the attack? At this point there are not clear answers to these questions – but one thing is clear, investors are concerned.
Do you think it is right that Sony’s stock has fallen because of the recent attacks on its networks? Are you less likely to purchase a connected Sony device now or in the future because of these attacks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.