As many know, Playstation rolled out their "Welcome Back" program a month ago which allowed all users to download 2 free PS3 games, 2 PSP games, and a few other assorted movie rentals and alternative downloads. In addition to this, they offered free identity theft insurance to anyone willing to sign up for it. This came with a split-reaction from the gaming community (amongst others in the public sphere). On one side we found many individuals hailing Playstation for their generosity and interest in maintaining their customer base. On the other side, many felt this was "not enough" given all of the personal data lost in their recent privacy violation.

Now, a month later we can all sit back and re-examine exactly what had happened; and how the invasion of privacy for millions of users could potentially lead to an increase in users, and even more importantly, examine how Playstation may ultimately benefit from this in the long run.

On several websites (most notable to my memory is IGN), there were many editorials written on Playstations motivation as they were handling their privacy debaucle. On my own time, I started wondering if Playstation was really providing a "gift" to consumers; or rather was Playstation just sending out the metephorical "fishing lure" to keep their users content, and hopefully grab new users in the process.

From what I can tell, Playstation seems to be one of the few companies that has been able to recover from such an extraordinary data breach with a majority of their customer base (and trust no less!). As an avid Playstation gaming console user, from the very first console, I have been addicted to the quality product they have produced. As is increasingly evident, Playstation is also an expert company when it comes to marketing and maintaining customer trust and support. The "Welcome Back" program they offered was more than sufficient, with the most important element of course being the free identity theft insurance. Of course, as all businesses function to make money, Playstation has their own plan for making sure they can recoup their losses; if not make an additional profit and acquire new users.

They say all publicity is good publicity, even if it is in the midst of a fallout like the aforementioned one. In the case of Playstation, they seem to be getting along just fine and I expect they will have a quick turn around.