Sony Online Entertainment's line up of massive multiplayer games suffered from some extended down time on Thursday evening due to a massive power blackout that affected a large portion of Southern California. Massively reported that some of the company's MMO games, including Everquest II, were not accessible to its users for a number of hours. Sony Online's headquarters are located in San Diego which was hit the hardest by the Thursday night blackouts. According to CNN, about 3.5 million people in the metro area were affected by the power outage at its highest peak. Sony Online has since sent out a Twitter message announcing that power has been restored to its servers.
The power outage apparently originated in Arizona, with the Arizona Power Service stating that the blackout might have begun with one single employee working to replace some equipment in a substation. An investigation into what exactly happened is ongoing. Even though power has been restored in most of the affected areas, the nuclear power plant that normally handles San Diego's power grid remains offline. As a result, California officials are asking local residents to conserve power. That could mean that there could be further power outages if demand is too high.
Sony Online Entertainment, along with its sister division the Playstation Network, suffered from several weeks of server downtime thanks to the hacker attack that affected both systems in April. The company offered in-game virtual items for its many MMO games as compensation for the previous shut down of its servers.