As you may or may not know, Google recently announced that it would be shutting down Slide and various applications and games that it created, including the popular Super Poke Pets.
As reported earlier, users are less than thrilled with this decision. Some are upset as they have invested real money into the gameplay. One user sent me a huge list of transaction receipts. Some of the transactions were as much as $25 a piece, and I'm guessing there have been plenty that have been larger than that, judging from the amount of passion users have displayed since the news came out.
We looked at a response from Google's Super Poke Pets team. In that response, the team said, "The closest real-life analog[y] to SPP items is probably a Halloween costume. You purchase it to dress up and enjoy the experience, but likely don’t wear that costume day in and day out, or for every Halloween thereafter. Unlike a costume, there are still months ahead for you to make the most of the items in your inventory and we are working on tools to help you export some of your SPP content/items to keep and access outside of SPP. We are still in the process of working out the details of what these tools might be and will update you as soon as we have more information to share."
That was only part of the response (you can read the whole thing here), but as users have been commenting on that article, it's clear that they're not buying the halloween costume analogy. Here's what some of our readers have had to say about it:
Tracey Sheets:…."The Halloween costume analogy is a SLAP IN THE FACE!!! I am deeply offended. I have been playing SPP since April 2009. I love my little bunny named Snowball and I don’t understand why they can’t offer SPP on Google+. Playing social games is the ONLY reason I was going to try out Google+. I am disabled and SPP is art therapy and social interaction for me."
Bente Wisth:…And no, the halloween costume analogy is not a good one… I could still put my halloween costume on next year, can’t I?
Terri Kurburski: "How can you compare this game to a Halloween costume. Halloween comes once a year. This game is entertainment for those of us who are disabled and so many others. We have made so many friends and interact together and there is no other game like this. We have spent our money on Gold items and it is so wrong to make us lose all that we love. Find a way to use these things offline if not keeping our game. I will be so hurt to lose the one thing that I can do when I am hurting and can’t get around and do other things. But mostly I will miss so many friends."
Jennifer: "I cannot believe you all are going to take away all of our pets and our extended family. I have been with them since they started out. what did you do with all the money you made off of us? I know you at least made millions and billions off of us. we should get a refund for all we spent and time we used. You see they are not taking the violent games away but the family ones they are. I was mad when you started charging us money but then I thought this is a fun clean game and its worth it, Look how many people of all ages you have on there. some of us you have kept out of trouble. And most of us have found a “new Family” The Halloween costume analogy is a joke and i am offended by it. You are making fun of each and every person who is or has used this. since you guys think its funny why not give all the money you have took from us and loan it to the government to get them out of debt. Or better yet return it to us since you sold things to us. You are unfair by doing this I know a lot of elderly people on here that this is their life line to the outside world and with out spp they would be lonely and sad.
Alicia B: "I would say the Halloween costume analogy is not a good one. To the players of SPP I think a nightgown would be a better analogy. You are not (hopefully) going to wear your nightgown all the time, but you will wear it for a while each day, a comfortable cozy part."
"Google clearly does not get what this game means to the people who play it. It is a unique way to interact with friends and family, with the guilty pleasure of an escape from the stresses of daily life."
"Clearly everyone who plays will survive without the game, we will just be sleeping in a burlap nightgown."
Bobbie Weidner: "Is the Halloween costume a good analogy of the items people have purchased in this game? ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NO!!! The items in the game represent such a tiny fraction of the whole … a family oriented, somewhat educational, creative environment which has fostered kindness and generosity and subsequently developed into clubs & groups of friends where there are no social prejudices & none of the problems associated with games that are based on violence & competitiveness & greed. I don’t understand why a company as huge as Google does not see and take advantage of the chance they have at this time to enhance their reputation and listen to their customers and users of this game…."
Dacholiday Dach: "The Halloween analogy is so off base. If I buy a Halloween costume I can use it as many times and as long as I like."
"I don’t really care so much about the money. I just want to keep all my stuff and my pets. I have several pets on SPP they are all named after my real pets, alive and no longer with me. Now Google is making me loose my deceased and beloved Hali again. Hali is a puppy pet on SPP(SuperPoke Pets)I love my SPP pets and I love all of my SPP pets “pets”. Dogs are my passion so now I will loose all of my dogs that I paid for, as well as my Pets too."
Maryanne Terpstra: "Yes, I am a SPP user. I have been playing for nearly three years now. I have invested quite a bit of time and money into my pet, Katia! Plus, I have managed to make some wonderful friends from all over the world! I love my the club that I a member of, which is TDP (Total Daily Players). It’s great to know that you are the member of an organization in which you can always count on your friends and fellow club members to be there for you. When my younger sister died suddenly last October, all my friends rallied around me and they helped me through it!"
"No, the Halloween costume analogy is neither relevant nor effective. Besides, you are allowed to keep your Halloween costumes. Whereas, it looks as if I could lose my Katia forever."
"By the way, in case you’re wondering, I have multiple degrees. One of the best things about SPP is that I have been able to find intelligent and loyal friends to play with!"
I'm sure there will be plenty more reactions as time goes on. What do you think of the analogy?
If nothing else, even if your'e not a player of the game (which I'm not), it shows how truly passionate users can be about the products you develop, and that simply pulling the plug on them can always create a massive backlash and damage one's reputation. Google's big enough where this will probably do little to tarnish its reparation and usage overall, but it's clearly left a stain for some users in this particular group. For a smaller business, that stain could be much greater.