Last week, it was revealed that Google is shutting down Slide, the social game company it bought last summer. The move was quite surprising to the tech/social media industry, as the company had only just launched games for its new social network Google+. It also caught users off guard, as has been made abundantly clear in the comments of our previous coverage.
Some users of Slide's games (mostly Super Poke Pets) are upset that they have put invested money into the game with the impression that it would be around for a while. Others are more worried about losing relationships that they have established with other players as they have engaged in the game.
Some have vowed to stop using Google services altogether because of the ordeal. Others have even suggested a potential class action lawsuit.
"Since I have been with the Super Poke Pets I can say I have spent over $200. And $60 of it was when they announced that they where not making anymore Animated gifts , toys & habitats," Chris (from PA) tells WebProNews. "Mad? Yes, I am mad. They stated they were not closing down. If I would have known I would have cut my loses & just played till the end & begged for them to keep the game up & running."
"I put up with the glitches & the poor tech services, but [it] was the game that we loved," she adds. "There are not many games out there that are not time measured, stressful & that anyone can play. This was one of the few that was just that, no violence no stress & a great family to play with."
A reader named Reba said in comment on another article, "I’m a SPP player who has invested hundreds and hundreds of dollars in this game and I am so upset. I was assured this site would not close , so I continued to play and purchase now we are left out in the cold. This should be illegal!!! Had I been told the site would be leaving I would not have spent my money. This game is very important to us , some of us are disabled or sick, and we have made very good friends with this site, we need it to stay. At the very least they need to return our money and rest assured if they shut us down I’ll never invest myself in any other games."
We contacted Google about the the whole thing, and a spokesperson directed us to the original Slide announcement we shared before, and a forum post from the SuperPoke Pets team discussing SuperPoke Pets specifically. Here is the text of that in its entirety:
We understand that the last few days have been difficult for many of you. We are reading your posts and wanted to provide more information about several of the themes and topics we’ve seen emerge.
Since stopping active development on SPP, we’ve seen quite a bit of speculation about Slide turning off SPP altogether. We want you all to know that, until this week, we did not have a plan to shut down SPP. In our June announcement about the changes, you can see that at the time, we saw very little reason to turn off SPP and intended to keep it running for the foreseeable future.
Unfortunately, as all of us have experienced, the future is not very predictable. As you may have read in our recent Slide blog post or other articles, the Slide group will be splitting up to join other areas within Google. Unfortunately, this means that we will be shutting down almost all of our products, including SPP and several that we just launched. This is not something we anticipated or planned for when we made our announcements about SPP back in June.
Many people also brought up questions about the value of items on SPP and we want you to know that we have spent a lot of time thinking about this very topic. You can use and enjoy virtual items however much you want - and over the course of SPP, we’re sure that there are items you’ve used for hours, even months. While you can use SPP items in a number of different ways: trade, decoration, gifting, and collecting, one thing you can’t do is bring them home and keep them forever.
The closest real-life analog 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.
We know that the SPP community, and the friends you have made here, are incredibly important to many of you. We encourage you to transition the relationships you’ve built on SPP to an outside platform so that they may continue to grow and flourish. As an example, Nicole established a FB group for SPP users as a place where you can go to make these sorts of connections:http://www.facebook.com/groups/104602236311763/. I also anticipate that some of you will have groups of your own that you will wish to promote or invite your SPP friends to. We are also looking into whether we can find an existing public forum that might host SPP Community rooms so that you can continue your interactions there. If we are able to find something we can implement, we will communicate the details here. As I mentioned in my original post, we will not be shutting SPP down for about six months. One of our hopes is that this will provide you with plenty of time to re-establish these connections outside of SPP.
There is still a lot to plan and do as part of the SPP shut down, and as mentioned above, you will continue to hear from us. We are saddened by the eventual loss of SPP and committed to doing what we can to make this transition as smooth as it can be for you, the incredible SPP community.
The SPP Team
Are you a user? Do you think the Halloween costume analogy is a good one?