I never got into the “Farmville” or “Mafia Wars” social games, mostly because my attention span couldn’t keep a cactus alive, nevermind an agrarian enterprise or a ruthless drug cartel. There are, however, millions of people for whom these games are a big deal. I imagine these people also own lots of cats and have Lifetime and Oxygen on their favorite channel list, but I could be wrong. One thing’s for sure: if you fuck with their time sinks, you’re gonna hear about it.
The latest service to feel the Google axe blade was Slide, a social apps company that was acquired for about $200 million last year. One of Slide’s offerings, a game called SuperPoke! Pets, was…well…Super Poked. As MG Siegler reports for TechCrunch, the players were none too happy about it:
If you look at our post about the Google killing Slide from Thursday, you’ll find 230+ comments right now. In the Facebook comments era of TechCrunch, this is a ton. In our pre-Facebook comments era this would probably equate to over 1,000 comments. And nearly every single one of these comments is in response to the killing of SuperPoke! Pets.
One of the most contentious aspects of the kill-off was that people paid real money for “gold items” in-game. It’s very common to use real money in these “cultivation” games to enhance pets or plots of land – or whatever. What isn’t so common is to have the service yanked out from under 2 million+ active players. Then again, this is Google we’re talking about – not exactly the most emotionally available company on the planet.
What Google chooses to do with the millions of pissed-off former SuperPokers remains to be seen, but it underscores how little Google cares about killing off something under its care – whether that thing be of their own creation or something they’ve acquired. Little wonder no one takes their enterprise offerings seriously.