Terraria cancels its Stadia release after Google openly mishandles the developer’s YouTube account issues

    
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There’s burning bridges and then there’s firing a massive orbital strike laser at them. Google has effectively chosen the latter with its handling of an issue reported by Terraria developer Andrew Spinks, which started as a YouTube ban that devolved into a wholesale disabling of Spinks’ Google account and ended with the game’s Stadia version being cancelled outright.

Here’s the course of events: In late January, the game’s official Twitter account asked YouTube for help to resolve a problem with accessing the game’s YouTube channel due to an apparent TOS violation that ultimately resulted in the entire Google account being disabled three days later, despite the channel not uploading anything for several months.

Instead of taking the matter to DMs as asked, the Team YouTube Twitter account instead sought to resolve the matter via Twitter thread, where it coughed up some canned responses. Flash forward to three weeks later and developer Andrew Spinks fully calling Google out in a Twitter thread:

“My account has now been disabled for over 3 weeks. I still have no idea why, and after using every resource I have to get this resolved you have done nothing but given me the runaround. My phone has lost access to thousands of dollars of apps. I had just bought LOTR 4K and can’t finish it. My Google Drive data is completely gone. I can’t access my YouTube channel. The worst of all is losing access to my Gmail address of over 15 years.

“I absolutely have not done anything to violate your terms of service, so I can take this no other way than you deciding to burn this bridge. Consider it burned. Terraria for Google Stadia is canceled. My company will no longer support any of your platforms moving forward. I will not be involved with a corporation that values their customers and partners so little. Doing business with you is a liability.”

As of this writing, there has been no official response from Google regarding the matter. Even so, it would appear that the damage has been well and truly done.

source: Twitter (1, 2) via Ars Technica and Droidgamers, thanks to Anon for the tip!
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Rndomuser

No surprise here, Google are known for poor customer support and doing things like closing your whole Google account for many things. Many subreddits on Reddit have examples of this. This is part of the reason I don’t use Google Pixel anymore and don’t use Gmail and I stopped using Nest cameras at home and I don’t buy any movies or music through Google’s own store. Nobody should rely on their services, even Android-based phone users.

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McGuffn

I hope he is at least able to find out how Lord of the Rings ends.

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Tuor of Gondolin

Smeagol was Frodo’s father.

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LawfulGood

I hate to say this, because my son is a serious Terraria fan and the devs can apparently do no wrong, but it sounds like an overreaction by Mr. Spinks. If he was making any money off the Stadia version of Terraria then it is a classic example of “cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

Now that I think about it, that’s a disturbing idiom.

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Minimalistway

Google is known for their poor customer support, if they solve problems quickly then the developer won’t find a need to complain, but 3 weeks of nothing? that’s not acceptable, and it’s not one case, many people suffered from disabling their accounts, many people use Gmail as main (if not the only) email for everything, disabling that means a lot of trouble for them.

Terraria sold more than 30 million copies without Stadia, not supporting Stadia is not a big loss.

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Bruno Brito

It’s not an overreaction. Three weeks of poor customer service and pure silence is neglect. He lost EVERYTHING google-related and he himself mentions losing thousands of dollars in google-purchases. He lost the Terraria YT channel. He lost his 15 years’ old email.

In this case, Google already cut his nose and all he’s doing is yelling that they did it.

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Ironwu

He was not making any money off Stadia as the game had not been released on Stadia. In fact he lost money and time.

Think how anyone would feel if they were summarily locked out of content they had paid for. I know I would not be happy about that.

In any case, I don’t think he took much of a ‘cut’ since even Google admits that it is not financially viable to develop games for Stadia.

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Greaterdivinity

Considering the Stadia version won’t exist because of this…it’s on Google, yo. He’s not losing out on much, especially given that Terraria is already on just about every single platform in existence and can be run easily on mobile devices. Not sure there’s even much of a market left for it to reach at this point, and even less so when you consider the tiny footprint of Stadia uses.

This is an incorrect read of the situation. Google has literally locked him out of his account, which is also used for his company, without explanation and has not provided any customer support to a developer that earns them money (Terraria’s on Android) who was working on porting his product to their dying streaming platform. It’s 100% Google.

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Peregrine Falcon

Stories like this are exactly why I excised Google from my computer several months ago.

I no longer use Google docs, Gmail, Chrome or anything else Google. And I block ads so that google doesn’t get any money from anything I do. I will occasionally use Google Search if my other search engines don’t find what I want, but it’s no longer my default search engine.

Yes I am aware that nothing I do will harm Google, but I can only do what I can do. If more people move away from Google they might change, but you all won’t do that.

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Does not check email

Apple, Amazon, Microsoft.,, all the same. There is no loyalty to customers. I treat my online accounts as if they could all be gone tomorrow.

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dawgeth

I’m going through the process now – moving away from all the big name tech companies.. last thing I need to do is transition some accounts pointing at my my 16 year old Gmail account – and move photos to a new cloud backup service.

It’s been a long, intensive, crazy ordeal .. I had no idea how ingrained in everything I did Google/Microsoft/Apple was .. and while I still need things like my Microsoft account for my Xbox and Google account for my Chromecast .. I’ve moved 99% of things .. and that feels pretty good.

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

> My company will no longer support any of your platforms moving forward.

Including Android and Google Play? If so then noses, faces, a sharp implement, and spite comes to mind.

Leo
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Leo

Well this ban has left them without access to anything Google. They lost all their e-mails and their business stuff. All the apps they bought from the Play store now they can’t access. A ban by one part of Google is a ban of all parts of Google

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

This smells like a personal account particularly the parts about lost access to apps.

The last place you want to be running your business from is a personal account. Regardless who is at fault — and it sure smells like Google — what happened here is a big reason why you don’t mix them. Depending on jurisdictions there are tax implications. If there are investors… oh boy is he in for a world of hurt.

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Greaterdivinity

It is his personal account, which he used for the company.

I mean, fair point that they shouldn’t be using personal accounts but also remember that they started out as a tiny, scrappy indie dev. So starting with a personal account makes a lot of sense, and I imagine they just kept doing it as the game succeeded and expanded to more platforms.

Either way, it’s beyond fucked up that Google apparently doesn’t even have basic customer service. This seems worse than dealing with Comcast…and that’s setting the bar about as low as a bar can go.

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Bruno Brito

If what he said is true that he lost money because google locked him out of his purchases, there’s a chance he may pursue litigation.

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zoward

Even if he doesn’t, with Google current under antitrust scrutiny in several countries, now is a particularly bad time for Google to have done this.

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John Kiser

Some people said he was banned for his conservative views which suggests that he might of made a post that might of gone too far particularly in the current political climate….. It seems like perhaps there was a bigger overall thing going on here that we aren’t seeing and only have one side.

It is also crazy to use your personal email for business of any sorts. I have multiple emails for various things…

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John Kiser

From what they said they’ll still support people that bought the game on google play and update it.

ItsBrou🏖
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ItsBrou🏖

Hm, ok.

Google Stadia is a failure, anyway.

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Ironwu

Well, I think the second Google disbanded its Stadia Game Studio, the platform was officially dead. But, like a zombie, it just doesn’t know it.

Why would any game studio in their right mind spend even one dollar developing Stadia compatibility when even Google does not think there is enough money in Stadia games to be worth the risk?

What gamer in their right mind would spend all that extra money for games on a platform that does not work as promised, that the company has given up on, and that provides nothing more than a niche service at best?

Give it up, Google. You have failed.

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John Kiser

Why would the platform be dead because google decided it didn’t want to invest the time, money, and energy to make first party titles when they can have other studios do exclusives and are looking at bringing 100+ games this year.

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Greaterdivinity

I’m genuinely kinda scared about losing my Google account since there’s so much stuff there and Google seems to have functionally 0 actual customer service. This shit worries the hell outta me.

Is this how Google is keeping Stadia alive in light of them closing internal studios? By banning and ignoring third party developers?

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Tanek

Google does seem to have gone through various company mottos over the past decades. From “Don’t Be Evil” to “If You Don’t Like It, Leave” to “We Own You, What Are You Going To Do About It”

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Greaterdivinity

Them straight up threatening to remove search from an entire country for having the AUDACITY to ask them to pay a nominal fee to use the content local media create in their search results (summarized news articles).

Reckoning with the wild west that is the internet economy is going to be brutal and messy in the coming years as countries start actually regulating them and they’re not able to act with functional impunity.

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TheDarthStomper

Except “wild west” implies there is no ruling authority. There is. The problem is, it’s Google.

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John Kiser

I mean they shouldn’t need to pay for showing a clip of a news article when they give those sites most of the traffic they get with those news clips.. When they were asked to stop doing it in one country the news started to see problems.

Also nominal fees becomes kind of silly when a ton of these places would probably purposefully toss up a ton of “news” to try and make more and more revenue come in from these fees. It needs to be done in an intelligent way and it’s just done because people want money.

I love how this shit wasn’t a problem until more people started ad blocking and shit in recent years and these countries started to get uppity in the last few years. No one complained for a decade or so with this stuff, but then suddenly it is a problem.

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Greaterdivinity

They shouldn’t? Why not? They’re taking the work of the news outlet and using it for their own profit (search optimization, and selling ads via search), so it should make every sense that Google should be paying for profiting off of the works of others.

As to your hypothetical, it’s almost like it’s a self-perpetuating cycle where Google is an active participant and beneficiary of this and not just those mean little news outlets pumping out news articles.

And it’s almost like the internet is still frighteningly new and we’re still grappling to understand a helluva lot about it and start to critically and seriously think if the way things have been going are the way things SHOULD be going. Especially now as we’re seeing the direct negative consequences of a lot of these “wild west” type moves.

Don’t be a corpo shill.

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Bruno Brito

I saw people complaining yesterday ( i don’t know if here in MOP or in Twitter ) about Google getting rid of the PlayMusic app and simply deleting their user’s libraries. It’s beyond fucked up, and i can’t, for the life of me, grasp how such company was raised to multibillion dollar heights.

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Greaterdivinity

Eh, they gave a ton of warning about that. Don’t get me wrong, I hate YouTube Music with a passion and INFINITELY prefer Play Music (no ads, can play using your phone without having the app actively open without needing to sub up to the stupid YT Music nonsense etc.), but they warned about it and gave everyone plenty of opportunity to move everything over to YT Music.

I ain’t thrilled with that, but it’s a free service and Google is no stranger to shutting things down left and right.

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Bruno Brito

No, i’m aware. But warning or not, deleting entire libraries feels like pure douchebaggery for me. I’m still baffled how the hell Google funds these “fart in the wind” enterprises.

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Greaterdivinity

…why is that douchebaggery? The service is ending. They’re taking it all down completely soon…there’s no way to even continue accessing them. This is very normal shit for online services when they shutter or cease service.

And they fund it because they have obscene amounts of money and can afford to do shit like a multi-million dollar public beta for Stadia just to kill it off in a year. Just like Google Glass etc.

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Bruno Brito

…why is that douchebaggery? The service is ending.

Deleting millions in libraries because you’re a garbage company that can’t keep an attention span to keep some of your services alive? Google treating their customers as funding for short term pioneerism is douchebaggery to me.

And they fund it because they have obscene amounts of money and can afford to do shit like a multi-million dollar public beta for Stadia just to kill it off in a year. Just like Google Glass etc.

Yes dude, and i ask myself how they are able to acquire those obscene ammounts of money when they treat their customerbase as one-year whales. Companies like these shouldn’t succeed, yet they do.

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John Kiser

They did it because it was redundant and gave people months of advanced warning and still have access to transfer (there are posts from feb 2021 as google didn’t go full bore on pulling hosting of the data just yet). They even allowed you to download a non cloud copy of this stuff if you wanted.

It was literally 4 steps and the news was all over the place and they even told people that actively used the service. If you couldn’t get off your ass to do 4 steps between august and december of 2020 as the “official” window that is on you.

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John Kiser

They didn’t kill stadia off. They killed off their first party studio for making games on stadia which frankly google doesn’t have business getting into game development. They simply are better off bringing in outside studios.

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John Kiser

They gave people warning and offered ways to move your library. If people didn’t do that it is on them at some point. People need some accountability on this kind of thing.

It’d be like someone saying your house is unlivable and will be demolished on the 14th of january a year from now and you stay in the house on the 14th survive and then whine about them demolishing your house even though they told you a year ago that it’d be demolished.

They told people the service would end and gave ample time for people to move it over easily.

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Jack Pipsam

Good for him, screw Google.